Wikipedia talk:Spam

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Chain-spam[edit]

I know a method of spamming. It is the following: a spammer sends a message that contains the following: "Please, find x users who hadn't got this message,and send them this message",where x>1. Then there 'd be 1 message,then x+1, x^2+x+1, e.t.c. To prevent it, it ought to be forbidden. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 144.85.129.78 (talk) 05:52, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Have you observed any users doing this? (I'm assuming you meant in users' talk pages) Got any diffs? -- œ 05:32, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

No, I haven't. Станислав Крымский (talk) 10:07, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Problem with a template[edit]

In WP:SPAM#Tagging articles prone to spam there are two examples of banners that can be inserted in inappropriate articles, and each banner is accompanied by an explanatory sentence. There is supposed to be a third explanatory sentence saying:

  • For blatant advertising that would require a fundamental rewrite to become encyclopedic, use {{db-spam}} to mark for speedy deletion.

However, this explanatory sentence has become incorporated in the second banner. It should be removed from the second banner so that it stands alone as advice about speedy deletion for inappropriate articles. Dolphin (t) 08:06, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Are you unable to do so yourself? -- œ 05:37, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Correct. The article WP:SPAM doesn't contain the template itself. That is stored somewhere else unknown to me. Dolphin (t) 12:04, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
You would want to edit {{advert}}. However I don't see the problem - the template has contained that sentence for at least four years. The section is about article prone to spam - obviously if they are complete spam they should be marked with {{db-spam}} but that is dealt with in the WP:ARTSPAM section. SmartSE (talk) 13:50, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Advice please?[edit]

Hi, I'm new to dealing with the issue of external link promotions. Could someone have a look at this so I can learn where the boundaries lie?

I see a WPian has been removing some entries already, with edit-summaries such as "Wikipedia is not an advertising medium. All you people pedaling writing sites need to fuck off." Hmm: perhaps undignified, but I get the idea. The whole category probably needs monitoring, which I'm willing to do if I know more about it. Thanks. Tony (talk) 13:14, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Obviously expletives should not be used, but I understand the sentiment as many contributors see "anyone can edit" while ignoring the "encyclopedia" part, and they essentially exploit the good work of others to promote their site. Formally, this question should be posed at WP:ELN where things like the excessive number of links in that article are discussed (although people are a bit overwhelmed there since the number of bad links increases daily). I'm watching it now and may help prune it later. Johnuniq (talk) 23:24, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

GLAM Spam?[edit]

I have been reading EVERYTHING I can on spam, advertising, and the like policies on Wikipedia. However, I haven't seen a ruling on whether linking to GLAM resources constitutes spamvertising. If the historical materials of an organization (note: my own archival collections represent non-profit, usually educational organizations, but this discussion could be expanded to for-profit organizational archives) reside in an archives or other GLAM institution, then wouldn't the helpfulness of the external link outweigh the spamvertising? Any insight into this issue would be rather appreciated. I wanted to add that I am trying to expand and improve the articles on which I am posting external links to my archive, and trying not to just spam my links around. However, I believe that people should know where the archives of these people/organizations live because they can be valuable research tools; perhaps that need justifies a little link spamming? alifabeta (talk) 20:48, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

'I believe that people should know where the archives of these people/organizations live because they can be valuable research tools ..' .. That is why we have discussion pages and WikiProjects, where you can tell people who are interested in expanding the article where to find material. External links are not there for putting links that may be helpful. Although not necessarily the case, what is often seen is that editors add their resource to every page that has connection, forgetting that the aim of the external link still is to add to the content, and generally add something that can not be included. Moreover, generally the editor is 'close to the fire', so they are the best to actually expand articles and actually help the article forward (and that is sometimes even without adding the external link). I hope this helps. --Dirk Beetstra T C 20:31, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Product examples[edit]

Section Wikipedia:Spam#Be careful when giving examples briefly discusses examples. I observe in many articles that products are pitched as examples of the concepts explained in the articles. Examples:

I would like to see more explicit guidelines here about when it is appropriate to give product examples. We want to avoid that all vendors look for places where to add their product names as examples.

