Barrage of spam page creations on
Hi Asheesh, I'm Doug, a Steward on Miraheze. Stewards, together with Global Sysops, educate users about and enforce our global policies, on the one hand, certainly, but they also support small wikis with few or no active local bureaucrats and administrators with problems that may arise on wikis. Recently, users DarkMatterMan4500 and HeartsDo reported to global functionaries in our
#cvt channel on IRC that
openhatchwiki had been inundated with a barrage of spam only accounts creating spam page creations advertising various spam websites, requiring constant monitoring, patrolling, and deleting by Stewards and Global Sysops alike.
As we are a small team hosting nearly 4,000 wikis across the wiki farm, we obviously do not have the scale of resources to track, monitor, and remediate all spam creations. So, as part of my responsibilities as a Steward, one possibility was to enable ProtectSite as a temporary measure to limit page creations to only users in certain permission groups. Unfortunately, following a test on a similar wiki, I was unhappy with that extension's design in that it does not permit the wiki protection level to be set to
autoconfirmed and its logging facilities, as well as the fact I couldn't be certain if the temporary one month protection level I'd set had indeed been set correctly. So, as you'll note, I opted instead to modify your
(Main) namespace to require
autoconfirmed permissions (an implicit user group granted by default to all users once they have had an account on the wiki for at least four (4) calendar days and once they've made at least ten (10) edits). Since the spam only accounts generally create fewer than three (3) pages and often only one page, this is a measure that would have minimal effect on legitimate users on the wiki, and would be remarkably effective at preventing spam from occurring on your wiki.
As always, you are of course free to revert this change, as this was designed to be an interim protective measure in absence of locally active wiki bureaucrats and administrators.
As you are the only bureaucrat on this wiki, who was briefly last active on this wiki in 2018, I'm opting to notify you of the actions taken by Stewards and Global Sysops in support of your wiki. If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to reach out to me either here by pinging my username (
[[User:Dmehus|Dmehus]]) or on my user talk page on Meta. As well, for a current up-to-date list of global functionaries supporting your wiki, please see Special:GlobalUsers. :)
Dmehus (talk) 17:11, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
Hi Dmehus! Thanks for doing this. I'm quite grateful to Miraheze for the hosting, and to you, DarkMatterMan4500, and HeartsDo for noticing the problem and taking firm action!
I've gone ahead and made the whole wiki semiprotected. Given that this wiki contains educational materials that are important to keep online, but are rarely edited, I think manually granting write access is a good strategy. There's a note in the header of the wiki on how to contact me. I'll respond to emails and allow editors as needed. I've removed autoconfirmed users from having the editsemiprotected permission, and I'll add users to the "Confirmed Users" group manually to whitelist them.
--Asheesh (talk) 00:49, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
- Asheesh No problem, and that sounds like a solid strategy and rationale. Thanks also for your prompt response to my note. While it sounds like you're very responsive to e-mail requests from legitimate users needing
editpermissions, if you wish, you can also designate Stewards as backups able to grant the
confirmeduser group permission (i.e., in your wiki's sitenotice, on its Main Page, or in some other prominent location). The duration of the authorization would be indefinite, unless otherwise specified, and you could also tell your wiki's visitors how long they should wait for a reply before going to stewards' noticeboard on Meta Wiki and requesting permission from Stewards in your stead. Entirely up to you. Dmehus (talk) 05:26, 14 December 2020 (UTC)