MisesWiki:Combating spam

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Mises Wiki anti-spam configuration settings have been significantly loosened up in order to minimize inconvenience and impediments to potentially good editors. A possible side effect of this is that spamming may become easier. The changes and the reasoning behind them is as follows:

IP edits

Anonymous (i.e. non-logged-in) users are not prohibited from editing, because that would be largely pointless from an accountability standpoint. Pseudonymous users are equally, if not more so, "anonymous," since their geographical and ISP information is not made publicly available. Therefore, it is not easier to hold a user accountable for his actions just because he has an account. Disabling IP editing might help against the adding of gibberish and so on by users who haven't passed CAPTCHA, but it also puts an inconvenience in the way of legitimate users.

Rate limits

It would be possible to impose rate limits restricting, say, anons and newbie accounts to 6 edits per minute, in order to slow down vandalbots. However, given the small number of pages on this wiki, and the lack of 24-hour supervision, this would not prevent an overnight attack from vandalizing essentially everything in a few hours.


Asirra has proven to be the most effective CAPTCHA available; now that the bugs have apparently been worked out of it, it poses no hindrance to new users creating accounts and editing. Users will have to solve a CAPTCHA to create an account, to create a page, or to make an edit that adds external links until they are autoconfirmed. This CAPTCHA requires identifying the cats in a set of 12 photographs of cats and dogs.

External links

The rationale behind requiring a CAPTCHA in order to add external links is that most spam includes such links.

Page creation

The rationale behind requiring a CAPTCHA in order to create a page is that the only remedies to people creating a bunch of undesired pages are (1) for a sysop to delete them, which floods our deletion log and requires review by other sysops to make sure that we're not deleting good content; or (2) for a regular user to blank the page, which leaves us with a bunch of useless blank pages. Gibberish edits to existing pages are not such a big deal, because the edits can be easily reverted, and anyone can review the reversion and the resulting block and see that it was justified.


Users become autoconfirmed 24 hours after their first edit. Hopefully that will give us enough time to assess whether the user is likely to be a good contributor or not; if he immediately linkspams, as most spammers do, then we know to block him indefinitely.

We could set a higher $wgAutoConfirmCount value than 1, but that would be pointless. A user could just make one edit, wait out the $wgAutoConfirmAge period, then make a slew of edits to reach the required edit count, and thereby become autoconfirmed.


$wgNoFollowLinks is set to false in furtherance of the Mises Wiki mission. It is beneficial if our externally linking to pages is taken into consideration by search engines, since those are often pages we wish to promote as providing useful information on the Austrian school and libertarianism. See metawikipedia:nofollow.