  • What if a rather obscure product is given as an example - and not the well-known products?
  • When is the mention of product examples legitimate? (Not: "A detergent, such as Tide, ...") When the term is clear enough without mentioning products, then product examples should not be given. Should product examples be allowed if the general term is much less well known than the brand names? e.g., Aspirin versus acetylsalicylic acid?
  • Sometimes, brand names become a synonym for a product category. Genericized trademark These should be allowed to be named.
  • Also legitimate: making a List of xxx article. Is this always admissible?
  • Should examples be restricted to a specific Examples section in an article?

--Bikeborg (talk) 15:34, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Your suggestions would be well worthwhile except that it is unlikely that reasonable guidance can be given on the topic because it is vague and its application would all depend on the context of the article. I have removed several product examples from articles because they act as spam magnets, and keep growing (with slow edit wars about which products are listed first). In some cases a few examples of what the article is talking about seemed desirable—in those cases I have trimmed lists down to items with an existing article at Wikipedia (per WP:WTAF).
My only real comments are that it would be hard to devise suitable wording (particularly given that this is not a bureaucracy), and that I do not think mentioning an "Examples" section would be desirable as that rather legitimizes the concept, with some editors inferring that every article "should" have a list of examples in an "Examples" section. Johnuniq (talk) 01:01, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I find myself generally removing all the ', like productx, producty and productz' sentences, even when it are products by the big global companies (do note, that your example 'Tide' may very well be pretty local, I am not familiar with that detergent - I presume you mean 'Dreft' - such examples should be removed for sure). The only reason to leave an example is when an example can be independently referenced as 'being something special', and I think that your genericized trade marks are there a group. Note, that when the reference is to an article just comparing products, that for me is not giving the products 'something special', even if the reference is reliable, independent etc. Those specific examples don't need to be specifically in the example section, they may very well be in the prose where the special feature is explained.
I find list articles dangerous as well, they also tend to be spam-magnets. They tend to be more dependent on the SEO capabilities of the companies involved, than on being independent, and good followers of Wikipedia principles (especially for the less common products, it will be fine for operating systems as that has a lot of watchers and people interested, it is more likely to be spammy for wardrobes, where the articles are watched by few).
A good solution is always: include a {{dmoz}} (directory service) in the external links section - although those lists tend to be incomplete, at least a spammer can't complain that his is not listed and others are. --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:21, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Sure, it is difficult to give very precise and generally applicable guidelines. But that is true for many topics treated here in the Wikipedia namespace. Some more specific guidelines could simplify the life of contributors and reduce edit wars. Should we start by collecting some positive and negatives examples to get a better handle on what the advice should be? --Bikeborg (talk) 15:26, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

How to identify spammers?[edit]

This may not be germane but, how do we know if someone is deliberately acting like a spammer or his actions are based on lack of knowledge about Wikipedia policies?

What I intend to bring in this discussion is, “how far would WP:AGF be applicable in such cases?”

[if you don't mind, please notify me on my talk page, after responding to my questions. BTW, this is not a decree or anything like that. Thank you.]  Brendon is here 19:09, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Report link spam[edit]

How to report link spam, especially if the links are Twitter and Wikia? Thanks. Dede2008 (talk) 15:54, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Report it here, be sure to include details (IP, Accounts, what link is being added..ect..thanks--Hu12 (talk) 16:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales Spam[edit]

How do I disable the internal ads that keep on bugging me about donating? 189.215.203.123 (talk) 19:57, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

By registering for an account. An unregistered reader has no way of adjusting or modifying the Wikipedia experience. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:32, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Specifically, once you have an account, go to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets and click the 'Suppress display of the fundraiser banner' box. SmartSE (talk) 20:50, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

External links have a negative SEO effect?[edit]

There is an interesting discussion at WT:External links#Removing links on request where a site owner wants their external links removed from articles because their presence hurts the site's SEO! Comments about the issue at the other page would be welcome. Johnuniq (talk) 11:12, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Is this SPAM?[edit]

