Save Padmapper! Craigslist is wrong to shut them down. An open letter to Craig

I just found out a few moments ago that Craigslist has sent a cease and desist to one of the most valuable sites for apartment renters on the planet, Padmapper. Here's my open letter to them:

Dear Jim and Craig,

Thank you for all you've done for the online community in creating Craigslist and shepherding it through so much. I was saddened to learn Craigslist recently sent a cease and desist to Padmapper, which is a severe punishment indeed.

In a fair society, punishments like this are handed down for bad action. Padmapper has not engaged in this whatsoever. Please consider allowing Padmapper to continue to live. It is one of the top essential tools for anyone who is looking for a place to live. 

As a fan and user of both sites, I urge you to reconsider your decision. 

Yours sincerely,

Garry Tan

Do your part -- send your own letter (stay civil and articulate!) -- – Jim Buckmaster, CEO – Craig Newmark, Founder

8 responses
Hi Jim and Craig,

I wholeheartedly agree with Garry and the many others that will be sending you letters (myself included) to lift the ban of Padmapper on your site, Craigslist. I hope that the rationale for the cease and desist will be reviewed again to enable Padmapper to continue being a well needed and used tool on Craigslist. It adds tremendous value to your site.


A person who oversaw the marketing of apartments for one of the top property managment companies in the US, as well as a person who has personally listed and viewed apartments for rent via CL.

I think it's one guy running it too. I remember talking to him on turntable awhile back. Give me a break Clist. Bad press...........
I sent:

Jim and Craig-

Your marketplace the internet and free market's crowning achievement. The access and availability of inventory along with the proper buy privacy and protections has changed the world. The market for apartments is mess and padmapper's view on top of your service is the only plausible way to search for availability in today's world. I recently moved to SF from NYC and since there isn't per broker specific inventory, all of the apartments in SF were available with full information for prospective renters. While it made open houses a mad house, I prefer that to the secrecy and obtuse view into inventory that exists in NYC.

I'd love it if you'd reconsider your decision to prevent the inventory from flowing to padmapper or consider a deeper partnership to bring map views, sorting, and mobile access to apartment listings.

Thanks for your attention,

Hi Jim and Craig,

My wife and I found our current lovely apartment in Center City Philadelphia on Craigslist via PadMapper nearly a year ago. We tried using Craigslist directly, but here in Philly, looking for apartments in a specific location is nearly impossible. PadMapper to the rescue!

I understand your terms of service don't permit data harvesting, even from RSS feeds. I know because I had an idea for an app to build on top of Craigslist just yesterday, but checking your terms quickly killed it for me.

In the short term, please let PadMapper continue interoperating with Craigslist. In the long term, please open up a public API. Since your revenue model is pay-to-post, I'd think you'd want to make that data as accessible as possible. Even if you have to begin charging for all postings, I'd wager it would still improve your net revenue.


Wow that is so frustrating, PadMapper is a great app, used it a ton, hopefully we can get this fixed!
I agree with everyone who has spoken. Padmapper is not only extremely useful, it's really the only sensible way of looking at the apartment listing on Craigslist. It's essentially the UI for it. If Craigslist wants to C&D it, please at least develop a version of it of your own. Or open up a public API. Besides, the Padmapper app ends up sending users back to Craigslist anyway (the listing detail is a frame to it). Without Padmapper, we'd have to resort to other maps-based apartment hunting sites that are not Craigslist-based.
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