Hiding a Mediawiki category; Techdirt on its absence from Bing (‘Welcome to the party, pal’)

Since Autocade was reinstalled last year, an errant line appeared on the home page: ‘Category: Pages using DynamicPageList3 parser tag’. The sole page that was listed under this Mediawiki category: the home page. It was very useless information, especially for site visitors.

I finally discovered how to hide this, and I’m recording it as the solution was hard to find.

All you need to do to hide a category is head into the edit box, and add __HIDDENCAT__ into it.

It’s probably in the Mediawiki documentation which I’ve never read beyond learning the basic mark-up stuff, and that was 15 years ago.
Very astute visitors to our sites will see this graphic added to Autocade and Lucire:

Feel free to take it if you find it useful. It’s an SVG. It is very much a dig at “AI” and I do like the irony of creating such a stark, cold graphic to tell people that a page or site has human authors. But then, we are frequently asked by bots if we are human every day.

It doesn’t link anywhere. Maybe it should.
Meanwhile, I see Mike Masnick at Techdirt is discovering what I did when I began looking into the collapse of Bing last year. Here’s his August 16 update. The difference is that when he writes about something, the tech world takes notice, including Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of Duck Duck Go. However, despite Gabriel’s intervention, the result is the same: Techdirt is still gone from Duck Duck Go, which, of course, is Bing. If it’s missing from Bing, it’ll be missing from DDG, and while the results might differ slightly, I assume that’s down to the age of the data that the Bing API pulls from. Sure, the Duck has a bot that supplements non-core items (e.g. Wikipedia entries in the answer boxes to the side), but the search results are identical.

In both posts, there is a link to a discussion on Ycombinator where Gabriel got involved. In one of the threads, someone called JeremyNT draws the same conclusion as I did. Arguing with him is Photonerd, and I’ll admit, I can’t follow all the technobabble about data replication. My feeling is if it’s not clear, then you’ve something to hide:

That you don’t understand data replication problems—or know the inner workings of a private company’s codebase & data funnel—doesn’t make it some conspiracy.

It just means you’re uninformed.

JeremyNT responds:

I’m glad to be corrected. What is their other data source?

Naturally, it’s crickets. He received no reply.

While I don’t think there’s a conspiracy, there certainly is opaqueness. And in the absence of transparency, and with evidence such as this, then I think it’s fair to just look at Bing to see what is happening, instead of all its clones (Duck Duck Go, Neeva, Ecosia, Qwant, Yahoo, etc.) pulling from there.

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