Craigs List Ad Flagged & Removed Over & Over? Ironic

Decorating By CakeDiva73 Updated 29 Sep 2009 , 9:37pm by ttehan4

CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 7:37pm
post #1 of 22

I have a standard CL ad that actually has generated a decent amount of business for me. There is one other decorator who also advertises via CL. For some reason, my ad is being flagged and removed each day. Sometimes almost immediatly and other times after 8 hrs or so.

Has anyone else had this happen? I have gone over the TOS to make sure I am not in violation and it STILL gets flagged. Am I to think this is random, lol, or do I put on my paranoid hat and assume the competition is trying to take me out?

Btw, her ad remains untouched.

***And now for the irony!!!!!!! She is working from her home and I am the one who is legal. Of course, I am not going to do anything to her (other then send her negative chi, etc) but I am beginning to get pi$$ed seeing as I am wasting time daily trying to maintain that advertisement. If its someone else, why aren't they targeting her ad? Any advice? icon_smile.gif

21 replies
CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 7:39pm
post #2 of 22

Also, I am in no way trying to open a discussion about licensed v. unlicensed ~ I just thought that part added a particularly interesting twist to my dilemma. icon_rolleyes.gif

Doug Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 7:48pm
post #3 of 22

without seeing ad, can only guess as to why.

this tho' might offer insight.

note items 2 and 3.

are you over posting?

are you sounding "too much like a true business"?


also, if repeating the same ad over and over and it gets flagged over and over -- then it actually makes it easier to be flagged and removed (repeat offenders get kicked off quicker)

ethanriley Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 8:16pm
post #4 of 22

I would think it is the competition is trying to take you anyone can flag an add in craigslist if they deem it to be inappropriate...I have had the same problem a while back with the same sort of thing.

CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 10:03pm
post #5 of 22

hmmm.... so if you are a real business, you can't post? I didn't realize that, lol. I will try to re-post a very basic listing and see where that gets me...

So do you think it's the actual Craigs List moderators the are pulling my listings or is it another person flagging it? Because the email notifitcation says it was pulled due to flagging rather then being pulled by CL due to violation - but I guess they don't always specify? thx

Doug Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 10:20pm
post #6 of 22
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

hmmm.... so if you are a real business, you can't post? I didn't realize that, lol. I will try to re-post a very basic listing and see where that gets me...

So do you think it's the actual Craigs List moderators the are pulling my listings or is it another person flagging it? Because the email notifitcation says it was pulled due to flagging rather then being pulled by CL due to violation - but I guess they don't always specify? thx

if you did through the Help pages:

moderators only see your post if they get an email about via the [email protected] address.

flagging is done by "community" and is automated via computers.

and yes, actual businesses are not supposed to posting on craigslist as it's original intent was to be a free classifieds similar to same in the newspaper.

They are however in the process of adding a Business ads section. No specific date on when it will be available tho'.


so, in your case, looks to be either:
lots of community members have flagged it (takes more than one person usually)
someone sent an email about it to the abuse moderators.

BabyBear3 Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 10:22pm
post #7 of 22

is there any way to contact CL and ask them that question? I don't know if they have a customer support type thing. But maybe they can help!

CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 10:43pm
post #8 of 22

That's like trying to get ahold of someone at Paypal, in case anyone is an eBay-er....dang near impossible!

I still can't determine if I am getting flagged by community members. I am not selling my body in exchange for cake, lol....just the cake!! icon_smile.gif

So if the 'community' is up in arms because I have a cake ad up there, they must be a very organized community indeed! Or perhaps someone with a loyal following on Facebook who immediatley posts my CL link for her FB friends to zap for her. Cripes.......

I understand what you are saying about a business but isn't her ad a business? I mean, she sells cakes for money and has display pictures in her ad so I am confused why they (Craigs List, in this case) keep killing mine. My hub says to go to a new IP address and maybe it will fool the bot? This is like gibberish to me......

Doug Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 10:52pm
post #9 of 22

you've never let us see your ad....

remember: over posting the same ad is cause of flagging too (this the computer bots can do!) so, if putting up the same ad every day or multiple times a day, the computers could automatically be taking it down.


every time you post -- reword the ad and use different pics.

don't list a business name.

just "Hi, I'm SuzyQ and I like to make cakes for (list.....) Here's a few pics to show you what I can do! email me for prices."

then only post every other day or so.


re: husband's comment -- every computer connected to the internet has a specific "address" (think of it like your mailing address). The computers that run any given site, track that address so they can "mail" you the pages and info you want to look at as well as keep track of where all the info they receive is coming from.

It can be used to block a computer that's sending out spam, posting too many times on a board in to short a time and for all kinds of other reasons.

yes, big brother, aka the INTERNET, is watching!

so, going to a computer at the library or at a friends house makes the info look like it is coming from an entirely new and different source.

and if you want to see posting wars -- go visit the community>pets section --- the fights that erupt over if it is "a small rehoming fee" or "YOUR SELLING!!!!!!!" icon_eek.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 10:57pm
post #10 of 22

I'm sorry Doug, I wasn't trying to avoid your request - it's just that it's been pulled. The link is dead. Do you mean list the wording here?

littlecake Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 10:59pm
post #11 of 22

i HATE that CL allows anyone who wants to police the site.

