MediaWiki spam is such a headache
Why is Wiki spam so much worse to me than other types of spam? Well, first off I run a lot of wikis (
Snowulf, Au RCC 2010, RCC 2010, RecentChangesCamp, WestCoastWikiCon 2011, IPv6Wiki to name a few). Every wiki that I run is an open door for spammers who could potentially get my server marked as a spam zone, thereby hurting other sites (like this one). Mostly I hate MediaWiki spam because it is such a slow process to deal with.
When I get comment spam here at the blog (and I do get a fair bit) that makes it through the spam filter, I just click the trash button and it’s all gone. With Wikis there is a lot more clean up work. More importantly, WordPress has the most amazing plugin/service called Akismet. It catches probably 99% of the spam comments to the blog. It’s like SpamAssassin for blog commentary (actually it’s better, since SpamAssassin is actually fairly limited).
What I’d love, is for someone to make an Akismet for Wikis. The bots that hit all my wikis are the same bots that run all around the web. They post the same type of comment and the same shitty pictures everywhere they go. The plugin needs to allow administrators to mark an edit as spam, report that back to a central server, and deal with the edit. Additionally each edit would be checked against some sort of central database (much like how Akismet works). You could even check images in a similar method, but using a SHA1/256/512 hash of the image contents. I assure you that I’ve been hit hard by the image spammers and at least 75% of their images (uploaded to one wiki) are identical.
Wikimedia, Wikia, and the big farms have people who are devoted to the spam problem, but us little guys don’t. We need something that is WordPress simple for dealing with the problem. It can be an optional extension (which those who are privacy concerned would opt out of), but we need something easier than constantly updating AbuseFilters and AntiBot extensions.