Former Dmoz Editor: Corruption Was Caught Quickly

    May 18, 2010
    Chris Crum

We ran a story recently asking if Dmoz will continue to have a place in search. We received (and still are receiving) a great deal of comments on the article, or rather on Dmoz in general. Words like "corruption" and "corrupt" were used numerous times in describing the editorial process behind the Open Directory Project.

A few samples of comments we received about this:

"I have actually personally heard from someone who has bribed the editors multiple times to get listed with great-quick results."

"Why do we need a search-engine trusted directory that only contains sites within three degrees of the corrupt circle of editors?"

"If Google were to publicly state that they are no longer taking account of DMOZ, because:

1) It does not accurately include even a representative subset of the wealth of quality information on the Web
2) Allegations of corruption
3) Lethargy and languorous posting policies and procedures then DMOZ would disappear overnight."

Former Editor’s Take on the Corruption

M.J. Taylor, who is a moderator in our WebProWorld forum says she used to be a DMOZ editor. She addressed such corruption in a thread, and being how this is such a popular topic of discussion for our readers, I thought her two cents would be worth sharing here as well. She writes:

MJ Taylor I can tell you why some websites got nixed in my categories. Sites that were very low quality, perhaps still under construction, for example, didn’t get listed. Sites that were second sites for the same business didn’t get listed. Affiliate sites were deleted.

Otherwise, it was rare for me to not include a site. It had to be pretty low quality. I did often change the suggested title and description dramatically to be in alignment with the editorial guidelines, but most sites were accepted.

Editors were very closely watched. I really find all the tales of corruption to be far fetched, as there was a great deal of supervision by very suspicious superior editors. I’m not saying there wasn’t corruption; I’m saying it got caught quickly.

Taylor says she was an editor for a few years and understands a little of the inside workings. For this reason, she says, maybe she finds it "easier to relax" because she knows "it isn’t personal."

What do you think? Comment here, or
join the conversation at WebProWorld.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.