TOR becomes popular. It’s good but each step forward has the price. And it’s price is crappy site clones. There are many reasons why people copy each other’s websites: ones want a revenge and “punish” a scammer, others want to use a reputable website’s audience.
The thing that bothers me very much is “The Hidden Wiki” – it used to be a good source of knowledge in TOR, just like a clearnet Wikipedia but with shady articles. Since all traffic in TOR goes through the various link catalogues, it was reasonable to have that list on The Hidden Wiki too, that was the point of no return.
As far as you know, Wiki is designed to be contributed and edited by community. I remember the time when The Hidden Wiki admins were fighting link vandalism by shops when everyone wanted to have only his shop link by destroying the competitor’s one. Then there took place link moderation, bans, deletions and so on and so forth.
Now, guess what’s happened to the former Hidden Wiki? It’s gone offline. People destroyed it and killed it’s purpose.
What will be shop like with that link vandalism and moderation? None. It was logical that they had to find other ways to get traffic. Here comes non-wiki link lists and … The Hidden Wiki clones. Non-wiki list is hard to promote and gain reputation but it costs nothing to copy-paste the Hidden Wiki source code, place any links you want and advertise it somewhere on TORCH or SecMail. Who cares?
Do you think there is only one “The Hidden Wiki” clone? – NOPE. I’m in DeepWeb for more than 5 years and I saw hundreds of them. Some gone offline, some changed the link, some are up till now. Just check this small list that I found for you by typing “hidden wiki” in search:
Why is the problem you might ask? Look, these wiki clones create a massive information attack on new Dark Web users. It would be ok if they’d promote normal services there but they do promote SCAMS there. It’s all about the money, so, you will not find any useful articles, you can’t register there, you can’t edit the catalogue. Literally, such wikis are read-only. No knowledge exchange, just money.
How to recognize such a crappy clone?
Check these 4 things:
● User registration. It’s obvious that to be able to contribute and edit the articles you have to have an account.
● Edit permission. Even if you have successfully registered an account, don’t fall for it. Check whether you can edit something without the moderation. Remember, Wiki is community maintained encyclopedia.
● Advertising. If the “Hidden Wiki” promotes any cc or pp shop – leave this place. It’s all about the money.
● No non-list pages. If the “Hidden Wiki” doesn’t offer you anything but a link list – leave it.
So, my suggestion is to ignore any “Hidden Wiki” with a link list inside. Hidden Wiki must be a source of hidden knowledge. It must be about the articles, not links. Instead, use search engines and link catalogues to find a website you need. Luckily, there are many of such link lists but you must be careful there as well because many of them are run by scammers too. I will tell you more about crappy lists later.