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poor business listing edits

Nevw
Just a heads up that there has been a rash of poor edits in the past 24 hours or so with new editors listing their businesses but in doing so many have accidentally shifted other mapped items or added the wrong tags to their edits.


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Re: poor business listing edits

Andrew Harvey-3
This is a global problem, happening in other regions too, just unfortunate we're caught up in this as it's a real waste of time dealing with it.

In a couple of recent ones they were trying to pan in iD but dragged features instead by accident, breaking other features.  I've reverted these completely. Since they are done by an SEO who obviously has no respect for OSM, let's not waste our time to try to filter out the useful parts (if any!).

The ones which didn't damage other features, I've left in, but at the same time have no issues with them simply being reverted when they match all the hallmark signs of this kind of spam.

On 10 May 2018 at 08:26, nwastra <[hidden email]> wrote:
Just a heads up that there has been a rash of poor edits in the past 24 hours or so with new editors listing their businesses but in doing so many have accidentally shifted other mapped items or added the wrong tags to their edits.


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Re: poor business listing edits

Warin
In reverting, OSM looses the information that these new people made.
OSM also looses a potential new mapper, as I doubt they will return following their attempted addition being removed.

There are large additions in some parts of the world being made from commercial firms - eg petrol stations. These too are a form of 'spam'.
I have no problem with a firm adding their details to the map... spam? Yes, it is a form of advertising... but they can only add facts .. no flummery. So I am for it.

OSM also . On 10/05/18 10:11, Andrew Harvey wrote:
This is a global problem, happening in other regions too, just unfortunate we're caught up in this as it's a real waste of time dealing with it.

In a couple of recent ones they were trying to pan in iD but dragged features instead by accident, breaking other features.  I've reverted these completely. Since they are done by an SEO who obviously has no respect for OSM, let's not waste our time to try to filter out the useful parts (if any!).

The ones which didn't damage other features, I've left in, but at the same time have no issues with them simply being reverted when they match all the hallmark signs of this kind of spam.

On 10 May 2018 at 08:26, nwastra <[hidden email]> wrote:
Just a heads up that there has been a rash of poor edits in the past 24 hours or so with new editors listing their businesses but in doing so many have accidentally shifted other mapped items or added the wrong tags to their edits.


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Re: poor business listing edits

forster
Hi

I have attempted to define SEO spam at  
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Spam#SEO_Spam

It would be good to have guidelines on what to do with SEO spam, I am  
often unsure when to revert. My thoughts are that it can be  
immediately reverted if it looks like SEO spam and it either:
a)breaks existing features
b)is impossibly located, post office, school, park etc.
or
c)is not matched by contact details on their website

Case (c) is the more controversial, most of these SEO spam entries are  
for home based businesses with no verifiable office or shop. In  
accepting these listings its reasonable to expect a physical location  
which is supported by the addr:housenumber and addr:street and the  
contact details on their website. (If they don't want to publicise the  
location of their business on their website there is very unlikely to  
be anything verifiable on the ground).

With regards to the description tag, it should be reduced to  
objectively verifiable facts (eg Australia's best loved professionally  
baked bread and cakes -> bread and cakes)

Tony


> In reverting, OSM looses the information that these new people made.
> OSM also looses a potential new mapper, as I doubt they will return
> following their attempted addition being removed.
>
> There are large additions in some parts of the world being made from
> commercial firms - eg petrol stations. These too are a form of 'spam'.
> I have no problem with a firm adding their details to the map... spam?
> Yes, it is a form of advertising... but they can only add facts .. no
> flummery. So I am for it.
>
> OSM also . On 10/05/18 10:11, Andrew Harvey wrote:
>> This is a global problem, happening in other regions too, just  
>> unfortunate we're caught up in this as it's a real waste of time  
>> dealing with it.
>>
>> In a couple of recent ones they were trying to pan in iD but  
>> dragged features instead by accident, breaking other features. I've  
>> reverted these completely. Since they are done by an SEO who  
>> obviously has no respect for OSM, let's not waste our time to try  
>> to filter out the useful parts (if any!).
>>
>> The ones which didn't damage other features, I've left in, but at  
>> the same time have no issues with them simply being reverted when  
>> they match all the hallmark signs of this kind of spam.
>>
>> On 10 May 2018 at 08:26, nwastra <[hidden email]  
>> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>
>>    Just a heads up that there has been a rash of poor edits in the
>>    past 24 hours or so with new editors listing their businesses but
>>    in doing so many have accidentally shifted other mapped items or
>>    added the wrong tags to their edits.
>>    Latest OpenStreetMap Contributors (last 7 Days) - Feed for
>>    Australia
>>    <http://resultmaps.neis-one.org/newestosmcountryfeed.php?c=Australia>
>>
>>
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Re: poor business listing edits

