Help fight advertising

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Re: Help fight advertising

SimonPoole
While I don't think supporting specific, rather questionable business
models, is something we should expend a lot of effort on, improving the
tooling for individual businesses to maintain an entry in OSM is (and a
serious SEO shop could easily use such tools).

Some may have already had a look at
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSMyBiz  which is not quite ready
for prime time yet, but due to be released rsn, There's a test instance
running against the dev sandbox, but I need to check with Stefan if we
at this stage should be pointing to it, or not simply waiting for the
release version.

Simon


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Re: Help fight advertising

Greg Morgan
In reply to this post by Frederik Ramm

On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 3:44 PM, Frederik Ramm <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

* Contact the mapper responsible and politely ask them to fix it and/or
stop adding advertising. In most cases, since these are throwaway
accounts created by professional spammers, you won't receive a response
but when in doubt, try it.
 
* Use the business contact information provided to call/email them and
ask which SEO firm they have paid to add data to OSM, and explain how
this volunteer project is damaged by the actions of the SEO firm and
that this also tarnishes the business reputation. Recommended if you
like a little fight; some SEO operations have already been stopped from
abusing OSM that way.

* Should we have some MapRoulette task or OSMCha automatism or OSMI view
to detect potential advertising?
 
 
The data is in CSV format with the columns:

date_last_edited,object,created_by,last_edited_by,name,description


http://www.remote.org/frederik/tmp/us-seo.txt

 Frederik,

Thank you for the cleanup that you have done.  As of late my changesets have focused on addressing and additional cleanup of Search Engine Optimization, SEO, spam in Arizona.  In the case of SEO spam you might just be wasting your time trying to contact them.*  Here are two examples of SEO spam that I finally deleted.



The first set of links are actually in Arizona while the second set of links are for a company in Washington State.  I tried contacting the owner of the first set of links*.  I received no response.  I provide these ids because it would be interesting if someone can look into the OSM database and see if these SEO mappers used the same SEO spam email address company i.e. [hidden email].  If so, then a black list filter at the OSM signup level could be a great tool to fight the spam.  I also wonder if a black list service such as https://www.spamhaus.org/organization/dnsblusage/ might help or if we can use the service.  I would think that OSM qualifies at under 100,000 emails/accounts a day.  Anyhow, many months after my email* and around 11 months in OSM, I finally deleted both of these spam nodes.  It feels like my email went to the spammers and not the business owner.  I also wonder about the user account.  Has the spammer still won if the name is not change to user_xxxxx and the contact email removed?  I also found it interesting that mapper Владимир%20К  thought it important to undo some of Frederik's changes as can be seen in the history for these nodes.

I am not sure that a MapRoulette task would be of helpful but that may be worth a try.  Your OSM Inspector address overlay[1] has been a great tool for hunting down the SEO spammers and advertisement. 


Where your address checker helped on this address was that the house number was in the general range of address numbers but Camelback Road is way south of this location.  That address came up as a nice red shinny dot in a residential area.  Mapillary sequences on Camelback Road would make it easier to add the address at the correct location verses moving the address.  Resolution delete.  A MapRoulette challenge for a mapper outside my local area may take a large effort to correct the address verses my quick determination. As an example,  Владимир%20К, from Russia could not determine that these were bad addresses and not worth saving.  In another set of changes[2], a mapper from Germany could not determine that 1 was the wrong address number for the area.  We need additional tools with address number ranges and zipcode boundaries to detect these issues.  Moreover, the US states need to be treated like individual countries in Europe.  Pascal's OSM tool does not help me at a state level when the whole US is treated as one blob.

Several years ago I had two mappers add a bunch of addr:* tags in my mapping area then disappear.  All those red streets in OSMI made for an ineffective tool.  The red from the streets reduced the effectiveness of detecting bad addresses/spam.  I have cleaned up most of these streets now.   Now I can use OSMI to also detect street names that have been changed to business names by SEO or other kinds of map spammers.  Of course that only works if I have address coverage to match.  In this cause, all of the address nodes would turn red.

