Prior to last week, users encountering ZIX archives have been able to find information on WinZix in Wikipedia. This was an invaluable source of information, and it included warnings about the spyware in WinZix and links to damage reports as well as remedies for those affected. I was able to contribute in a small way with corrections about the nature of the file format and in particular the specifics of the metadata block inside.
However, this article is now history. A certain user, whose motives struck me as fishy, considered the article "not noteworthy", and submitted it for deletion.
In the heated discussion that ensued about the validity of the article, the user who considered it "not noteworthy" proved himself impervious to any arguments to the contrary. Said arguments included the very real threat that spyyware-infested trojan apps like WinZix poses to the internet community. All fell to deaf, and apparently very dumb ears.
Consequently, as of this weekend the WikiPedia article on WinZix is now history, as is the discussion leading up to its deletion. I would point you to it (and I did, in my article on the Zix format, supplied with my UnZixWin utility), but it's gone the way of the dodo. The stub telling about its demise is here.
This is a loss to all those who will now not benefit from the knowledge amassed about WinZix and how to deal with the problems it causes. True, there are plenty of other places on the net which a Google search will turn up that warns about the problems.
However, I think it's a sad state of affairs that the great Wikipedia can be subjected to badly motivated censorship by anyone with an axe to grind. The free-for-all nature of the site's approach to editing and quality control isn't always optimal. In particular in this case I found the reasons for deleting the article fishy indeed, and highly question the motives for doing so. Can it be that said user have personal stakes in the success and proliferation of WinZix?
Oh, well. Where Wikipedia fails, sites such as this one must pick up the torch. I don't intend to stop warning people about these spyware-riddled scams anytime soon. Indeed, I must pick up the pace on getting my full website online. This blog is a useful tool, but not quite how I want to organize things.