Andrew Harvey-3
In reply to this post by Warin
On 10 May 2018 at 10:29, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
In reverting, OSM looses the information that these new people made.
OSM also looses a potential new mapper, as I doubt they will return following their attempted addition being removed.

There are large additions in some parts of the world being made from commercial firms - eg petrol stations. These too are a form of 'spam'.
I have no problem with a firm adding their details to the map... spam? Yes, it is a form of advertising... but they can only add facts .. no flummery. So I am for it.

These edits are hallmark seo spam, likely all done by the same organisation, following the same instructions. They all have the same traits (new username for each edit they make, named after the company, abuse the changeset comment with spam, never use a primary key to describe what it is they are adding, never use the correct format for phone, never reply to changeset comments, always have spammy description, and sometimes add business which don't have any on the ground presence where they add the node. The organisation(s) behind these systematic edits have had enough time to learn and work with the community but they have shown no interest in doing that.

Honestly given they don't take changeset comments into account, I think it's a waste of time to try to help them edit better, we've tried and it hasn't changed the way they work with OSM.

On 10 May 2018 at 11:34, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi

I have attempted to define SEO spam at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Spam#SEO_Spam

It would be good to have guidelines on what to do with SEO spam, I am often unsure when to revert. My thoughts are that it can be immediately reverted if it looks like SEO spam and it either:
a)breaks existing features
b)is impossibly located, post office, school, park etc.
or
c)is not matched by contact details on their website


I think that's fair, when it's hallmark of the same SEO spam we've been seeing, they aren't new to OSM and aren't genuine in what they are doing.

If it doesn't match and there is a chance it's a real person, I think we should be do what we'd normally do if it was a local mapper who's just new and try to help them out. If it's just someone mapping their own business, they're much more likely to reply to a note about their recent edit.
 
Case (c) is the more controversial, most of these SEO spam entries are for home based businesses with no verifiable office or shop. In accepting these listings its reasonable to expect a physical location which is supported by the addr:housenumber and addr:street and the contact details on their website. (If they don't want to publicise the location of their business on their website there is very unlikely to be anything verifiable on the ground).

I agree, ideally it should be verifiable.

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Re: poor business listing edits

Philip Mallis
Agreed. Spent a lot of time removing spam business edits in and around Federation Square in Melbourne. They are fairly obvious spam accounts and I don't see benefit from trying to engage with them.

Sent from my iPhone

On 10 May 2018, at 17:18, Andrew Harvey <[hidden email]> wrote:

On 10 May 2018 at 10:29, Warin <[hidden email]> wrote:
In reverting, OSM looses the information that these new people made.
OSM also looses a potential new mapper, as I doubt they will return following their attempted addition being removed.

There are large additions in some parts of the world being made from commercial firms - eg petrol stations. These too are a form of 'spam'.
I have no problem with a firm adding their details to the map... spam? Yes, it is a form of advertising... but they can only add facts .. no flummery. So I am for it.

These edits are hallmark seo spam, likely all done by the same organisation, following the same instructions. They all have the same traits (new username for each edit they make, named after the company, abuse the changeset comment with spam, never use a primary key to describe what it is they are adding, never use the correct format for phone, never reply to changeset comments, always have spammy description, and sometimes add business which don't have any on the ground presence where they add the node. The organisation(s) behind these systematic edits have had enough time to learn and work with the community but they have shown no interest in doing that.

Honestly given they don't take changeset comments into account, I think it's a waste of time to try to help them edit better, we've tried and it hasn't changed the way they work with OSM.

On 10 May 2018 at 11:34, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi

I have attempted to define SEO spam at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Spam#SEO_Spam

It would be good to have guidelines on what to do with SEO spam, I am often unsure when to revert. My thoughts are that it can be immediately reverted if it looks like SEO spam and it either:
a)breaks existing features
b)is impossibly located, post office, school, park etc.
or
c)is not matched by contact details on their website


I think that's fair, when it's hallmark of the same SEO spam we've been seeing, they aren't new to OSM and aren't genuine in what they are doing.

