Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

Re: [Rabbits] Wiki Under Spambot Assault!

  • FromBrian Campbell <lambda@xxxxxxx>
  • DateThu, 25 Oct 2007 10:15:11 -0400
On Oct 25, 2007, at 9:20 AM, Melissa Parish wrote:

Yay! ReCaptcha! That's the one that helps out digitizing books, right? I think it's such a great idea.

Yep! So, we're stopping spam and helping to digitize public-domain books. For those who don't know how it works, it shows you two words; one that it knows, and one that it doesn't. If you get the word that it knows right, it will trust that you're right about the word that it doesn't (if you get one wrong, though, it'll start giving two known words to cut down on dictionary attacks from spammers).

You can probably have it so that registered users can add URLs since, as you said, registration already requires a CAPTCHA. Redundant CAPTCHAs could get annoying for the user.

In that case, we need to make sure that all of the spam accounts are blocked infinitely, because otherwise a bot could come by, log in as them, and post some spam.

Or, if we'd rather whitelist than blacklist, I can make a new user category (say, "rabbit"), and we can give all rabbits permission to add URLs without CAPTCHAs. It means that an admin will need to approve everyone who seems reasonable, but that's pretty easy, and people don't add URLs that often, so it won't get in the way very much if we miss someone or are a little slow about approving people.

I had also heard that it is hard to permanently delete user accounts, so an infinite block should be good enough. =)

Yep. Permanently deleting an account would screw with the history of all pages that account has edited, so it's not really recommended. It's frustrating to have the user list polluted by spammers, but MediaWiki just wasn't designed with deleting accounts in mind.

~ Melissa