What Vandals and Spammers Need to Know
WikiAnswers is based on the wiki concept, which means that anyone from anywhere has the ability to add to and edit answers. This, of course, makes the site prone to vandalism, spam and other abuse. That's why we rely on a volunteer group of 500+ Supervisors who work hard to catch vandals and stop them in their tracks. It's a coordinated, team effort. Working together, Supervisors can quickly and easily revert the garbage left behind by vandals and spammers and block them with one click of the mouse.
In case you're still thinking about taking advantage of the site, here are some things you should know.
Most of us have committed some sort of vandalism at one time or another in our lives. It's easy to understand why people do it. Maybe they want to be noticed, or to have their voices heard. Maybe they're angry at someone, or angry at the world. Vandalism can satisfy a personal need for revenge or defiance. Or maybe it's just that dirty words can be funny.
For better or worse, being anonymous on the Internet gets harder every day. Every computer is connected in a unique way. That means everybody can be traced. And it doesn't take the CIA, FBI or NSA to do it. The first step is a simple reverse DNS lookup. Try it (your IP address is 184.108.40.206. Here are other IP tracking tools. Anybody with a bit of determination can learn a lot about you.
Your IP address has been recorded. It goes into our logs and our logs get stored. When you make a change, your IP address is made public so we can see it.
So if you want to vandalize WikiAnswers, be our guest. But it leaves us wondering: Why do you feel compelled to waste your time? If you have reasons, we would honestly appreciate hearing them so that we can improve the site. Contact us at WikiAnswers @ Answers.com.
If you have something to promote or sell it may be tempting to use WikiAnswers as a marketing vehicle.
Self-promotion or promotion of a business or organization is perfectly appropriate on your own Profile. In fact, it's encouraged. And since your Profile gets linked to from multiple places each and every time you contribute to WikiAnswers, it can be a great way to draw attention to a Web site, business or cause.
However, promoting something through loaded questions and answers is considered spam. Here's more on how to decide whether a link is spam or a legitimate information resource. It's a tough call sometimes.
Spamming has another drawback. Most people hate it. Some people hate it so much they make a hobby out of punishing spammers. Hackers are notorious for this, but it is becoming easier for anyone to do it. For example, when you visit WikiAnswers your IP address is recorded (yours is 220.127.116.11). When you make a change, this address is made public. With a few basic reverse DNS lookups and IP tracking tools people can learn a lot about a spammer.
So we suggest thinking twice before you go any further.
Related links are an important element of any comprehensive answer and the appropriate steps must be taken to prevent the misuse of this linking privilege. Included below are the basic guidelines for proper usage.
- Links must be as relevant to the answer as possible. For example, instead of linking to a blog's homepage, provide a link to a specific blog article featuring helpful information which supplements the answer.
- A URL linked from more than a few answers is subject to removal. This indicates the link is too general and a page more relevant to the subject matter of the question should be used.
- URLs must be included as "Related Links" and not inserted into the body of the answer.
For more information, read the Help Center page about Adding or Editing Related Links.
Repeated violation of this policy is grounds for limiting a member's website privileges.