If it doesn't match and there is a chance it's a real person, I think we should be do what we'd normally do if it was a local mapper who's just new and try to help them out. If it's just someone mapping their own business, they're much more likely to reply to a note about their recent edit.
 
Case (c) is the more controversial, most of these SEO spam entries are for home based businesses with no verifiable office or shop. In accepting these listings its reasonable to expect a physical location which is supported by the addr:housenumber and addr:street and the contact details on their website. (If they don't want to publicise the location of their business on their website there is very unlikely to be anything verifiable on the ground).

I agree, ideally it should be verifiable.
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Re: poor business listing edits

Andrew Davidson-3
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3
On 10/05/18 17:18, Andrew Harvey wrote:

> These edits are hallmark seo spam, likely all done by the same
> organisation, following the same instructions. They all have the same
> traits (new username for each edit they make, named after the company,
> abuse the changeset comment with spam, never use a primary key to
> describe what it is they are adding, never use the correct format for
> phone, never reply to changeset comments, always have spammy
> description, and sometimes add business which don't have any on the
> ground presence where they add the node. The organisation(s) behind
> these systematic edits have had enough time to learn and work with the
> community but they have shown no interest in doing that.
>
> Honestly given they don't take changeset comments into account, I think
> it's a waste of time to try to help them edit better, we've tried and it
> hasn't changed the way they work with OSM.

On 10/05/18 17:52, Philip Mallis wrote:
 > Agreed. Spent a lot of time removing spam business edits in and around
 > Federation Square in Melbourne. They are fairly obvious spam accounts
 > and I don't see benefit from trying to engage with them.

I've now sampled at least 100+ of these delights. They are currently
stupidly easy to find with OsmCha, but no doubt that will change in the
future. What I've found is, if I'm being generous, only 1 in 4 of these
things are worth trying to save. Highlights I found:

* In the early days they were using OSM accounts under their own names:
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/sam%20davies/history
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Eddie%20hanham

Till they got blocked by the DWG.

* Some of them have tried to create user profile that appear to be "real
people":
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/KylieJBridal
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/TracyAshley
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/BrandonCrayden81

* Only one of them managed to use a physical tag (yeap, I was genuinely
surprised)

* The description tags and changesets were almost all "spammy" and in a
lot of cases cut-and-pasted from the website of the business and just
cut off at the 255 character limit.

* In a majority of cases I could not verify the physical address from
the website of the business.

* There were more than a few fake addresses. In some cases the business
was listed in the Yellow Pages under a different address.

* iD has a helpful address preset that allows them to create plausible
looking fake addresses by just generating a random street number and
then selecting the street/suburb from the drop-downs. Which means you
can't just rely on the node being roughly in the location of the address.

* A handful of them asked for reviews ?!

* Lots of collateral damage in the form of dragging existing nodes,
using suburb labels, and just randomly changing tags on other things.

* It takes 3-5 minutes to check and fix each one.

* Finally, some of them came back and did some follow-up editing:

This one was probably the closest to not being spam:
https://osmlab.github.io/osm-deep-history/#/node/5621452205

and this one I de-spammed and then they came back and tried to re-spam:
https://osmlab.github.io/osm-deep-history/#/node/5563230416

After wasting many hours on this I've come to the conclusion that a
zero-tolerance policy is the only real option we have. So I've now
started to just revert them without bothering to look to closely.

On 10/05/18 10:29, Warin wrote:
 > In reverting, OSM looses the information that these new people made.
 > OSM also looses a potential new mapper, as I doubt they will return
 > following their attempted addition being removed.

If you want to send your time re-doing the work of people who are
getting paid to do this then knock yourself out. All I ask is that you
mark them as good in OsmCha, otherwise it will be goodnight Vienna.



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Re: poor business listing edits

Andy Mabbett
On 21 May 2018 at 10:32, Andrew Davidson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 1 in 4 of these things are worth trying to save.

> I've come to the conclusion that a zero-tolerance policy is the
> only real option we have. So I've now started
> to just revert them without bothering to look to closely.

Can anyone else see the problem with this?

