[pydotorg-www] Vandalism/spam on wiki.python.org: changes to default permissions

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Sun Jun 1 20:53:45 CEST 2014

On Sunday 1. June 2014 19.55.44 anatoly techtonik wrote:
> On Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 6:48 AM, Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org> wrote:
> > On May 31, 2014, at 10:49 PM, M.-A. Lemburg wrote:
> > >I've added a new user group called NewUsersGroup, which does
> > >get editing rights, but we'll have to manage this manually and
> > >new users who want to receive editing rights will have to write
> > >to this mailing list to be added to the group.
> > 
> > TBH, we've been doing this on the Mailman wiki for years now.  Of course,
> > we
> > don't have as high a contributor rate as the Python wiki, and I wish I
> > didn't
> > have to take that step, but it *has* reduced the spam rate to nearly
> > zero. I'm sure there's been a cost in drive-by contributions, but we do
> > get occasional requests for write permissions and it's trivial to add
> > folks to the
> > "editors" group.
> Do you have stats about decline in contributions thank to this measure?

You can get the stats about a decline in "contributions" by just looking at 
how many spam edits were taking place during any given period and how many 
there will be for a corresponding period in future. But for serious 
contributions, of course there are no statistics: the measure has been in 
place for a matter of hours.

I'm not entirely sure what measures Confluence had for spam prevention before 
the Mailman Wiki made a similar move, but I would imagine that there weren't 
very many given the amount of spam I saw in the site content for that wiki. 
From what I can see, this didn't stop committed contributors from improving 
that site.

> Is the competence debt in MoinMoin is so big nowadays that there is no
> Moderation Queue plugin for new users?

There are people working on MoinMoin, so I suggest you ask in their IRC 
channel: #moin on Freenode, if I'm not mistaken. Alternatively, you could look 
on the Moin site for extensions and find at least two for moderation, one of 
which I wrote a while back and is actually in use on a site for a project that 
I believe you have dealt with in the past (and maybe still have some dealings 
with). It's entirely possible that you have no idea they're using my extension 
for moderation at all and yet have edited that site.

But here's the disagreement: some people think that the barrier to editing 
public Internet sites should be low and yet magically repel defacement; others 
think that getting serious contributors to demonstrate their commitment to 
making quality edits isn't that hard and that they actually won't mind doing 
so (because they are, after all, committed).

Experience shows that magically repelling defacement of Internet sites, whilst 
somewhat possible with some interesting measures that could be implemented for 
Moin, is a bit like announcing a generously catered party for one's closest 
friends in the most public and open way possible, not assigning some rather 
"persuasive" people to the venue entrance, and then somehow avoiding random 
vandals and hooligans from inviting themselves in and trashing the place.

Meanwhile, some of us have better things to do with our time than to "muck 
out" public Internet resources so that lazy people and vandals can use them at 
their own convenience.


More information about the pydotorg-www mailing list