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Craigslist flagging
March 3, 2008 11:46 PM   Subscribe

Is there any Craigslist flagging software that actually works? My church group is trying to find out a way to flag ads in the erotic services section on our local Craigslist. I am not here to debate about the morality of prostitution, so any replies of that nature will be ignored. We are just trying to get rid of these people and prevent them from coming to our town to solicit themselves for sex. We have tried http://www.craigsflagger.com/ but it does not seem to delete ads. We have one computer, so we cannot flag an ad from multiple computers. Thank you.
posted by princeofpersiaxz to Law & Government (95 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: please don't do this here -- jessamyn

 
"Oh, the sweet, delicious irony," he thought to himself as he flagged a question that asked how to abuse an on-line community's flagging system.
posted by dersins at 11:52 PM on March 3, 2008 [109 favorites]


MYOB.
posted by MiaWallace at 11:57 PM on March 3, 2008


Umm, why would you believe that a correctly categorized advertisement would be deleted by Craigslist personnel just because you flagged it?
posted by dendrite at 11:59 PM on March 3, 2008


No.

And if you don't want to debate the morality of prostitution on here I would ask that y'all don't go to Craigslist to debate the morality of prostitution.
posted by miles1972 at 12:02 AM on March 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh for christsakes. I've never heard of such a lazy ass church group. Seriously? This what you devote your time to? Isn't there some other service you could be providing in you community? Mentoring at-risk teens and the like? I don't think meddling in people private lives is the way to go, dude. Grow the fuck up.
posted by wfrgms at 12:04 AM on March 4, 2008 [29 favorites]


I'm confused - I don't think you need special software to flag a Craigslist ad. Whether the ad is deleted or not depends on the rules Craigslist has put in place for that section in that geographic region. Users on the Craigslist forums have said that it appears that some areas have a lower threshold for deletion than others.
posted by zippy at 12:05 AM on March 4, 2008


I should have known I would get responces like this from wacked-out liberals. If you cannot help me, do not reply. Your wisecracks will not derail our community mission. If any one has a worthwhile answer for me, I appreciate it with all my heart. God bless you all.
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 12:06 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Pretend I posted what everyone above me posted.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:06 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


dendrite, I believe prostitution ads on Craigslist violate the Craigslist terms of use.
posted by zippy at 12:06 AM on March 4, 2008


I don't use prostitution, but I don't see how this is a problem.

If you want it done, do it yourself. I highly doubt your efforts will be noticeable.
posted by Schuby at 12:06 AM on March 4, 2008


Nice language! I see we are all mature here...
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 12:10 AM on March 4, 2008


Back on topic, Craigslist's terms of use prohibit advertising illegal services.

n) that advertises any illegal service or the sale of any items the sale of
which is prohibited or restricted by any applicable law ....

posted by zippy at 12:12 AM on March 4, 2008


Nice language! I see we are all mature here...

It's all about priorities, dude. I have mine, you have none.
posted by wfrgms at 12:12 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


dendrite, I believe prostitution ads on Craigslist violate the Craigslist terms of use.

Doesn't matter one way or another at this point. This is a stupid premise for an AskMe question by a poster who is being an asshole. Homeboy needs to lurk more. Deletion incoming, I'd bet.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:12 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Prince, have you not been around this place much? what did you think would possibly happen asking a question like that?

What does "whacked-out liberal" even mean?
posted by miles1972 at 12:13 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you think something is illegal and should be flagged - why don't you just flag it? You're looking for software or a website that will flag all of craigslist? That seems a little excessive, even for religious fanatics.
posted by razorfrog at 12:15 AM on March 4, 2008


We just needed help that's all.. we will do it ourselves.. No harm intended
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 12:15 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why can't you use the built-in flagging feature? I'd be willing to be that using a third party service to get around this is violating the TOS.
posted by chiababe at 12:15 AM on March 4, 2008


We have tried http://www.craigsflagger.com/ but it does not seem to delete ads

That's because one flag is not enough to bring down an ad. It takes "enough" according to Craigslist. So, you're just one vote. Anything else, like somehow flooding the site with flags, would probably be noticed and lead to IP blocks.

