Tuesday, June 21, 2005

So what about tag spam?

Tyler asks me another question:
"I'm a little concerned about tag spam. Is this a problem on Flickr and other sites that allow communal tagging?"

So I went and did a search.

I haven't found any discussion of it as an issue. Comment spam on blogs and comment trolls, on the other hand are well-known and much-discussed problems; none of the solutions are perfect, but include:

- Registration (know who posts something)
- Moderation (increase or decrease visibility by editorial intervention)
- Deletion (the ultimate in editorial intervention)
- Complication (making spam hard to do quickly and automatically)

Tag spam might be different than blog comments, because:
a) You can't include a URL (which spam needs to do in most cases to be effective)
b) You can't express yourself to others in a personalized way (which most trolls seem to want to do).

So it may be anodyne enough to not really be useful to vandal communities. Just a guess.

Some related links:
A loooong but fairly interesting post about tags. No mention of spam. John Dvorak pans tagging in PC Magazine. Some brief thoughts on vandalism in reply to Dvorak -- apparently del.icio.us has had some spam Another reply to Dvorak. A flat-out awesome post on the meaning of RSS

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