Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

CraigsList & Malicious Flaggers

If you've used CL for any lenght of time, you know all about the Flaggers. People who make it their business to uphold the TOU regardless of the actual post made.

Generally, they focus all their time on Animal related ads. Whether that be hidden in the 'General' community or the 'Pets' community section. Now, the TOU states "No Selling of LIVE Animals." That is not my issue here, that is the easy part. If you violate the TOU, you should be flagged off the board.

But that is not always the case here. There is a group, abeit small, of malicious flaggers that flag anything they, personally, disagree with. Whether that be the way the ad reads (spayed or neutered vs. not altered), omission of any fee, or the 'adoption/rehoming fee' that is being sought. They flag with little regard for the animal its self.

They have a forum, they use to communicate and get ads from all over CL flagged off. They even use it to make personal commentary and belittling remarks about individuals. They have also been known to post personal and business information and even gone as far as to offer it to those other flaggers who wish to make a nuisance of themselves.

To further compound this issue, CraigsList employees are Banning IP addresses and 'handles', and deleting posts from one forum, essentially moving them to the "Isle of Misfit Threads" of anyone who steps up and opposes the Flaggers.

In excerts from CLs CEO, Jim Buckmaster; he states (in relation to the "Fair" Housing lawsuit) that the "community-moderated commons run by and for its users, who self-publish and manage their own ads and use a flagging system to police the site."

It's this 'self policing' that have allowed the Flaggers free rein to abuse the system and get posts NOT violating the TOU removed. If indeed this "Community-moderated commons" is self policed, why is it that employees of CL are banning IP addresses, handles, and deleting posts of those individuals who oppose the majority of the Flaggers and what they stand for?

Are they infact not, "eroding important free speech" (again taken from the "Fair" housing lawsuit - stated by CEO, Jim Buckmaster). Do those who stand in opposition not have the right to voice that opposition to the actions of a select few?