All My Backpage Ads Were Community Removed

It had been several months since this last happened and I thought the problem had been fixed, but apparently it is not because last week some time ALL of my Backpage ads were “community removed”!

I have been using Backpage.com’s free classifieds for a couple of years now, so I am well-versed in their “terms of use”; and I don’t believe any of my ads were in violation. But even so, they were all removed again.

community removed all backpage ads

There were actually several more than just the ones shown in the image above.

I’ve dug through the forums, but mostly there is just a lot of SPAM and people giving each other a hard time in there. I also emailed support a few months ago, they replied asking for additional details, but after providing the details I never heard from them again. So I figured I’d write this post to see if anyone else was having the same issue, and maybe together we can figure it out collectively.

Beyond some of the typical tactics that would get you banned from any website(which I wasn’t employing), here were some of the site specific reasons given in the forum for an average user who might get their posting removed:

  • Don’t post an ad multiple times within a 7 day period
  • Don’t post the same ads in multiple cities
  • Posting advertisements in the wrong categories

It couldn’t have been the first reason because I only post my ads once every two weeks just to be safe. There is a possibility it could be the second reason since I did post similar ads in multiple cities, but only one ad ever two weeks. Meaning if I posted an ad in Seattle this week, I waited two weeks before I posted a similar ad in Tacoma. So that doesn’t seem like a very logical reason to me. And last all of my ads were posted in the appropriate category, as far as I can tell.

The one thing I did different this week was post a commercial add in the clothing for sale section. I wasn’t sure if this was appropriate or not, but after seeing about 90% of the ads in there were commercial listings, I figured it must be okay. Most of the ads listed there now are for commercial websites too!

According to this line under User Conduct:

17. Posting free ads promoting links to commercial services or web sites except in areas of the Site where such ads are expressly permitted;

All of these ad postings could be in violation of their Terms of Use. However, I don’t see where on the site it says commercial ads are or are not permitted, do you?

In any case, and whatever the reason, I don’t see why that would cause all of my ads to be “community removed”? Shouldn’t only the one ad and any “duplicate” ads be removed? Many of these ads were completely unrelated. Plus how would the community know which ads I had since always selected the radio button “No, do NOT show links to my other postings”?

And it definitely wasn’t link-SPAM, it wouldn’t help anyway now that Backpage has added NoFollow to free advertising links.

I think something else is going on. Maybe it’s just that their software is buggy, I don’t know.

Is anyone else having the same issue or know what is causing this?

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  • May 12th, 2010 at 10:45 pm Michael Shaw said:

    It happened to me also. Some of my ads have similar content but I don’t think its overposting for instance I have search engine optimization as one ad for $10 then on my Craigslist posting ad I mention the SEO also. They are two totally different ads. But they deleted all my ads, even the ones for tree service, maybe because I deleted them all in one night, then reposted so they would be on top, but the ads were like a month old. I repost on Craigslist every 2days. Anyway I’ll let you know if it happens again. Another crappy thing is you don’t even get notified they are deleting.

  • May 12th, 2010 at 10:48 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Yeah, that’s kind of a bummer they don’t even notify you. I’ve had it happen to me a few times over the last couple of years. I get the feeling it is a bug in their system that deletes them all when one get’s community removed. But, I’m not certain. Thanks for sharing your experience too.

  • October 18th, 2010 at 9:53 am Mayra said:

    Hello

    The same thing is happening to me. Have you figured out what’s going on??

  • October 18th, 2010 at 10:38 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hi Mayra,
    No, I haven’t. I just stopped submitting them all under the same account.

  • November 3rd, 2010 at 7:15 pm Jim Gard said:

    I have had an ad I have paid for on backpage.com frozen. In addition, it was altered by backpage.com. Similar to you it was “removed from the community” as spam or whatever reason they have. However, it is not spam, not over posted, and appropriate content for the category. So frustrating and I don’t know how this goes on…especially the altering of my ad.

  • December 3rd, 2010 at 8:43 am Reid said:

    Just placed my first backpage ad yesterday. It was a sponsored, nationwide ad and cost over $100. Today it’s status is ‘community removed’ and I’ve been given no explanation. It doesn’t violate policies to my knowledge, and if it did, I feel I should have the chance to be made aware of this and modify the ad. I’m hoping they will respond to my inquiry on this matter quickly, as it is the Holiday season, but right now I am extremely disappointed.

  • December 3rd, 2010 at 9:50 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hey Reid, That sucks! I’m sorry to hear that. I think their platform is buggy. You might want to try their forum.