And take a look at the "erotic services." They all try to be "massage" and "private dancers." And yes, many are either prostitutes or scammers trying to trick those who think they are hiring one. But that's how they get around advertising illegal things. Take a look in the phonebook, the local alternative weekly, the sports section of the newspaper, it's everywhere.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:15 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


princeofpersiaxz: you are obviously trying to game the community flagging system of craigslist. It is doubtful you will get any constructive criticism on how do that here. You might want to try hanging out on a hacking board. I'm sure some script kiddy has figured out how to do what you ask.
posted by bigmusic at 12:17 AM on March 4, 2008


In my country prostitution is legal, so contrary to what you are saying, this really is a morality debate up here.
posted by miles1972 at 12:18 AM on March 4, 2008


*I'd be willing to bet

Also, go feed some homeless people if you want to put your church's time to good use and help the community.
posted by chiababe at 12:20 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


princeofpersiaxz, use the normal craigslist flagging method, and craigslist will decide whether to remove the post if it violates their terms of use (for example if it is advertising something illegal). Have you tried this? Maybe you can ask in the help forum, or the help forum of your local craigslist, to get a sense of why they did not respond to your flagging by removing the post.

Maybe craigslist judged that the posting did not violate their terms of use -- that is, that the posting wasn't an advertisement for something illegal. If that was their judgment, it seems like more flagging won't help.

You have two options if you want to pursue this:
1. convince them that it really is an ad for something illegal.
2. convince them that they should ban ads for things that are legal, but which your group finds offensive.
To do either of those, I think you're better off writing them a letter rather than flagging.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:20 AM on March 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


you are obviously trying to game the community flagging system

Of course he's trying to game the system. Because he and his crime fighting internet church super friends knows what's best for the entire world! Don't you get it?!?!?!?!?!

No - seriously, I want to press this point. Is prostitution in your community via Craig's List such a big problem that you feel struck by divine inspiration to do something about it, or is that you and your churchy goons just prefer the illusion of Christ-like activism from the comfort of your own fart-smelling desk chairs?

Change starts on the personal level. You can't expect to make your community better by clicking around on the internet. Get off your zealous ass, and find a problem in your community that needs fixing through elbow grease rather than high and mighty, holier than thou politicking on "teh internets"... seriously. Get a fucking clue asshole.
posted by wfrgms at 12:20 AM on March 4, 2008 [18 favorites]


Craigsflagger no longer works because craigslist knows about it. To get a posting removed, you have to flag it in a way that doesn't look automated, and you have to do this multiple times. But persistence pays off. Here's what to do:

Load the offending ad. Make sure you wait for all images in the ad to load, then wait at least thirty seconds (but longer waiting with the page open in your browser works better). Then flag the post.

This is how it works: craigslist's servers time check the time between when they served the offending page to your computer, and the time when you flagged it. (Note that's serve time for the page, request time for the flag, to compensate for slow connections.) If that interval is too short, it's detected as auto-flagging, and the flag is thrown out. Also, the server makes sure that all images in the post were a) requested by your machine, and b) that the whole image was downloaded by your machine. Then it adds an additional random time -- if you flag before that, it's an indication you didn't take time to read the ad and look at the images before flagging.

Each time your flag is accepted, the server then sets up a random wait time (between about 90 and 330 seconds) before it will even consider your next flag. Each page you load during that wait time reduces the wait time slightly. Loading no pages during the wait time causes the wait time to not time out.

Note that each post must get a random number of flags (the range varies depending on your location and how many clicks/users craigslist has in that location) before it is actually deleted. In general, 15 +- 10 successful flags will suffice to delete a post.

So what you need to do: let the offending page fully load including all images (you may need to turn off ad-blocking or porn-blocking software for this), wait about a minute to simulate reading the post, then flag. Then open another (approximately) five posts, letting each one fully load, and pause on each for about a minute. Do not flag these, this will reset your flag time-out! Then go back to the page you flagged, and repeat, flagging it again. After after appronimately 15 repeats, the post will be marked for deletion, and you can go on to the next one.

