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:
- 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.
- 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.
- He will document anything I saw in case he wants to use it against me (thanks, but I have a lawyer for that)
- 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.