An Easy Way to Understand Craiglist Terms of Service

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

All About Craigslist's Terms of Service

Craigslist's website has tons of stuff to offer any user who wants to browse through it. But in order to jump in and check into all the opportunities, you have to read through and agree to .

Once you're ready to go, you can find what you're looking for, and you might get it for a great deal too. You can also post your own items and make a nice chunk of change on the side as well, but how do you do that without violating the site's rules? Let's take a look at the terms of service.

Craigslist Terms of Service

Newspapers have a classifieds section where you can find all sorts of items to purchase, sell, or even trade for other people's products. Craigslist is a website that does the same thing, only it gives a more user-friendly experience. You can sell a car, for example, by offering as much description as you can without having to deal with limitations on the number of words you use. The site also allows you to add photos of the item you're selling so someone looking to buy can see what you have and decide if it's worth checking out. There's also a place for wanted ads, services, and to post jobs.

While they offer a lot of freedom over how you use the site, there are still policies put in place to ensure that people buying, selling, posting, or looking for jobs, can do so safely. Craigslist's terms of service cover all situations. They currently have an update posted as of August 19, 2019. Even their privacy policy, which was updated on September 15, 2020, is clear about how they handle the information to protect all users of the site, as well as themselves.

For those who choose to post content on their site, they must follow for prohibited material.

Craigslist Prohibited Content

There are a few different items that Craigslist does not allow to be sold or posted on their site. Those include:

  • Weapons (guns, firearm components, spear guns, etc.)
  • Anything that exploits minors
  • Drugs (including prescriptions as well as illegal)
  • Counterfeit items
  • Stolen goods
  • Any kind of identity card (passports, licenses, etc)
  • Any services, or goods that violate the law

What Data Does Craigslist Gather From Users?

Craigslist, like many other websites, gathers identifying information from its users. The privacy policy states that they collect your name, address, email address, and phone number for the purpose of creating accounts and posts on the site. Credit card numbers are also gathered for content you post on the site that requires payment, like the selling of vehicles.

For safety and to prevent fraud, they will collect your IP address as well as the device and browser you're using. They typically don't share the information they gather with anyone, except payment processors when you use your credit card to pay for posts. They will also pass on the data if a user is found to have committed an illegal act with the content they post on the site.

What Happens if You Violate Craigslist Terms of Service?

Craigslist is strict about adhering to its policies. If for some reason, you're found to have violated them or they determine you encouraged others to violate them, you will likely face a fine, which can be pretty hefty, depending on the rules you broke. Here are some examples of the fines you could be charged if you fail to comply with their terms of service:

  • If you collect or harvest other users’ information, it's a $1 charge for each violation (if you gathered data from 100 people, it's $100).
  • Publishing another user's identifying information without their consent will cost $1,000.
  • Posting prohibited content (as well as attempting to post) will incur a fine of $4 per post.
  • Sending unauthorized emails to other users will cost $25 per violation (text message or phone call will cost $500).
  • Reproducing or copying another user's content without consent is a fine of $3,000 a day.

When you sign up for an account on their website, you agree that you will refrain from doing those things or you will face the fines the site lays out for you in the terms of service. Repeat offenders may face much more than the list of fines, though. This could include getting banned from the site.

What to Do if Craigslist Banned You From Their Site?

Craigslist will ban or block a user account if the site determines you have:

  1. Spammed other users
  2. Posted fraudulent items
  3. Advertised illegal activities

In some cases, it might be deserved, but not all. Users can flag posts that they feel violate a rule, but some may flag for the fun of it, not because there was a real violation. Or they may have become disgruntled because the other user didn't take their offer for an item.

In that case, you are well within your rights to get your account unblocked or unbanned. The issue is that you'll have to go through Craigslist's administration to appeal your case. That can be quite difficult to do. You would need to contact them directly and explain your case, show them the post in question, if possible, and await their decision.

Does Craigslist Have an Arbitration Clause?

An arbitration clause in the terms of service or contracts of businesses is basically a way of saying that any complaints two parties have should be discussed outside of a court of law. It would then go on to explain any specific terms the company requires for it, like having it done in a certain jurisdiction.

Craigslist's terms of service don't currently have an arbitration clause. It does, however, have a claims/indemnity clause. This states that you can make a claim against them, but you're restricted to doing so within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco court and will abide by California law. So, if you live in Michigan and want to make a claim, you'll be doing so in the state of California and following that state's law.

How to Analyze Craigslist Terms of Service on Your Own

Craigslist lays out all its rules for terms of service, prohibited content, and privacy policy. They also offer tons of information on how to stay safe using their service, as well as offer tips like meeting buyers/sellers in public places whenever possible. The main page of the website points you to some of them but others you'll have to do some searching to find.

Also, as with many websites, these policies and service clauses are written using legal terms, which most people find pretty confusing. That could make it difficult to avoid making mistakes with your account, or by accepting terms you might otherwise have disagreed with.

Will DoNotPay Be Able to Help?

DoNotPay can definitely help you find and get through as well as their other policies. In fact, they can help you with even more than that. Their tool will give you important highlights of the terms and they'll do it in simple, easy-to-understand language.

They can also help you out by letting you know if their terms of service are missing information that state laws require. If any violations are found and they pertain to your situation, you could have a case. If so, DoNotPay will create a letter to Craigslist for you, letting them know the legal information they find concerning the terms of service.

How Does DoNotPay Work?

You can get answers quickly with 5 easy steps. Here's how.

  1. Go to the Analyze Terms and Services product on DoNotPay.

  2. Enter the website domain you would like to scan.

  3. Wait for DoNotPay to identify any legal violations on the website (it should only take a few seconds!) If there are violations, proceed to drafting a demand letter.

  4. Enter how much you want to receive in compensation and the company name.

  5. Enter your contact information so the company can contact you.

That's when they will concoct a letter of demand for you, identifying all the violations that have come up as a result. All you have to do is send it off to the company and wait for their reply.

Can DoNotPay Help with any Other Website?

DoNotPay will not only help you with Craigslist, but we can also help with tons of other services such as:

Instagram Terms of ServiceAWS Terms of ServiceShopify Terms of Service
Discord Terms of ServiceGoogle Terms of ServicePlaystation Terms of Service
Youtube Terms of ServiceRoblox Terms of ServiceAirbnb Terms of Service
Facebook Terms of ServiceParler Terms of ServiceSnapchat Terms of Service
Twitch Terms of ServiceTiktok Terms of ServiceOmegle Terms of Service
Twitter Terms of ServiceCash App Terms of ServiceZoom Terms of Service

can help you out in so many ways. Just sign up for their service and see what opportunities await you!

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