Just saying that we should liberaly ban "spam" is too easy because the
devil is in the details. A few days ago there was an article on
slashdot suggesting that an American chain manipulates its Wikipedia
article. Some people will agree some won't. When somebody calls and
says that he has "bought" his wikipedia article, it is easy; you
cannot buy a particular type of content on Wikipedia. It does however
not necessarily mean that such an organisation does not have its
relevancy. A kneejerk reaction is not necessarily always the right
On the other hand you have people who have a beef with an organisation
and insist on being negative about an organisation and do not allow
for a NPOV article about such an organisation. In my opinion this is
another side of the same coin.
There are also the people who do nothing but adding links to their
info site and, as always there are people who think this a good idea
and people who opine that it detracts from the Wikipedia article ....
I would in conclusion say, in case of obvious spam at least remove the
external links and when the article is plain advertisement, make it
NPOV or delete.
On 5/1/06, Ben McIlwain <cydeweys(a)gmail.com> wrote:
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Over the past few weeks, OTRS has seen quite a few messages concerning
companies that are putting information about themselves onto Wikipedia for
advertising purposes, insisting that it is their right to do this. An article in an
online SEO (search engine optimization) magazine described how to mine
wikipedia to get web traffic. We have had emails from such diverse groups as talent
agencies (we will take the copyright off our own website, as long as it is
included in Wikipedia), a Dominatrix, a vaporizer (I have no choice but to
keep inserting my links on your site so as to fend off the competitors), and
many others. In fact, this appears to be a growing trend in Wikipedia, as is
evidenced by similar phone calls to the office (I did not write the article
about my, my PR firm wrote it, and I paid them good money so you can't take it
off). Shoppingtelly.uk has written that as long as we allow links to the BBC,
they will insist on their "rights" to put links to their site on Wikipedia.
This is a worrying trend on the English Wikipedia which raises issues of
POV, notability, and verifiability. Ironically, we do not allow paid
advertising, but we are buckling when people use our site in order to get free
I do not know the solution to this problem--several have been raised, but in
my mind none is completely satisfactory. I am simply posting this here in the
hope that it will elicit discussion and, perhaps, a real policy decision to
counter this worrying trend.
One good solution is liberal usage of the spam blacklist and an
increased awareness that the spam blacklist exists. We can shut these
guys down cold ... if anytime a spam URL is added it is acted upon and
added to the blacklist.
The problem is that the blacklist is on Metawiki, not enwiki, so
administrators such as myself can't do anything about it on our own and
have to go running to a Meta admin. Maybe we could add some sort of
spam blacklist queue on Enwiki that is regularly viewed by meta admins?
Or more liberally giving out meta adminship might help too.
Ben McIlwain ("Cyde Weys")
~ Sub veste quisque nudus est ~
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