Google Blogoscoped

Forum

DMOZ Extortion  (View post)

pokemo [PersonRank 10]

Monday, August 27, 2007
7 years ago9,996 views

shoemoney.com/2007/08/26/dmoz- ...

Above 1 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

nocom [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

Just review Freelancer site and you see ,,need DMOZ editor or some like that.If you list links on DMOZ you will see links with /something/something/lalala.php w/o good content listed, but sites with content waiting for entering to DMOZ for 6 monts or never.
I like DMOZ and i believe that is short incident with some corupted editors
I look to DMOZ for past 10 yrs.
No 1 resource on Internet.

Michael Martinez [PersonRank 5]

7 years ago #

When I looked at his post last night a number of people had asked him to share the email.

Since he has apparently chosen not to do so, I would suggest people treat this post with considerable skepticism.

Rahul [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

Anyway it is easy to complain to DMOZ about abuse
quickonlinetips.com/archives/2 ...

Andrew [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

You've seen this before, yeah? corruptdmozeditor.com/

Teodor Filimon [PersonRank 3]

7 years ago #

But isn't DMOZ dead? From my own experience alone i can't find at least 3 good sites i made (and submitted) in it.

Anonymous [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

The power of a DMOZ listing is not to be understated--when my site was listed there in mid-may after a 14-month wait (!) my search engine traffic doubled overnight. In addition, when my site appeared on certain searches on Google, the DMOZ description of my site would be the text underneath the site link. Yep, DMOZ is still influential to Google.

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Let me clarify this a bit. I'm a DMOZ editor, so I checked the history of this URL.

First of all it has a red note attached:
"""
Please don't list
Offered bribe at forums.digitalpoint.com/showpo ...

Original note content lost in crash of 2006. Replaced 27/1/2007.

[[editor1] 21 Apr 2005 08:43:40]
"""

The page indeed lists the bribe offer, though it's difficult to judge if it's genuine. [editor1] presumably contacted the author in 2005 and asked about the note, but the result is unclear.

Fast forward two years.

Here's the oldest history available (DMOZ had a big crash late 2006, which caused a loss of url history, which makes the investigation difficult).
"""
Notes:
   [editor2] 2007/01/26
   20:33:13 CET Holding pending the explanation of [editor1]'s red note. [Added in Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_ Development/Promotion/Weblogs]
   [editor2] 2007/01/27
   02:33:32 CET Didn't mean to list it. [Unreviewed in Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_ Development/Promotion/Weblogs]
   [editor2] 2007/01/27
   09:15:19 CET Rejected in line with the red note. [Deleted from unreviewed in Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_ Development/Promotion/Weblogs]
"""

As you can see the site was apparently NOT listed before 2007/01/26.

To translate from DMOZ-speak to normal language, the editor noticed the red note, then accidentally listed it, realized the mistake and deleted the entry completely from Unreviewed queue.

He should have probably paid more attention to dates and the fact that the bribe post was likely fake, but this surely doesn't look like a intentionally malicious activity. Both [editor2] and [editor1] are experienced editors.

It's a shame Jeremy Schoemaker didn't provide the messages he got, especially the mail headers. This could help a lot. Most likely the extortion letter was sent by someone else, maybe he didn't even touch the entry at all, but he prepared the fake bribe offer on the forum and carefully watched the logs waiting for things to happen.

While there certainly are corrupted editors @DMOZ I really doubt it's the person who removed the link.

[Broken some lines due to forum issue... -Philipp]

[Edit: Shoemaker -> Schoemaker :)]

[Edit: Some editor names removed on Marcin's request. -Philipp]

Jeremy Schoemaker [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

Do you think you could spell my name right?

Also I will release more info soon. I have been contacted by people at google and also dmoz.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Thanks Jeremy, fixed!

Edit: Shoemaker -> Schoemaker

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Jeremy: apologies, I was influenced by Philipp's post.

Here's more info – in fact I was searching for the main page link, which was in Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/ Promotion/Weblogs, but you meant the RSS feed:
shoemoney.com/feed/
which was in
Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/ Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/Affiliate_Programs/Weblogs.