Note that it will only be marked for deletion at this point (similar to what happens on youtube and google); a batch process will have to run to actually delete it. The batch update runs periodically, though the frequency again depends on how popular a craqislist location is. Smaller/newer locations run less frequently, so you may have to wait up to three hours for the deletion to actually happen.
posted by orthogonality at 12:21 AM on March 4, 2008 [79 favorites]


Prostitution is against the law... in case some of you forgot. So as long as it is illegal... don't worry about us please. Thank you and God bless.
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 12:22 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or he could spend that time organizing food and clothing drives, which would actually solve real problems.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:23 AM on March 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


jessamyn, mathowie, and/or cortex... when you wake up and go through this, please accept this hug.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:24 AM on March 4, 2008 [28 favorites]


Prostitution is against the law in some places, not all.
posted by chiababe at 12:24 AM on March 4, 2008


Seems like prostitutes wouldn't be offering their services in your town if there were no demand for it. Like srsly... they don't call it the "world's oldest profession" for nothing- people traded fucks for bucks long before Craigslist (or the internet... or even electricity, for that matter) came along, and a few clicks of your mouse aren't going to cause it to come to a screeching halt.
posted by MiaWallace at 12:25 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow. A church group has nothing better to do than to try and cheat Craigslist's flagging system? And then you, as a representative of said church group, come and insult (well, not that "liberal" is an insult, but you were using it as such) the people you were asking for advice? Niiiiiiiiiice.

Seriously, please find something more effective and morally upright (i.e. not involving you folks cheating and insulting people) to do. Have a bake sale and donate the money to the Humane Society or Darfur, or ... something. Please?
posted by bettafish at 12:25 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


jessamyn, mathowie, and/or cortex... when you wake up and go through this, please accept this hug.

And have a cup of coffee on me. (I hear jessamyn is java-driven.)
posted by Mikey-San at 12:25 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


You seem angry wfrgms. Perhaps a relaxing session with a CraigsList prostitute will relieve you of your righteous indignation.
posted by lovejones at 12:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [14 favorites]


donate the money to the Humane Society or Darfur

They have to game a website on the Internet! THEY DON'T HAVE TIME TO WASTE ON SHIT LIKE ABUSED ANIMALS AND GENOCIDE.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


orthogonality, will Craigslist accept multiple flags for the same post from the same IP? I was wondering since it says "only one flag per person per post is counted." But it sounds like you have the procedure pretty well documented...
posted by ALongDecember at 12:29 AM on March 4, 2008


will Craigslist accept multiple flags for the same post from the same IP?

I wasn't logged into CL and was able to flag one post twice just now. I don't know if it counted twice, or if it triggered any alerts on the back end, but it didn't stop me from doing it.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:31 AM on March 4, 2008


Prostitution is against the law... in case some of you forgot. So as long as it is illegal... don't worry about us please.

Text posts on the internet, even those that are distasteful to your prudish sensibilities, are not illegal. It's called free speech, get the fuck over it.

Unless you have proof that a law is being broken you probably need to find something else to obsess over.

If prostitution is occurring in your area, you should leave it up to the authorities to rectify the situation and not act out what amounts to internet vigilantly fantasies.
posted by wfrgms at 12:32 AM on March 4, 2008


You seem angry wfrgms. Perhaps a relaxing session with a CraigsList prostitute will relieve you of your righteous indignation.

I'm not angry. I'm drunk. And the god damn prostitutes were supposed to be here over an hour ago!
posted by wfrgms at 12:35 AM on March 4, 2008 [16 favorites]


The key to Ortho's method is that to make sure each flag comes from a different IP, once you've flagged the four or five posts in your group, you need to clear your cache, restart your computer, and then go back to Craigslist.
posted by jtron at 12:35 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


so prostitution is illegal and therefore bad, but Craigslist flagging software -
is that really legal?
posted by miles1972 at 12:35 AM on March 4, 2008


ALongDecember writes "orthogonality, will Craigslist accept multiple flags for the same post from the same IP?"

