How to "Auto Flag" Craigslist Ads???

by 43 comments
One of my clients came to me today highly ticked off. He said the ads he was posting to Craigslist were getting flagged by competition within minutes of going live.

I posted a couple from my account to test this, and saw first hand that it was true. Flagged in 3 minutes, twice.

I saw a thred in which red shifted, nameless, and ken were going back and forth about flagging each other to kingdom come.

My questions:

Is it possible to automatically flag someone's ads?
If so, how is it being done?
Is there a way to combat this?

Thanks a lot for any help.

Daniel
#offline marketing #ads #auto flag #craigslist
  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    Originally Posted by dnjoseph1 View Post

    One of my clients came to me today highly ticked off. He said the ads he was posting to Craigslist were getting flagged by competition within minutes of going live.

    I posted a couple from my account to test this, and saw first hand that it was true. Flagged in 3 minutes, twice.

    I saw a thred in which red shifted, nameless, and ken were going back and forth about flagging each other to kingdom come.

    My questions:
    If your client is posting an ad from his account and you are posting the same ad from your account and both of them are getting flagged then there is something wrong with the ad.

    It could be competitors, but it could also be normal everyday people who are posting on craigslist and don't like seeing your sales ad in an area where it probably isn't supposed to be, and they feel it is spam so they are flagging it.

    A couple of options.

    Change the ad

    After you do this then pay attention to see if you are still getting flagged. Actually that brings up a question, are any of your clients other ads getting flagged or any of your other ads? if not then again it is probably that specific ad.

    Another option is to post the ad here and maybe other warriors can tell you if it is too spammy or not. there's the possibility that it could be even if you think it isn't.
  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Originally Posted by dnjoseph1 View Post

    One of my clients came to me today highly ticked off. He said the ads he was posting to Craigslist were getting flagged by competition within minutes of going live.

    I posted a couple from my account to test this, and saw first hand that it was true. Flagged in 3 minutes, twice.

    I saw a thred in which red shifted, nameless, and ken were going back and forth about flagging each other to kingdom come.

    My questions:

    Is it possible to automatically flag someone's ads?
    If so, how is it being done?
    Is there a way to combat this?

    Thanks a lot for any help.

    Daniel
    Answers:
    Yes.
    I'm not telling.
    Post in a different city or where they can't find you.

    I have keywords I look for to auto flag... the software does it. Maybe it is their URL, maybe other keywords, but that is probably it. Chances are I even know the person doing it. LOL.
  • Profile picture of the author ser23
    If you are offering a service for your company you can't post in a different state. There is a flagging software called prometheus. Use it!!! it works. You need a proxy switcher and proxies. You can flag ads in a matter of minutes. What i suggest is use it to show a point and them make an agreement, because with flagging, nobody wins.
  • Profile picture of the author johnrone
    Aside from the tips mentioned above, you can also use a software that automatically flag someone's ads similar to yours. Just look around the net by searching Craigslist flagging software on Google. You will definitely find a number of apps just for this purpose.
    • Profile picture of the author Lance K
      Originally Posted by johnrone View Post

      Aside from the tips mentioned above, you can also use a software that automatically flag someone's ads similar to yours. Just look around the net by searching Craigslist flagging software on Google. You will definitely find a number of apps just for this purpose.
      It can't imagine feeling insecure and inadequate to the point that I had to tear down my competition in order to succeed in business.
    • Profile picture of the author FrankRumbauskas
      Originally Posted by johnrone View Post

      Aside from the tips mentioned above, you can also use a software that automatically flag someone's ads similar to yours. Just look around the net by searching Craigslist flagging software on Google. You will definitely find a number of apps just for this purpose.
      Yes there are scripts that use proxies and can reside either on your computer or on a hosting account. I bought one a while ago to auto-flag jerks who were using one of my registered trademarks in ad titles. They stopped pretty quickly after that
  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Wow.

    Flagging other people's ads automatically. That's just plain pathetic.

    Hate the game, not the player, I know.

    More reason to do direct mail or cold call.
    • Profile picture of the author YellowGreenMedia
      Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

      Wow.

      Flagging other people's ads automatically. That's just plain pathetic.

      Hate the game, not the player, I know.

      More reason to do direct mail or cold call.
      There will always be scum with a piece of software spoiling everything for everybody, but like he proudly stated "what you gonna do about it?"
    • Profile picture of the author mike_lucas
      Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

      Wow.

      Flagging other people's ads automatically. That's just plain pathetic.

      Hate the game, not the player, I know.

      More reason to do direct mail or cold call.

      sorry but I also hate the player as well there is a line that I guess some are willing to cross for the all mighty sell but its as you said pathetic

      I say find someone doing that and target every single ad they post I guess some like living in the gutter
  • Profile picture of the author The General Public
    Craigslist is becoming a bigger and bigger pain to deal with. It is no longer just internet marketers that have a problem with it.

    There are also people from The General Public who can't list their ipod for sale because it gets flagged automatically.