User:Scr206 appears to be an WP:SPA solely concerned with writing about the Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil Rights History Projects and adding links starting with http://depts.washington.edu/labhist/ to wikipedia. Is this SPAM? I thought it was, notifed the user and reverted some of the link additions (but not content additions, which I still think can be merged into something useful), but User:Beyond My Ken differed, reverting a whole bunch of my reversions and other edits. Could someone offer a third opinion please? Stuartyeates (talk) 20:28, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, speaking to the general case, no, I don't think an external link has to be commercial in nature to be considered linkspam. Plastering links to one's favorite nonprofit, charity, or generic noble cause is still linkspam. However, I'm not sure I'd be so quick to call all these links linkspam. Most of them are probably in violation of the external link policy, but they're closely-related enough that I don't think they're spam, per se. (As an aside, I believe that "SPAM" is specifically the meat product; when it's online, it's generally lowercased. Could be wrong, though, and really, who cares.) The point is that, while I don't think that you were necessarily wrong to revert the additions (and some were worse than others), I think they're close enough that (stretching AGF a little bit perhaps) I wouldn't call them spam. So, given that, I don't think that BMK was necessarily wrong to revert you, either. So, we've done the bold part, the revert part, and we're working on the discuss part, so yay, cake and ice cream all 'round. Writ Keeper 20:55, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Private Property Towing[edit]

How can that be listed with Wikipedia — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eric Elam (talkcontribs) 13:10, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

user page spam[edit]

The project pages Conflict of interest, Wikipedia:Spam, and Wikipedia:User pages provide unclear, contradicting, or no info about what to do with spam on a user page. Please discuss at Wikipedia_talk:Conflict_of_interest#user_page_spam. --Espoo (talk) 18:11, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Celebrity athlete endorsements[edit]

There's a discussion ongoing at Talk:ALCAT test about whether articles should include mention of vendor-solicited pro-athlete endorsements of the product described in the article. Said endorsements have been published in usually-RS publications, but we have no way to know what inducements or persuasions the athletes received in order to make such statements to the press. We do know that the company directly reaches out to athletes and trainers to promote the product (it's shown prominently on their website). We also know that the WP article was originally used as advertising by shill accounts, though that has largely been corrected now. Comments on how to address such situations would be helpful.LeadSongDog come howl! 15:53, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

The claim of vendor-solicited pro-athlete endorsements is speculation not based on any real evidence. They aren't even endorsements if you look at the page. They're just reports in reliable sources about how certain athletes have used the test and found it useful in some way. These aren't testimonials like you'd find on a company webpage. Plot Spoiler (talk) 19:39, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Query about citation spam[edit]

Does this constitute WP:CITESPAM? Till 05:41, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

I think the 'spam' label implies an element of bad faith, or at least conflict of interest, that is (probably) not present here. This was most likely a good faith use of a primary source to verify a release date. If a better (secondary, less commercial) source is available it can be replaced, but I see no advantage in removing the table or leaving it unsourced, nor to chastising the user who added it. Kilopi (talk) 21:39, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

myathens.tv/mymykonos.tv[edit]

Resolved

I have come across an advertisement on Elance for someone trying to hire someone else to spam Wikipedia: https://www.elance.com/j/wikipedia-contributor-wanted/37646140 I don't know who I need to message to prevent any spam from this person. Is there any way to block the links to 'myathens.tv' and 'mymykonos.tv' to prevent anybody from adding links to them? Kind regards, Matt (talk) 03:54, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

A taken care of. See WikiProject Spam report and your request. cheers--Hu12 (talk) 04:44, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Together we can make our world a safer place <3 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pamelaness (talkcontribs) 23:12, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Confirmation to protect against automated spam?[edit]

How many edits do I have to make before Wikipedia stops forcing me to enter a code every time I post an EL on a talk page? I am (not) Iron Man (talk) 10:19, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Once your acount is four days old and you've made 10 edits your account will be autoconfirmed and you shouldn't get the captchas anymore. SmartSE (talk) 12:01, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Email Spam from wikipedia.org domain[edit]

Can't find info on reporting abuse from wikipedia.org domain names. I've been getting a lot of recent email spam with @wikipedia.org return addresses, but due to the prevalence of Wikipedia, doing a google search to find where to report spam only turns up wikipedia articles on the subject of spam. -24.130.65.122 (talk) 01:06, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

A good definition of "promotional"[edit]

From Cindamuse's comment on the talk page of a blocked editor:

Mere publicity, promotion, and advertising need not reference sales or reviews pertaining to the quality or feasibility of the subject of the article. Simply announcing the existence of a subject prior to notability would be considered promotional and inappropriate. (emphasis added)

