This page is a subsection of the Unofficial Flags FAQ
Page updated 12-11-2015

Craigslist W4M Issues

The W4M category is sort of special and there are some details to know to post there successfully. This document is largely intended for those posting LTR ads but there may be some hints for those posting in other W4M categories as well.

First off ladies, guys really do think with their crotches. This makes the category an irresistible target for the porn site and dating site spammers and various credit card scammers. In order to fight this and help the readers that don't want this junk, the flag thresholds are pretty low most of the time. This makes it easier to flag off the spam. But it also makes it easier for the Richards to flag off your legit ad. The only thing to be done about it is to write a VERY good ad.

Many of the spam/scam posts look just like ordinary legit ads. But if you reply to one you get a spam email advertising some dating site (or worse). This really pisses the guys off. Other spam posts are more obvious. Like the ad has a picture of some scrawny model with a blatant sexual come-on. The guys who answer get the same spam email but they're twice as pissed off because they knew better. That woman is NOT going to be posting a personal ad to get a date. She'll be dating one of her fellow models or the photographer or some rich guy. This results in the guys being pretty trigger happy about spam posts and a lot of times they will flag if something even smells suspicious (like the picture is too good looking or the ad is too sexual).

Because of all this it is important to keep it real. Really real. Ads that are not seen as 'believable' draw flags. One of those little facts of life is that by your age the beautiful people are all hitched to other beautiful people. The people that can get dates easily among their co-workers or activity partners or through their church groups are pretty much doing that. People with killer flirting skills have their pick of the eligible bachelors in the vegetable isle, never mind any bar. Yet posting in the personals you have a couple of paragraphs and perhaps a photo or two and that's it. You need to convey not only that you are interesting/desirable but also that you are an actual person and not a come-on for some dating site. This can take good writing skills and careful attention to exactly how you are coming across. Nobody knows you, your words and perhaps a picture are all you have.

It can be helpful to "anchor" an ad. This means mentioning some local area or perhaps a local event. This is because the way some scammers work is to scrape an ad off one site and repost it on another site. This move saves them having to write the ad and come up with a picture. Your "anchor" defeats this and makes the ad more "real".

If you get no replies at all, check your spam folders.

Again, alway use the CL email relay system. Putting your phone or email in an ad makes it look like a scam. Scammers try hard to get people to contact them outside the relay syatem.

As a side note; when the guys post their own ads they get a TON of porn and dating site spam in their inboxes. Some of it is pretty subtle and it takes a study of the email headers or other research to realize it's junk. This just adds to their frustration. It can make for a tough audience.

Some pointers:

Good luck in your searches!

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Go to the Unofficial Flag FAQ Home

For some general examples of stuff users flag go here. The discussion of The Long Shots may be helpful to personal ad posters. The link to W4M information comes back to this page.

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