Spamming into the new year.

25 12 2004

It should come as a surprise to no one, yet I find myself saddened by this latest development in the spam-wars.
One of the groups I enjoy working with does technical logistics and Roadie work for SF, Gaming, and Masquerade conventions up and down the east coast. We have a Wiki that we use to store some basic information that’s handy to have shareable, easily updated, and publically editable. Anyone can edit it and post content, and if folks don’t like a change, it can be re-edited, or reverted back to a previous version. Great!
Alas, this morning I woke to find that the wiki’s home page had been changed to ranks and ranks of links to mail-order drug sites. Sound familiar? You betcha. It’s spam, just in wiki-land.
Reverting the change back to a previous version was trivial, and there was no data loss, but I still feel like something I truly believe in (the concept of free-form information exchange) has been corrupted.
Again.

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2 responses

25 12 2004
Sandro Hawke

Yeah, it makes me miserable.
We run a wiki at work that’s becoming fairly unusable due to spam. There are some technological solutions, … perhaps more than for e-mail, but it’s still a pain.
I haven’t had the time to try to the tech solutions, so I don’t know how effective they’ll be.

25 12 2004
dbs

I feel there are some basic solutions, as you say, easier than protecting against email spam, since the delivery method (http) has an inherent authentication methodology in it (http-auth), and most wiki systems have hooks to put a simple password in front of at least the -editing- portion, in a way that’s really not that intrusive.
It’s interesting to note that in the tech world, the initial argument against Wikis was that they would open the door to malicious abuse – changing content by people whose only real goal was the joy of defacing someone elses content. And in fact, the thing that is coming to the fore and causing the most problem is, in fact, greed.




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