[Haskell] Spam on the Haskell wiki

Brent Yorgey byorgey at seas.upenn.edu
Tue Jul 31 15:28:36 CEST 2012

So it looks like email confirmation for new accounts and ReCAPTCHA for
new links are both enabled, but clearly spam is still a problem.  Are
there any additional measures we can take to cut down on spam?

For the record, if we need to move to a manual approval process for
new accounts, I would be willing to help.


On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 08:39:30PM -0400, Gwern Branwen wrote:
> 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
> (http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Special:Contributions/Ashley_Y
> http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/index.php?title=Special:Log&user=Ashley_Y),
> 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
> taken:
> 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 &
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Anti-spam_features
> 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.
> -- 
> gwern
> http://www.gwern.net

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