  • August 11th, 2011 at 11:29 am RGManager said:

    The same thing happened to me and I contacted them on this page: .backpage.com/classifieds/Contact

    also sent an email to: sales @ backpage.com

    Didn’t get a response yet from those so I searched and found this info and emailed him directly with my request:

    Contact Name: Carl Ferrer
    Online Service: Backpage.com
    Online Service Address: 1201 E. Jefferson Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85034
    Phone Number: 602-416-7785
    Fax Number: 602-229-8408
    E-mail Address: Carl.Ferrer @ backpage.com

    Note(s): Email subpoena compliance requests to: records @ backpage.com
    Last Updated: April, 2011

    This treatment makes all of us legitimate PAYING advertisers feel like these sites steal our money or have a community of viewers that flag an ad if they feel like it…. why can’t an internal ad review department approve your ad to go live after they see it meets the community standards at which time you are then charged for the ad?

  • August 16th, 2011 at 10:42 am Dave said:

    They took my money and stoped my add wile I followed all rules

  • August 16th, 2011 at 10:43 am Dave said:

    they took my money !And my add down

  • August 30th, 2011 at 5:02 pm Derek said:

    They actually took my money 83 bucks for promoting my site. I know it is commercial but it’s a service. What you can’t post a service in auto service?

    I never had a problem with BackPage Im apart of the affiliate thing too. I got several if not 1000s of people using their site.

    If I don’t get my money back for no advertising I am going to spread this all over the net just like I did with craigslist at least they are free completely. They banned my account on CL. Backpage knows I’ve been a paying customer so at least they could of warned me or have an option to send out terms updates or let me know since I’ve been a great customer what I need to do to fix what I did wrong if I did anything wrong.

    They just lost a paying customer and I will warn others not to pay for the services if this doesn’t get resolved to take care of me since I posted an AD on the free end about my site and that didn’t get booted! 83 bucks gone if I don’t win the dispute in paypal. That money isn’t worth the lose of my business when I end up spending 1000′s with them.

    Sad, I thought BP was better than Craigslist. Theya re adding rules more and more. What’s the point of posting with classified sites period anymore. Once they get big they treat you like shit.

  • September 3rd, 2011 at 7:34 am Derek said:

    Wanted to reverse my thing about BackPage they warned me that my AD was in competition with their site. I understand what they are saying and they refunded my money. I got lucky I guess. That was awesome but the thing is it authorized the payment but didn’t complete in my PayPal. So, if it did I’m not sure I would of been able to reverse it.

    I want to believe they are being honest and they know I spend a lot of money for sponsor ADs so that might of helped my situation.

    Only thing I can say before doing anything on a classified site read their TERMS every time all sites change even our terms are updated on sites as people try to take advantage of loopholes etc….

  • September 23rd, 2011 at 6:23 pm Bob said:

    I have been testing them out for a couple of months. Most of my ads (about 80%) get “community removed” on the 3rd day. I have tried various tactics and am not violating their tos as far as I can tell. If the ads make it past the initial removal they stick.

    This can only be 2 things as far as I can tell.
    1. glitch in their system.
    2. competitors reporting.

    I am pretty sure it is the first but I haven’t totally ruled out the second.

    Compared to CL, BP sucks so far.

    I was kinda glad to see others are having problems, not that I wish this on anyone just that it makes me feel better knowing I most likely am not doing anything bad.

    Hope we can get this figured out.. but for now I am only going to play around with a dozen ads or so at a time.

    l8r!

  • October 17th, 2011 at 7:10 pm Gene said:

    It is possible that competitors are behind this. On another forum some ad posters mentioned that they can flag certain ads on classified sites. So I imagine this goes on quite a bit.

  • October 17th, 2011 at 7:20 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Absolutely! I’m certain a few malicious users have found a way to tweak the system and screw up their competitors’ listings.

    Craigslist has gotten really bad lately too.

  • November 8th, 2011 at 4:10 pm 1tua said:

    I am having the same “community removed” problem. Did you ever find a solution Wesley?

    Also, Backpage.com has another weird thing were they will allow you to post clickable picture links and iframes in some categories and not others.

  • January 10th, 2012 at 6:16 am Jim said:

    Backpage is deleting the ads, not the community. BP now wants people who post a lot to pay so they are deleting the ads and not the community. I started using ClassifiedsEarth after getting sick of CL and BP and although this is a fairly new site I have a lot of my ads sitting at #1 on the search engines. I like the fact I can ad tags to my ads as well as videos. If you are sick of Backpage I suggest trying ClassifiedsdEarth, I have over 200 ads live now and no problems.

  • January 20th, 2012 at 1:44 pm David @ Buy Books said:

    I had my ads “Community Removed”. From my initial research, I thought BP was less stringent than CL but now I know. I posted to multiple cities within a 7-day period. I’ll try ClassifiedsEarth as previous commenter suggested.

