Craigslist Locks Down Site With Phone Verification

Next Story

GoDaddy's Domain Registration Totally Screws .me

Craigslist has long had problems with spam. The one feature that has made the site a success, the ease at which one can post, has become a hindrance as spammers and law breakers have taken over. In early March Craigslist began what is now turning out to be an incredibly effective anti-spam campaign by using phone verification on posts. In an initial effort to rid their “erotic services” section of prostitution and pornography ads, Craigslist has now slowly expanded the system to other service categories within the site.

The system is simple and, thus far, largely unavoidable. When a user attempts to make a post, Craigslist asks for verification with a viable phone number. It then automatically calls the number and issues a verification code which must be re-entered for the post to go live. If the post gets flagged, the phone number is blacklisted, preventing any further posts from that number. The key to this is that, while email addresses are cheap and disposable, phone numbers are not.

This could be a nightmare for Craiglist advertisers as the service expands, and they have yet to find a way to circumvent it. One popular idea has been cheap VoIP numbers, but VoIP services usually charge a fee of a couple dollars after the third or fourth number. This quickly adds up when posting hundreds of advertisements. The only affordable solution thus far has been using public pay phones.

The issue has been around forever on the web, and most solutions involve either moderation within the company, or user and community moderation (which is the model Craigslist adopted). There is a careful balance in trying to keep content clean, but at the same time not taking away the main attraction of the site. Using a phone number is just a short-cut way to establishing some form of identifier token, rather than using email addresses.

Though this should drastically limit spamming for Craiglist, the service may make honest posters think twice if they must publicly display their phone number. It also could prove to be a nuisance to honest users who are illegitimately flagged. In the end, the service gives direct results, and should keep Craigslist largely spam free for now, although at a slight cost to user convenience.

  • http://www.ojointernet.com/noticias/craiglist-tiene-problemas-con-el-spam/ Craiglist tiene problemas con el spam

    […] el sitio de clasificados online, está teniendo problemas por el spam. La facilidad de uso del sitio, en el que cualquiera podía postear ha dado campo libre a los […]

  • http://www.teethremoval.com wisdom

    This seems awfully harsh, but I will beat spammers.

  • http://www.JewishBastard.com Samantha

    True, this will stop spammers, but it will also stop people from easily being able to post ads, greatly reducing the overall appeal of craigslist.

  • http://CRAIGSLIST CLARK FEDERAL CONSULTING

    WHY CANT THE CLOWNS LIST A CUSTOMER SERVICE PHONE NUMBER ? HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET THROUGH HOWEVER A POP 3 BLOCK
    BLOCKS REPLIES AND ACCOUNT ACCESS
    MAYBE THEY NEED BETTER MORE SKILLED EMPLOYEES BEFORE ATTEMPTING SUCH A TASK AS MAKING SYSTEM WORK -IF THEY CANT RESOLVE ISSUES THEY MIGHT REQUIRE NA PHONE CONTACT ON ALL ADDS SO EVERYONES TIME IS NOT WASTED

  • http://jerkytrader.com bob

    robber-barrons again
    happens with all rich pigs (oink)
    lose touch with who made them rich
    let them eat cake etc.
    assholes

  • http://craigslistpersonelade peggy m russell

    Im trying to find out how to blacklist an ade about me made through another person without my permission, They put in a want a date Im a widow in grieving for the loss of my husband and this person has done this. Please help me blacklist this false ade about me

  • Remrie

    I wouldn’t have a problem with it if the verification service actually worked. It doesn’t respond to cell phones and doesn’t seem to work with text well if ever…. I did use my prepaid phone to get a code by text to verify it but that was ages ago. It won’t accept my new (normal) cell phone and number nor text…

    As for people who complain about the customer support, Craigslist while being big on the net is opperated out of a single family home with only a handful of administrators, there is no way they could ever respond to any volume of inquiry.

    Think of it as the days when you bought a car but there were no mechanics in town. You gotta figure out your own way to make it run.

  • KEITH

    I CANT GET THE VERIFICATION PROCESS TO WORK.
    I HAVE NOT GOT A RETURN CALL WITH CODE.
    I DO HAVE DIALUP, BUT I DISCONNECT. I ONLY HAVE A LAND LINE.
    ANY SUGGESTIONS ?
    THANKS

  • http://CRAISLIST.ORG KEITH

    WHY CANT I GET A VERIFICATION CODE ?

  • Dj

    Does this thing also prevent those who are blacklisted from being able to reply to ads too? There is a sad loser that thinks he rules CL in my area and in several surrounding cities CL’s that flagged my ads until Ive been blacklisted, and now when I try to reply to an ad, I do the capta and get the reply address, but I havent got a single response from any ads I reply to now… I hope they get put out of buisness because they ban honest users, and the loser who LIVES in the R&R section gloating and bragging about who he flags stays?? (our local CL R&R is almost completely composed of this losers conversations between himself and other aliases he makes up, after 3 years of observing, its obviously the same troll). Thats 1st class BS. Like it was said above, dont bite the hand that feeds you, or you will be sorry CL!

  • http://sites.google.com/site/timbrendacameron/12-tent-trailer Tim

    Here is an example of PVA not working. I am trying to advertise my tent trailer rental under RV section. Some dumb ass flaggers are forcing me to advertise under Vacation Rentals. I am no spammer, I just want to rent my RV out. RV rentals are under RV section in other cities, but not Vancouver BC, we have too many no life flaggers here.

  • Elona_Washington

    This is such a nuisance. Yes, I have realized it lowered spammers, but at the same time, it makes it so difficult to post ads. I was an anonymous poster until I made an account, now this happens. They should have found another way to do this.

blog comments powered by Disqus