Fighting “Version 7.0”-Vandalism

In my last post I wrote about the most recent fight against spammers. We  sadly also have to fight vandalism. Luckily The Document Foundation had very seldom problems with human vandals, but this seems to change slowly. Since a few months a person (maybe a group up to five person) try to increase the version number for the next major release to 7.0 without having any support by the marketing folks, the TDF, the ESC or whatever team.

Many involved persons in the wiki team do not understand the obsession to increase a stupid number. As far as I know this person / these persons do not have added any valuable contribution to the project (neither code, translations, marketing, etc.). Moreover we do not understand the sense in increasing the version number without having an important reason or new features in the product, that justifies a version bump.

The problem with these kind of vandalism is that the manual work to revert and delete the stuff can be incredible high. Additional these kind of vandalism sadly cannot be prevented by filters, rules or (IP or username) blocks as this is simply to “random”. For that reason many related pages (e.g. the ReleasePlan) have been protected (move, edit, creation), although we do no like that. The whole project tries to be open as possible and tries not to create unnecessary barriers for new users.

 

For the case this persons reads this post, feel free to response here (or in the wiki), but do not increase our workload for reverting stuff. This doesn’t help anybody!

 

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Fighting “Version 7.0”-Vandalism

Spammers are dump

Long time no post, but actual events show that there is need for a new post.

 

In the last few weeks the amount of spam and thus the workload for the active admins (K-J, fitoschido, Eric, myself) got high for deleting spam and blocking these accounts.

 

As this was too time consuming (~12 pages per day), I had to thing about another solution.

 

Luckily I have some experience with the extension “AbuseFilters”. The result of our new AbuseFilter 67 are impressive:

AbuseFilterLog

The result of two days active filter is great.

Statistics: Of the last 636 actions, this filter has matched 25 (3.93%).

(actions == User creation, page moves,  page deletions, edits, changing user rights, etc.)

 

The logic behind this filter is rather easy:

  • all new accounts (0 edits),
  • edits which want to be done in the User:-Namespace
  • a new page should be created
  • the page content does not start with TDF

if these criteria are valid, then the user has to click again on save. If that happens (and the actual spammer show that they do not read or at least do not hit save again) then the user gets automatically blocked.

 

New valid users do get a warning, both then they try to edit the USer-namespace above (see https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/WikiAction/edit/User:Dennisroczek/10 ) but also as a warning when asking to hit save again.

 

We – TDF wiki admins – do follow edits (see screenshot above) which got prevented by this filter and check for false positives.

Spammers are dump