The Wiki Fire:Spam

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Use this article to discuss spam problems on the site.

Summer 2009[edit]

The SPAMbots have evolved. This is the first obvious step towards robot domination of the planet earth. There appear to be some SPAMbots that can read CAPTCHA. It's over. That was the only test we had. It's like in Terminator 2 when the T-1000 can avoid detection by dogs and stuff. I have blocked all the spam users (and the IPs that created them), and we'll see how long that holds. We might have to institute a "click the link in the e-mail" kind of verification system, which I find really annoying. Are there any thoughts on this? Also, if you are not a sysop but find yourself doing things like cleaning up spam or basically just keeping things organized, let me know and I can give you more privileges. Tfooq 14:18, 10 July 2009 (CDT)

Spam User Problem[edit]

OK, so apparently I have not taken a look at the user list in a while, because we might have a spam user problem here. There are a lot of registered users that were there before we got recaptcha that do not look legit. Now, how much we really want to worry about these users is up for debate, but it seems like we could probably go through the list and delete obvious ones (they are often just streams of numbers and letters). Or we could leave them and just delete their users if they spam something. Either way, it is helpful to know that this exists. thoughts? Tfooq 15:34, 6 February 2008 (CST)

It all depends on how long you want this last great spam battle to last. You want it over quick, then just delete the ones you're confident are spam. If you're content to pick off the spammers as they spam things, the battle will take a bit longer. Now, the mass deletion of spam names has one obvious risk -- the risk of accidentally deleting a real user -- though perhaps that's worthwhile to get the spam battle over with. Frankly, a registered spambot is not a problem until it actually spams something and I think picking them off one at a time is the best option. As a side note -- who has the power to actually *delete* registered users? Is it just you, Tom? Or is it any administrator? Also, I'm assuming when a user is *deleted*, it means something different than simply *blocking* that user. Correct me if I'm wrong. Just my $.02. Bill M. 18:39, 6 February 2008 (CST)

I believe that blocking and deleting are the same thing, so every sysop should have this privilege (though maybe only those with the added privilege of "bureaucrat", meaning the ability to change privileges of other users, may have this. Not sure. I have only been a bureaucrat). I am totally fine with just waiting until one of these bots spams, then block them indefinitely. If someone is really bored, though, it wouldn't hurt to delete the very obvious spam bots. You can tell them by the fact that they have a random chracter name and have not made any edits yet (or their edits have all been spam). Sound like a good plan? Tfooq 19:34, 7 February 2008 (CST)

I think that's the best plan. Like I said, a spambot is not a problem until it actually spams. In my humble opinion, the efforts of real users of TWF are better spent maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the WikiFire as a source of knowledge. Bill M. 23:14, 7 February 2008 (CST)


Should we install CAPTCHA? And if so, how should we implement it? My thoughts are that we would require it for all anonymous edits and for user registration. What do you all think? Would this be too annoying? Tfooq 13:10, 2 January 2008 (CST)

We couldn't have just added on to the old spam discussion? Anyway, I agree that we should require it for the anonymous edits and for user registration. Most anonymous editors, whether people with accounts or not, are not likely to be making a whole lot of edits in a particular visit, and therefore the CAPTCHA would be a minor inconvenience. Camozzi 14:07, 2 January 2008 (CST)

Seconded. I think everyone typing a five or six letter sequence in exchange for not logging in is far less annoying than having these problems with spam. --Ocarina 14:40, 2 January 2008 (CST)

Consider the idea thirded. When spam was a minor problem, fixing it was just as minor. But it's getting out of control and I think the CAPTCHA would fix that. Bill M. 18:58, 2 January 2008 (CST)

Come on, install it! I'm really tired of having to fix the spam. Camozzi 10:19, 12 January 2008 (CST)

I'm with Brian here. The spam's out of control. It's time to bring out the big guns. Bill M. 01:31, 13 January 2008 (CST)

Late note, reCAPTCHA has been installed, and the spam has gone away since. You will have to pass a human being test in order to make an anonymous edit or create a new user. That should do it, at least for a little bit. Tfooq 02:19, 5 February 2008 (CST)


Several months ago I installed the Spamblacklist extension, and it got rid of almost all the site's spam that included external links.