Most of the early postings were submitted by Newmark and were notices of social events of interest to software and Internet developers living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. The number of subscribers and postings grew rapidly.
There was no moderation and Newmark was surprised when people started using the mailing list for non-event postings.
The company has been pressured by San Francisco Department of Public Health officials, prompting Jim Buckmaster to state that the site has a very small staff and that the public "must police themselves".
In 2002, a disclaimer was put on the "men seeking men", "casual encounters", "erotic services", and "rants and raves" boards to ensure that those who clicked on these sections were over the age of 18, but no disclaimer was put on the "men seeking women", "women seeking men" or "women seeking women" boards.
As of 2012, mashup sites such as and were overlaying Craigslist data with Google Maps and adding their own search filters to improve usability.
In June 2012, Craigslist changed its terms of service to disallow the practice. The site is considered particularly useful by lesbians and gay men seeking to make connections, because of the service's free and open nature and because of the difficulty of otherwise finding each other in more conservative areas.
Craigslist's main source of revenue is paid job ads in select American cities.
Newmark registered "craigslist.org", and the website went live in 1996.
e Bay owned approximately 25%, and Newmark is believed to own the largest stake.
to "remedy the substantial and ongoing harm to fair competition" that Craigslist claimed was constituted by e Bay's actions as Craigslist shareholders; the company claimed that it had used its minority stake to gain access to confidential information, which it then used as part of its competing service Kijiji. announced that it would divest its stake back to Craigslist for an undisclosed amount, and settle its litigation with the company.
Craigslist has a user flagging system to quickly identify illegal and inappropriate postings.
Users may flag postings they believe to be in violation of Craigslist guidelines.