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

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Mon Jun 2 00:10:25 CEST 2014

On Sunday 1. June 2014 23.39.55 anatoly techtonik wrote:
> You need to count non-reverted edits before and after the certain date.
> That's all.
> And am curious about Mailman - it is clear that for w.p.o there is no stats
> yet.

There is probably a way to get stats, but it isn't a high priority for me, 


> Didn't know Mailman chose proprietary software for the wiki.

Which is where I stepped in. At some point it will be deployed on MoinMoin, 
and then the matter of moderation will be reviewed, but it'll be up to Barry 
and company to decide what they do.

> > From what I can see, this didn't stop committed contributors from
> > improving that site.
> Being alone contributor is not fun either.

True enough. First of all, however, one must provide an environment where 
people's contributions are visible and valued. People probably don't bother 
contributing to sites that are heavily vandalised, just as most people don't 
tend to physically hang out for fun in heavily vandalised urban areas (unless 
they have no other choice).


> I found only one - http://moinmo.in/ActionMarket/ApproveChanges - it looks
> good except that Moderation Queue will be more useful if it is global and
> visible by anyone. More people will be aware of it and it could be
> crowdsourced.

That's an interesting idea which I might try and implement in some way. You 
can, of course, make it accessible by all your site's existing contributors, 
which one might argue is what you really want, though.


> The cost of defacement should be higher than a cost of revert. If
> defacement edits are not indexed, there is no motivation to write bots for
> it.

One motivation for doing a secret approval queue is that the edits are not 
visible at all. Spammers are stupid enough to spam even when their edits are 
marked as non-indexable because they only care about volume, perhaps getting 
paid by the spam - who knows? When their edits appear to go into a black hole, 
there is the slightly higher chance that they get the message and spam 

> > 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.
> I still think that the problem with wasted time is a software problem.

It is certainly true that tools can save people's time in dealing with 
defacement. But when people have to choose between doing useful work and 
cleaning up other people's vandalism, any preventative measures will take 
precedence over either of those things.


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