Note from Pico, a really kind and clever PmWiki user, on handling spam. Could be useful for PmWiki installations in general.

Spam attacks on are on the rise. People have been great about stepping in and fixing pages. If you notice a spammed page, you should feel free to fix it. Here are my suggestons for what you should do. If you disagree, please reply.

  1. History: When you notice a spammed page, view the history.
  2. IP Address: Note the spammer's IP address. If the spammer did not use an author name, the ip address will appear in its place. If an author name was used, hold the mouse cursor over the author name and the IP address will appear as a tooltip.
  3. Restore if possible: If the history page shows spam added to, or overwriting, some regular (non-spam) content, then click the corresponding restore link and when the edit screen appears, just add your name and a comment (e.g. Sam, Restored from Spam) and save. If the history page just shows spam, with no prior non-spam content, then I could just delete the page: edit, select all, type "delete", and save with a name and comment (e.g., Sam, Deleted, just spam).
  4. Blocklist: This is *the most important step*. If you fix a spammed page, particularly where PmWiki content was totally overwritten by spam, then you can, and *should* add the spammer's IP address to the block list at Site.Blocklist. The password is "quick" Follow the pattern of other entries and enter the first three sets of ip numbers, with an asterisk for the 4th set, and no leading zeros, and place it at the appropriate (sorted) location.
  5. Tips: When despamming, I'll open a second tab window for Site.Blocklist so that I can switch between the history IP view (step 2) and the blocklist (step 4). When editing the blocklist, I just scroll to the apprioriate point, do a copy and paste, and then edit the paste to conform to the new IP address.

Final thoughts. Don't be afraid of this awesome power to block spammers. The worst you can do is do what I once did: add Pm to the blocklist of his own site! Pm took it in stride and with a smiley. On the other hand, keep in mind that this is all about spammers, not sandboxers. Many people will innocently create new pages with comments like "I can make a page" and it is nice to cleanup those pages when you find them, but please don't blocklist them. Blocklisting is for spammers who overwite PmWiki content or plaster pages with links to, and, or whatever the spam of the moment happens to be ;-)


Related Posts