Hey, we're trying hard to turn over a lot of control over craigslist to the community. That's proving to be a very democratic, effective, and fast way to run things.
When it comes to our classifieds, we have a mechanism where you can flag a posting for removal. If enough people agree with you, it gets removed. You can only flag a posting once, since we don't want one person to be able to remove ads.
This works really well, but it can be abused, but for sure I don't want to discuss how.
One problem is that this doesn't work always well in abuse cases, since only the target might know that a posting is abusive. That is, people are really good a sniffing out pranking and harassment, but some still get through. In such cases, people email us at firstname.lastname@example.org… but that's not real time, and our coverage (that's Jim and me) isn't 24×7. We're working on that.
We are working on making this more effective, since we need better quality control in many categories. That would include making sure roommate ads aren't posted in apartment available ads, and that broker fee apartments aren't posted in broker no-fee sections.
We can use specific feedback on this. The system works, but over time, needs to get better.
We're also improving the way we do this with our discussion boards. A registered user can flag a posting for our review. (By "our", I mean "my".) You can also rate a posting positively or negatively. That's a precursor to a reputation system, which won't happen anytime soon.
What happens is that I look at flagged forum posts, and decide what to do, based on the postings, the history of the poster (if possible). Sometimes this is easy, but sometime it's really hard, since we see feuding in the forums, or sometimes it's really easy to misinterpret humor. For that matter, I just screw up sometimes.
We're thinking about a system where we don't review posts with just one flag. Maybe we only look at posts with one flag and a negative rating or something like that. I'd sure like that, since it means much less work for me.
However, this introduces the deficiency we see in the classified ads flagging system… where it takes too long to fix a problem, since we won't know about it until someone emails us. Of course, we're not 24×7 on forum flag monitoring anyway.
Anyway, you see that this is difficult to figure… but unless we hear problems, I'm going to suggest to Jim that we don't review forum posts unless we hear from you the there are problems with this.
Specifically, if a flag has only one flag, and a cumulative rating great than negative two, then we don't check it out. (That number can be discussed.)
What do you think?