Wiki spam

Sascha Wildner saw at
Wed Mar 8 09:47:21 PST 2006

Hi all,

recent spam characteristics in the Wiki indicate that spammers are 
setting up scripts to automate their spamming more and more.

So far our stategy has been to manually revert the change and block the 
user name (this is about as much as Wikimedia allows, at least from what 
I've seen). This worked well for a time but lately I've gotten tired of 
this. And I guess Trevor (Kendall) is too, who fought most of the spam 
back with me in the past.

So my spam plan is this:

1) Go through the user's list and see who contributed DragonFly related 
stuff in the past.

2) Grant all these users operator privileges. The difference from an 
ordinary user is: they can delete/undelete and protect pages, revert 
changes easily and block users.

3) Protect all pages against editing from normal users.

4) Add a note to the main page that everyone who wants to contribute 
should drop me a quick mail so I can check back and grant operator 

5) When a new page is created by someone, he has to protect it.

I'd like to hear your opinions on this. Here's why I think this would work:

* Being a Wiki sysop doesn't give you the right to turn others into 
sysops. The bureacrat flag is needed for this and would of course not be 
set for the majority of users. So not much danger there.

* I don't believe that having many sysops would cause much abuse. So far 
everything has been very peaceful except for the spam. There haven't 
been any hot disputes or edit wars (and I don't see where they could arise).

* I don't believe that many spammers would write a mail to someone to 
get access for spamming. And if they did, it would be easy to find out.

One more thing, let's please not discuss this to death. If someone comes 
up with a better solution it should be one that is realistically doable. 
I know that we should better hack Wikimedia, write our own Wiki, move to 
a different Wiki etc. But these things take time which I don't have. So 
the plan is to use what's there to stop it.



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