  • January 26th, 2012 at 11:24 am tamee kaper said:

    Im getting very annoyed with those at backpage, and need some help from someone as they themselves are not responding to my many emails, and community removed my ad, in which ive been running this entire past year. I cant even go in to delete what they viewed as “wrong” and start all over….I explained that others used my visa # as I told them about backpage and they wanted to start using it as well. perhaps they though both ads were for me, but under different email addresses. Not everyone who does “rubs” has a visa, or works alone. 1 was for me, 1 for when I wasnt available, for the other girl. I am now waiting on another post I have tried to do as I cannot delete..and its been pending for hours now and this is cutting into my life, financially and I have a baby coming soon, not to mention, regulars who depend on this ad to find my #. is there a way I can get a hold of these people, faster, to get this show back on the road….I cannot go without making money..Im going through enough, and STILL do not know what made them suddenly, after months of the same ad(s), community remove my ad…when technically I never violated any rules/regulations I agreed to …..ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO GET BACK IN, UNTIL I CAN GET A HOLD OF THEM OR HEAR BACK…PLS RESPOND, ASAP…ITS 2/25=AFTERNOON.

  • January 27th, 2012 at 7:21 am David said:

    I have given up on backpage.com. I did some experiments with no concern for being banned. I posted to different cities with a slightly different title and slightly different ad text with 1 day time spacing – this worked okay. Then I posted to the same city and ALL my ads were “Community Removed”.

  • April 4th, 2012 at 7:23 pm jim said:

    I just had all of my ads deleted too, an entire days work gone. I am saying goodbye to Backpage and hello ClassifiedsEarth

  • April 4th, 2012 at 9:45 pm CASSANDRA SAINZ said:

    *******I HAVE THE RIGHT NUMBER TO CALL ****
    BACKPAGE.COM COSTUMER SERVICE AND ASK THEM YOUR QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR COMMUNITY REMOVED ADS. I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM 1 MORNING AND EVERY NEW ACCOUNT I WILL OPEN FROM MY COMPUTER IT WILL LINK AND DO THE SAME THING
    (((DELETE MY ADS 1 HOUR LATER AND THEN BLOCKED MY BANK CARD N NEVER GET CREDIT FOR IT))) UNTIL I INVESTIGATE THE NUMBER AND I FINALLY FOUNDED , AND I PROVIDED MY EMAIL AND TOLD ME THAT I HAD SOME BACK-CHARGES FROM MY BANK AND I HAD A PENDING BALANCE $$$ WITH BACKPAGE.COM UNTIL I PAY OFF MY BALAN$E MY ACCOUNT WILL GET UNBLOCKED… AND I REMEMBER CALLING MY BANK FOR SOME OVER CHARGES I NEVER DID ON BACKPAGE.COM AND MY BANK REFUND ME MY MONEY… AND BACKPAGE WAS CHARGING ME THAT MONEY BACK. CALL THEM DURING BUSINESS HOURS CENTRAL TIME 214-757-9000

  • April 22nd, 2012 at 8:17 pm Nikki said:

    I dont understand how they can take money for mutiple ads (a service they provide) and allow people to delete the posts

  • August 29th, 2012 at 7:59 am Derek said:

    Yeah this is why I created my own site for classifieds. Between the top classifieds sites they restrict without controlling the proxy flaggers etc… On my site with its unique look and easy usage the flagging system is only removed by admins and moderators.

    These tops sites out there will run its coarse and someone else will have to deal with all the craziness. The best practice I think is to treat your users right (the ones that make you) greed gets them all when they don’t have a vain in their body in the first place.

  • August 30th, 2012 at 5:56 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hi Derek,
    Community flagging can be helpful, but I don’t think listings shouldn’t get removed until they are manually reviewed by a moderator or admin.

  • August 31st, 2012 at 10:04 am Derek said:

    True I agree that is what I do on my site. I actually manually remove ads that get flagged as spam etc… but before I do that I take the time to do research on the company / ad that was posted so this way if the company has some bad things doing online they will get removed completely from the site.

    Or way to many complaints against them gives real business people a safe place to post and fairly get rid of baddies.

  • August 31st, 2012 at 10:08 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Nice!

  • September 19th, 2012 at 1:38 pm Rob said:

    Hello,
    Anybody knows how many paid Ads BP allows to post per day?

    Rob

  • September 20th, 2012 at 5:51 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Sorry Rob, I don’t.

  • September 20th, 2012 at 7:20 pm Rob said:

    So far, I posted 30~35 paid ads in the adult section with no issues. Just curious how far it can go… :-)

    Rob

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