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Re: [Debconf-team] number of words in order sign up for the debconf wiki and stopping bad actors.

On Wed, 4 May 2016 16:57:14 +0000
shirish शिरीष <shirishag75@gmail.com> wrote:

> While all that is good, what is not mentioned is that it needs minimum
> 15 words. It would be nice if somebody would add that bit too.

The MediaWiki extension providing the sign-up form doesn't seem to
always count exactly to 15 (it can be lower or higher), and hence we
use the somewhat vague wording of "15 words or so" on the form.  You're
welcome to try to come up with a different wording covering this.

> Another query - Could somebody share why is there a need for manual
> approval of accounts?

You pretty much gave the answer yourself.  To weed out the spammers
(mostly spambots) by adding the human element, and to save volunteer
time and effort.
> From whatever little understanding I have garnered from editing
> Wikipedia and other wikis , if a bad actor wants to be in, there isn't
> much that can be done to stop her/im.

Well, it has worked for us for the past three years.

You seem to assume that we haven't tried other means of fighting the
spammers before deciding on manual account verification.  We tried at
least six different methods, and they all meant a big investment in
volunteer time and effort for little benefit much of the time due to
the wiki's semi-dormancy between DebConfs, unlike Wikipedia which sees
constant use and has many tireless anti-spam volunteers whose work at
once benefits the other users.

> The form only takes out casual bad actors, the real bad ones would not
> be easily caught.

You have little faith in the people processing the account
requests :-), and the spammers for that matter as our wiki isn't a
high-profile target.

Regards, Kaare

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