MediaWiki Administrator's Handbook/Spam and Spammers

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Recent Changes Patrol MediaWiki Administrator's Handbook
Spam and Spammers
How to Handle Copyright Violations

On wikimedia wikis, spamming is the addition of unwelcome commercial links and/or language, either added to already existing pages, or added as an entire page.

The various projects have vast differences in what is defined as spamming, and what to do about it.


The most common way to protect your wiki from spam is to use ConfirmEdit extension. Extension:ConfirmEdit offers several variants of capchas:


SimpleCaptcha is the default captcha in ConfirmEdit. This captcha prompts user to solve a simple math question to prove that they are not spam bots:

SimleCaptcha screenshot.png

SimpleCaptcha can be easily bypassed by simple script, so it is recommended to use more complex capchas.


FancyCaptcha is a traditional graphic captcha, that prompts user to type letters that appear in the picture:

FancyCaptcha screenshot.png

To create captcha's images you will need to run a python script. But you will not need python on your web-server to use this captcha, you may create images on your desktop, for example, and just copy them to your wiki web-server.


MathCaptcha is another captcha mechanism for ConfirmEdit. To run it you will require TeX support within your MediaWiki.

ConfirmEdit Notes[edit]

Note that ConfirmEdit is quite sensitive to version mismatch. The last version of ConfirmEdit should work well with the last version of MediaWiki. If you want to use ConfirmEdit with a legacy version of MediaWiki, you might spend a lot of time looking for a matching version of ConfirmEdit in the SVN repository. Some version matches are mentioned on the extension home page but not all of them.


ReCAPTCHA is a captcha extension for Mediawiki. It offers strong visual and audio capchas.