Not within the time-out I outlined above (the time-out is linked to your IP). But remember, craigslist is big (thousands of posts, millions of page-views a day), and so the flag IP tables are also big. To save space (and more importantly, the CPU time for comparing each flag IP to every IP in the table), the IP table is set to a fixed size, and the oldest ones are replaced with incoming flag IPs (that is, it's a essentially a ring buffer, but probably in a database table, not in memory). Depending on time of day, and which server in the server farm you hit, the recorded IP will "fall off" after a certain amount of time.

Using the procedure I outlined above (observing the waiting time is essential to this), you'll get a more than 50% flag success, on average. Again, that's on average; some days you'll get luckier than other days. Again, you have to let the post fully load, wait, flag, browse more pages without flagging, waiting on each one, then go back and flag. To work in most craigslist locations, you'll have to spend about three to six hours on this, but it does work if you put in the time.
posted by orthogonality at 12:39 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Prostitution is against the law... in case some of you forgot.

So, I presume this means you are also flagging ads for illegal sublets, ticket scalpers, and day laborers who work for cash without reporting their income to the IRS, hmm? I mean, since it's all about the illegality and not about the morality.
posted by scody at 12:41 AM on March 4, 2008 [17 favorites]


Ahh, thanks for the explanation, which does make sense given the scope of Craigslist.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:41 AM on March 4, 2008


So, I presume this means you are also flagging ads for illegal sublets, ticket scalpers, and day laborers who work for cash without reporting their income to the IRS, hmm? I mean, since it's all about the illegality and not about the morality.

Wrong. It's only ads which involve that icky sex stuff between consenting adults which baby Jesus is so opposed to. Everything else is besides the point!
posted by wfrgms at 12:49 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


And when you get busted by your Mom as you're studiously browsing all the massage ads, be sure to tell her "I wasn't looking for a prostitute on Craigslist! I was gaming the flagging system! Honest!"

LOLxians.
posted by flabdablet at 12:55 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


There's a lot that's illegal. It doesn't take churched-up vigilante Internet crime fighters to stop it.

The objection is, you're trying to impose your church's moral values on your town, like Sunday drinking laws. And you can't even object on the basis that it makes the streets look tawdry, or endanger people, since it's all on the Internet - so you're seeking to get inside their bedrooms.

Here's a thought. If you want to help people - actually help people - start thinking about setting up sexual addiction counseling services in your church, and advertising them on Craigslist. Or single's nights. Or non-preaching couples counseling, with sexual therapy. These are not, by any means,the only reasons people seek sex workers, but it's a far more positive step than trying to flag postings you disapprove of.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:58 AM on March 4, 2008 [12 favorites]


We do all that... and we want to do more... like prevent illegal prostitution. We're not looking for volunteers so please don't lecture us. We are actually providing information to local law enforcement to conduct sting operations. We don't need anyone's approval, we were just looking for help.
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 1:01 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6T hey were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." 8A gain he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

11 "No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
posted by bigmusic at 1:13 AM on March 4, 2008 [44 favorites]


princeofpersiaxz writes "We are actually providing information to local law enforcement to conduct sting operations."

This si nort legal advice. But if I were doing this, I'd make sure my church was covered by liability insurance and that any parishioners participating in this had personal liability insurance coverage of at least, oh in the neighborhood of $2 million. The individual liability insurance shouldn't run you much more than $500 per month per person, but the Church insurance could cost much more. Does your church own tangible assets that could be attached, if it were sued for defamation or false arrest or invasion of privacy?
posted by orthogonality at 1:14 AM on March 4, 2008 [13 favorites]


Whoops. I mean, THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.
posted by orthogonality at 1:15 AM on March 4, 2008


Back in my Christian days, I read the hell out the bible, and as I remember, Jesus loved prostitutes. Just like he loved everyone else. So, in addition to or instead of what Bora said above, you could advertise your services on Craigslist to help people involved in prostitution who might want to get out. Childcare, assistance locating affordable drug treatment, assistance locating sliding-scale psychological and psychiatric care, etc. Didn't you read the part about 'what you do to the least of these, you also do to me?' No? Well, read it again. It's in there. And I can assure you that, if you asked Jesus, this is what he would want you to do. What you're planning on doing is a waste of time and indicative of a small, angry, punitive soul.
(on preview - bigmusic has it)
posted by Wroksie at 1:17 AM on March 4, 2008 [17 favorites]


I'm glad to see that your church is positively active in the community. But it's obviously not enough, and you're missing the central point. You're conducting sting operations? Seriously?

