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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Saturday February 07, 2004
06:12 AM

Wiki Graffiti

[ #17265 ]

I've been suffering lately from Wiki spammers on the AxKit wiki. The spammers are simply adding links in to their porn pages to get a higher google pagerank.

I do not like this one bit. But what can I do?

The surprising thing is that they are actually adding the links in POD format. So someone is either already a perl programmer, or taking the time to learn the format to add the links in. And it's obviously not automated.

The worst thing is that the AxKit wiki maintains a linked in history, so even when I revert the change the spammer still has those links in place in the history view.

One possible solution is to require a login. But I hate that idea. Another possible solution is to show the raw content in the history view (i.e. raw POD) so that links aren't links. But that doesn't mean I stop having the job of janitor.

spammers suck.

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  • What about moderation with approval?
  • by kellan (905) on 2004.02.07 12:39 (#28168) Homepage Journal
    instead of linking directly to external URLs have your formatter point them to a redirect script thus negating the Google value of the links. if the spammers are adding links by hand they'll figure it out quickly.
    • Ah, thanks for this idea. This is the option I've chosen (as it's the simplest to implement). I wrote a little redirector that makes sure the referrer contains one of my domains (to stop email/spam use) and now all external links go through that.

      I also added a page for porn spammers to go and read, and added it to all the "Edit" screens so hopefully they will go and read it.
  • Login to Edit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dws (341) on 2004.02.07 12:55 (#28170) Homepage Journal
    Several of the Wikis that I run are set up for public viewing, but require a login to edit. One of these Wikis has been up for four years, and I've received exactly one (mild) complaint.

    <plug type="shameless">
    One of the Wikis is for the AYE Conference [], a no-vendor people issues in technology conference put on by a group of consultants and software managers that Gerald (Jerry) Weinberg has trained.We use the Wiki to gather feedback and suggestions about the conference sessions. Folks who register get a login and can contribute; everyone else can read along.

  • Once upon a time when I worked in the SEO business I wrote some code which auto submitted anyone who added an url to google's spam report [] Worked quite nicely as a trap for our competitors. You could probably add something similar quite easily.