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[Comments] (1) Boring Dream: I dreamed I was escaping from somewhere with some other people in a miniscule submarine. It was dark and so cramped I couldn't move. It was effectively like dreaming about being asleep. Then it started over again, except the submarine was even smaller. As though I'd beaten the first level of Submarine Escape and there was nothing for it but to repeat the experience on a higher difficulty setting.

[Comments] (6) Spam Will Eat Itself: The NewsBruiser wiki has been defaced with wiki spam for a while. Recently I decided to do something about it, so I examined the patterns and found some bizarre features unique to wiki spam.

First, the spam I was getting seemed to be manually entered. There were long (by web bot standards) and irregular pauses between hits from spammers, and slightly differing spam methodologies. Sometimes the log message for a spammy change had a solitary "d" or "df" in it, the mark of a person used to scribbling crap data into web forms. It was kind of sad to imagine the people whose job it is to manually spam wikis, like an email spammer who must manually type in SMTP commands. Maybe I'm missing all the bot-based attacks because I use a relatively unpopular wiki software (just as the only comment spam I've ever seen on NewsBruiser was manually entered)

What is new and interesting, though, is the way the wiki spammers locate wikis to spam. To get things started there must be some bots that can spam SubWiki, or particularly persistent manual wiki spammers. But once there is any spam at all in a wiki, a pheremone trail has been laid down and the hordes close in.

You see, the majority of manual wiki spammers seem to be free riders who use search engines to find wikis that have already been spammed, then go in and replace the preexisting spam with their spam. The internicene warfare rages without end, as spammers destroy each others' contributions to the wikispamosphere while making a mockery of the work of the original spammer who went through all the trouble of finding that wiki in the first place, or writing a bot that could spam SubWiki. For shame!

There are a variety of engines and sub-techniques in use, but the most common one is to search for "wiki" plus the name of a site to which wiki spam points. Then, for each hit, go into the wiki and replace the (spam) text of the page with your own spam text. This anti-wiki-spam organization has documented this behavior, but not its comical implication.

Until I can figure out a better solution which hopefully doesn't involve me doing a whole lot of SubWiki development or switching wiki software, I am going to do a little free riding of my own. I've implemented a couple solutions that protect the NewsBruiser wiki only because it's not worth five seconds of a spammer's time to figure out what's going on, when there are so many other wikis they could be spamming.

[Comments] (2) Broken Tom Swifties: From IRC chatter at work:

It's fun.


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