Monday, July 4, 2011

A friend experiences problems with Craigslist

   It seems everyone I know has at least some problems with ads not appearing (called ghosted ads) since they receive a link indicating their ad successfully posted but it doesn't appear. My friend was stood up on a date in Las Vegas and posted in the category "strictly platonic" thinking a simple date wouldn't be considered a "casual encounter" since he wasn't posting an ad for sex like the rest of them under this category and his ad was ghosted. He will spend July 4th alone. He showed my a link to his posts on the forum for Las Vegas. I applaud the Las Vegas moderators, they responded promptly and at least had some ideas why his ad was ghosted. At least they responded faster than the moderators I dealt with.

   here's the lowdown of why his ad was flagged: 1) wrong category, he mentioned he had wine and a hotel room on the strip making it a "casual encounters" ad. 2) his IP address originated from a Phoenix, AZ which isn't a local area. I can sort of understand the first reason even though I question what the hell is the difference between "strictly platonic" and a casual encounter ad? There was even another ad that wasn't ghosted where a guy wanted to meet at his hotel room but my friend only mentioned he was at a hotel on the strip and this guy wanted a sexual encounter. Of course, God forbid, my friend mentioned he had wine! Perhaps the moderators figured he was the type who would get a woman intoxicated and take advantage of her even though they have never met my friend and if they did, they would realize he doesn't have it in him to do such a horrible thing to a woman.

   The second reason cited sounds ridiculous. My friend has no control over the origin of his IP address and he determined his cell phone used to post the ad had an IP address from Phoenix, AZ. It is highly unlikely an ISP or cell phone provider has servers in all cities. As my friend emphasized, he lives in Ogden, UT and his IP address originates from Salt Lake City or Denver, CO. I think the moderator was full of crap on this one. This means ANYONE in Northern Utah who doesn't live in Salt Lake City will have troubles posting ads and sometimes Salt Lake City residents will have troubles. Remember that ISP's don't have servers in every city. A server in Salt Lake City can easily handle internet traffic throughout Northern Utah. This includes cities such as Logan, Brigham City, Ogden, Layton, Salt Lake City, Orem, Provo and any communities nearby all these cities. Setting up servers in all cities would be a big waste of money when only one server can handle all traffic along the Wasatch Front. The Salt Lake City server is the main server serving Northern Utah with Denver, CO used in the event that the Salt Lake City server is down. So anyone along the Wasatch front who doesn't live in Salt Lake City will be flagged and sometimes residents of Salt Lake City if their server happens to be down and they are issued an IP address from Denver! Even if my friend used a computer at his hotel, what guarantee is there that the IP address will originate from Las Vegas, NV?

   Even though the Las Vegas moderator was quick to help and seemed to know more than the Craigslist moderator I encountered, like all Craigslist moderators, he was rude. He did tell my friend that he doesn't have to use Craigslist (my friend mentioned in a post he should have used backpage) if he dislikes how Craigslist works. How the hell does Craigslist have such a competitive lead over their closest rival Backpage? My friend responded to the moderator by saying that this is like Microsoft claiming you're not being forced to buy Microsoft Products. My friend went on to say in his post that technically you don't have to use Craigslist but if you want to reach the widest audience, you need to use Craigslist because most people don't even know what Backpage is. Like Microsoft, you have a choice to do business with someone else but with almost everyone using Microsoft products and the Windows Operating System, you are forced to use Microsoft whether you like Microsoft Products or not. Linux does do everything windows does much better but some sites will tell you that their site hasn't been tested for Linux and may not work because they were designed and tested for Microsoft and Apple only. Microsoft Office is the standard when it comes to office software. Of course there is OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and others but Microsoft can change the format of their word files and these products will not work with newer Microsoft office documents and you may end up having to buy Microsoft Office.

   So here's a list of common excuses that the moderators from Craigslist will say is the reason why your ad was ghosted:

  1. Your add is posted in the wrong category. Just because you see ads similar to yours doesn't mean you can also post an ad in this category. Some of the categories are nearly the same such as "strictly platonic" and "casual encounters". I've seen ads in both of these categories that mimic ads from the other category.

  2. Your ad has too much HTML. So Craigslist supports HTML but if you use too much of it, your ad gets ghosted?

  3. The origin of your IP address doesn't match the city you are posting in. How can someone post when they have no control over the IP address location they are issued? In addition, most cities don't have servers so how can people in these cities post when their IP will show a neighboring city? In some cases you can be issued an IP address several miles away from where you live!

  4. There were some keywords that caused your ad to be caught by the filters. So, someone can put that they want to have sex and not be flagged while someone who doesn't mention anything about sex can be ghosted? This doesn't make any sense! Remember, you can use the word sex in your ad but the word Wine, Hotel Room, etc isn't Okay. Does that make any sense?

  5. You post too often. What is their definition of too often? I see plenty of ads that are reposted or crossposted. This is one of the reason they gave me when I hadn't been on Craigslist for months!