The last set of links that I provide you is also number two in Frederiks' Arizona list. I will soon be deleting this spam. Now people _please don't click_ on the URL in the node if you do not like birthday suits. I believe this was really was a yoga place at one time but now is into some other new age stuff.  Yet this kind of spam is just a redirect to a birthday suite social media site.

I hope these ideas help other mappers cope with the problem.

Regards,
Greg



* Dear Kyle,

Your firm represents two areas that need careful work and pay close attention to detail. Either you paid someone or a person in your firm made this edit below in OpenStreetMap, OSM.  The problem is that when I search for your firm in OSM, I find your Main Street address out by Usery Mountain Regional Park.  I certainly wouldn't want to drive there.  I noticed that all your other social media placements have the right location.  However, for OSM the perception of your detailed work does not look like you care about "small fry".  The perception is that you would not pay attention to my small account for estate planning, tax returns, and what not.  Would you please go back to your website host or whomever made this change and have them correct it?  The current effort is damaging your firm's perception.


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Re: Help fight advertising

Shawn K. Quinn
In reply to this post by Frederik Ramm
On 03/01/2018 04:44 PM, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> there have also been situations where a local mapper had diligently
> copied a business's sales slogan into the description tag and was
> then upset to see this removed.

If they are upset about it, tough turkey, it doesn't belong there.

> As more and more SEO firms start dumping their stuff onto OSM (and
> here I am not talking about those who actually talk to us and listen,
> but those who don't care), this is becoming a fight that needs to be
> fought by the community as a whole.

My approach this morning was different. I did an Overpass query for a
huge chunk of Texas (west of San Antonio, then going east including
Austin, Houston, and most suburbs, going to somewhere east of Beaumont)
for anything with a description tag. I then saved the layer from JOSM
and edited each occurrence of the description tag by hand (which also
made it easier to do things like just change "description" to "name"). I
made a few other related edits and submitted as changeset 57284276.
Generally speaking, I purged anything that looked like it was trying to
sell me on the business, including ad-copy-like descriptions of local
libraries. I also deleted any description=* that was duplicative of the
content of name=* or which added no useful information, and added
appropriate tags where description=* had been used by a sloppy/lazy
mapper to say things like "bowling alley" or to include opening hours.

By the time I had gotten around to doing this, I had completely
forgotten about the CSV export, though I was able to go through the
entire chunk I had exported with my text editor in the span of a
half-hour or so (I did a search for "description" and just kept hitting
"next match" when ready to move on).

My Java programming skills are nearly non-existent, but it is tempting
to (re-)learn enough to write a plugin to automate the process from
within JOSM, perhaps naming it something like "AdTerminator".

--
Shawn K. Quinn <[hidden email]>
http://www.rantroulette.com
http://www.skqrecordquest.com

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Re: Help fight advertising

Jordan Brod
I went looking for any information printed in guidelines or code of conduct about advertising in the attributes of a feature and I couldn't find where it is approved/prohibited or even mentioned.  Does anybody know where the rule against this is?

On Mar 18, 2018 6:42 PM, "Shawn K. Quinn" <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 03/01/2018 04:44 PM, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> there have also been situations where a local mapper had diligently
> copied a business's sales slogan into the description tag and was
> then upset to see this removed.

If they are upset about it, tough turkey, it doesn't belong there.

> As more and more SEO firms start dumping their stuff onto OSM (and
> here I am not talking about those who actually talk to us and listen,
> but those who don't care), this is becoming a fight that needs to be
> fought by the community as a whole.

My approach this morning was different. I did an Overpass query for a
huge chunk of Texas (west of San Antonio, then going east including
Austin, Houston, and most suburbs, going to somewhere east of Beaumont)
for anything with a description tag. I then saved the layer from JOSM
and edited each occurrence of the description tag by hand (which also
made it easier to do things like just change "description" to "name"). I
made a few other related edits and submitted as changeset 57284276.
Generally speaking, I purged anything that looked like it was trying to
sell me on the business, including ad-copy-like descriptions of local
libraries. I also deleted any description=* that was duplicative of the
content of name=* or which added no useful information, and added
appropriate tags where description=* had been used by a sloppy/lazy
mapper to say things like "bowling alley" or to include opening hours.

