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More Craig’s List Censorship

I am completely disillusioned with Craig’s List these days. I am seeing so much censorship I almost feel like it’s time to analyze just how much influence CL might have on the American public’s perception of their communities. Check out the RANTS & RAVES section of your local CraigsList. What do you see? Well, if your experience is anything like mine (in more than one market), what you see is a product of a significant amount of censorship.

So what is the agenda, CL? Who’s setting that agenda? Shouldn’t the public know something about how many posts have been “removed by Craigs List staff?” God forbid the realtors get behind the steering wheel of Craigs List… we would never get an honest opinion displayed for more than an hour on Craig’s List! Every Seattle post about how it rains every day could disappear, leaving only the posts about the beautiful sunny days. Every post about a bad egg in the home improvement market could disappear, leaving only RAVES about how easy it is to find a reputable independent repair guy. What happened to the consumer, Craig? Have the lawyers so scared you that you need to pull any post that someone complains about, however valid, or however it might be helping the consumer?

The last time I moaned about CL (see “Wanted: Craigs List Manipulators“) I got a call from a Customer Service person at CL. He left a voice message on my cell that to me sounded both condescending and disinterested. Why should I call him back? I can guess that:

  1. He will want to know more specifics about my experience with Craigs List manipulators. I am unwilling to share that, because I am quite confident no good will come (to me) by sharng the market and categories where I experiences CL manipulation. It is quite enough for me to recount that it takes a small handful of people to manipulate a forum using collaborative flagging. I can even demonstrate it.
  2. He may want to ask me questions to see if I was serious about seeking CL Manipulators. I clarified that in a comment. I don’t need any help if I want to manipulate CL, thank you very much.
  3. He will document anything I saw in case he wants to use it against me (thanks, but I have a lawyer for that)
  4. He may say sorry (gasp) or otherwise try and make peace. No, thank you. Just fix the problem. Oh, and the problem is:

Craigs List presents itself as a community resource, for the people, yet experiences a significant amount of censorship such that it can present a false impression for the readers without sufficient disclosure of that fact. Does burying scaredy-cat censorship behind a broad “terms of service” that says posts may be removed for any reason equal prominant responsible disclosure?

Is there no integrity at all among these millionaires? Betraying the public trust seems to be the career of the century. C’mon Craig’s List, you can do better or stop billing yourself as a pubic forum.


  1. Jenn wrote:

    I’m not sure Craigslist has “customer service reps”…sounds fishy to me!

    Monday, January 1, 2007 at 10:45 pm | Permalink
  2. William wrote:

    Craigslist works on a strict policy of leftist-driven censorship and has done for a couple of years now. This was not always the case. Sure, posts of a racist or threatening nature are removed and I have no problem with that, but what is really outrageous is that Craigslist staff are now forcibly removing all posts that articulate any view that is right of center, anti-left, anti-Marxist, as well as posts that are pro-West, pro-reason, pro-capitalism. I have demonstrated this for myself on many occasions (it’s still going on now) and browsing a broad selection of CL cities I see it’s a common complaint.

    Here’s a common example. Someone will post a badly written, ignorant and uninformed attack on capitalism. Usually, a disconnected series of leftist slogans repeated parrot fashion. Now, I’ll rebut that viewpoint using nothing more than solid reason, common sense and empirical facts. Nothing offensive, no curse words, no slander, no racism, nothing against their “terms and conditions” at all. 9 times out of 10, I’ll see that post removed by CL staff before it’s even had a chance to be published on the live list.

    I think basically CL is staffed by a bunch of hysterical leftists who have no respect for the truth, for reason, for intellect, for decent values, for freedom of speech or a free flow of ideas. In this respect, they are scum. Sure, it’s “their” website and as such they are free to censor whatever they like. But if they do, they should at least have the common decency to DECLARE on their website that they only accept political opinions that THEY agree with. Otherwise, anyone reading a forum like Rants and Raves would labor under the mistaken impression that the viewpoints published represent a fair cross section of opinions in society. They don’t. They represent only the opinions of those posters who have been approved of by Craigslists giant Marxist censorship machine.

    John replies: There is a bias in such “examinations”, William, and it is not uncommon for someone like yourself to see what you believe it true when doing such an analysis. That doesn’t mean it’s true; it simply means it could be true.

    I recall reading somewhere that Craig of Craig’s List is a strong Republican supporter, so I doubt there is a pro-left, anti-conservative bias imposed by CL staff. It is much more likely that such a bias (if it exists) would come via activities of flaggers, which may cause action by CL staff. Could be. That’s my point — there is a strong bias from flaggers, and in my experience, local flaggers collude quite a bit.

    Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 11:30 am | Permalink
  3. Vic wrote: unfair censorship accepts but does not publish ads with “online promotion” or “Internet advertising” words in the title employs unfair censorship against those who work in the same field of online promotion and Internet advertising

    It shows craigslist’s monopolistic approach to online promotion, Internet advertising, and competition

    Try to post an add with “online promotion” or “Internet advertising” words in the title and you will not see it published among other ads

    Monday, October 22, 2007 at 7:46 am | Permalink
  4. grassh0pper wrote:

    OMG! It isn’t censorship. Censorship has to do with the first admendment dealing with free speech! this is a private site that has community monitoring, meaning anyone can flag for any reason and if enough flags are thrown, your post or ad is removed.

    R&R is the cesspool of craigslist. When you read it people use it like a forum which is wrong. You are not to reply to posts unless by email. It is for you to rant or rave, then walk away! If you want to discuss, use one of the many forums where chat is allowed.

    @grasshopper: Censorship is defined on Wordnet. Selective omission is indeed censorship. As for that forum, no matter what you say it should be, it exists as it is shown.

    If you have problems using craigslist, I suggest you go to the help forum where the volunteers will answer your questions.

    @grasshopper: check those forums and you will see (as I have) that often the users replying in there are disrespectful and flippant, often as bad or worse as any flaggers. Bigotry and prejudice are rampant in there.

    Craigslist does have service reps but they don’t call people. If they contact you, it is usually by email. Your blog was written during a time there was a well known hoax going on about calls from craigslist.

    @grasshopper: You sound ridiculous now. I got calls from some one who left his name and phone number, who was specifically concerned about stated details of my particular blog post. This response of yours is practically an example of the one-sided propaganda we are noting… if you say here it was part of some hoax, will some believe it? Please… be real.

    Do remember it is a free site, there are no guarantees your ad or post will stay up (community monitoring, remember). I’ve used craigslist for years, volunteer there and love it.

    @grasshopper: your experience is completely irrelevant to the issues discussed here. If you have always used it an never had a problem, good for you. But please don’t discount other’s experiences just because they are not yours. That is exactly the sort of blind prejudice that plagues Craig’s List, and which Craig’s List seems to foster by sugesting that if you don’t see it, it isn’t happening (reread that censorship definition). Thanks for stopping by.

    Monday, February 4, 2008 at 1:05 am | Permalink