You don't need approval - you need reining in. It's not your job to enforce morality on those who are not a part of your church. If they want help, you've provided the services for them to come to you.

Let's invert this for a moment. Let's pretend religious meetings are illegal. I'm aware that there are some means on the web for believers to secretly get together in private. I'd like to use botnet software to stop or curtail those meetings, maybe even report those doing so to the police. Set up some fake revival meetings so that the believers can be rounded up and jailed.

In this mirror world, would you be for that? Do you think it would be an appropriate question for AskMe?
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 1:17 AM on March 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


princeofpersiaxzPoster: "I should have known I would get responces like this from wacked-out liberals. If you cannot help me, do not reply. Your wisecracks will not derail our community mission. If any one has a worthwhile answer for me, I appreciate it with all my heart. God bless you all."

Here is a worthwhile answer:

The craigslist community is peopled by a huge population, nearly all of whom do not share the same feeling you do about erotic services. As a result, it will be close to difficult for you to effect a shutdown of these services. If you do somehow manage to get some ads shut down, odds are good that your IPs will eventually be blocked from flagging.

So, my recommendation for you would be to drive traffic away from craigslist rather than trying to interfere with their services. Perhapse set up an alternative site that promotes positive and Christian behavior? Or, put in your own (free) ads exhorting people to be mindful of G-d and of his commandments? These actions will both be more successful and more well received than trying to use underhanded tricks to remove ads that will stay there regardless of what you attempt to do.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:18 AM on March 4, 2008


God I hope you're a false-flag liberal here trying to make fundies look bad.
posted by panamax at 1:20 AM on March 4, 2008


I have never seen such admiration for an activity that is an outright violation of an American law. Moral or immoral, it is illegal and will be treated as such, until the laws change.
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 1:20 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


We do all that... and we want to do more... like prevent illegal prostitution.

Bullshit. You could fill your days working other magic in your community and never get to the, "Well, we've done everything else, time to turn out attention that this internet prostitution matter..."

We are actually providing information to local law enforcement to conduct sting operations.

That's both sick and frightening. I hope your congregation has freshly pressed brown shirts.

We don't need anyone's approval, we were just looking for help.

Wellll... don't you need God's approval? And wouldn't God rather you spend your time... I dunno... teaching disadvantaged children to read rather than chasing down mythical prostitutes on the internet?

Like I alluded to earlier... your priorities are seriously out of whack. People like you do more harm than good in a community. People like you are the reason 1 in 100 Americans are rotting in jail right now. People like you need to get a fucking clue.
posted by wfrgms at 1:25 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Do you ever exceed the speed limit? This is are also an outright violation of American law, so I'm sure you don't. I suggest you and your congregation sit on the side of the highway with a radar gun and call in the plate number of these horrific transgressors to the cops.
posted by chiababe at 1:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


I can't believe I wasted the time trying to come up with a thoughtful idea in response to your stupid question. No one here is admiring prostitution, except perhaps in an ironic way in order to point out what an idiot you are.
Seriously - are you really so stupid that you think that your little sting operations will make one tiny dent in prostitution? Seriously? And do you really think that it's your business to try to make that dent? When I imagine all the women and children in the world who are bought and sold through human trafficking, and then I imagine prissy little purse-mouthed fake Christians like yourself self-righteously stomping around trying to ruin people's lives by getting them arrested for a consensual sexual activity, I want to throw up. You make me sick, and I wish that hell existed because if it did, it would be for people like you.
posted by Wroksie at 1:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


We are helping the police with THEIR sting operation. And our church is active in over 100 weekly community events, thank you very much.
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 1:30 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


princeofpersiaxz writes "Moral or immoral, it is illegal and will be treated as such, until the laws change."