  6. You edited your ad too many times causing their spam filters to flag your ad. What kind of primitive filter do they use? If legitimate posters are getting flagged then there is a problem!

   After my experience where I didn't post for months then when I logged in after a few months my ads were ghosted. The only thing I can think of is that Craigslist has banned me even though they claim they never ban people. The only thing Craigslist has for it is name recognition. I would be more than happy to pay a couple of dollars to post an ad in Backpage when I have never had an ad ghosted by them. Of course like Craigslist, Backpage is hard to navigate and I'm surprised nobody has built an online classified ad site that blows away both Backpage and Craigslist. It wouldn't take much to create a more effective search engine and make it easier to navigate. Of course most people only know the brand name Craigslist even though Craigslist sucks. This is kind of like eBay where I'm quite sure there is competitors to eBay but people know about eBay. Of course unlike Craigslist, eBay respects the people who post ads on their site.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Craigslist is a poorly designed site and they ban people who did nothing wrong.

   Today I was on Craigslist to post a response to a rant in the rants and raves section of the personals and got a surprise. After carefully typing my rant making sure I didn't violate the terms of service by using a naughty word and proofreading the rant to the best of my knowledge and pressed the Publish button, Instead of a message that my ad was successfully published, I received the message that I am banned from Craigslist because I post too many ads! I attempted to log into my craigslist account and seemed to have forgotten my password so I requested a new temporary password be sent so that I can access my account. I received an email but instead of giving me a temporary password, they informed me that they cannot reset my password because my account is on hold. I looked through my past emails and determined that the last time I posted on Craigslist was back in September! So not posting any ads on Craigslist in the past 9 months can get you banned from Craigslist? I sent an email to and received the following response (it's long and I have more to say after the response I received from them):

Thanks for using craigslist.

ABUSE, HARASSMENT ISSUES (unwanted phone calls, personal info posted)
**Please re-send your inquiry to "".

CRIME REPORT - Please contact local law enforcement if appropriate.
**Please re-send your inquiry to "".



QUESTIONS ABOUT PAID POSTS (jobs, NYC brokers, adult, Therapeutic)
**Please re-send your inquiry to "".



1) Why was my post removed?
2) Why can't I login, and why have I never received a password?
3) I have an account -- how do I reset my password?
4) How do I edit or delete my post?
5) Why do I get an error message when I use the "reply-to" links in ads?
6) How do I add a picture to a new post, or to an existing post?
7) Why am I getting an error message in my browser when I add images?
8) Why am I not seeing the changes that I made to my post?
9) How much does it cost to post an ad?
10) Why am I getting a duplicate posting error when I submit a post?
11) Why am I not seeing my post on the site?
12) Can I send an anonymous reply to people that have responded to my post?


1) Why was my post removed?

Here are some possible explanations for why posts are removed:

* violates craigslist terms of use or posting guidelines
* posting too frequently, or an excessive number of ads
* posting in multiple craigslist sites or categories
* post placed in the wrong craigslist city or category
* commercial content in non-commercial category
* post contains link/URL to commercial service, web site, or auction

For additional help, visit craigslist's flag help discussion forum:

(Be sure to review the guidelines in the right panel of that forum.)


2) Why can't I login, and why have I never received a password?

You may not actually have an account, they're not required to place an ad. If
you did not sign up for an account and set up a password, it's likely that you
don't have an account.

For more information about user accounts, go to this page:


3) I have an account -- how do I reset my password?

You can reset your password from this page:

If you have trouble using the password reset link, it may be an issue with your
web browser -- try clearing the cache, clearing cookies, clearing history, etc.
If this doesn't work, try using a different browser or a different computer.


4) How do I edit or delete my post?

You can edit or delete your post with the same link that you originally
used to publish it. If you don't have that link, you can request a new one
from this page:

If you posted the ad from a craigslist account, log in to your account and
go to your account home page. Look for the post you want to edit or delete,
click on the post title, and hit the "edit" or "delete" button.)


5) Why do I get an error message when I use the "reply-to" links in ads?

It's likely that your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc)
is not set up to handle these links properly. Here's a workaround:

* copy the craiglist email address (i.e.,
* open the program that you use to send email, start a new email message
* enter the craigslist email address into the "To" line of your new message
* complete your email and send it

If an ad expires or is otherwise removed from the listings, the anonymous
email address will no longer function.

For more information about replying to posts, check this page:


6) How do I add an image to a new post, or to an existing post?

When you create a new ad, look for the "add/edit images" button in the main
posting form. This same button is available in the screen that comes up
when you edit an existing post, in case you want to add or change images
after the ad has been published.

Additional instructions are available here:


7) Why am I getting an error message in my browser when I add images?

Your image file(s) may be too large -- this often happens with newer digital
cameras. Try reducing the size of each image so that the dimensions
are under 300 pixels per side, and the file size less than 100 Kb.

