Shaddows - 5:45 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)
"Luckily we can still read about your thoughts..."
LOL! Exactly the type of promotion that the Mod policy should block.
Others are suggesting mechanisms for control, but I want to comment on policy for links.
1) No overt promotion (as above)
2) Absolutely no "what's wrong with this" links
3) No links to content that will definately (by intent) change. (i.e. the thread is a discussion on how to amend the page)
4) Continue to anonymise domains in dicussion about URL structure, or any other instance where the content is not material to the discussion
5) Allow exemplar keyword discussion, particularly in the SE forums. If the subject is valid, Mods should err on the side of being too open.
6) Links out should never be a shortcut for proper explanation.
7) Links should be about:
- Further resources
In terms of nuts-and-bolts operation, I second the idea of lists of unapproved URLs. Modify the auto-link script to generate a URL list by message number, lessen the workload by having a white-list and black-list, and suppress the link until approved. Make a minimum post-count for even considering URLs, and maybe default-approve URLs after a particular number.
Bait-and-switch is a problem, of course. However, if members are encouraged to use the "Report Message" for broken or changed content, that should help. Especially if there was a vote button for a menu of problems, (broken, switched etc) which informed mods, but autodeleted after a critical nuber of complaints.