August 05, 2009

DMOZ Editor Corruption Shock (2)

When I first ridiculed the tiresome campaign against ODP/DMOZ volunteers by disaffected webmasters (and thwarted abusers), I highlighted the complete absence of any proof for their vacuous accusations, and naively hoped that it might embarrass them into admitting their fabrications and delusions.
No chance.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see"*

Sadly, the steady stream of vitriol continues, directed at volunteer editors whose only fault is not spending some of their hobby time listing the (apparently) fantastic site(s) owned by the person yelling at them. And of course these critics never have the evidence to report the "abuse" they keep alleging.

It's certainly hard to see any hidden agenda here ...
because their self-interest is so obvious.

How can anyone believe the histrionic complaints of people who have themselves tried and failed to subvert the free and open source nature of the Open Directory?
And how ridiculous do these hypocrites appear when they cannot even produce ONE piece of evidence to support their strident claims?

During a very trying year frequenting one of the forums where these people air their conspiracy theories, I was repeatedly told that the "proof" of editorial corruption (including, apparently, my own) could be found in the numerous freelancer auction sites where misguided webmasters offer to pay for a listing in ODP/DMOZ (which, remember, is free).

Of course such offers result in the permanent ban from DMOZ of all that webmaster's sites, but to determinedly unthinking types, the fact that someone tries to bribe an editor is "proof" that an editor has been bribed. Er, right.

Let's all hope none of these idiots or their followers ever does jury duty.

*There are many references. One is Jeremiah 5:21- "Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not". Yep. That fits perfectly.

ADDED in March 2011: Before you click the Comment button, please read this post. Thank you.


pvgool said...

I completely agree with you about these matters. Although sometimes they do have a point. As editors we know that sometimes there is an abusive editor, he/she will be removed an the editings checked and corrected where needed. But this is, luckely, an exception. Most editors are hardworking, trustworthy people. Just as in the world outside DMOZ.

"the fact that someone tries to bribe an editor is "proof" that an editor has been bribed"
I have seen these post but that is not what they claim. For them the proof is in the positive feedbacks these bribes are getting after the project is fullfilled.

Problem with this all is that we can not prove to them that there was no abuse and neither can they prove that there was abuse. So these discussions on that forum (or elsewhere) are useless.

Mak said...

"For them the proof is in the positive feedbacks these bribes are getting after the project is fullfilled."
I disagree. The positive feedback is always unrelated to any listing of the sites.
Here's what happens:
1. A misguided webmaster offers to pay for a free DMOZ listing.
2. Dishonest people offer to make that happen, without having any way of doing it, for the simple reason that they are not editors.
3. They suggest the site (just as the webmaster could have done for himself!) and then claim that their suggestion will be reviewed and listed before long.
4. The gullible webmaster is thrilled.
5. The site is never listed.

So in fact the webmaster ended up paying for his site to be permanently banned - hardly worthy of positive feedback!

Marshall from Fish Oil Blog said...

Hi Mak,

I can understand a lot of peoples' frustration with DMOZ, and suspecting corruption with the editors.

In my case, I have been operating a blog about fish oil for 5 years now. Because of my passion and consistency in blogging about new studies, my site is now #2 in Google. I submitted to DMOZ a year after I started the site and was promptly accepted:

A year later, I was still there:

Once I started showing up on the first page of google for "fish oil," (I believe in 2008, maybe 07), my DMOZ listing vanished. I have tried a handful of times to resubmit, but have had no success. Since I was first listed, my site has quadrupled in content and yet somehow it's now considered not a useful resource? I can't think of any reason it would be removed, so my mind naturally (though perhaps unfairly) wonders about the purity of that editor's intent.

Anyway, don't mean to dump my sob story on you, but just thought I'd chime in and share my story. Thanks for listening.

Fish Oil

Mak said...

Thanks for the comment, Marshall, but there are many reasons other than editor error or abuse to account for your site disappearing from view. There is also no need to wonder if the site is still worthy of inclusion, because you can check that for yourself:

As you can read there, "no site is guaranteed a permanent listing", and many hundreds of sites are moved around every single day, as the directory grows and changes, and as sites themselves change.
Far and away the most likely scenario is that your site was simply moved to a more suitable category, and provided it still meets the above criteria, it will no doubt be relisted at some stage.

Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with suggesting it again, but once is enough. Repeated suggestions not only waste everyone's time, but if excessive, can lead to your being treated as a spammer, which would be very unfortunate.

I hope this has helped you to understand our processes a little more. :-)

Marshall from Fish Oil Blog said...

How long does it take to get approved or rejected?

Mak said...

I presume you are not referring to the listing of a site suggestion (which is more than adequately answered above) but to applications to become an editor, as discussed in an exchange of comments I removed as being of no interest to anyone else. ;-)

The answer is that there can be no known time frame involved, because like all editor activities, reviewing applications is done by volunteers (in this case, meta-editors).

However, there is a specific forum in the editor-run Resource Zone for asking about the status of your application, but please be sure to follow the instructions at the top of that forum.


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