I like it. Useful, short, and to the point. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:30, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Spam blacklist versus Linklove[edit]

I'm going back and forth with a couple of other editors that a link to the current home of the website Encyclopedia Dramatica can't appear on the article's sidebar, or, I suppose, anywhere within the article, because it happens to be on the spam blacklist. I feel the spirit of this policy should allow a redirect, since the purpose of linking to a site that is the subject of an article isn't by any stretch of the imagination "spam" (the article has survived [a record?] 24 WP:AFDs), regardless of the rather WP:BURO matter of its existence on the blacklist. Is this something we should explain more explicitly in this policy, or is it already covered in WP:LINKLOVE, as the link obviously serves an encyclopedic purpose? -- Kendrick7talk 02:59, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

New bot[edit]

This is just a warning message that a new bot has been designed to seek out blacklisted links and tag the pages containing them with {{Spam-links}}.—cyberpower ChatOnline 08:38, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Requested move of Wikipedia:Advertisements[edit]

Hello all. I've just started a requested move discussion for Wikipedia:Advertisements, which has some relation to this guideline. The discussion is at Wikipedia talk:Advertisements#Requested move if anyone is interested. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 15:32, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

What links here and Flow[edit]

Are people still using "what links here" when investigating spam? Do you assume "what links here" will show links on user talk pages? There is a question at WT:Flow#What links here and boards (flow) which reminds me that WP:FLOW will replace user talk pages (probably later this year), and that will radically alter how talk pages work. Johnuniq (talk) 00:58, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Persistent link spamming[edit]

Can anyone advise what the course of action is for someone spamming links? I reverted several links by User:Buckinghamgate to 'direct hotels . co . uk'. That user has now reapeared as GeorgeThomsonSmith who is now reverting my changes and using redirects to hide the final destination to that website. Thundernlightning (talk) 12:31, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Spam blacklist to get the link itself blacklisted, see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard or one of the sub-noticeboards if an editor is being persistently disruptive after being warned. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 19:52, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Ditto on Thunder's question, but is there a more intermediary step to someone spamming links but not doing it persistently (from an IP that we probably don't want to block). Sometimes I see competitors spamming links on articles where I have a COI and I am not sure where to report it. Or in another example, 24.27.48.107 is spamming external links to trustradius.com, which appears to be a crowd-sourced review site. I probably don't want to escalate such a paltry issue to ANI and I have no way to give an IP a warning. WP:COI would suggest I not revert myself. Do admins usually do a short-term block in that case? CorporateM (Talk) 00:02, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Is this refspam?[edit]

LoungeBuddyLucy (talk · contribs) is adding links to www.loungebuddy.com as references in a number of airline-related articles. It sniffs of refspam, but I note she is making constructive edits along the way (e.g., correcting the spelling "MilagePlus" to "MileagePlus"); and all of the points at which she is adding the references are unreferenced. loungebuddy.com appears to be a advertising site for a phone app for finding airport lounges, so not the best of references, but, apart from the apparent COI and factors above, it's arguably an improvement to add a reference to an otherwise unreferenced statement. The additions do not appear to be indiscriminate.

I'm on the fence on whether this is WP:REFSPAM or a legitimate attempt to improve the article. TJRC (talk) 20:37, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Hi there, thank you for your comment. Though loungebuddy.com was initially only a site for a phone app finding airport lounges, it is now also creating great sources concerning all air travel information. Indeed, all the points that I'm adding references were previously unreferenced, and can be found on the pages from the links. This is a legitimate attempt to improve the article. LoungeBuddyLucy (talk) 20:48, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Whether intentional or not, edits like this are definitely refspam and should be reverted. If LoungeBuddyLucy (talk · contribs) is affiliated with www.loungebuddy.com then they shouldn't be adding links to the site. SmartSE (talk) 21:02, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
I've replaced all spam links. Some pages were previously referenced and not unreferenced as user states. A few articles were bombarded repeatedly with the same spam link. 21:16, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Syntax- "how not to be a spammer"[edit]

would read better if written "How to not be a spammer".

