At Least Someone is Using the Wikis (bad news, they are spammers)

We’ve got some regular visitors to some of our Ocotillo wikis, too bad they are not contributing to our collaborative space, unless you think that inserting about 150 URLs for Asian web sites has something to do with Learning Objects.

They hit the same pages, and in fact are wiki URLs mentioned here, so I am not linking directly to them. The IP addresses vary across the 220…, 221…, 60… range. I have been trying to sort out the correct syntax for the UseMod Banned IP features, which require perl regular expressions. not exactly my forte, but I found some examples with a 15 minute Google section. Found some useful stuff from the KaminskiWiki.

I was also reassured, amused that the UseMod wiki itself was encrusted with the same exact crud ours has been hit with recently, URL for URL.

I know it is a losing war. I know it. I know it is the wiki way, and that in “good” wikis, the community polices itself. Yet, this is a new space, and do you think people are enticed to return if their first view is two pages of noise and gack?

On another front, there is something about the phpBB discussion boards I am using in that there must be some robots (or maybe I forgot again to exclude the Google crawler) that detect new boards out there. We had allowed anyone to request and email confirm their own account, but after seeing 10 new accounts, al with hotmail emails, for users such as “Valium-876” and ‘Italian-Tongue-Ring-043’ I had to revert the settings for accounts needing admin approval.

Don’t people out there have better things to do than dump their crap in good intentioned open sites? What is, pie in the sky, all the effort that went into promulgating spam actually did something productive? constructive? of use or benefit to the world. I of course am dreaming or taking hallucinogens this morning, but I can think of lots of things I’d rather be doing than cleaning out blog comments, wiki pages, discussion boards of content that is irrelevant, unwanted, and frankly, worse than dog-s****.

Stephen has suggested my wish is naive or misplaced for Google to remove their page rank as an incentive (spammers try to insert their URLs all over the place because it improves their rankings on search results), but I beg to understand why. If Google did not reward the viagra promoters with page rank, wouldn’t the incentive be at least largely decreased for the spammers to push their URLs? If someone can explain this to me in simple terms, I will toss this belief, but I still think firmly that Google, with all their expertise and now money, ought to do something about this. Please, Google- remove the incentive for spammers. Ban them completely from the index.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.