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WikiSpam is a wikiwide problem and won't be solved but wikiwide.

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started on InterNal, moved here.

Most of the spam attacks are automated, as you mentioned, which is annoying. I was wondering if there was a way to make a practical 'step' in authentication for each "Save" (i dont think minor edits are important to spam attacks so far) where like in Yahoo or Orkut there is that image with a distorted word on it and you need to type the word in. A precaution against email harvesters and spammers (Let me know if I am being clear about this). I wonder if it would require alot more resources to implement such a saftey measure. -KunDa (sorry for not leaving my name before, heh :) )

I know the thing about copying the distorted word from logs and newsgroup registrations. I haven't seen it or read it discussed in wiki context. Spam is not a major problem right now - not that I'm fixing spam an hour every day. Every fortnight maybe an hour, together with others, when there was a new attack. "You start at A, I start at Z, we meet in a while in the middle - that way. It's annoying enough though. It has advantages as it creates group strength too btw. I'd hate to have to copy a distorted word everytime I edit a wikipage to proof that I'm not a machine. It would be "slow", it would be anti-wiki. Nevertheless it's an alternative. Thanks for the idea. Thanks for talking to me btw, feels good. -- MattisManzel

The link MattisManzel gave says "What have email users and blog users been doing to reject spam ? Maybe we could adapt those ideas to wiki." ; that gave me this idea: Well the e-mail users have ,as we probably all know, started to use filtering scripts that search e-mail content for typical spam strings. Maybe the wiki approach could also be having the wiki script itself check the content against a "bad word" list while/before updating a page. Of course not for censoring anything ,but to block an edit if there are certain well known spam URLs or keywords in it. This will ,of course, cause the same problems as with email filtering, either you are too strict, causing some false positives, which would annoy regular users who just happened to mention "Penis" and "enlargement" or something in a wiki post and are kept from inserting it, or you still have quite a lot of spams going through. I would say though,that getting false positives is always worse (seems like censorship to users then, and we dont want any "bad word" filtering crap) than deleting a few spams. But at least this could minimize the amount of spam, and prevent the same URL from being posted again and again,after admin puts it on "blacklist" once. (Maybe even sophisticated programs for e-mail filtering like spamassasin can be modifed or one of their engines used for wiki checking) -- Mutante where do we go from here? :) -KunDa

This gnaws the roots of the world tree. Heck. The troll on CW got me thinking. I exaggereate: All this sysop stuff, filtering blah leads into nothing. It will not improve it, it will just make it more complicated and weaken it. Maybe it will delay the process, that's all. Build a strong community and repair things manually if possible. Reset when the attack was to heavy to repair manually. Do not exclude, but make a page to spam on and to move spam to. Do not delete spam anymore, move it. Keep up the good Zauber. Wiki is capeable to be all inclusive, so consequently include everything. There is, if there is, only one possible security, that's complete openness. Maybe we need a spam-wiki to move spam to. I'm pretty confused. -- MattisManzel

I think MattisManzel shows us the right path here, gotta love his approach of total openess and seeing spam as information too. I will move ,but not delete,spam from now on,too. Thanks for getting me away from the filter idea. -- Mutante is We have both. Country and Western ;) -- MattisManzel

CW has started using banned content/unbanned content list... [1].

-- AlexSchroeder

I moved spam too, once, on this wiki here, complete bullshit. Having OffTopic/SpamHereOnly is enough. Delete all spam immediately, exept the OffTopic/Spam Here only. Maybe we empty that one here and now. Some things about robbing spammers keywords which I do not quite understand goes around.

There is different spam. A) There are these half a page of teensex link spammers, no question, delete immediately. B) Receintly the was a link, one single link only to a local hotel in Peru. It didn't look rich at all. If in the mood and if having enough time I'd probably move that one to the OffTopic/SpamHereOnly. It makes a lot of work to diversify into really annoying spam and somehow tolerabel spam. The really annoying spam should be deleted earlier from the OffTopic/SpamHereOnly. We support all these links by giving them space. I do not like supporting the really annoying stuff. I'd like to empty out the OffTopic/SpamHereOnly. Maybe leaving some fixed false spam links to make it always seem that there is something. Emptying it all three days is good I think.

