[Catalyst] Wiki spam

Brandon Black blblack at gmail.com
Fri Apr 7 23:32:52 CEST 2006

On 4/7/06, Nilson Santos Figueiredo Junior <acid06 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 4/7/06, Shlomi Fish <shlomif at iglu.org.il> wrote:
> > You can prevent the spammers from winning by making sure all external links
> > are marked with the rel="nofollow" attribute. This will hopefully also
> > prevent them from spamming in the future. All my wikis have this feature
> > enabled. See:
> The problem with this approach is that the good links which should be
> indexed by whatever search engine are also not followed.
> I think requiring authentication or a captcha really is the best way to go.

I also don't think the rel="nofollow" thing is a good idea for wiki
edits.  It works pretty well for blog comments and forum postings and
whatnot, as it serves as a distinction between the links the site
administrators put in place, which have significance, and the crap the
users post, which might be irrelevant or spam.

But in the wiki case, the stuff the users are editing *is* the
official site itself, and you can't just go and make all the links in
the site irrelevant to google, because then you're hurting the indexes
of related (Catalyst) content in Google.

A halfway approach for a wiki software author might be to force
rel="nofollow" into all external links in new edits that aren't on a
configurable whitelist (for topic-specific wikis, it's pretty easy to
configure a list of known related domains - like *.perl.org,
*.cpan.org, etc for us), and keep a pointer to all the inserted
nofollows in a table of "recent edits that had questionable external
links" for editorial approval.

Whoever's maintaining the wiki could occasionally go hit a special
admin page/tool that browses the table entries and allows the silent
removal of the nofollows as part of some automated "approve" action. 
Should probably be a button for "whitelist this domain" too, to make
it easy to grow the whitelist based on domains people are linking to.

-- Brandon

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