Archive for August 2018

CraigsList’s decision to adopt a Pay to Use model prettymuch killed the site   Leave a comment

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On the one hand, CraigsList has had a problem with criminals and scammers using the site to find their victims for some time. On the other hand, prettymuch punishing the vast majority of people who use the site as intended sends the wrong message. In the aftermath of Congress forcing the site to remove its Personal Section earlier this year, the site now charges per ad to post anywhere but the Community, Resume, Housing/Rent and For Sale sections.

 

  • Want to post a “We’re Hiring!” Ad? It’ll cost you $45 per ad (Jobs). Why such a large posting fee? Apparently, in years’ past scammers and criminals would post ads soliciting sketchy or illegal activities. That’s why the fee is so high. The only people who post ads in this section now are actual companies that don’t bat an eye at $45 and spammers.
  • Want to advertise a Service? That will cost you $7. This change was recently done because of scammers’ bait and switch tactics: What the ad says and what they actually offer end up being two different things. You would also have the usual overt sketchy stuff posted. The only ads posted now are all ironically spammers. All the change did was stop regular people from posting.
  • Want to advertise a short-term or one-time paid project or Gig? It’ll cost you $5. This change was recently done for the same reason as above as well as people with clearly sketchy intentions posting ads. The only ads posted now are all ironically spammers. All the change did was stop regular people from posting.
  • Ads advertising Massages or Therapeutic services can no longer be posted and this change was done shortly after the Personals Section was removed. Before that, it would cost you $45 to post ads of that kind in Gigs and Services. That ended up being pointless since a workaround was simply posting in the Personals section. The fee was thrown in about 12 years ago because rapists and prostitutes would post ads to entice their victims or clients. Again, bait and switch.

 

Most folks already understand this but The CraigsList Act passed by Congress earlier this year removed the site’s immunity from lawsuits due to third parties using the site to commit crimes. The site hid behind that immunity and prettymuch forced Congress to do something with every headline involving a criminal enticing their victim via CraigsList.

The fact that the site immediately removed its Personals section within hours of the law being passed spoke volumes: They wouldn’t have otherwise and prettymuch told users to blame Congress for it being gone. Two of the sub-sections–Missed Connections and Rant & Rave–were moved to the Community Section. Missed Connections is for folks to reconnect with someone they met via CraigsList but lost touch with. Rant & Rave is basically a place for people to say whatever they want about whatever they want no matter how offensive it may be.

The other Personals sections were removed completely, first in the U.S. and then worldwide a few weeks later to prevent U.S. users from posting Personal ads elsewhere as a workaround. Personally, I think they should have also kept Strictly Platonic and could have created a new Social Category for that. A category for folks to find other folks to do stuff with. Of course, I am well aware botters and scammers prettymuch took over all of the Personals sections by the time they were removed.

Speaking of, some of those same scammers and botters from Casual Encounters are testing their luck by posting bait & switch ads in the Community, Housing and Resume sections. Not in large numbers but they do have a presence. I am concerned given the Community section is a mixed use area and is meant to be exclusively used by and for locals only.

…It would be fair to say CraigsList as it was once known is now dead.

The overwhelming majority of ads posted are botters, out of area dealers and the usual commercial spam. There are ads posted by regular people but they have no chance against the botters and spammers who have taken over all sections long before Personals was removed. Signs point to the rest of the site being locked behind a pay wall sooner or later. A real shame at the end of the day.

 

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