The existing sentence reads as if it intends to give the reader advice on how to spam correctly (or not spam incorrectly). I got a chuckle out of this, but to increase the legitimacy of the article / not confuse syntax-naïve readers, it might be best to consider a change to the latter example. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.98.209.7 (talk) 05:00, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

You make a good point. "How not to eat dinner" sounds like advice on things to avoid while eating dinner, "How to not eat dinner" sounds like advice on not eating dinner. Chillum 05:03, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Liliane Bettencourt Scam Suggestion[edit]

There looks to be a 4th form of Wikipedia spam now, where a Wikipedia page is used as verification as part of an e-mail scam. There is currently an e-mail doing the rounds using the article Liliane Bettencourt as the basis of verifying the subject:

Hello,
I, Liliane authenticate this email. You can read about me on:  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liliane_Bettencourt
I write to you because I intend to give to you a portion of my Net-worth, hoping it would be of help to you and others too. Respond for confirmation.

With love,
Liliane Bettencourt

----------------------------------------------------------------
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.

There is almost an edit war in progress with multiple contributors adding a message of warning to alert unsuspecting people who may have received the e-mail, however each of these are being quickly removed citing no reliable sources. Some contributors have attempted to invoke WP:Ignore All Rules, but this was rejected as it does not meet WP:GNG or WP:EVENT, this does not seem to fit the norm.

How should scenarios like this be handled? The multiple edits are disruptive, yet I can understand the justification behind them. It does not seem this type of situation is catered for in WP policies. Some discussion here: Talk:Liliane Bettencourt Screech1616 (talk) 12:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC) Screech1616 (talk) 12:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Every time I get on Wikipedia[edit]

I continue to read on Wikipedia only to get the $3.00 spam promotions. Really tired of it. Most of the clowns doing the editing are so anal that if you change anything (even if true), it's removed. The editors are now paranoid. No more spam please! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.60.98.146 (talk) 20:35, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Ventom[edit]

The following user accounts have been spamming for a company variously called Ventom Network India, Ventom Media, Ventom International Motion Corp, Ventom India, etc.:

Some of the users have already been blocked. A SPI is probably needed, but thought I should flag it up here too. Thanks, Dai Pritchard (talk) 15:46, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Comment: an SPI has already been started at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Kubekosh. Dai Pritchard (talk) 17:07, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

More eyeballs please - Jgzheng[edit]

Jgzheng (talk · contribs) / 24.30.12.49 (talk · contribs)

Specifically :

I reverted a few run-of-the-mill self-promotion ELs today, plugging some undergrad essays (when they can't even spell "Burners-Lee" right they're not that good). Next edit and they're back. As I don't want to be accused of WP:OWN (Catching some flak for that at ANI today) I'd appreciate if a few others could keep an eye on things. Thanks Andy Dingley (talk) 22:56, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

- jgzheng: the resources are legit published book chapters and put in the right section of book chapters. I would consider as a personal attack to say it is undergrad essay. Wikipedia clearly need editors that need to read other encyclopedia articles otherwise better articles go somewhere else. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jgzheng (talkcontribs) 00:04, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Comments appreciated on a draft of article for Signpost about spam[edit]

I have decided to write an essay for the Signpost about the problem I see with certain type of spam. Please leave comments at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Spam#Lots_of_articles_about_companies_and_products_are_failing_notability. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:50, 26 March 2015 (UTC)


Mention of non-notable awards in pornography articles[edit]

There is a discussion on how to address non-notable awards in pornography articles: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Pornography#Mention_of_non-notable_awards_in_articles. We'd appreciate help creating consensus on when and how such awards are mentioned in pornography biographies and related articles. Thank you. --Ronz (talk) 16:08, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

WP:ADMASK instead of WP:ADMASQ[edit]

I love the redirect WP:ADMASQ, which User:ukexpat created. However it occurs to me that WP:ADMASK might be an even clearer way to spell it here on the target page, as one of the 3 listed aliases -- with the benefit that "mask" is a real word, easy to remember, and related to the root meaning of an spam article "masking" its intention. Anyone agree? Shawn in Montreal (talk) 16:41, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

