There are two basic types of spam: advertisements hidden as articles and robot-made link spamming. Articles that are advertisements include those that are selling things for a business, product or service, or are public relations pieces designed to make a company or individual look better. Wikispam articles are usually marked for deletion. However, a difference should be made between spam articles and good, information-filled articles about commercial businesses, websites, or anything like that.

Advertisements disguised as articlesEdit

Obvious examples of advertising can be quickly deleted by putting {{qd|spam}} or {{qd|g11}} on the articles. Other advertisements posted on Wikipedia can be dealt with by listing them on Wikipedia:Requests for deletion. Sometimes, the content can be removed just for a little while if there's a suspected copyvio, since the text is often copied from another website and posted.

When an article on an otherwise good for an encyclopedia topic has the tone of an advertisement, the article can often be saved by rewriting it in a neutral point of view.

Other website spammingEdit

A few groups now appear to have a spambot that can spam wikis from several different wiki engines. They know of a few hundred wikis. Typically, they add links to other websites. Like blog spam, their aim is to improve their search engine rankings, not to directly advertise their product. It can still be a nuisance (bother). Fortunately, a nofollow HTML tag is added to external links on all WMF projects.

If you see a bot putting in links to other websites, please consider checking the other language wikis to see if the attack is widespread. If it is, please tell a sysop on the meta-wiki; they can put in a Wikimedia-wide text filter. Any meta sysop can edit the Wikimedia-wide spam blacklist to add or remove the words that are recognized by the filter, with the changes taking effect immediately. New links can also be added to the list if a new spammer should start making them.

Sysops are allowed to and should block uninvited bots on sight. Spam bots should be treated the same as vandalbots. Edits by spambots constitute unauthorised defacement of websites, which is against the law in many countries, and may result in complaints to ISPs and (ultimately) prosecution.

Related pagesEdit