You know, the guy has a point. Moral or immoral, prostitution between consenting adults is unambiguously illegal. And moral or immoral, waterboarding is not illegal.

It's clear from this, and from Jesus's injunction to "render unto Caesar assistance in his Centurions' work", what the good Christian's course must be. (That Caesar eventually declared Jesus illegal and executed Him is of course irrelevant to the Christian's duty to be Caesar's snitch.)
posted by orthogonality at 1:31 AM on March 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


I have never seen such admiration for an activity that is an outright violation of an American law.

Really? You should check out the threads that have to do with marijuana, visiting Cuba, or civil disobedience.
posted by jtron at 1:31 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Also: downloading copyrighted songs is illegal.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:31 AM on March 4, 2008 [18 favorites]


How is flagging a craigslist ad helping a sting operation? I genuinely curious about the logistics involved.
posted by chiababe at 1:31 AM on March 4, 2008


Oh and if people don't want their lives ruined, they shouldn't break the law.
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 1:31 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have never seen such admiration for an activity that is an outright violation of an American law. Moral or immoral, it is illegal and will be treated as such, until the laws change.

"American law"??? What the fuck are you talking about? You do know that prostitution is legal in at least one state, right? Further, just because you observe posts on the internet which may imply prostitution, does not mean that illegal activities are taking place. We still have a First Amendment the last time I checked despite the best efforts of religious wackos like yourself.

I urge you to seriously reevaluate your priorities.
posted by wfrgms at 1:32 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Princeofpersiaxz, you will be violating Craigslist's entirely clear Terms of Use by implementing automated means (such as Craigsflagger) to manipulate its content, not to mention harass lawful users of its services:

Additionally, you agree not to:

...

s) "stalk" or otherwise harass anyone;

t) collect personal data about other users for commercial or unlawful
purposes;

u) use automated means, including spiders, robots, crawlers, data mining
tools, or the like to download data from the Service - unless expressly
permitted by craigslist;

...

y) use any form of automated device or computer program that enables the
submission of postings on craigslist without each posting being manually
entered by the author thereof (an "automated posting device"), including
without limitation, the use of any such automated posting device to submit
postings in bulk, or for automatic submission of postings at regular intervals.


It's unclear if Craigslist could or would initiate legal action against you, but they will in all likelihood certainly kick you and your friends off the service once they find out what you're up to.

Ultimately, your option is clear:

Should you object to any term or condition of the TOU, any guidelines,
or any subsequent modifications thereto or become dissatisfied with craigslist
in any way, your only recourse is to immediately discontinue use of craigslist.


If you don't like that people on Craigslist are having private, consensual sex: stop using Craigslist.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:32 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


*I'm
posted by chiababe at 1:33 AM on March 4, 2008


princeofpersiaxz writes "Oh and if people don't want their lives ruined, they shouldn't break the law."

That's what Pilate said to that rabble-rousing King of the Jews!
posted by orthogonality at 1:33 AM on March 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


Dammit, deathalicious beat me to it.
posted by barnacles at 1:33 AM on March 4, 2008


If a massage finishes with a happy ending, the terrorists wine.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:34 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have never seen such admiration for an activity that is an outright violation of an American law

Well, we like to fuck. And a lot of us are Americans so we like to spend money frivolously. Two and two, dude.
posted by Roman Graves at 1:34 AM on March 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


So, to be clear, you are ok with ruining lives, rather than helping people in any sort of Christian manner? That's classy.
posted by chiababe at 1:34 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Win! Win dammit.

Okay, I'm off to bed.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:34 AM on March 4, 2008


Until the laws change, we will continue our mission, along with aiding law enforcement. Thank you to all that provided worthwhile responses. To the others, your attacks toward me have been entertaining. Goodnight, and God bless.
posted by princeofpersiaxz at 1:35 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please reconsider closely tying your church with the authorities. What if a sex worker wanted to reach out to you for help but is afraid to due to their fear of reprisal?
posted by ALongDecember at 1:36 AM on March 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


if people don't want their lives ruined, they shouldn't break the law.

