What’s the deal with ResourceFolder8?

Thanks to the miraculous spam-cleaning bot, WikiSpam is effortlessly swept from our public site at regular intervals. The fact that scumsucking spammers cannot keep their links up for more than an hour or two has not dissuaded them. Indeed, I can only marvel at their persistence and inventiveness.

One disturbing tactic is to spam one page hundreds of times with near-identical revisions. The presumable intent being to obliterate all traces of the original content behind a wall of spam.

Nowhere is this approach so frenetically applied as with ResourceFolder8, a seemingly inoffensive collection of links established by students for a collaborative project.

Whatever it is these students are doing, they’ve really rubbed some spammer the wrong way. 1800 spam attacks in less than a week on a single page.

Sadly, though spammers are not succeeding in establishing enduring links, they are becoming such a nuisance that our open public wiki will likely be eased out of use, at least in its current form. Future wiki installations will make it easy for page owners to protect their stuff — at the cost of interaction, of course. The wiki dream will die, at least in its purest incarnation. Given the futility of the spammer’s efforts to keep their links on our site, in my darker conspiratorial moods I speculate if shutting down open spaces has been their true objective all along.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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3 Responses to What’s the deal with ResourceFolder8?

  1. As a less drastic alternative, you might consider MediaWiki – it allows blocking anonymous edits. That’s how I’ve set the U of C wiki at http://weblogs.ucalgary.ca/wiki – and (touch wood) no wiki spam in over 2 months, after some serious spamming on an unrestricted MediaWiki config.

  2. Well, this is unfortunate–thanks for bringing it to our attention, since this is the course that Karen and I look after–I guess we’ll have to implement a plan B for next semester:)

  3. mitch says:

    aww. 🙁 a study group in my cs430 class is using the ubcwiki to pool/distribute notes.

    we’ll be sad pandas when the wiki dies, but we’ll be extremely depressed pandas if it goes away before the exam. please, won’t someone think of the pandas?


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