[TOS] Need TOS wiki spam prevention!

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Tue May 17 19:55:13 UTC 2011

Max Spevack wrote:
> The problem is (1) spammers creating accounts and (2) spammers trashing 
> the wiki from within those accounts.  If the spam were all coming from 
> anonymous accounts, the solution would be easy: no anonymous edits 
> and/or captchas.

Captchas are nothing to do with spam.  They are physical or logical
ability tests.  You are still vulnerable to able spammers, as well as
those who can exploit able gullible people.  However, if you use a
physical ability test like Google's reCaptcha, you also lock out
potential contributors who just happen to have a physical disability.

> Two questions:
> (1) How does Wikipedia prevent the same thing?  (Spam coming from 
> accounts that were created by bots, etc.)

Basically, there's entire subprojects dealing with it.
might be one starting point.

For that to work for TOS, it needs more people, some of which
will actually need to be reading the RecentChanges pretty actively.

> (2) Can we borrow anything lightweight from (for instance) Fedora's wiki 
> maintenance policies?

I know Fedora's policies even less than I know Wikipedia's so I'll
leave this for someone else.

> There has to be a way to minimize/eliminate spam that doesn't pose a 
> giant burden on wiki administrators, right?

Yes, install anti-spam tools and use them, but I suspect it will need
TOS to recruit more people into active contribution.  From what I've
seen a few months ago, there aren't many anti-spam tools for mediawiki
(too much of the community is still off chasing the captcha red
herring), so it may mean developing them, but I don't know mediawiki
internals and have insufficient incentive to learn them (it's not fun
and no-one wants to pay enough for the work AFAICT).

Maybe someone who suggested/supported mediawiki for TOS could point
the group towards some good anti-spam tools?

Good luck!
MJ Ray (slef), member of www.software.coop, a for-more-than-profit co-op.
Webmaster, Debian Developer, Past Koha RM, statistician, former lecturer.
In My Opinion Only: see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Available for hire for various work through http://www.software.coop/

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