(Note to others: This is at Wikipedia:Redirects_for_discussion/Log/2015_May_31#ADMASQ, which is currently still open). I think ADMASQ is unnecessary given the other three. I think the right place for this discussion is at Redirects for Discussion, rather than split the discussion. Without prejudice, I have marked all four in the sidebox as {{R to section}} and {{R from shortcut}}. Si Trew (talk) 06:53, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

how i protect my page from deleting[edit]

check-mark
This help request has been answered. If you need more help, you can ask another question on your talk page, contact the responding user(s) directly on their user talk page, or consider visiting the Teahouse.

how i cam protect my page from deleting — Preceding unsigned comment added by AliAzam150 (talkcontribs) 13:17, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Please stop trying to write about yourself on Wikipedia, you're not notable. — Jeraphine (talk) 13:37, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm sorry, but you can't, because Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and is not for that sort of page. If you want to write about yourself, you need a place like Facebook or LinkedIn. More explanation on your talk page. JohnCD (talk) 13:42, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Proposal: a new task force to ID spammy entries on companies[edit]

In reference to my Signpost OP-ED at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-04-08/Op-ed and the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-09-02/Special report, where User:Smallbones predicted "There's a new scandal every 3-6 months on related topics" (and here we are) I think we need a new approach. We should start reviewing (purging...) categories about Companies from the spam entries. As I noted, it's not "one in ten", in my experience, based on what fails WP:NCOMPANY, it is more like "Two out three". Again, I spend several hours today, nominated a dozen or so spam entries, and again I am depressed at how little this seem to have changed. There are thousands of entries we need to review, prod and follow up with AfD if needed. Any ideas on how to go about that would be helpful. Pinging editors who indicated an interest in discussing this further: User:GamerPro64, User:KieranTribe, User:Elekhh, User:Maury Markowitz, User:The Banner, User:Brandmeister, User:Blue Riband, User:MER-C, User:Randykitty, User:Staszek Lem, User:DGG. The best I have been able to come out is some paste-in templates that shave at least a little bit from writing out each new PROD/AFD: User:Piotrus/Templates. But we need more . Polish Wikipedia has a built-in "delete this article" link in the left-side "Tools" that would be very helpful to import, for example. (Click, write a rationale, select a WikiProject to notify, and the script will finish the nom, list it, and notify the author). But what we also need is some kind of serious collaboration drive, aimed at reviewing and deleting those entries. Something like a deletionist contest, perhaps... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 09:11, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Install WP:Twinkle! It automates a lot of fiddly tasks, including speedy requests and AfDs. It works pretty much exactly as you said: just click on Twinkle's XfD widget when you're at any article, fill out the deletion reason in the form that pops up, and Twinkle does the rest. --Ashenai (talk) 09:21, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
TW is also cause for concern. By over-automating "fail bad" tasks like AfDs, I believe it ends up doing harm - not as much harm as good, but still, harm. Now the good news is that additional work on the tool could address this, but it seems there is little community support for this. Maury Markowitz (talk) 11:57, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
I think we do not need extra tools, what we need is backup by the admins and community. Making an end to the inaction of editors after a comment like "This can be solved by normal editing" can help a lot (and ignoring those comments at AfD followed by removal of the spammy article). And assistance of admins when removal of spam leads to repeated re-introduction of the spam. The Banner talk 09:33, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
In reply to the two comments - a new tool isn't exactly what's needed, what's needed is effort being thrown into this & possibly a way of narrowing down new pages to only show companies? Maybe a bot that throws new company pages into a new company pages cat for ease of clearing the backlog. We have the tools but not the people, and there's too much brute work in finding the pages. KieranTribe 09:40, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree, people are needed. Tools are great but templates are rash, mistakes happen and feathers are ruffled. -- Luk talk 10:12, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Aye. I'll take a look at how WP bots work - I work as a freelance web designer so shouldn't be too difficult to learn and grab something to patrol new pages + categorize companies. KieranTribe 10:15, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I regularly trawl the old "new pages" feed (must more useful for this than then the new curation feed, as I can display the latest 1000 articles on a single page) for the "conflict of interest" tag and delete a good part of that as G11 or A7. It also leads to a fair number of blocks for username violations. But there's a lot I don't see this way, of course, because dedicated COI editors have figured out that it isn't smart to name your account "Foo Company" if that's what you're writing about... As the other comments above indicate, a much larger problem is the reticence of many editors, admins included, to get involved with this sort of thing (I posted a case of a few COI/SPA editors ganging up on mpe at ANI a week ago and not a single uninvolved editor has responded to that yet), or who !vote "keep" in an AfD at the slightest indication that something might be notable, without ever adding any sources they list during the AfD to the article, let alone editing it to clean up promotional stuff. And even less put it on their watch lists to guard against future insertion of spammy material. Twinkle makes PRODding an article or taking it to AfD a matter of seconds, especially if you store somewhere the most often-used rationales so that you don't have to re-type them all the time. A working cat for new company articles would be helpful. However, note that companies are just a part of the problem. There are also many spammy articles on organizations, magazines, and persons, to name some other categories that I often see come by. What is needed is eyes and support from the wider community. And the wider problem needs to be addressed, too: the whole spam problem is just a reflection of the fact that with the phenomenal growth that WP has seen in the past years, with the 5th millionth article due any day now, our emphasis should slowly move towards maintenance, rather than creating ever more articles on marginally notable subjects that then subsequently nobody will keep an eye on, opening the doors to spammers and vandals. --Randykitty (talk) 10:17, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Aye, definitely. But I think the idea of this is focusing on a specific area of the issue instead of the issue in general: if we can nullify the backlog of irrelevant minor company articles, we'll hit the general backlog pretty hard and then move onto another issue. If our efforts are spread, we get 80% of new articles and barely touch the backlog. I hope WP doesn't inflate indefinitely, aye. KieranTribe 10:55, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
      • I think we can benefit from bot-made deletion notifications for every prodded article categorized as Business in the deletion request. These notifications would be posted at talkpages of all users participating in the Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam, Wikipedia:WikiProject Companies and Wikipedia:WikiProject Business. There are a total of 603 participants in those three projects. While I don't nominate many articles for deletion, I'm ready to vote on every such article under deletion. Brandmeistertalk 11:04, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Agreed... Though I think we need to find a way to get the articles there in the first place for that really to be a large help... KieranTribe 11:10, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
          • I'd support the creation of such a task force, we can draw users from the said related projects Companies and Business. One issue is that since bots can't effectively evaluate article notability, such task should be performed by humans anyway. Brandmeistertalk 12:06, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
            • Aye. The solution is to recruit more gnomes to WP and prod veterans here. I threw a link to this over at the GOCE earlier. KieranTribe 12:43, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Any such mailing lsit notification as is discussed above, aimed at a mailing list oriented to deletion, would in my view constitute canvassing and vote-stacking, potentially blockable offenses. DES (talk) 12:13, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