So here's the history of this URL:
"""
clubmom 2007/03/01
14:30:05 CET I think he was being snarky about the bribe thing and his blog is important in the affiliate marketing arena. [Added in Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/ Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/Affiliate_Programs/Weblogs]
[editor3] 2007/04/06
01:34:48 CEST Snarkiness is irrelevant. Offering a bribe results in banning. Do not relist. [Deleted in Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/ Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/Affiliate_Programs/Weblogs]
"""

Again, [editor3] is a respected editor and looks like he didn't check if the bribe offer was fake, judging just on the content of the red note.

[Edit: Some editor names removed on Marcin's request. -Philipp]

Shawn Collins [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

In the exchange above, I was the editor "clubmom" (started the DMOZ editor account many years ago when working at clubmom.com).

My editor account has since been closed without explanation.

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Well I'm waiting impatiently for Jeremy's update, cause things seem to get stranger...

The forum post about bribe proposal has suddenly disappeared. The page was healthy when I posted the comment, then it was down for while with the following message:
"""
Sorry, the board is unavailable at the moment ...

Doing some DB maintenance.

~Shawn
"""

If you wondered what kind of maintenance, now you know. When the site came up the post was gone. Here's the screenshot though:


wanted.eu.org/i/20070827-shoem ...



But the "maintenance" job was not done very well. If you go to the original thread, you can see the entire message quoted in another post:
forums.digitalpoint.com/showth ...
"""
Originally Posted by Shoemoney
if anyone seriously does know a dmoz editor pm me ill pay there lame corruption fee to get in the dmoz... I dont like it but I want to be listed.
"""
I suppose this will go away soon, though :)

As you can see above, originally I was quite suspicious about the bribe claim and thought it was fake. Now, this action sheds some bad light on Jeremy's intentions. If the post was his, as other DMOZ editors suggested, I myself would also oppose listing the site.

The $5000 offer from someone claiming to be a DMOZ editor is a separate issue. Nobody can guarantee the righteousness of all editors, and surely there are bad apples in there. This however does not substantiate the campaign which spun off hate posts like this: seologs.com/shame-on-dmoz/

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

[put at-character here]Shawn:

I think you have to apply for reinstatement, as your account may have been expired.
"""
if you believe your editor account expired. Accounts expire if you do not login within the first month, or, if you do not edit for a consecutive period of four months.
"""

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

(Updated the post with Marcin's information.)

Peter Davis [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

Marcin, can you please explain why an ODP editor would be more concerned about something posted on some raucous forum than they would with simply listing websites based upon the merits of the website itself?

Shawn Collins [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

[put at-character here]Marcin:

I have re-applied. I didn't think it had been 4 months, but I guess time flew while I was having fun.

Jeremy Schoemaker [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

[put at-character here]Marcin:

I did post that... before shoemoney.com was ever even up. I did get replies from your corrupt ass editors and I did pay them to get some sites in. I still pay to get sites in.

The sites I paid to have in are still in. I never paid to have shoemoney.com in. You guys evidently assumed that that was the domain.

The REALLY funny thing is the DMOZ editor that posted that red note is Banned from digitalpoint forums for making douplicate accounts to defend DMOZ (making it look like multiple people were supporting dmoz editors)

I have never hid the fact I have paid to get sites in.

In the end the facts still remain I got a letter that I had to pay or my site would be removed then it was removed.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Why do DMOZ editors even care if someone offers money for inclusion? Not everyone necessarily understands all DMOZ rules (in the Yahoo Directory for instance you *can* pay for speedy consideration). And even if they do, why can't DMOZ just politely say "no, thanks" to payment requests?

Clint Dixon [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

That shoe is paying to get his sites in proves he supports corruption.

I think its sad such a "great" marketer has to stoop to corruption to get his sites listed in Google I guess.

Funny I have 100s of top rankings without paying one red cent to DMOZ.

Get a Yahoo directory listing it costs money..nobody gets one free... and it works with Google

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

> Get a Yahoo directory listing it costs money..nobody gets one free..

Not true... I have a site(s) in the Yahoo directory and never paid.

Toby [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

Jeremy Schoemaker supports corruption and he expects people to treat him morally? Hilarious

Joe Preston [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

>Not everyone necessarily understands all DMOZ rules

>why can't DMOZ just politely say "no, thanks" to payment requests?