By the time I had gotten around to doing this, I had completely
forgotten about the CSV export, though I was able to go through the
entire chunk I had exported with my text editor in the span of a
half-hour or so (I did a search for "description" and just kept hitting
"next match" when ready to move on).

My Java programming skills are nearly non-existent, but it is tempting
to (re-)learn enough to write a plugin to automate the process from
within JOSM, perhaps naming it something like "AdTerminator".

--
Shawn K. Quinn <[hidden email]>
http://www.rantroulette.com
http://www.skqrecordquest.com

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Re: Help fight advertising

Frederik Ramm
Hi,

On 19.03.2018 01:08, Jordan Brod wrote:
> I went looking for any information printed in guidelines or code of
> conduct about advertising in the attributes of a feature and I couldn't
> find where it is approved/prohibited or even mentioned.  Does anybody
> know where the rule against this is?

Firstly, many rules in OSM are not written down. Just because there's no
policy that says "don't do X" doesn't mean that X is welcome in OSM, or
that someone who got their X deleted has a legitimate basis for a complaint.

The current situation with written rules is that
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:description
says "Never use description=* to add advertising messages.", and
more generally our "How We Map" rules
(http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/How_We_Map) say that what you add
must be truthful and verifiable, both of which is rarely the case for
advertising.

Bye
Frederik

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Re: Help fight advertising

Jordan Brod
"Firstly, many rules in OSM are not written down"

So while I get that OSM is an evolving and collaborative effort, don't you think that having unwritten rules leads to less collaboration and less civil interactions?  We have a code of conduct for behavior, guidelines for using the data, import guidelines, etc. Would it not be a good thing to adopt a set of conduct or guidelines for editing?  Put it in one place and stick it in the walkthrough for using the browser editor.  Get the voting members to agree to it so that it has authority.  Otherwise it comes off as, "Hey a bunch of us don't like this and so we are going to delete it."  That can catch innocent contributors up and they might decide not to contribute again.

Just for clarification, I don't support putting advertising in the description or spam.  I just find it a little to vague when things aren't obviously spelled out and we'll defined.  Looking at the key wiki entry it simply says "advertising" and "spam" without offering a definition of either terms.  Someone could put description= "A discount/low price store".  It may be an accurate description of a thrift store, but it could also be considered advertising.  Low Price is an often used advertising phrase.  I know that common sense drives a lot of this and that we are all using the best of intentions and discretion to work on this, I just want to make sure it's all crystal clear.  For one thing I don't want to make edits multiple times or have edits deleted for violating unwritten rules.  I know my personality and I wouldn't try to fix the area and I wouldn't try to map in that area again. I would let the rollback stand.

Thanks for the great discussion and for pointing out where that prohibition was.  Hopefully I didn't upset anyone, I just want to help make the map better.

On Mar 19, 2018 6:28 AM, "Frederik Ramm" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

On 19.03.2018 01:08, Jordan Brod wrote:
> I went looking for any information printed in guidelines or code of
> conduct about advertising in the attributes of a feature and I couldn't
> find where it is approved/prohibited or even mentioned.  Does anybody
> know where the rule against this is?

Firstly, many rules in OSM are not written down. Just because there's no
policy that says "don't do X" doesn't mean that X is welcome in OSM, or
that someone who got their X deleted has a legitimate basis for a complaint.

The current situation with written rules is that
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:description
says "Never use description=* to add advertising messages.", and
more generally our "How We Map" rules
(http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/How_We_Map) say that what you add
must be truthful and verifiable, both of which is rarely the case for
advertising.

Bye
Frederik

--
Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail [hidden email]  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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