Forum: Ruby Ruby Garden Spam

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Robert McGovern (Guest)
on 2006-02-16 13:11
(Received via mailing list)
Been a while since I've been to Ruby Garden and just removed spam from
the front page.

I am amazed at the amount of garbage spam (random characters) that is
on the wiki since Jan 23rd

http://www.rubygarden.org/ruby?RecentChanges

Someone must really have it in for it :(

Rob
Jim W. (Guest)
on 2006-02-16 15:49
Robert McGovern wrote:
> Been a while since I've been to Ruby Garden and just removed spam from
> the front page.
>
> I am amazed at the amount of garbage spam (random characters) that is
> on the wiki since Jan 23rd
>
> http://www.rubygarden.org/ruby?RecentChanges
>
> Someone must really have it in for it :(

Actually, this past week has been a slow week for spam.  Out of 731
attempted spam attacks, only about 5 needed manual fixup.  The other 726
attempts were automatically routed to the Wiki tarpit where they don't
show up on the main wiki page.  On the other hand, we had about 27
informative updates in the wiki itself.

Robert, if you were seeing a lot of spam, my guess is that you were one
of the unfortunate individuals that accidently were caught by the
tarpit.  We haven't talked about the tarpit recently, so it is probably
worthwhile to mention it again.

The wiki tarpit is a special area of the RubyGarden wiki where spammers
are automatically directed.  Spammers are allowed to spam all they want
int the tarpit, and for the most part only other spammers see their
spam.  The tarpit trap isn't perfect, and occasionally non-spammers are
sent there as well, and occasionally spammers get through to the main
page.

Here's how it works.  There are two reasons to be redirected to the
tarpit:

(1) You are posting from an IP address that has been previously been
explicitly banned for posting spam.

(2) You are posting from an IP address that does not have a reverse DNS
lookup (i.e. the wiki software cannot determine the host name of the
machine you are posting from) AND you a posting without setting any user
preferences.

If the reason is (1), then perhaps you are sharing an ISP host with a
spammer.  If the reason is (2), then all you need to do is setup a user
name using the preferences link at the bottom of the wiki page.

How to tell if you are in the Tarpit?  Well, if it looks like there is a
lot of spam, chances are that you are in the tarpit.  If you make a
non-spam post that seems to disappear without a trace, then you might be
in the tarpit (I refresh the tarpit from the normal wiki every few
days).

Does the tarpit work?  Actually, it seems to be working quite well.  As
you can tell from the numbers, only about 3.5 percent of the wiki
updates are non-spam.  The tarpit lets most of the good content through
without problems.  The biggest danger is the accidental tarpitting of
legitimate postings.  I don't monitor that all the time, but when I
have, the false positives have been fairly low.

But that doesn't mean that they are zero.  If you seem to have trouble
with the tarpit, don't hesitate to drop me a line, or post here.

--
-- Jim W.
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