Site:Spam

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Here are a few notes on spam.

Contents

[edit] What is it?

Any commercial links are spam. (There could be an exception for a link on the Site:Other scripture resources page to a commercial site that people find valuable for studying the scriptures. In fact though, not sure that such an exception is needed. Currently there are no commercial sites like that on that page.)

Spam sometimes is done manually and sometimes is automated.

Some spam is intended for direct human consumption on this site. The spammer is hoping that a user will see the link and follow it. Other spam is only there in order to increase the google ranking of the site. Google, and other search engines, use the fact that other sites link to a site in order to increase the rank of that page in search results.

[edit] How do we deal with it?

[edit] Built in features to minimize spam

This site is run using the software Mediawiki. Built into the version we currently use is a rel="nofollow" attribute for all links. Essentially this means that no external links from this site are used to increase page rankings for sites we link to. The downside of this is that links from this site to, for example, the Church's website will not increase the Church's website's rank in Google search results. The good news is that this takes away the incentive for people to post links simply in order to increase their google rank. Unfortunately, not all spammers are aware that we (and most other wikimedia wikis) implement this feature. This means that they may mistakenly believe that by posting links they are helping their google rank.

[edit] How users can help

Users, please remove any spam you see. Sometimes you will need to look in the history and add back stuff if the SPAM bot deleted something while adding the spam.

[edit] How admins can help

Admins, please block all IPs used for automated spam. In theory there are a limited number of possible IPs that such a spammer could use. When blocking use an expiry time of "indefinite."

Another thing that admins can do to block spam is to protect pages that are frequent targets of spam.

[edit] What actually worked

Implementing a simple captcha with customized questions for this site has proven over the years to be the best way for this site to avoid spam.

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