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: poor business listing edits

Andrew Davidson-3
Perhaps I should have said 1 in 4 *can* be saved, if you are prepared to
donate your time to do someone else's paid job.

Anyway if you are volunteering to patrol for these and clean then up,
then you are welcome to it.

On 21/05/18 20:52, Andy Mabbett wrote:

> On 21 May 2018 at 10:32, Andrew Davidson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> 1 in 4 of these things are worth trying to save.
>
>> I've come to the conclusion that a zero-tolerance policy is the
>> only real option we have. So I've now started
>> to just revert them without bothering to look to closely.
>
> Can anyone else see the problem with this?
>

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Re: poor business listing edits

Andrew Harvey-3
In reply to this post by Andrew Davidson-3
Thanks for doing the research on this!

On 21 May 2018 at 19:32, Andrew Davidson <[hidden email]> wrote:
After wasting many hours on this I've come to the conclusion that a zero-tolerance policy is the only real option we have. So I've now started to just revert them without bothering to look to closely.

I completely agree, my suspicions line up with what you're found, these edits are doing almost no good and a lot of harm.

Until they engage with the community and work with us instead of against us, I support auto-reverting. I've CC'd the DWG, in case they have any guidance or suggestions on what we can do to stop this.
 

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poor business listing edits

Nevw
In reply to this post by Andrew Davidson-3
I too have wasted a lot of time over many days trying to fix these problem edits and have come to the same conclusion. 
Trying to sort out what is right or wrong with each one cannot easily be solved by only referring to valid sources of data for use in OSM causing further dilemma. 
 
On 21 May 2018, at 7:32 PM, Andrew Davidson <[hidden email]> wrote:

After wasting many hours on this I've come to the conclusion that a zero-tolerance policy is the only real option we have. So I've now started to just revert them without bothering to look to closely.


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Re: poor business listing edits

Andy Townsend
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3
On 21/05/2018 12:33, Andrew Harvey wrote:
Thanks for doing the research on this!

... and thanks from me, too.


On 21 May 2018 at 19:32, Andrew Davidson <[hidden email]> wrote:
After wasting many hours on this I've come to the conclusion that a zero-tolerance policy is the only real option we have. So I've now started to just revert them without bothering to look to closely.

I completely agree, my suspicions line up with what you're found, these edits are doing almost no good and a lot of harm.

Until they engage with the community and work with us instead of against us, I support auto-reverting. I've CC'd the DWG, in case they have any guidance or suggestions on what we can do to stop this.
 

I think that the approach that you're taking is pretty sensible - it's not "revert everything I don't understand" but "revert things that match the modus operandi of known spammers".

From a DWG perspective, it would be useful to have details of the accounts that have been "identified as spammers" (perhaps because they're adding nodes in the middle of Federation Square or around Circular Quay that you know from frequent visits obviously don't exist).  We'll have a look at see what commonality we can find (whether they're all from en-US locales, for example).

Best Regards,

Andy (from the DWG)



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Re: poor business listing edits

Andy Townsend
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3
Hi all,

just to let people know the admins have found a fair bit of commonality
between the accounts behind the edits mentioned so far in this thread
and have taken action* against them.  With a bit of luck, the spam
torrent should reduce for a bit, but please let us know if it starts
picking up again.

Best Regards,

Andy (not an admin, but from the Data Working Group and dealing with
this complaint there)


* I'm not going into too much detail here for obvious reasons.

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Re: poor business listing edits

Andy Townsend
In reply to this post by Andrew Harvey-3
(just to give a bit of an update)

Some single account "description" adders are back (example
https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/5658025380/history ), but they're not
obviously part of the same group as the previous lot, so it's "as you
were" with manual searching and reverting of obvious spam*, I'm afraid.

Best Regards,

Andy (from the DWG)

* and separating the spammers from the poor single-business owners
trying to add their legit businesses to OSM, of course.


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Re: poor business listing edits

Andrew Harvey-3
Thanks Andy for the update and everyone else for monitoring this.

> * and separating the spammers from the poor single-business owners trying to add their legit businesses to OSM, of course.

Any legitimate single-business owners would probably not follow the exact same recipe book the spammers have been using, and even if they do I'd hope they would reply to our changeset comments to ask why it was reverted.

That's actually all I'd like the spammers to do, come to the public discussion and work with us, until that time let's keep going with the blanket reverts/blocks.

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