    Personally I don't know how much longer this will last.
    • Profile picture of the author dnjoseph1
      Thanks to everyone who responded. I got my answer. It's a competitor automatically flagging the ads.

      The ads weren't spam. They were relevant ads for a local service company. Different headlines with different bodies in both text and images.

      The flagging didn't start right away. For about a week, it was proving VERY profitable because anywhere from 4-6 good leads were coming in from the Craigslist ads daily. Maybe we started taking away leads from someone else. It makes sense, since the ads we designed were great direct response ads.

      Sucks that people have to stoop that low. Maybe I'll do what Ken mentioned, sniff out who it is and relentlessly hunt down their ads until they disappear.

      Anyhow, thanks for everyone who contributed to helping me out.

      Daniel
    • Profile picture of the author mattmgreenman
      Originally Posted by The General Public View Post

      Craigslist is becoming a bigger and bigger pain to deal with. It is no longer just internet marketers that have a problem with it.

      There are also people from The General Public who can't list their ipod for sale because it gets flagged automatically.

      Personally I don't know how much longer this will last.
      Hey guys. I was just wondering how many others here have experienced this? And if so what other troubles had you had with CL when posting your ads?
  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Business is war.

    Go compete in a medium where underhanded garbage like this doesn't happen.

    Like picking up the phone. Or door knocking.
  • Profile picture of the author oxforduniversity
    I use Ad-Nuke to flag Craigslist ads and it works but cost money. It cost normally $.06 cent per flag or less depending how much you buy. I go after ads on businesses that hire illegal immigrants and spammers. The rule on Craigslist, you are only suppose to post one ad per catagory only every 48 hours and you are not suppose to use url's, these are the rules. So people are flagging is actually a good thing, it controls the spam and more flags you do on those people. their accounts will eventually turn into ghost accounts where their
    accounts are useless.

    Flagging is positive and I do recommend flagging ads as Craigslist
    does not monitor spam and people doing business without a license, insurance, undocumented workers, unlicensed contractors, vendors,
    and more. Craigslist might be free but it comes with a cost, you can flag any post you want if you want to use the free service for posting and flagging.

    Personnally Craigslist is bad for business, it hurts businesses, newspapers and etc issues. I can name many examples of bad business practices on Craigslist and what people do on their illegally and Craigslist does nothing. You can buy drugs, have sex, sell weapons, spam personal information and more, Craigslist does nothing. There are bad landlords, bad mechanic's, crooked cleaning companies, bad contractors, insurance scams, phony rentals, unemployeed people getting unemployment money but are running a side business that is stealing for us taxpayers when they should not be collecting, wellfare people lying they need work but are getting social benefits and a whole of other bad tactic's people do on Craigslist for money. Craigslist is one big scam of crooked people posting. Yes they are honest posters but 4 out of 1o are good ads but the rest are bad.

    I hope Ebay buys Craigslist and starts charging people to advertise, you have the social people that expect everything for free, its sad but society can't run on free stuff and Craigslist is about the free stuff hurting many businesses that advertise and contribute to society in some form.

    In some ways, yes Craigslist is useless but there is more bad things about Craigslist that useless is less important vice versa, so Craigslist needs to go.

    You have spam posters and you have flaggers, it evens out to weed out the garage on Craigslist when people see ads that shouldn't be there.

    Ad-Nuke I can flag any ad I want and it is gone in 10 minutes to an hour or less.
    • Profile picture of the author bawls
      You can track flaggers IPs and a few are stupid enough not use an untraceable proxies...file a John Doe lawsuit to be able to subpoena records, if you can find the origin of the flaggers, you have legal grounds for damages and criminal complaint ...but beyond that nothing can be done outside having voodoo curses cast on them:p
    • Profile picture of the author Cash37
      Originally Posted by oxforduniversity View Post

      I use Ad-Nuke to flag Craigslist ads and it works but cost money. It cost normally $.06 cent per flag or less depending how much you buy. I go after ads on businesses that hire illegal immigrants and spammers. The rule on Craigslist, you are only suppose to post one ad per catagory only every 48 hours and you are not suppose to use url's, these are the rules. So people are flagging is actually a good thing, it controls the spam and more flags you do on those people. their accounts will eventually turn into ghost accounts where their
      accounts are useless.

      Flagging is positive and I do recommend flagging ads as Craigslist
      does not monitor spam and people doing business without a license, insurance, undocumented workers, unlicensed contractors, vendors,
      and more. Craigslist might be free but it comes with a cost, you can flag any post you want if you want to use the free service for posting and flagging.

      Personnally Craigslist is bad for business, it hurts businesses, newspapers and etc issues. I can name many examples of bad business practices on Craigslist and what people do on their illegally and Craigslist does nothing. You can buy drugs, have sex, sell weapons, spam personal information and more, Craigslist does nothing. There are bad landlords, bad mechanic's, crooked cleaning companies, bad contractors, insurance scams, phony rentals, unemployeed people getting unemployment money but are running a side business that is stealing for us taxpayers when they should not be collecting, wellfare people lying they need work but are getting social benefits and a whole of other bad tactic's people do on Craigslist for money. Craigslist is one big scam of crooked people posting. Yes they are honest posters but 4 out of 1o are good ads but the rest are bad.