Are you paying attention to what you're writing? You're basically saying that your goal isn't to reform people or to help them, but that your point is to be conduit for the ruination of people's lives. You want to be that snitch, that informer, that enabler, through which people who perhaps are down and out, or having to resort to selling themselves out of desperation, wind up ensnared forever the jaws the of the penal system. Shame on you!

You're hands down one of the worst "Christians" I've ever come across. You have horribly misinterpreted the teachings of Jesus. Please get help.
posted by wfrgms at 1:36 AM on March 4, 2008 [22 favorites]


Okay, jeez no pun intended everybody, MeTa
posted by Deathalicious at 1:39 AM on March 4, 2008


Until the laws change, we will continue our mission, along with aiding law enforcement.

If that is your Christian mission, I would advise that you take orthogonality's advice and get liability insurance to prepare for your church being taken to court and sued out of existence for harassment, false arrest, etc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:40 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Right - if I wasn't worried about getting Matthowie and the other people in the thread in trouble, I would immediately send a link to the question in which you ask about DOWNLOADING MUSIC ILLEGALLY through Limewire to the RIAA in order to help them out with their 'sting operations'. Or did you post the question in order to entrap the people who might want to help you find a stupid, terrible, shitty song for your 'girlfriend'?
I am absolutely blown away by what a hypocritical douchebag idiot you are. Completely flabbergasted.
posted by Wroksie at 1:40 AM on March 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


wfrgms writes "You're hands down one of the worst 'Christians' I've ever come across. "

Nah, he's a better Christain than Jesus of Nazareth! Jesus hung our with whores and publicans and poor people and lepers! This guy is much more respectable than Jesus!
posted by orthogonality at 1:41 AM on March 4, 2008 [24 favorites]


See, if we'd known about your interests we'd have been able to give you a much better answer to your earlier question...

Seriously, I really think that your chuch would be on a faster route to heaven if you sought to bring change in other ways. There are children living in fear and poverty, no doubt in your own community, that would benefit from your obvious passion and go-getting approach. Would you not consider switching your talents elsewhere?
posted by ceri richard at 1:58 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


You could always find like-minded Christians on the internet who would be willing to flag the posts. Find a Christian forum and start a thread on your cause.

However, you will likely be fighting a losing battle. New posts are made to craigslist every day, and a lot of time and effort will be spent in vain. There are other venues in which prostitution can be advertised (as mentioned above), and any success you find in the craigslist venture will just move the people posting the ads to those venues.
posted by Locative at 2:10 AM on March 4, 2008


we will do it ourselves...

...lead us not into temptation...
posted by chillmost at 2:12 AM on March 4, 2008


Until the laws change, we will continue our mission, along with aiding law enforcement.

Since your mission entails violating Craigslist's terms of use, would you be ok if I posted an AskMe question on how to stage a denial-of-service attack on your website? You're arguably fighting one illegal act by acting illegally yourself.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:47 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why would I want to help you figure out how to flag listings on Craigslist? That's where I get some of my best tricks! Especially my regular... that guy that sits in the pew three rows ahead of you.
posted by matty at 2:57 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


On prostitution, I'd follow Jesus' teachings.

But I guess Jesus was as whacked out as the rest of the liberals eh?

That pesky Jesus, always mussin' with a good Christian conservative point of view.
posted by mattoxic at 3:01 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


We are just trying to get rid of these people and prevent them from coming to our town to solicit themselves for sex.

We're 85 comments deep already and nobody's really pointed out the sheer horror that this statement conveys.

We are just trying to get rid of these people


Do you know what "Christian" means? I've been amazed in my life how many people I've come across, who in fact call themselves "Christian," who actually can't convey to me the very basic meaning of the word. Allow me to tell you about it.

It comes from the Greek word "Christianos" which means "follower of Christ." Its not a name that the Christians originally gave themselves, in fact it was most likely used as a mocking name for the early followers of Christ by the secular community in Antioch. Eventually, though, in true forgiving and Christ-like fashion, the early followers came to take this term on as their standard, essentially embracing their outcast status from the society of their day.

