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(from a discussion on MeatballAntiSpam)

What if, when the spammers are recognized, they are diverted to a form that is a type of survey that is used to help create a social-psychology map? Once they fill out this form, they are then reciprocated with a blank page that is seperate from the main wiki where they can deposit their spam. What if this social-psychology map data is then compared to geographic location data? What if some of these forms are able to be modified over time, in order to fool a cross section of some of the spamming people into revealing more about who they are, and why and how they do this.

Proposed Generally Useful Data

In general, the more information that we know about the life conditions, the "world view", the culture, and the motives of the people doing the spamming, the more we will know about why they are spamming. Possibly useful information could include:

Potential problems with survey format

A potential problem with creating an online survey is that there is a high likelihood that the survey takers would simply click randomly through it, to move on to the online space that they are trying to get to in the first place (in the case, the proposed spam repository).

However, another approach could be to create "paths" that represent valid and reliable social/psycho metric choices, and/or possibly "tasks" who's completion also reveals potential valid and reliable social/psycho metric choices, in order to get to the desired online space. The "paths" and "tasks" would likely need to be relatively quick and easy. Yet, there must be a reiterated set of "paths" and/or "tasks" in order to create reliable and valid data. So, "paths" could simply be a series of choosing to click on different symbols or images that can be shown to validly and realiably resonate with with psycho-social choices.

Of course, a survey could also be made available as a "task", as a certain percentage of people might very well actually accurately fill out the survey. Other "tasks" could simply be quick, yet valid and reliable social/psycho metric "task"-oriented choices.

We can assume that the spammers are posting the content for commercial reasons. And so, I think we can assume that a questionaire or survey that appeals to the reasons we think they are spamming might get some results.

Proposed Survery

"Thank You for submitting link content to this wiki. In order to ensure that the links your are posting here are optimized for internet search engine page ranking, we'll need you to answer a few questions.

What country are you located in? ______________

What city are you located in? _______________

What is your age? ______________

What level of schooling have you achieved? (check one)

Which search engines do you hope will pickup the links you are posting here? (check all that apply):

Which website locations are the best places to places links:

Are the links you are posting here pointing to commercial or advertising websites?

Can you explain your best strategies for posting links to websites? Where are the best places online to post links? What would make it easier for you to post links to websites? (fill in text box:_________________)

Can you explain how you learned these strategies?

How much time do you think you spend posting links to websites?

Is there something you would rather be doing with your time besides posting these links?

If Yes, describe what you wold rather be doing below:

(fill in text box_________________________________ this could eventually become a multiple choice question, depending on answers given.)

Which describes you the best?:

When you are faced with a tough problem you usually:

To help improve this site for you, please describe a typical day in you life. :

(fill in text box ________________________)


Just wanted to jot down some of my thoughts for now. I'll definitely be coming back to build tthis up and brainstorm about it some more. -- SamRose

This is what I think we can do. We can divert confirmed spam attacks to the survey, and then when they are done, allow them to post on a TarPit?, which is really a delusion. Rather than theorize about this forever, let's just start with a basic survey to test the idea, and then improve it over time. -- SunirShah

Looks like a good idea to me. May I suggest that the survey read something convincing from the point of view of the wiki spammer? I have created one possible idea above that I think will resonate with the people posting the spamming content. --SamRose

I think this is pretty straightforward. I'll implement something after I move to Ottawa this weekend. -- SunirShah

Can we set this up to only trigger on a very limited set of URLs, not the entire blacklist? Some of them, like blogspot, are tripped by regular users. Checking the list of blocked edits should give a good idea of what URLs will be hit. -- ChrisPurcell

If the blacklist is tripping regular users, you should remove the rules that cause those failures. -- SunirShah

It has happened twice that I'm aware of in the months since blocking blogspot. We get dozens of spam attacks per day on it IIRC. The main reason I'm concerned is that, at the moment, the user gets a very easy way to post their complaint that their URL is blocked: remove that URL, and post. It's even described on the page. People do not appear to have a problem with this. If we start putting up a survey instead, that removes that easy course of action. -- ChrisPurcell

Adding more to the survey today, trying to slip some psychological questions in there. -- SamRose


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