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From Rich Bowen <>
Subject Re: [Issue] External links @ the wiki, aka pagechange wars
Date Thu, 24 May 2007 14:03:26 GMT

On May 24, 2007, at 08:50, Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:

> On Thu, May 24, 2007 at 08:05:30AM -0400, Joshua Slive wrote:
>> External links are encouraged where they add substantial value, but
>> you may not link to your own pages or otherwise seek private benefits
>> from external links.
> I like the elegance of this rule, because if it's your page and you
> words, well you can just add the content to the wiki anyway. But at  
> the
> same time it may invite even more awkward and inappropriate behaviour,
> e.g. paying someone else to add the links on your behalf.
> I think this problem is always going to fall into the "We know abuse
> when we see it" category, it requires a vague kind of rule-making  
> which
> only humans can apply.
> I'm in favour of banning these links in this instance, though not all
> external links.

The trouble in this particular case is that the contributor in  
question writes articles that are misleading or completely wrong, and  
appears to be unaware of the fact that he is being misleading and  
wrong. I'm not sure if he's genuinely trying to be helpful, or merely  
trying to inflate his google ranking by creating pages that link back  
to his site. Either way, the content that he produces does not add  
substantial value, nor do the pages to which he links, and often his  
content actively promotes practices that are discouraged as being  

Added to this is his refusal to accept correction, so that when his  
articles are modified to reflect best practice and reality, he gets  
offended and changes it back.

Behind the scenes there are angry and insulting email messages being  
exchanged, which I'm occasionally copied on, in which he defends his  
articles as being the best things ever written, and accusing us of  
singling him out for abuse. It's all very juvenile and time consuming.

However, one of the side effects of having this kind of public Wiki  
is that we have to do this kind of policing and maintenance, and some  
people are going to feel singled out.

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