Monday, November 03, 2003

DMOZ - The Open Directory Project is a Farce

DMOZ The Open Directory Project is a Farce


"Humans do it better" is the motto of the DMOZ so-called "open directory", i.e. a search engine which has a catalogue style in which the entries are made by hand by humans. In fact, humans do NOT do it better - rather, they are far more subjective than Google or AllTheWeb. Basically - you can forget the Open Directory as just one more failed attempt based on the gullible idea that humans are benevolent and objective, which they are not.

Why this directory is called the open directory is anybody's guess, because that name has nothing to do with reality. The Open Directory is a misnomer. The OPD is not only falsely named, but the name is quite misleading.


There are now allegedly ca. 60,000 editors - human Yahoos in the Gulliver Swift sense - sometimes even having competing pages of their own in the areas they are supervising - who are by no means necessarily objective or open to new submitted pages - I speak here from experience gained by persons who have tried to become editors. Once these editors exist in a particular area, the area is mostly closed to new editors, unless they are part of that crowd. You have thereby set up a fixed group of "good old boys" who rule their terrain like a company-town sheriff or mayor.


As the "Open Directory" (copyright by Netscape) itself states, it has its own strict policy of DISCRETIONARY inclusion OR exclusion of websites which has nothing to do with any OPEN-NESS of any kind.

Here is its posted policy: [emphasis added]

"Please recognize that making the ODP a useful resource requires us to exercise broad editorial discretion in determining the content and structure of the directory. That discretion extends (but is not limited) to what sites to include, where in the directory sites are placed, whether and when to include more than one link to a site, when deep linking is appropriate, and the content of the title and description of the site. In addition, a site's placement in the directory is subject to change or deletion at any time at our sole discretion. You should not rely on any aspect of a site's inclusion in the directory. Please understand that an editor's exercise of discretion may not always treat all submissions equally. You may not always agree with our choices, but we hope you recognize that we do our best to make fair and reasonable decisions."

I know of cases where a site has been submitted to DMOZ only to have the entire title and site description changed without the knowledge of the submitter and at the pure whim of the so-called "open" editors, who give the website any name and description they choose, even derogatory descriptions. Someone then accessing that site's description on DMOZ through search engines such as Google or AllTheWeb THEN thinks that the website owner or webmaster has made up these abominable titles or descirptions, which is simply not true.

This kind of thing should be forbidden by law.

DMOZ should be closed down as an abomination, as an abomination to the Web and as an abominaton to the human spirit, and as an abomination to freedom. How dare a directory be run under the above stated conditions.

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