On 4/30/06, Ben McIlwain <cydeweys(a)gmail.com> wrote:
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.
This is necessary but not sufficient.
In many places our editors are asleep at the switch when it comes to
external links... once there are 20 externals on an article, no one..
not the readers, not the editors, are going to follow all of them.
Some of these articles have no regular editors, and passing editors
often don't want to anger a regular editor by removing a favorite
link... and when there are regular editors, they sometimes ignore
external additions.. additional links are a lot less cut and dry than
"penis penis penis nazi batman" vandalism.
An example, I removed about 45 external links from [[Genealogy]] the
other day after an admin pointed out that someone needed to clean it
up. Another 45ish still remain in the external link section. Some
were removed because they were listed 3 or more times. Some were
removed because they were just sites of advertisements with little to
no information. One obviously tried to install spyware. One was a
mirror of another site (with lots of added adsense). Others simply
required you to pay before you could determine if they had anything
useful. ... just about all of these links (minus the spyware perhaps)
could have been easily found using google.
I probably managed to remove a few good link as well, but it was clear
that there had been almost *zero* edit oral oversight of these links.
When we allow articles to have large lists of links without solid
editorial oversight, we are no more useful than google... and worse:
we are more subject to manipulation than the authors of the links.
It is my belief that almost every page with more than 10-20 externals
is in the same position of low to no oversight on the externals, and
many with more than 5 externals.
About 38,000 pages on enwiki have more than 10 externals, 14,000 have
more than 20. About 118,000 have more than 5.
The problem is that the blacklist is on Metawiki, not
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.
There are many meta admins in the admin channel on IRC, I promise that
you are never far from one. :)
The problem is that the SBL isn't useful for an infinite number of