I Hate Wiki Spammers

I’ve been dealing with an increasing number of spammers/vandals defacing pages on TinyScreenfulsWiki.

It used to be an infrequent problem, and not a big deal for me to roll back their changes (usually a big block of links to sites selling prescription drugs, etc.) and ban the user. I’ve got MediaWiki set up to require an account to make any changes to the wiki, but anyone can create an account. I hestated to lock it down any tighter, because I use that wiki to teach people about wikis in general, and I didn’t want to make it too inaccessible.

In the last week or so, though, it’s been more common. I don’t know what the spammers think they’re getting by vandalizing my wiki – I usually roll the changes back within a few hours. It’s a person creating the account and making the changes, or at least, I don’t think it’s automated.

Anyone else dealing with wiki defacement or spam? Know any good ways to deter them? I can think of some ways that involve a baseball bat and kneecaps… }:-/


2 thoughts on “I Hate Wiki Spammers

  1. It’s an annoying fact of online life: this kind of online graffiti (comment spamming blogs and wikis) is easy and cheap to do, so even if it has incredibly marginal utility for the spammer, they still believe that they derive benefits from it. Before I became more aggressive in banning people, 2/3 of my traffic to my website were to these parasites.

    I’ve gotten it down to roughly a dull roar on my blog by include CAPTCHA fields in comments, and by aggressively banning all traffic from sites which engage in bad behavior. I use Bad Behavior, and frequently scan the database log to find IP addresses which engage in bad behavior. These get added to my apache config and are simply denied all further access. I imagine that a similar approach might be useful for wikis.

  2. [advertisement] Spam sandwiches for sale (made with real spammers!) says:

    I wonder if its gotten so bad (spam) that the equivilent of 1 or more complete lifetimes are wasted every day by all the people who have to deal with it. I bet you that were at that point. Its like every day, we have to sacrifice one (or more) of our lives to the spam dragon. It seems a rediculously impossible question to answer, but, how do we kill it? I’m thinking of going for the heart(s). Once a spammer’s home address is found out, a local slayer graphitis their car with some kind of slogan that ADVERTISES who they are (or something more creative).

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