Are you the victim of flagging on Craigslist? How about ghosting on Craigslist? It is really frustrating when you are waiting for your ad to post and it gets flagged, or it shows as active but it is ghosted. So what is going on?
In other words, your ad and your posting techniques better be spot on to avoid ghosting and flagging on Craigslist, or worse, your account being suspended or banned! Read on for some tips on how to avoid this from happening to you!
Flagging on Craigslist
Flagging on Craigslist happens for a number of reasons. A post can be flagged as (1) miscategorized, (2) prohibited, or (3) spam/overpost (note: a post can also be flagged as “best of craigslist” but that is not cause for removal). Anyone can flag a post, from Craigslist staff to a person who is not logged in.
The biggest issue with the process of flagging on Craigslist is that some malicious individuals abuse the system. If someone wants to eliminate a competitor’s ad, they simply flag it multiple times until the ad is removed. On top of that, if your ads are getting flagged, there is a good chance all of your ads will be ghosted (see below).
When speaking of flagging on craigslist, it is frustrating to learn you will not receive any notice. The only way to determine if your post has been flagged is to check the link emailed to you. It will show as flagged at the top of the page. If you have a free ad, they will remove your post when a certain number of flaggings occur. If a paid ad is flagged multiple times, Craigslist staff will review it before it is removed.
Ghosting on Craigslist
Like flagging, ghosting on Craigslist is a problem some posters experience. It starts out when you notice your ad is not getting as much traffic as usual. Why you ask? Because sometimes your ad just never shows up. You can look at the entire category, search, etc and you won’t find your ad, BUT your ad will be showing as live when you click the link emailed to you.
Basically, you post your ad as usual, it shows “green” and good to go, and then you look for your headline on the main page and it just won’t be there. Frustrating right?
Sometimes Craigslist staff (or a Craigslist algorithm) decides there is something they don’t like about your post. Instead of flagging it, they just never allow it to go live. The problem is unless you check back and search for your ad you will never know it happened. Craigslist doesn’t notify you, doesn’t send you an email – just POOF! It’s gone! Other times, if you have had multiple ads flagged in the past, your ads will be ghosted.
Tips to Avoid Ghosting and Flagging on Craigslist by Craigslist Staff
Basically, Craigslist is trying to avoid marketers “spamming” the site and wants to make sure the ads are unique and from different people to create a fair community. Unfortunately only Craigslist staff knows how they determine if an ad is suitable or not, but here are some of the elements they are likely using:
- IP Address. This is the most important variable for ghosting. According to Craigslist’s terms, ads posted by a specific IP are only allowed to post ONCE in ONE section in ONE city. If Craigslist determines one IP is placing multiple ads or an ad in multiple cities, the ad or all ads will likely be flagged or ghosted.
- Email Address. There are a limited amount of times a user can post with the same email address / account. If the powers that be see that an email address / account is posting multiple times, especially within 48 hours, the ad or all ads may be flagged or ghosted.
- Title and Content. Craigslist has software that automagically compares content so that all posts are unique. If you are posting the same ad all over, that ad and the other copies will possible be flagged or ghosted.
- Common Sense. Craigslist may also be looking at phone numbers, credit cards (for paid ads), locations, images, image filenames, and keywords in content. Just keep in mind that staff review the ads as well as the fancy algorithms, and they apply logic to posts. If one ad was approved in one section and the same ad pops up five minutes later in another section, ding ding ding!
I hope this helped you further understand ghosting and flagging on Craigslist. Do you have any Craigslist stories? If so, post a comment below!
PS Want to learn more about Craigslist? Be sure to read my other posts
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