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One spam fighting measure

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posted on Jul, 5 2008 @ 11:49 AM
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Hi, tinWiki administrators/sysops,

Someone added a template message around last week, I think it was, that says "This page has been deleted and protected against recreation" (or something to that effect...) I think that can be helpful against a specific type of spamming.

Sometimes the spammer creates a sub-page (or what the term might be) of an existing, real, page. For example, if there is a page called "Encyclopedia", the spammer creates a page called "Encyclopedia/" (adding the slash), which becomes a new page. Or creates "Talk:Encyclopedia/". The pages with simply a slash at the end will probably not ever be needed for any normal use. If a real sub-page is created, it will also have a title, like for example "Encyclopedia/Publishers", or something like that.

Those sub-pages that are initiated by spammers are often re-created again and again, tens of times. Now, if, instead of deleting the page, only the content is deleted -- but the page itself is left existing, then that page can be Protected. That way the spammer won't be able to use that page, and spamming attempts to it will fail. After deleting the spam content, the template message can be displayed to explain why the page exists when there's no content in it. Then the page can be Protected. The template message also organizes all the pages that display the message into a category, so those pages are easy to keep track of, too. The template's name is "Deletedpage".

How does this sound?

Optimist




posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 02:28 AM
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Great Idea Optimist, i know that "New World Order/" will be one of the first, its always on there. Ill start protecting as i go from now on.

Fox



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 04:08 PM
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On another note, instead of blocking for a year or two why don't we just give out Infinite bans ? Its what I'm starting to do, why haven't we got any spam-fighting programs or anything like that on the site ?

Fox



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 07:58 PM
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I have been banning for 3 years. My thinking behind this is that it will not put such a load on the server if the bans are lifted eventually. As it is, there must be thousands of ip addresses that are banned right now. Following this line of reasoning is that I would think that within 3 years we will have finally upgraded the version of Media Wiki that is being used. If that happens it should reduce the amount of spam we are getting dramatically. Then, even though those bannings will expire, we won't have to worry about being hit by those ip's any more.



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 08:35 PM
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Also (about the IP addresses used for spam) it could in theory (or so I imagine, at least) be that normal users end up getting one of those IPs in the future. If hundreds and thousands of IPs are permanently blocked, it could be, at least in theory, that many users will find themselves barred from editing. I know that the IP addresses used for spam are not "real" IPs but are proxy IPs that the spammer hides behind, and so it could be that normal users wouldn't ever get an IP that is used right now as a proxy. Then again, they might, for all I know. :-)

Anyway, the usual thought that an IP address is exlusively linked to a person, as if it were like that person's name, isn't very accurate. IPs do shift all the time, and so generally it isn't unlikely that a permanently blocked IP will at some point in time belong to a competely innocent user. Like William One Sac says, it would of course be best if spam bots just weren't able to post external links at all, but until further, the current software version which tinWiki uses does not support the spam fighting feature (which is in fact in place). So, hopefully it won't be too long until the software is upgraded to version 1.6 (or newer), since that version is required for the CAPTCHA anti-spam feature to work.

Optimist


edit: using parantheses....

[edit on 10-7-2008 by Optimist]



posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 12:41 AM
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Random People, Random Words.

Ive seen it 3 times today, people just posting one word on an article, some one put the word Ouri at the top of the A-19 article, which is random it wasn't a link or anything, i reverted the edit but is that worth a day ban or something ? How do we deal with such little spam ?



posted on Jul, 26 2008 @ 02:40 PM
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William, Optimist - has one of you done something to fight spam on TinWiki ? Since 1pm today there has only been 1 spam; one is nearly 8 hours -- surely this is a record for TW.

Fox



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