Another important argument against this feature is what it would do when seen by search engines – either the first time, or upon a re-scan or audit:
- New content would be seen as containing an identical string of text.
- On a re-audit of this site, (currently) at least 4,318 posts ... ahem ... would now be seen upon re-inspection to contain the same identical string of text.
The first sin will simply convince search engines that PerlMonks is not as high-quality a site as it used to be. But the second might cause it to be seen as a site which is trying to “bait and switch” search engines. And this could be extremely bad. It’s one thing to expunge a post ... or even, to excommunicate a user ... ahem ... along with all of his/her posts. That’s not bad (as long as you issue the appropriate HTTP status-code. Substantially altering the content, especially replacing it with stylized content (which might be an advertisement for condoms, as far as a search engine might know or care ... an advertisement, anyway), can get your entire site de-listed.
Most of all, you should all consider yourselves to be curators of what has become a very important and respected single-purpose database about Perl. It is one of the oldest reference sites surviving on the Internet. Don’t do anything to damage its reputation or its content, in the eyes of people or the eyes of robots.
I would much rather see you simply excommunicate me, and delete 100% of my posts, than to do something (like this) which could be permanently harmful to PerlMonks. This site is much more important than me.
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