Because they are too busy treating the corruption issue "seriously" – IMO you raise a sort of revolutionary point there. It's not that big a deal, is it?

Andrew [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

DMOZ should be shot and put out of its misery. The era of the Web Directory is dead.

Anon [PersonRank 7]

7 years ago #

Why does everyone care about Shoemoney and his "I have an excuse for everything I say, and it all may be a lie because its in my disclosure" mentality.

Enough already

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

[put at-character here]Peter Davis:
If a site was officially accepted despite the bribe offer, purely on the content merit, then people would complain that the bribe was probably accepted "behind the scenes" and the site got listed.

There's no simple way to please everyone.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Wonder if this is a way to get a competitor kicked out of DMOZ: just pose as the competitor and post a bribe offer on some public board. Then switch identities again, and inform a DMOZ editor of this forum post...

Shawna Brown [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

DMOZ is corrupt. It is the exact opposite of transparency and openness.

My friend, a well-respected professional in his field, was an editor at DMOZ for over *8* years, nearly from the start. One day he went to login and found his account locked out. (He logged in weekly or every other week.) He had something like 4,000 adds, 3,000 deletes, and over 9,000 edits to his account. He's as ethical an individual I've ever met.

Seems as though one of the disputes about a where a website should be included got someone higher-up upset. And they just decided unilaterally to remove him as an editor. No warning, no system in place to defend oneself, just a unilateral decision that his efforts were no longer needed.

When asked for information, details, anything that might help him understand what had happened, he was met with stony silence. He got one form reply saying his account was permanently locked out and he shouldn't bother trying to re-apply.

There's nobody to complain to. Nobody cares. This was over 2 years ago, he's moved on, but I'll never forget how upset he was that nobody treated him like a simple human being and talked to him about whatever the problem was before they decided to close his account.

So yeah, seeing this happen is not surprising. DMOZ must be run by the inmates these days.

Michael Martinez [PersonRank 5]

7 years ago #

We need to see the email. If it came from DMOZ then maybe DMOZ has a problem, but there is no excuse for saying "DMOZ is corrupt" just because someone MAY have attempted to extort a bribe.

Show us the email.

Show us the email.

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp: that's why I was cautious about whether the post is genuine. But all traces and the author confirmed that later.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

> Show us the email.

I asked Jeremy for a copy of the mail btw and will post information (e.g. anonymized info) if I receive something...

Anon [PersonRank 7]

7 years ago #

It amazes me how people can just jump on something like this without any shred of real evidence being presented and claim it is "official" and "true". Just because you choose to believe something doesn't make it official. Shoemoney has said in many places that he is willing to lie to get what he wants – how come people aren't taking that into consideration? But it's pretty good publicity for him, huh? WTG.

So this is what Web 2.0 does for us? Provide support for the lynch mobs?

BURN HER! BURN HER!

So much for progress, hm?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

> Shoemoney has said in many places that he is willing
> to lie to get what he wants

Quotes & links, please (other than the disclaimer on his blog, which I already pointed out in my post, so it's not like this isn't taken into consideration).

Nanaki [PersonRank 3]

7 years ago #

Just stupid publicity. Can't believe this deserves a post.

Anon [PersonRank 7]

7 years ago #

DMOZ has been around for a long time. Has there ever been an accusation like this which has passed the "put up or shut up" test? Can somebody point me to one where corrective action did not promptly follow upon substantiation? For that matter, can somebody point me to even a single case where this type of allegation has been substantiated, whether or not corrective action was taken?

DMOZ-bashers latch on to every accusation, no matter how incredible, as "proof" of DMOZ corruption, but never take a step back to ask for evidence or why somebody might lie about their site or about why an editor account was terminated.

DMOZ policies, which can be accessed by anyone at dmoz.org/guidelines/ , describe with some degree of specifics the type of misconduct that can result in account removal (e.g., "Violation of ODP forum and email privacy" – c'mon people, don't shoot yourself in the foot), and with a certain degree of generality the process by which account removal occurs ("Editor accounts may be removed by meta editors only after careful discussion, evaluation and consensus agreement. ODP staff review all account removal decisions made by the meta editors.")

