And now, just like disco, AOL, and Facebook before it, craigslist has earned the boot from my life. In the last few weeks, as I wrote in the previous post, all translation ads were getting flagged off of the Seattle craigslist translation section. Not only that, but all ads in the writing/editing/translation section were being flagged off every day or two, in Seattleand in Portland, too. There is no other explanation for this other than foul play. There is no evidence to be had that craigslist, despite being alerted to the disappearing translation ads, did anything effective against it.
In theory, community flagging sounds like a great idea. In theory, communism sounds like a great idea. In practice, though, human nature being what it is, neither works well in actual practice for long.
It wouldn't take much for craigslist to hire a few truly customer-service oriented people to curate the ads in each city. Anyone with investigative skills can quickly tell which ads are legit or not, and which ads are overposted or miscategorized. Community flagging, though, should go the way of communism generally; not because it is a bad idea, but because it just...does...not...work.
Until that happens, and it won't, craiglist will just keep alienating legitimate advertisers, leaving only the scammers and the scum. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.