For tips on how to reduce the size of photos, check these resources:


8) Why am I not seeing the changes that I made to my post?

You may need to refresh/reload your browser, using the refresh/reload icon
at the top of your browser, usually next to the left and right arrows.

Also, try viewing the ad with a different browser (we recommend Firefox),
or from a different computer, to see if the changes are displayed.


9) How much does it cost to post an ad?

All posts are free, except for:

* job ads in 18 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
City, S.F. Bay Area, etc (see URL below for complete list)
* brokered rental housing ads in New York City
* adult service ads in US cities
* therapeutic service ads in US cities

For more information about posting fees, check this page:


10) Why am I getting a duplicate posting error when I submit a post?

You must wait 48 hours before re-posting an ad, even if the original post<br>has already been removed. This can be frustrating, but it helps keep spam
and duplicate posts to a minimum.


11) Why am I not seeing my post on the site?

Your ad should be visible within 15 minutes of submission - make sure you
are viewing the correct city, category, and date range, and reload the
page using the reload/refresh button at the top of your browser.

If you are still having trouble, please review this help page:


12) Can I send an anonymous reply to people that have responded to my post?

When you reply to people who have responded to your ad, your email address
will be visible to them. Anonymity is enabled only when you post your ad,
so that your actual email address will not be visible to the public.


More help can be found here:

Or, check the help desk forum:

Thanks for using craigslist!

   They sent me a canned response that doesn't answer my question so I posted on their forum asking why I am banned from craigslist. A person from craigslist claimed that they never ban people and that I must have posted several ads in the past month and my ad was flagged by their spam filters. After clearly telling him that I got a message that my account was on hold, I received no further responses. This is another thing I hate about craigslist. You must ask why your ad was banned in a public forum.
   In the forum I found out I'm not the only person with problems that Craigslist has no answers for or doesn't want to give you the real answer. One guy had posted an ad asking for women who are willing to be paid to have a foot rub and allow him to take pictures of their feet. The Craigslist person responding to his ad first told him he had too many HTML tags in his ad then after he removed the HTML tags, they told him that his ad was removed because he was soliciting sex with minors and people who are married! Since when is a foot massage considered sex? They made him post a link to his ad and in his ad he specifically mentions that women need to be at least 21 years old so how is he soliciting sex with minors? Several people who are married post in the No Strings Attached (NSA) section of the Craigslist personals admitting they are married and want to have an affair and even say they are looking to have an affair with someone else who is married. Perhaps they thought he was offering more than a foot massage and planned to pay for sex. What evidence do they have of this? He may give foot rubs and back rubs but as his ad stated, "this isn't an ad for sex". As long as he isn't paying for sex, he is doing nothing wrong in the eyes of the law. Another guy was an employer posting job offerings and even paying to place ads on craigslist. His company installs gutters but for some reason all his ads were ghosted (a phenomenon where you get a message that your ad posted when it didn't) and he was wondering why he was banned. The person from Craigslist told him what I was told that they don't ban anybody!
   I've always considered Craigslist ghetto looking and wondered why it is so popular and now I am wondering even more. I'm quite sure there are a lot of people who have had ads not appear and are sick and tired of Craigslist ghosting their ads. The unfortunate part is you must use Craigslist to reach people since it is the biggest online classifieds site and very few people have heard of their competition such as Backpage. Posting ads may be free but if you are like the employer I mentioned, if his ads are not posted, he doesn't have any potential employees respond to his ad. In addition it appears Craigslist takes a fascist approach when it comes to ads. If they don't like what you posted they will be more than happy to ghost your ad and ban you from using their service. I thought all the rumors about Craigslist censoring ads and even having a group of people who go out and flag whatever ad they find offensive was false. Their claims that they don't ban people or ads are false. Not only does Craigslist Suck, it appears that they are enjoying an unfair monopoly.
   In closing I never found out why I am banned from Craigslist and their explanations are ridiculous. Some people post ads once a week but I am in trouble for posting over nine months ago. When I did post my ad nine months ago, it was a response to a woman who was attacking a guy on the Rants and Raves section of the personals. She had a response from him and called him names. He posted an "alternative version of Cinderella" that made me laugh and I posted in the Rants and Raves section a response to him telling him how much I liked his Alternate version of Cinderella. I didn't violate any Terms of Service and the girl who posted the ad did violate this person's privacy by posting a picture of him and telling people what a bad time she had with this guy. She used some obscene language and others who responded to her used obscene language but apparently I'm the only person to be banned. It would be easy for someone to create a online classifieds site much better than Craigslist and I can say that Backpage does quite well competing with Craigslist even though you must pay $1 or two to have your ad posted. Unlike the aggressive spam filter that removes legitimate messages, Backpage has very little spam compared to Craigslist. In addition, Craigslist does nothing about all the people who post ads for dating sites and adult verification sites and you can expect most of your responses to an ad on Craigslist will be some fraudster. Craigslist Sucks!