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Revision as of 14:05, October 9, 2010 by Sulfur (Talk | contribs)

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We've been having a problem with Forum_talk namespace spam lately and it's always stupid little statements such as...

Hey been looking at this site for a while  now and thought i should sign up and spread the word!

I'm clive :)

(please move this if its in the wrong place and bare with me, I'm new!)

They're all very similar in nature. I doubt wikia can do anything about it but I never know. Anyone have any clue? — Morder (talk) 07:59, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

I believe most of the time, it's got something to do with spambots too stupid to find the correct place to dump their URL spam... ;) That one? Hmm... apparently not only too stupid for the "Where" part, but also for the "What" part, as there's not even any spamworthy content.
Seriously, removing the "Forum talk" namespace might be a solution, but since the problem is very minor and because having a namespace without a matching talk namespace might apparenty lead to technical problems, we've not done anything about it the last time this topic came up. -- Cid Highwind 09:45, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

I'd believe the URL spam part but I haven't seen a single URL in any of the posts lately. They've all been very similar to the one above...just strange — Morder (talk) 10:02, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I saw one the other day. I haven't seen a URL in one recently. They don't make any sense to me. Do we use Forum talk pages at all here? I don't recall seeing a legitimate purpose for them. While I would endorse perhaps removing the namespace, I do agree that seems out of proportion to the problem(which is, as was said, minor).--31dot 11:15, October 23, 2009 (UTC)
No, we're not using that namespace. The tab to access "Forum talk:" is hidden via CSS in both available skins - which means that any human user would probably not see them, while special software that does not make use of CSS formatting, like a screen reader or a bot, will. So, unless that Clive guy (and every other user posting to Forum talk:) is someone using accessibility tools and being misdirected to that namespace (How? Why?), it's bot work. -- Cid Highwind 11:23, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

So what we think is happening here, is that spam bots (complete with URLs) are hitting us hard. They get stopped by the captcha that shows for new links being added by anons. So the bots are programed to remove a URL and try again. Eventually, this happens enough that there are no URLs and the (now pointless) spam goes though.

We are also finding that some of the bots, while stupid in this respect, are getting smarter in others. In particular, they are varying parts of the text/title/edit comment/IP which makes it harder for us to block them with all our spam fighting tools. So, we are currently reviewing the tools to see if we can make them more effective, looking to see if we can add more tools or make other changes (such as when or where captchas are shown) and considering re-starting the Janitor program to give users more abilities to squish spam. Not that any of these will be fully affective of course... spam is always going to be a constant battle -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 17:26, October 23, 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for the explanation and for your work on it. :) --31dot 23:52, October 23, 2009 (UTC)
So, anyway, why are there two Forum namespaces and two Forum talk namespaces? I see them in the Search page and the Recent Changes filter list. The 2 Forum namespaces are ID'd with values 100 and 110, and the two Forum talk namespaces are ID'd with values 101 and 111. Now: Those extra duplicate namespaces don't apparently have a way at all to publish anything in them, much less spam, but as long as we're talking about removing namespaces and whether it's proportional to the problem, I point out what looks like a separate problem which would seem to call for the same solution. SennySix 05:38, October 30, 2009 (UTC)

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