I agree that the problem is not in tools; the problem is that too much slack is given to businesses and products. Many a time I got frustrated when the Afd-"keepers" vote, like, "keep, much coverage". In fact the whole coverage is PR babble; i.e., what is called "business as usual". And from what I hear, it is easily done by paid-socks.

Therefore I would suggest stricter rules enforcement:

  • (1) Disallow non-admin closure of business-related AfDs (or set a very high experience threshold)
  • (2) Closers make sure that independent sources in the article say that the business has a better mousetrap or otherwise distinguished
  • (3) Closers must thoroughly verify true independence of coverage. the following must unconditionally be treated as COI sources
    • press-releases
    • profiles in trade magazines
    • interviews with COI people
    • company websites
    • clearly non-independent, hearsay-type newspaper articles
    • ?? anything else?
  • (4) ?? anything else ??
  • (5) If the above conditions are violated, there should be a fast-track for deletion during deletion review.

In addition, I didn't check myself right now, but WP:GNG in business-related areas must reflect the fact that it is an order of "business as usual" that every startup generates huge amount of buzz, which should be discounted. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:33, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

That seems very valid. We very much need to clarify that press articles on "business as usual" should not be sufficient for notability. There are tens of thousands of companies - probably hundreds if we go outside English - who can say they had been covered by some minor trade publication/regional newspaper/paid-PR outlet masquerading as one of those once or twice. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:44, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
  • The above would be a significant change to deletion policy, which I for one would oppose. DES (talk) 12:13, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Significance[edit]

