What this site is about – dealing with Rogue Flaggers
- Flagging is abused on Craigslist
- Rogue flaggers cause economic damage
- Craigslist does not fight rogue flaggers despite the fact that they violate Craigslist’s Terms of Usage (TOU)
- Craigslist has an ethical and moral obligation to protect legitimate adds by all posters who observe the TOU
How you can get involved in fixing this problem
The Purpose of this web site is ……
- To bring more companies into this support group that are being harmed by flagging.
- To bring this problem to the public through all forms of media attention…. So Craigslist will hear us and make the proper changes.
- To find attorneys that would be willing to take on Craigslist on a contingency basis… and get loads of media exposure.
Possible class action suit…. If Craigslist does not help us soon.
- To recover financial damages that all of us dealers have lost…. If things are not remedied soon.
- To find out who is behind this flagging. A person, group, or Craigslist themselves.
- To get back our rights to post, and be left alone on Craigslist - now, and into the future.
Here in Sacramento before Craigslist, we had the Classified section of the Sacramento Bee. A typical day had 20+ pages of adds for jobs, rentals, cars, and motorcycles. Craigslist has reduced them to a useless 1/2 page… and not a single motorcycle most times.
The Cycle Trader Magazine was found at most groceries, liquor stores and other public places. This magazine has been a main advertising medium the all motorcycle dealers and private parties have used for years. The Magazine side of the company has been stomped totally out of business by Craigslist.
The Yellow Pages has been another great source in past years for Dealers to advertise. Between online search engines and Craigslist, they have been rendered useless.
Where does a dealer go now to advertise that actually works? Craigslist has put most of them out of business. Doesn't this put some form of duty and responsibility upon them, No matter if they are a free or paid classified site?
5 simple suggestions have been given to Craigslist on how to cure this problem.
- All flags must go through “CAPCHA” software. (Type in the 2 blurry words) Just like when you place an add.
- Businesses can be given or sold an account that keeps them Immune from flagging.
- Any IP address that is seen doing more than 10 flags per week should be banned.
- Have software look for flags that come in at equal timed intervals…. Like a flag every 5 seconds.
- Investigate heavily flagged accounts to see if they are doing something wrong, or if they are under attack
Questions for Craigslist
Some dealers are able to put their vehicles on Craigslist, and some are not. Most are not in fact. Since Craigslist is very nearly a monopoly, it raises the following questions:
- Are they breaking any Anti Trust Laws?
- Who gives them the right or power to make or break companies? Especially when the flagged companies have done nothing against the rules of Craigslist. They have broken no laws, posted nothing offensive and have not SPAM’d or over posted.
- Doesn't Craigslist have a moral or ethical responsibility to look after and protect advertisers? They have become the 900 Pound Gorilla of advertising.
- Why hasn’t Craigslist answered a single complaint or given reasons for allowing the flagging to continue?
- Why are they ignoring the problem, allowing it to get so out of hand and be so financially devastating to the companies affected?
Ideas we have thought of… and we would like your feedback….
We will pick a day on which we will ask all dealers to have their employees to begin their own Craigslist account. Give them a CD with the text of the ads and photos of the vehicles to be advertised. Have them post all day and night. As fast as the ads are flagged, repost them. This will overload the Craigslist system, and make any one doing flagging go crazy!
Demonstrate several days per week in front of the Craigslist SF office on 9th Ave. This will for sure get News coverage. It may even get attorneys to want to get involved and help us so they get media face time. Media is our friend in this situation, and will get more spot light on this matter, and urge Craigslist to make the right changes.
Send any ideas you have to this website. If they aren’t illegal or immoral (in our opinion ) we will add them to the list.
Who has set up this site and why is he concerned?
The Founder of this web site is Doug Stabler. He is the Owner of a Northern California dealership – ATV Wholesale Outlet. His company is 100% family owned, and operated. He has 2 teenage boys, wife, cousin and other family members that all work at the company.
For years, he successfully posted his vehicles on Craigslist without a hitch. Business was good, and customers were happy, and the phone was ringing all day and night. But then the problems all started back in early 2011. All at once, systematically, all his ads were being flagged, and taken off Craigslist. A flagger sent him an e-mail admitting he was the one doing this flagging, and the only way he would stop flagging was if Doug stopped posting. The e-mail was from firstname.lastname@example.org
Since this point, Doug has contacted many motorcycle dealerships all over Northern California, and is finding they have been having the same problems with their Craigslist account. The more calls he makes, the more Dealers he finds with the same frustration - the phone not ringing and business has decreased. This Economic Terrorist is causing huge financial damages at dealerships all over the state, and possibly further by flagging.
Doug and several other dealership owners have been trying since early 2011 to contact the founder, Craig Newmark, and the current CEO, Jim Buckmaster, about the problem. They have sent hundreds of e-mails, close to 100 letters by regular mail, called any phone associated with the company, and even gone to the Craigslist headquarters in San Francisco. To this day, they have not made a single response. Here is their contact info if you care to try:
1381 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA. 94122-2308