-- MattisManzel

On my BT FAQ Wiki (based on OpenWiki) I used 3 seperate spam-fighting measures:

 1. CAPTCHA with a 7-day cookie to stop it being annoying
 2. Redirect to UserPreferences: The contributor has to enter a username in order to edit
 3. Access control:  Certain pages can be restricted from editing to usernames or groups

Check it out at


Moved here from OffTopic/SpamHereOnly:

s23's new approach to dealing with spam.
as per ongoing discussion in InterNal

Still underconstruction

ideas on a OffTopic/SpamHereOnly -- MattisManzel

You're just helping the spammers pay their bills if you post their links here. You should at least modify them so as not to boost their pagerank.

Answer: They help themselves to pay their bills, they post to the OffTopic/SpamHereOnly, I don't. The OffTopic/SpamHereOnly should be emptied regularly but a link should stay there significantly longer than elsewhere on the wiki. It shall not stay there eternaly.

The OffTopic/SpamHereOnly should have some contents, I'll put some lines of false spam there, changed URLs.

Spammers are ignorant or in a hurry or both, They do not take time to read. The OffTopic/SpamHereOnly should just look like you can spam there and on the rest of the wiki it's useless. Else you make sure it really is like that, possibly wikiwide. WikiSpamBusters clean up the attacked wiki, contact the admin(s) and put them in contact with developers who propose technical messures to the admins for further prevention of spam and give contacts to get help on implementing these. WikiSpam -- MattisManzel

in reply to quote from above:

"There is different spam. A) There are these half a page of teensex link spammers, no question, delete immediately. B) Receintly the was a link, one single link only to a local hotel in Peru. It didn't look rich at all. If in the mood and if having enough time I'd probably move that one to the Spambox."

Hah, you are right, but the problem is that i can only find about by clicking the spam links, and thats the last thing i feel like doing. (with a big change of helping to pay the "bad" spammers). I did also modify a few URLs of spam i really dont like to make the links stop working ,without actually deleting them. That i can do without checking the links. I sort just by the URL name, some of them just already sound so bad i dont even want to open them...


Shall we rename Spam-box to OffTopic/SpamHereOnly?. Spambox and Sandbox are too similar, I think. Did it. -- MattisManzel

Is the OffTopic/SpamHereOnly really helping you guys? Most spammers don't even read a page before spamming it so I don't really see this being very effective. By the way, we also now have a wiki at -- Joe(at)

I dont agree with this OffTopic/SpamHereOnly idea. I understand the whole TreeHugging hippy information freedom philosophy behind it, and I'm a great believer in that kind of thing, but these people are abusing the technology. Their edits are contributing nothing. You should never keep the links. That's just giving them what they want. As long as spammers can acheive a better ranking, the problem of wiki spam will keep getting worse and worse. -- Halz

Don't you, really? The TreeHugging hippy philosophy is a brilliant term for it, and it's just as embarrasing for me as it is for you btw, but it's the only way it might ever work out. Maybe it's the "Matrix 1", the paradise one, the one that failed. Maybe, not sure. But we need the impulse, the shockwave of good Zauber its (possible) failure creates. One thing's for sure at least: DDT doesn't work on the long run. -- MattisManzel


Could we not have a script that say bans and removes all mods by X ip address... 
also some kind of spam detection system, mabe looking at user agent...
or if some one make more then X mods in y seconds they get a temp bab / asked to verify there real via one of thoes "type in the text" things


Just found this attempt to stop comment spam.
There's also an article on about this.
Might be something worth looking into although it doesn't really prevent spam but makes it useless.
The other side of the medal is, of course, that links that deserve it don't get higher link-rating, too.
Maybe together with a list of known spammer URLs...?

<-this is an extension to mediawiki, allowing everybody to add to a blacklist which is updated automatically to the wgSpamRegex setting. planned to be included here Mutante