      I hope Ebay buys Craigslist and starts charging people to advertise, you have the social people that expect everything for free, its sad but society can't run on free stuff and Craigslist is about the free stuff hurting many businesses that advertise and contribute to society in some form.

      In some ways, yes Craigslist is useless but there is more bad things about Craigslist that useless is less important vice versa, so Craigslist needs to go.

      You have spam posters and you have flaggers, it evens out to weed out the garage on Craigslist when people see ads that shouldn't be there.

      Ad-Nuke I can flag any ad I want and it is gone in 10 minutes to an hour or less.
      How did that work out for you?

      Craigslist wins $1 mil in San Fran court, brings down Ad-Nuke.com

      Craigslist will receive a $1 million settlement in a court case against a site that charged people to automatically flag Craigslist ads.
      Defendant Ad-Nuke.com, in the person of Michael Papp, owner, in the October 10 final judgment, agreed to pay Craigslist $1 million, and to no longer manufacture, distribute or sell software that flags Craigslist ads. Co-defendant Shelley Papp was removed from the case without prejudice.
      Ad-Nuke.com, the now-defunct Papp website, offered an automated Craigslist flagging license that allowed its clients to quickly remove others’ Craigslists ads from the site at the rate of ten per day for $100, fifty cents for each additional ad removed, and a discount for removal of more than 500 ads per day.
      In 2012, Ad-Nuke claimed to have 1,000 customers, one of which noted on RipOff Report that he flagged ads that hire illegal immigrants. Here’s a video of how it worked.
      The case, number 05276, was heard in San Francisco’s U.S. Northern District Court of California.
  • Profile picture of the author battleweb
    yeah, I've gone thru the auto-flagging mess. I eventually developed software through an idea of mine own that made auto-flagging my ads next to impossible. Haven't seen anything else out there like it. The point is, there are ways to combat it without going toe to toe with the flagger - besides, many times you can't locate the source of the flagging as it could be via some irrate customer, self-appointed CL police, etc.
  • Profile picture of the author midasmarketing
    Does it show a blank ad when visited by a suspected flagger?
  • Profile picture of the author LegacyInc
    I do belive there is a way to target ads by keyword with a software called CL Bot Pro... There's an add on to the base software for $99 that auto flags your competition. This sucks because I don't know of any way to stop it from flagging our ads but to be careful about what words you use and make them as job related as possible!
  • Profile picture of the author adamnassar
    Craigslist is always changing around their format. It's a lot easier to get your ads flagged, not only because of the competition but also because Craigslist staff members decide to flag them since they believe it's spam. Hope this helps!
  • Profile picture of the author craigslistlive
    If the ad is flagged withing 10-15 min from posting time, then be sure that this is flagged for removal by craiglist, not by anyone else. Because the ad goes live after 10-60min later after posting time. I am saying form my real life experience. Don't try to find out who is flagging your ad, try to find out a different way to post the ad.
  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    One thing you can do is click the ad 30 or 40 times after posting. Use proxies if you have them. This way if the cl police or some software comes by to flag you, it will also show your ad was visited by someone a lot of times without getting flagged.
  • Profile picture of the author bobert8590
    Agreed try posting in a different city to see if it is flagged for content or just the competitors getting one up.

    Advise your client on other ways to advertise for free as well
  • Profile picture of the author jameyson72
    There isn't much you can do about this sort of BS, but I have heard of several local groups who are targeting those posting duplicate or spammy ads. One group in Los Angeles has about 20 members who take turns looking for these sort of ads then using an auto flagger to target them. Typically the ones who auto flag legitimate ads are also mass posting their own ads, so it sort of gives them a taste of their own medication.

    Personally I think that if more people were to work together to address this sort of thing we'd see a lot less of it happening.
  • Profile picture of the author sunnyski
    Flagproof craiglist please help
  • Profile picture of the author TheJamesGun
    First, I do NOT advocate using mass flagging as a technique. But as someone who has been in the industry:

    Mass flagging only works at a distributed IP level. There are methods to be able to correlate IPs.

    For example, did you know that CL bans the entire EC2 IP cluster range? This is quite easy to check by trying to make a simple request to CL from those servers.

    If you endeavor to go the auto-flagging route, make sure that you are distributing your IPs correctly.

    -

    I've written about how the classified ads niche is incredibly tough and why freelancers suck.

    Shameless plug: If you are interested in long-term, scalable posting, PM me.
  • Profile picture of the author MrRodrigue
    Hey Denial, how does he know for a fact that the ads are getting down by competitors?
  • Profile picture of the author JeffreyMichel
    So many guys are exploiting this awesome platform the wrong way! It's actually sad what some of them will do..

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