What do you do if someone copies your Craigslist ad and reposts it? Can they get in trouble?
The quick answer is, unfortunately, no.
Since Craigslist is a free classified website where the ads expire after a certain period of time, the ad you post will not fall under any copyright laws.
You can’t legally copyright your ad.
But I Just Want the Fake Ad Gone
Can you get the impostor’s ad removed? Maybe.
I noticed this post on Reddit’s craigslist section. It says:
“I posted an ad on craigslist for a room I have for sublet. Someone copied my ad word for word and posted it as their own at a reduced price. I have tried contacting the poster multiple times to no avail, messaged craiglist multiple times, and flagged the post more times than I can count, but it is still up. Whoever posted it even keeps updating it every few days so it remains at the top of the category list. Is there anything else I can do to get it removed?”
Can I Contact Craigslist to Get the Fake Ad Removed?
Again, the quick answer is, no. There are only a handful of employees at Craigslist (last I heard, about 30 employees).
Such a small amount of people don’t have time to answer the thousands of complaints Craigslist receives on a daily basis. It’s just not possible.
They need to make sure the website is loading quickly and monitor for and delete illegal listings.
Craigslist employees won’t give a shit about duplicate listings.
Can I Flag the Copied Ad to Get it Taken Down?
Yes you can. But keep in mind, Craigslist can track IP addresses. Their software will know if the same person is flagging an ad. This is how they prevent spam and bots.
Therefore, 100 flags coming from one IP address equals 1 flag. And 1 flag from a user is not enough to take down an ad.
Ask Other People to Flag the Bogus Fake Listing
I can’t guarantee for this to work every time, but if you want to properly get your copied ad flagged and removed from craigslist, send the ad to other people you know and ask them to flag the listing.
If multiple flags come from different people from different IP addresses, you’ll have a better shot at the ad actually getting removed.
Which, obviously, leaves your legit ad on the website. And you can update your legit ad’s description to warn people of the fake ad.
I hope this info helps. If you have any other ideas about this topic, please leave a comment or email me!