OpenStreetMap

What to do to avoid such fake accounts

Posted by Pieren on 25 December 2013 in English (English)

Such user account: http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/2%20man%20tents

is created for google ranking. I've seen similars in the wiki and forum. What is the part of real user accounts in OSM. How can we believe the OSM stats about registered users ?

To avoid such things, one idea could be to disallow user's profile description until a first edit is done in OSM db (or, at least, forbid external URL's)

My 2 cents

Comment from Tordanik on 26 December 2013 at 09:46

As a first step to combat the spam it would be helpful to introduce a way for users to easily "flag"/"report" spammy user pages and comments so that they can effectively be dealt with. Such a functionality is built into the forum software, but elsewhere it's always quite cumbersome to actually bring it to someone's attention when I see spam.

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Comment from Vincent de Phily on 26 December 2013 at 23:17

The usual counter-argument to "wait until edits are made to allow potentialy spamy features" is that spamers will end up automatically doing an edit to unlock the features... Which would be even more damaging to OSM.

One thing I would like to see is deleting contribution-less accounts after a while (say 6 months), automatically and with a notification message. It's not as good a spam filter, but it should avoid the arms race.

The other avenue of work, as Tordanik suggests, is to make it easyer for any contributor to flag bad accounts / contributions. Maybe the admins will need to recruit more spam-deleters/; I'm sure they'll let us know if they get overworked.

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Comment from xeen on 1 January 2014 at 18:52

The links are already marked as "nofollow", which lets search engines know that this is a user created link and potentially might contain spam. In other words, this link does not contribute towards the ranking of the linked site. You can find the details in ¹.

Obviously, preventing such spam accounts would be nice, although I can’t think of a "perfect" solution to this issue.

¹ https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en

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