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April 04, 2005

Polluting the Information Stream

A big problem with open-source software: programmers gotta eat.

Suw Charman reports:

The Wordpress linkfarm furore - symptomatic of a wider problem: Corante > Strange Attractor > : There's been a lot of discussion about the way that Matt Mullenweg has been trading Wordpress.org's Google PageRank for cash, hosting unrelated articles on his server in order that they rank more highly in Google.... [I]t was probably a mistake for Matt to enter into an agreement with a company in which he assists them in gaming Google for money.... We can moralise about whether Matt should or shouldn't have taken money for helping a company game Google, and we can say 'Oh, he should have asked for donations - I would have given him money', but at the end of the day, that doesn't address the root cause of the problem....

There is something very, very wrong with:

  1. Declaring that you are an "open source" project giving to the community.
  2. Making money by crapping in Google's information stream, polluting it, and so degrading the quality of the services that can be offered.

Posted by DeLong at April 4, 2005 06:49 PM