Shawna Brown [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

You can write all the words you want on a pretty piece of paper, but since DMOZ staff and editors answer only to themselves, with no accountability or transparency into the actual workings of the organization, the words are meaningless. For an "open source" project, it is amazing at the amount of secrecy that goes on in decision-making and account closings.

DMOZ is not transparent. It has never been and from all signs, has no intention of ever being transparent like a true open source project.

Seriously, DMOZ staff and meta editors get away with treating lower editors like sh** and nobody can do a damned thing about it. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of good editors let go over the years (remember, this was all volunteer work – just their time wasted) with virtually no explanation given to most of them.

It's a corrupt organization and it's good to see that it's finally going the way of the dodo bird.

Nony [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

DMOZ is not an "open source" project. The word "open" refers to the RDF data which is open for anyone to use, free of charge, as long as the license requirements are followed.

Bob Keating [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

DMOZ is the largest human-edited directory on the Web and has always been free of charge. Our community strives for openness and transparency. We actively seek to maintain a volunteer editorial community with high integrity and promote open feedback processes to maintain these standards.

We take reports like this very seriously and would appreciate your help in bringing them to our attention. If at any time an editor remarks that you need to pay to be part of the DMOZ directory, let us know. This behavior will NOT be tolerated by ODP/DMOZ. Any information about any abusive incidents will be handled immediately.

DMOZ has several ways to report this type of abuse on the site, go to report-abuse.dmoz.org/ to fill out the form and I will contact you directly.

We hope you'll come forward with the data to substantiate your claim and look forward to helping in any way possible.
  
Bob Keating – managing editor of DMOZ

Joost de Valk [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

Bob: the only reaction I've seen so far, is people like me, who get annoyed by stuff like this happening, getting their account deleted because they react a bit too fast... I, admittedly, made some mistakes in reacting, but to delete someone's account over that...

Anon [PersonRank 7]

7 years ago #

The fact of the matter here is that shoemoney has no proof and actually had his good buddy Shawn change the username of who posted on the forum to make it look like it was not shoemoney.

This is a blatant linkbaiting attempt and it was a complete success. shoemoney is a liar and his army of drones, including you Joost, are lapping it up and making yourself look stupid. If I told you bill gates offered me $1000000 to kill my first born, would you believe me just because I posted it on my blog? If shoemoney did would you believe him? Probably.

Shoemoney is banned for violating the TOS, plain and simple. He is now using the fact to get links. SIMPLE. Those that cannot see that, then good luck.

Anon [PersonRank 7]

7 years ago #

People who get annoyed by "stuff like this happening"? You mean, people who get annoyed by the violation of DMOZ confidentiality rules, which are explicitly described as a basis for the loss of editing privileges?

If you get annoyed every time you find somebody lying about what a DMOZ editor supposedly did, you're going to spend your entire life consumed by rage. If you limit yourself to worrying about the substantiated cases, while perhaps excluded from being a Zen master you will have a relatively peaceful life.

Anon [PersonRank 7]

7 years ago #

This post was always interesting to read:

vanhara.com/2007/01/21/is-jere ...

And isn't kind of bizarre he would have a User-agent: ia_archiver Disallow: / tag in his robots.txt file to prevent any of his pages to be archived online.

One day the smoke will clear and truth will come out

Anon [PersonRank 7]

7 years ago #

Smoke? There's no smoke. Only allegations from somebody who is afraid to put his (shoe)money where his mouth is.

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I wish Google use auto sorting to make auto dmoz.The domz project is unfair. So how about Wikipedia, I find a way to control Wikipedia to my target. How to judge me for Wikipedia? I use many fake IPs, and many users and many computers......

I trust Google machine.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Interesting concept. An automatically generated directory of links. Wonder if Google ever prototypes such a thing. So far all they do or did is sort DMOZ links by PageRank, on a per-category basis...

Griffin Boyce [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

>>there is no excuse for saying "DMOZ is corrupt"
>>just because someone MAY have attempted to extort a bribe.

If a fairly large group of police officers tried to extort money in exchange for favorable treatment, most people would say that the department as a whole needs an overhaul. I fail to see how this is different.