As well as WP:GNG, articles have to pass the requirement of expressing significance in order to not be speedy deleted under WP:A7. If we see an article on a company/website etc that seems to have plenty of references but does not indicate why it is important then that is arguably sufficient reason to speedily delete. I've just found Soda PDF which seems to be a good example of this (although in this case I opted to PROD it instead). WaggersTALK 09:49, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

That is incorrect. If a page passes the WP:GNG it is presumably notable. a credible claim of significance is a lower bar than notability, any page with a notable subject an not eligible for an A7 deletion. I would decline any such speedy and warn the tagger. I think most admins would do likewise. DES (talk) 12:09, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

"Companies"[edit]

Ordinary profit making companies (and their executives) are no more than half the problem. Non-profits of various sorts are an equal problem, although they are sometimes less aggressive about it. They do use staff PR people and outside PR agencies to write spammy articles about themselves and their leaders. They too have fallen for some of the schemes of the undeclared paid editors. They too have often gotten away with it because nobody is interested in pursing they deletions. They too use puffery and try to pass off minor mentions as significant references. They too try to insert inappropriate web-site contents: minor officers, trivial activities. And they are even more likely to get away with it because people here tend to be somewhat less hostile. Many of us sympathize more with the purposes of many of these organizations than we do with the those of profit-making business.Given the life-sexperiences of most of us, this is understandable, but it is equaly incompatible with the making of a npov encyclopedia. DGG ( talk ) 22:54, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

I agree with all the sentiments here; I just chose for-profit businesses as the low-hanging fruits - I think they are the the type of a spammer that have the least support for in our community. If we go after NGOs or artists or such, I think more feathers will be ruffled, sigh. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:53, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Support problem statement[edit]

Piotrus, sorry I can't be more specific right now in support of any particular proposal but I saw your complaint elsewhere that not a single person agreed with your position with corpspam is a problem. So: I agree, corpspam is a serious problem. I've personally been trying to combat it via the COIN process and I'll probably stay there barring any really fundamental change in Wikipedia processes. I've also made some really concrete suggestions for fighting said spam at User:Doc James/Paid editing. If anybody reading this hasn't seen that yet, it's full of really interesting ideas, some of which are sure non-starters, but some that could be developed. — Brianhe (talk) 00:22, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Proposals[edit]

Please see two of my recent proposals at NCOMPANY for how to tighten the requirements on sources (and why): Are trade magazines/portals acceptable? and Companies notable for one event. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:18, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Phishing[edit]

I know this is a little off-topic, but is there a place to deal with phishing sites on Wikipedia as well? I recently struck out references to a site that had been hijacked to include a phishing page. WP:PHISHING was of no help, as it described a wiki-phishing incident.

Phishing, which is basically just a rogue version of spam, could be a serious problem to readers, so I just wanted to know where I can get referred to deal with phishing sites. epic genius (talk) 01:55, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

If you get no replies here (this project does not seem very active), try the WP:VP. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:26, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
@Piotrus: OK, cross-posted at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy). epic genius (talk) 17:41, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Link in citation to personal website[edit]

More than two months ago I posted a Request Edit here regarding an edit here that added a citation to a website self-identified as someone's "personal portfolio". It looked like an obvious self-citation spam to me added by an IP address with no other edits. If anyone has a minute to take a look, it would be appreciated. I am not suppose to edit on account of a COI and nobody has responded to my request to remove the linkbait for months. David King, Ethical Wiki (Talk) 20:29, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

@CorporateM: Yes check.svg Done Sunrise (talk) 01:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks @Sunrise:! If you have a minute, there is a similar issue here. David King, Ethical Wiki (Talk) 17:55, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
@CorporateM: Yes check.svg Done Sunrise (talk) 00:21, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

A template for blanking spam articles?[edit]

I've just seen a "Cheap shared hosting [phone number redacted] phone number@ website hosting india phone number. cheap website hostingservices india phone number" article get speedy deleted, and it was around for five minutes (and appearing in Google results) with an article body containing whatever SEO keyword splurge the spammer wanted.

Would it be useful to have a variant of {{courtesy blanked}} which explained that a page has been blanked for being unambiguous spam, and which added WP:NOINDEX, to reduce the incentive to spammers to create this kind of article? --McGeddon (talk) 11:25, 21 January 2016 (UTC)