Embracing their outcast status.
Why would they do this? Because there really wasn't any more poignant, authentic response for them to this term. Its almost ironic, in a sense - its almost too fitting to be true. You see, Jesus was an outcast, too. While (again, I'm making another statement of believe here) He was the most knowledgeable theologian to ever walk our planet, he wasn't welcomed in by the "Children of God" in his day. He spent most of his ministry either outrightly criticizing the spiritual leaders of the church in his day, or avoiding their attempts on his life - that is, until it was the right time.

So who did he hang out with? Its been pointed out above already, but it bears repeating. Jesus' first miracle was to make wine, implying that he condoned drinking, at least at wedding celebrations. He was often found eating and drinking himself with the other outcasts of society, those looked down upon by the morally upright - the tax collectors, the prostitutes, et. al.. (Nobody understands how revolutionary that really was, by the way - yes, prostitutes are bad, we all get that. Dirty, dirty, dirty. But in those days, the fact that Jesus even gave women the time of day that he did, was completely counter cultural.) Jesus made a point to go out of His way to spend time with the people on the margins, the people that a "holier society" sought to avoid. And not only that, He was the life of the party! You think all of these people would have hung around Jesus, not thinking him suspect for wanting to be with them, when He lived a different lifestyle from them? It would essentially be akin to one of the pharisees showing up and pretending he wanted to "hang." Yeah, right.

Not Jesus, though. He must have, implicitly, earned the trust and companionship of these sinners by actually being a kind, enjoyable, friendly dude to be around. He wanted to be friends with the people who were furthest from the lifestyle that scripture prescribes.

We are just trying to get rid of these people


At the end of the day, Jesus clearly wasn't trying to get rid of the sinners. He was deeply intertwined with their community. But you know what? He wasn't even trying to get rid of the pharisees and saducees he so often derided the practices of. The gospels show us that while he sometimes was righteously angry towards them as well, He was trying to break through in love for even them. EVEN PEOPLE LIKE YOU, Jesus loved.

Jesus wasn't trying to get rid of anyone.

Except himself. He came to so radically give himself away, in a way that most people wouldn't even begin understand. He came to make himself nothing, on the cross, to get rid of His life, to rid the world of Himself. Why?

For people like the ones in your community soliciting erotic services. For people like me who struggle to present the real message of Christ to the world. For people like all of these angry MeFites who are justifiably enraged by your proposal, or troll, or whatever the hell it is. And, as hard as it is for me to admit, sometimes, he came for people like you who are subverting his message in the most malicious ways possible.

Jesus got rid of himself for you, OP.

Go and do likewise.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:23 AM on March 4, 2008 [295 favorites]


Stone allkindsoftime!
posted by mattoxic at 3:30 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


I like that wfrgms made up the word vigilantly.
posted by pieoverdone at 3:35 AM on March 4, 2008


Prostitution is against the law... in case some of you forgot. So as long as it is illegal... don't worry about us please. Thank you and God bless.

So is vagrancy and begging, however conning vast amounts of money away from gullible people to spend on magnificent "ministries" and fleets of luxury cars isn't.
posted by mattoxic at 3:41 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I suggest you try flagging those members of your community who are so tempted by ads for sex on Craigslist that they need to spend all day thinking about them.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:45 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


This feels troll like to me. It's been so long...
posted by sully75 at 3:46 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


And for this y'all get a freaking free ride on taxes.

I am going to double my efforts to fight the exemption of churches that conduct political activities from taxes after this thread. Along with orthogonality's excellent advice above (get insured and retain a lawyer, because some day your church or one of your members *will* be sued for taking the law into your own hands without knowing what you are doing), consider whether your cozying up to the vigilante identity might not lead you astray with the IRS.

Especially if someone bothers to flag you out of spite. As in flag your political activities with a letter of complaint to the IRS.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:52 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have never seen such admiration for an activity that is an outright violation of an American law. Moral or immoral, it is illegal and will be treated as such, until the laws change...

God, it must be a utter relief for you that you didn't grow up in the Jim Crow South. Congratulations on that.
posted by melorama at 3:56 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


didn't grow up as a black man, that is.
posted by melorama at 3:58 AM on March 4, 2008


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