There are three main types of spam on Wikipedia. These are: advertisements masquerading as articles; external link spamming; and adding references with the aim of promoting the author or the work being referenced.

Advertisements masquerading as articles

Articles considered advertisements include those that are solicitations for a business, product or service, or are public relations pieces designed to promote a company or individual. Wikispam articles are usually noted for sales-oriented language and external links to a commercial website. However, a differentiation should be made between spam articles and legitimate articles about commercial entities.

Blatant examples of advertising masquerading as articles can be speedily deleted by tagging the articles with {{ db-spam}}. The same applies to pages in userspace and the draft namespace. Other advertisements posted on Wikipedia can be dealt with by either proposed deletion or listing them on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. On some occasions, the content can be removed temporarily on the basis of a suspected copyright violation, since the text is often copied from another website and posted anonymously. Before trying to get an advertisement masquerading as an article deleted, please check the article's history to see if an acceptable revision exists there. If so, please revert to the latest acceptable version of the article.

When an article on an otherwise encyclopedic topic has the tone of an advertisement, the article can often be salvaged by rewriting it in a neutral point of view. Elements of articles about products or services with brand names can also be combined under a common topic or category to facilitate unbiased and collaborative information by including information about the competition and about different alternatives.

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