Web

Craigslist strikes again: Pulls listings from search engines to thwart the likes of 3taps, Padmapper, and anyone else who wants its data

craigslist new logoAbout a month ago, Craigslist started playing hard to get when it sent competing apartment search service PadMapper a cease and desist notice. The fallout has continued since, as Craigslist has filed complaints against PadMapper and API service 3taps, and slipped in a new exclusive content licensing clause into its site.

And now it appears that Craigslist has flipped the switch entirely and is blocking all search engines from pulling data from its site. This of course includes Google and Bing, which currently are not indexing Craigslist listings.

“At about noon on Aug 6, it seems CL may have instructed all general search engines to stop indexing CL pasting – effectively blocking us…” 3taps said via Twitter early this morning. 3taps, a workaround which creates an API for grabbing Craigslist postings with the help of content surfaced via search engines, has also posted a message on its homepage. “At approximately noon on Sunday August 5, Craigslist instructed all general search engines to stop indexing CL postings – effectively blocking 3taps and other 3rd party use of that data from these public domains. We are sorry that CL has chosen this course of action and are exploring options to restore service but may be down for an extended period of time unless we or CL change practices.”

The move basically means Craigslist is willing to sacrifice itself in order to punish those pulling its data. The site will get considerably less traffic, and it’s not exactly instilling good faith with users or developers. Craigslist is on a slippery slope: It’s making its data that much more difficult for end users to find in order to prevent services like 3taps from getting their hands on it. At best, these priorities are questionable, and at worst, unethical.

You could of course argue that Craigslist constant decision not to offer an API means it can do what it pleases, but the site has long contended its reasoning was to keep its servers from being overwhelmed. However, 3taps founder Greg Kidd has told me this isn’t the case with its solution, which doesn’t impact Craigslist servers.

It’s difficult not to just instinctively see Craigslist as a data-hoarder here, and all its efforts to keep its listings proprietary seem both impossible and self-harmful. There are far too many applications that pull Craigslist sale items, jobs, pets… the list goes on and on. Is Craigslist really going to target them all while simultaneously killing a hefty amount of its own traffic in the process? The drama is anything but over, and we’ll be watching to see how all the involved parties adapt to Craigslist’s new demands – and if a viable alternative is able to capitalize on the new space in this market. 

Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Photography

Back off, photo thieves: Flickr alerts photographers to image theft with Pixsy

Worried about someone swiping your photo off Flickr? The image sharing platform can now integrate with Pixsy accounts to alert photographers when a photo is used without permission by using artificial intelligence to scour the web.
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Computing

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Web

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.
Mobile

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.
Computing

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.
Business

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…
Computing

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.
Computing

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.