Nonsense text and promotional links are an ever-present problem on this wiki. Those who add the pages don't seem to understand that these wiki links don't add anything to their pagerank and are just a waste of their and our time. Nevertheless, spam remains a problem.
wiki administrators are allowed to delete pages and/or block users. If you are interested in helping to block spamming accounts and revert edits please apply for administrator access on the SAC list (or contact Arnulf Christl directly). There is also a set of people who help review and reject/approve new wiki account registrations.
Normal wiki users can help
Other wiki members cannot fully delete spam, however you can help by spotting the spam and tackling it. Spam on pre-existing pages should be reverted. Much spam involves creation of a new page, often with a spammy title. Deal with these by replacing the page with: #REDIRECT [[Spam]].
These can be found and deleted by administrators. By redirecting we help avoid search engines indexing spam page titles (Spam getting indexed will attract more spam).
All such efforts are appreciated. But we are also working on measures to reduce the need for this human effort.
Shields up - Spam blocking measures
The wiki uses various spam blocking measures. Often these involve a level of inconvenience for real users which is a shame, and a difficult balance to strike. Server admins can experiment with reducing the inconvenient roadblocks if the wiki editing community is effective at zapping spam quickly... or vice versa. Measures include the following:
- Approved registrations - We require users to register before they can begin editing this wiki. But we currently also manually approve registrations using Extension:ConfirmAccount. We require users to describe themselves. Any descriptions which appears spammy is rejected. This is inconvenient for new real users, quite labour intensive for those reviewing registrations, and is proving to be increasingly ineffective at keeping out spammers. Adminstrator CWillmes blogged about 'The daily kindergardening of OSGeo wiki spammers' which mostly focussed on this problem
- Captchas - We present a "captcha", and little anti-spam quiz question, when you make certain types of wiki edit. These are QuestyCaptcha questions which we've custom configured to this wiki. The questions should be easy for any human (and difficult for any automated spammer). Hopefully they are, but they'll inevitably inconvenience real users to some extent. The captchas are configured to be presented on every new link added.
A few places to watch for spam
- Special:RecentChanges: This main OSGeo wiki
Spam on the osgeo trac system