Doug Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 11:04pm
post #12 of 22
Originally Posted by CakeDiva73

I'm sorry Doug, I wasn't trying to avoid your request - it's just that it's been pulled. The link is dead. Do you mean list the wording here?

yea, put here what you put there.
maybe, just maybe, someone could spot the what's causing the flagging.


CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 11:19pm
post #13 of 22 it is:

I'm a licensed cake designer offering custom decorated cakes that are as decadent as they are unique. I love challenging cakes and creating the unexpected! Please feel free to take a look at the pictures I have posted and if you are interested in seeing a more detailed portfolio, as well as prices and flavor options, please email me and I will send you a link to my website. *Mention you saw this ad to get 10% off all cake orders over $100.

One of my most popular items are cake truffles. These are hand dipped and drizzled with chocolate and can be made to match any color or theme ( there is one pictured individually wrapped) . In addition, I work with fondant, gumpaste flowers & bows, hand painting, sculptured cakes (often called groom's cakes) and can replicate company logos or custom photographs (with proper permission) on both cakes and cookies.

* The VAN GOGH 'Starry Night' cake pictured is merely to show an example of my work. It is a copywrited image, therefore I would not be able to sell this cake.


Right off the bat I'm thinking because I said I was licensed, that totally did it? I thought I had taken that part out when I re-submitted the ad. I guess I need to keep it very short and sweet, rather then going into any details.

I also included 4 pictures of the best work I have done as examples. But it's pretty obvious I am a business so that would probably be the no-no.

edited to add: light dawns............slowly. icon_smile.gif

Doug Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 11:48pm
post #14 of 22

hot button words that scream "official business"


my website

mention you saw this ad

copyrighted image


simplify --- make them e

change it up every time

don't mention website -- just say "email for details"

no need to say "mention saw this ad" as should be able to tell it came from craigslist referral

follow the KISS principle

Keep It Sublimely Simple

short is better.

CakeDiva73 Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 11:52pm
post #15 of 22

OK, thanks for your help Doug. I will write up a simple 2 line ad and try that. icon_smile.gif

** KISS was always one of the hardest principles for me to apply!

erinalicia Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 11:56pm
post #16 of 22

where are you posting your ad? in the "services"? I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to post an ad without any recourse from CL themselves. When an ad is flagged, anyone who sees the ad can flag it.

My first instinct was that your competition is the one flagging your ad, especially if her's isn't being flagged. Me personally I'd flag her ad a few times just to be spiteful, but that's me.

I wouldn't post my ad more than once a week though. You can change your listing title each time and maybe change up your pictures from time to time to show your newest work.

Just my 2 cents. icon_smile.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 12:03am
post #17 of 22

Actually, I was posting in the 'general for sale', so perhaps that was yet *another* thing I was doing wrong! icon_cry.gif

My husband wanted to flag her ad right away but I stopped him because what if it wasn't her? I am still not sure because apparently the Craig's List Violation Bots (totally made up name but you get where I am going with this icon_smile.gif) will zap the ad almost as soon as it goes live.

But some of the times mine were pulled, they were flagged and then pulled hours later, so I am just not sure. If I knew for certain it was her, ruining my weekend with her madness, I would absolutely love to plan a revenge-like prank wothy of wasting some of HER time for a change. icon_lol.gif

Doug Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 12:10am
post #18 of 22

the services section has a place for small biz ads and you could probably list in that section's event and creative section as well.

erinalicia Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 12:12am
post #19 of 22

If you look in the services for sale area you'll see all kinds of services... at least in my area you can find DJ's, carpenters... any kind of service. I think that posting in that area would be more appropriate for your ad. I sell announcements and invitations and that is where I post my ads, unless I post it in the baby/children's area, but I make the ad specific for baby announcements and children's birthday invitations.

happigolucki35 Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 9:58pm
post #20 of 22

From what I know CL will no longer let you posted multiple ads. It is probably your competition.

Texas_Rose Posted 22 Sep 2009 , 10:10pm
post #21 of 22

For the record, it takes more than one flag to pull a post. Usually takes about 7 although it may be different in different areas. You have to flag from different IP addresses too...if you sit there on your one computer and flag over and over CL only counts it as one.

So if it is one person flagging you, she's going to a lot of trouble doing it. That's not saying it's impossible, but sites like craigsflagger don't really work.

If you're posting too often then you'll get lots of people flagging you because they get tired of seeing the same ad over and over. Most of the cake ads I see on CL are in the Services section, usually event services, or in the baby/kids section.

ttehan4 Posted 29 Sep 2009 , 9:37pm
post #22 of 22

My craigslist postings are constantly pulled too. I got wise and changed my heading. I put wedding goodie then after a day or two I edit it to say wedding cakes. If I put the word cake in my heading it is almost always pulled.

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