I have seen dozens of payment exchanges for DMOZ listings on digital point and several freelance sites, and everyone seems satisfied at the end of the transaction so I have to assume that ALL of these dozens of links are getting into DMOZ. And these are not cheap – I have seen successful bids from $200 to $1500.

Getting listed on DMOZ is an easy way to get out of the google "sandbox" and you tend to develop PR faster. I've never purchased links on DMOZ (and never had a page listed either), but after talking to quite a few people about their sandboxing experiences it seems that it does work.

I understand completely why Shoemoney doesn't post the email address. For one, he could face a fine under the CAN SPAM act (stupid but true). Also, he's accusing someone of something that is unethical, so if he isn't able to prove it in court he could face a major civil suit from the douchebag in question. And lastly it would push Shoemoney into pressing charges, which he may not want to do at this point. Let's face it, court is a major headache for anyone.

Rob Jones [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

On a similar note, when you hear galloping hoofbeats it COULD be zebras, but probably it's just horses.

Given that his accusation is a statement of fact alleging criminal behavior, he'd have a hard time hiding behind the1st amendment. That particular piece of libel isn't covered. He CAN be prosecuted.

That'd mean that since the head of Dmoz offered to can the volunteer as soon as Shoe identifies him and provides the documentation, it is in his own best interest to comply.

Since he seems oddly unwilling to take the step that is in his best interest, the most *probable* reason he won't provide proof is that the extortion attempt simply didn't happen. That is also born out by the timeline of his allegation compared to Dmoz edit records.

Basically if AOL decides they want to go after Shoe for his little publicity scam he's in deep guano. Hope the publicity was worth it, but lying about being a crime victim is historically a bad idea. Next time he should just hire a guy to stand on the corner with a sandwich sign.

Niltiac [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

I seriously hope people are not putting value on anything said over at the digital point DMOZ forum. That group thrives on posting unsubstantiated claims of bribery, general bashing of editors and they are pretty much operating in their own little world of “conspiracy theories”.

As for the freelance sites – the posters are offering to pay to get their sites listed. Most of the bidders seem to be SEO firms offering to assist with viable submissions. Yes it’s possible that a dishonest editor may take advantage, but in those cases, chances are quite high that the dishonest editor(s) would be found out and removed.

DMOZ has ALWAYS asked for the help of the public in routing out corrupt editors. Yet it seems a lot of people just enjoy the “bashing” part too much to help out. If this little Shoemaker (or whoever the frig he is) had some facts to back up his claims (highly unlikely) the alleged extortionist would be removed. So who is really “Corrupt: here?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

> I understand completely why Shoemoney doesn't post the email
> address. For one, he could face a fine under the CAN SPAM act
> (stupid but true). Also, he's accusing someone of something that
> is unethical, so if he isn't able to prove it in court he could face a
> major civil suit from the douchebag in question.

Note that I also asked Jeremy for an anonymized copy of the email he received, though he didn't reply to me.

Griffin Boyce [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

He said that he had been in contact with the head of DMOZ, so I imagine that they are working together at this point – personally I wouldn't reveal the info at this point if I were him.

Bob Edwards [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

I have spend hours upon hours trying to get my site listed in DMOZ and gave it up as a joke. The edotors never even respond to a question never mind getting in the directory. Seams like there is too much significance going on and not enough customer service. After all it's our submissions that make an editors job vialble, yet they don't seam to show any interest in treating those submitters well.
I understand there is some crap that is submitted by spammers but when genuine people can't get genuine sites listed it defeats the object, and can't be helping the directory stay fresh...

just my 1 minute of venting :)

Hope you are all well and having a fantastic day...

[Signature removed – Tony]

Mikus [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

You might try Google's bizarre directory here:

google.org/alpha/Top/

Catherine Lawson [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

I mentioned the shoemoney's post on DMOZ extortion in a blogpost yesterday, and someone left this comment:

cathlawson.com/blog/2007/09/12 ...

It's funny how all the comments defending dmoz are anonymous. The idiot above gave a hotmail email address.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

Forum home

Advertisement

 
Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About
Advertisement

 

This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!