[Talk-us] Map spam

Jack Burke burkejf3 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 10 18:28:05 UTC 2016

Is anyone else starting to see map spam popping up in their areas?

Over the past few months, I've seen 3 OSM entries that I'm calling map spam
for lack of a better term.  I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but it
could be a new trend.

Specifically, what I'm finding is a well-formed node for a small business,
complete with phone number and (on 2 of them) websites.  The problem is
that the node is miles away from the address in question.  I didn't
investigate or document the first couple of them too well, but the most
recent one that I found today was by a user who has exactly 1 edit (the
spam one), and the user account's comment is the URL for the business,
too.  The *name* of the user doesn't match the county's property owner

Because the entry was so well-formed, I'm going to assume that the person
is familiar with OSM and the account was created specifically to make this
one entry.  Also, because it was a single node in an otherwise
mostly-complete area, I'm going to assume that the person made a reasonable
guess that the node wouldn't be noticed.  I'm also going to guess that the
person in question runs some sort of "get your business listed on 100's of
websites!" thing and this is one way he gets that done (by adding it to
OSM, it also gets added to Where2GetIt and all of the other sites that use
OSM data).

I deleted the node.

My reasons for the deletion are:
1) The address is in a residential neighborhood.  I am going to _assume_
that were I to drive by it (which I might be able to do next weekend), I
will not see any signage for the business at the address.
2) The business website does not have that address (or ANY address)
anywhere on it.
3) The node was well out-of-location for the contained address.
4) The user account appears to be nothing more than a spam account, since
it has only the one edit and the URL of the business.

The node in question is:


So I pose this to the assembled horde:

Has anyone else noticed random spammy nodes in their area?  Does anyone
disagree with my reasoning or actions?  And if not, is there a standard
process for reporting suspected spam user accounts?

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