[Systems] A lot of many permablocked spammer accounts

Frederick Grose fgrose at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 15:16:15 EDT 2012

Moved onto Systems list:

On Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 1:59 PM, Chris Leonard <cjlhomeaddress at gmail.com>wrote:

> Fred,
> Bernie and I were chatting and after he helped me with my skin
> problem, the topic of the massive number of spambot accounts still
> existing came up.
> What do you think of this extension as a possible clean-up solution?
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:User_Merge_and_Delete
> I'd be happy to chip in on going through the block logs and doing some
> merging into a single vandal account (of the permablocks), as time
> allows.
> Please let me know if you are admin on the devel instance (I think you
> are) and if you have an interest in trying this out.
> Warmest Regards,
> cjl
> P.S. Thanks for all the countervandalism you do.
>        cjl     what can I do t odiagnose my wiki.sl.o problem?
>        bernie  what problem?
>        cjl     no sidebars or top bar show
>        cjl     A skin issue?
>        bernie  ah probably
>        cjl     How would I investigate?
>        bernie
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering
>        cjl     If you know..
>        bernie  try Vector
>        bernie  and tell me which skin you had
>        cjl     shikiwiki is fscked
>        cjl     thanks, much better now
>        bernie  ah yea
>        bernie  we don't have shikiwiki any more
>        bernie  i should fix the prefs
>        cjl     That would be great
>        bernie  ok i'm changing all users with shikiwiki to vector
>        bernie  wow we have so many spambot user accounts
>        cjl     bernie: I sort of wish there was a way to trim out those
> accounts
> instead of just permablocking them
>        bernie  ah there's no delete user thing?
>        cjl     I don'y think so, at least not that I've found.
>        cjl     Integrity of the history thing I guess.
>        cjl     of course when your history is spammed by say Pootle, that
> can be
> a pain, can't it.
>        bernie
> http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:User_Merge_and_Delete
>        bernie  you could merge them all into Spammer
>        cjl     hmm, that is an idea
>        cjl     Do we have that extension installed?
>        bernie  we'll soon do
>        bernie  damn i have to go now
>        bernie  ok we won't have it SOON
>        bernie  are you a wiki admin?
>        bernie  if so, can you pls install it on wiki-devel and see how it
> works?
>        bernie  wow our wiki is 3GB!
>        bernie  plus the db
>        cjl     bernie, I think I am b-crat and admin, but I am not
> comfortable
> doing changes like that.
>        cjl     I can ask FGrose about it
>        cjl     he is carrying the heavy load of countervandalism these days
>        bernie  ok
>        cjl     I hung up my spam hammer when I got heavy into L10n
>        bernie  (anyway, nobody will ever complain if you break wiki-devel)
>        bernie  that's why we have it
>        bernie  gotta run!

I looked at /srv/www-sugarlabs/wiki-devel/extensions-all/ on sunjammer and
found no UserMerge subdirectory.  (It does appear in .../wiki/extensions/
and .../wiki-testing/extensions/ , which are at different versions.)

I also noticed on the extension talk page,
several recent issues.

In principle it seems OK, but the annoyance of the extra users is not
something that affects most users, so I've differed the effort for now.  (I
need to leave soon for a couple of days, and can pick up the discussion
more then.)

All of the spammer accounts were created before 2010 July 13, when I forced
new account to use OpenID.

In late April 2012, we re-opened wiki level accounts due to some
upgrade/authentication problems.

I've been watching the new User creation log,

and see not too many with no contributions, and no spam so far.

I've become inclined toward outsourced authentication, such as provided by
OpenID; but there is also an important place for experimenting in order to
integrate new features and services with regard to development projects:

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