Conflicts of Interest
The Open Directory prides itself on being a free, non-commercial and open resource for the Web community. Selecting, evaluating, describing, and organizing all web sites fairly and equitably are key components of the editing process. We rely on the philanthropy of our volunteer editors, and strongly discourage anyone from accepting or soliciting any form of compensation for their participation in the Open Directory. Additionally, we discourage submitters from soliciting or bribing editors in exchange for listings in the directory. Editors found to be accepting or soliciting bribes in exchange for listing sites or unfairly promoting these sites over others will be removed from the directory.
Everyone is welcome to apply to join the ODP, including those who own, maintain and promote websites. Editors may have business or other types of affiliations relevant to the categories they edit, and may add their own sites or sites with which they are affiliated. However, it is contrary to the goals and policy of the ODP for editors to add only their own or affiliate sites, to engage in self cooling or other forms of self promotion, or to exclude or disadvantage a site that belongs to a competitor for the purpose of harming the competitor. Inappropriate actions may include excluding competitors' sites from the directory simply because they belong to a competitor or intentionally editing their titles or descriptions in a manner that distorts their content or diminishes the chance that users will find or view those sites.
In some cases, an editor's business affiliation overlaps their involvement in the directory, such as with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals and Professional Content Providers (PCPs), whose participation may benefit both the editor and the directory. Instances when the involvement is mutually beneficial are acceptable, however, the primary focus and goal should always be to serve the best interests of the ODP and the editing community. Conducting unfair and deceptive activities to promote and support client listings will result in removal of editing privileges.
Affiliations are generally any website in which you have a direct personal or professional association. You should disclose the following types of affiliations.
- Sites you've built, coded or designed; or assisted in any of these activities.
- Sites for which you've authored content.
- If content is syndicated, include original URL.
- If you've authored articles for a larger community site (e.g. Wikipedia), include a few URL(s) to specific page(s).
- Sites you own or have owned, including personal and business homepages.
- Sites you've managed personally or professionally (e.g., performed webmaster responsibilities).
- Sites you've marketed, promoted or optimized as a function of your employment, business or on someone else's behalf.
- Sites for organizations which you are actively involved in promoting a web presence.
You will be asked to declare your affiliations when you apply to join the ODP as an editor and again when you apply for further permissions in other categories. Please be as accurate as possible when answering these questions. If you are in doubt about whether to declare an affiliation, please use editor feedback to contact a senior editor who will be able to advise you further.
Intentionally concealing affiliations for the purposes of conducting deceptive, unfair and abusive editing will result in removal of editing privileges.