[Haskell] Spam on the Haskell wiki

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 15 02:39:30 CEST 2012

I recently moved, and when I returned to the Internet a few days
later, I was greeted with several hundred spam pages in Recent
Changes. The torrent of spam has not let up, and I estimate that I
have blocked 3-500 accounts and deleted as many pages. (I blocked
another 5 or so while composing this email.) Certainly the deletion
and block logs are long enough:

- http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/index.php?title=Special%3ALog&type=delete&user=&page=
- http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/index.php?title=Special:Ipblocklist&limit=500

I have asked Ashley Yakeley to turn on additional anti-spam measures,
but he has not been active on the wiki since January
and has not replied to my talk messages or accompanying emails.

I had to do this single-handedly as there are no other administrators.
This took up a good chunk of today and yesterday, and the spam is
continuing. I cannot handle it much longer: it's incredibly tedious
and using up far more time than I have to give it. Measures need to be

1. Email confirmation needs to be checked that Ashley did in fact
enable it. I suspect he did not, since I also administrate the
LessWrong wiki - which I know for certain has email confirmation is
enabled - is being attacked by the same spammers (similar or identical
templates & spam) but at a much reduced scale.
2. Additional administrators must be created. I suggest:

- dons
- Magnus Therning
- Neil Mitchell
- byorgey
- Henk-Jan van Tuyl

I am sure there are others who can be trusted.
3. Additional bureaucrats should be created. I suggest myself.
4. ReCAPTCHA enabled for 'edits adding new, unrecognized external
links' - which is all of the spam. Further reading:
http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Combating_spam &
5. if Ashley is inactive, his account may be a security risk. The
English Wikipedia now removes administrator bits after a year of
inactivity; we should consider a similar policy.

None of these can be taken by myself, as I am neither a sysadmin on
Haskell.org nor a bureaucrat on the wiki.

If none of these steps are taken and spam continues to remain a
problem in 2 months (15 September 2012), I will cease patrolling
Recent Changes. I no longer have the time or patience.


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