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Help:Spam Fighting Guide

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What happens if you find a page filled with links, or senseless blabber or even something written in languages other than English while browsing the Recent Changes? This is probably spam. If you're a sysop you can normally delete, protect and block it, but you might wonder: what can I do if I'm not a sysop? Keep reading, this shouldn't be difficult.

How to fight spam

First of all

You must know what are we talking about with the terms used here. These images should help:

Page and IP when seen from Recent Changes
New Page, User and Spam examples
Number of characters changed from the previous revision

The first image shows a sample edit. Marked in red is the name of the page changed. Marked in orange is the IP of whoever did the change.

The second image shows: in red, the capital, bold N which means that the page is new. In blue, the user responsible for the revision (it's almost the same as the IP, but this one is a registered user) In orange, the first characters of the change.

The third image shows in purple the number of characters added (+) or deleted(-) since last revision.

Some simple warnings

There are many simple ways of identifying potential spammers in the Recent Changes

  1. Edits with lots of characters added - Many thousands or so may be spam
  2. Edits with many URLs added - The orange in the Second image is filled with http://somethingdotcom

Spam articles

What is it?: These are new pages created with lots of external links, sometimes with non-english texts, ads, offensive material or stuff completely irrelevant to Mafia and Mafiascum.

This is an example of a Spam page

How to spot them?: In the Recent Changes they can be identified as a new page if there's a bold, capital N beside the page name, and when you go to the actual page, you may see something like the example on the right.

What to do: Go to the page, click on the "Edit" tab and add {{deleteme}} at the beginning of the text box. Then, click "Save". Hopefully, a sysop will see it and delete it.

Note: If the page was created by a spam user (i.e. all the edits from the user are creation of spam articles), there's not much point in tagging the pages individually; tag the user with {{blockme}} instead, and a sysop will delete all their created pages while doing the block.

Spam Users and IPs

What is it?: This is a single person/user doing a spam job. An IP is, simply put, a number that identifies a single computer in the Internet, it looks something like 123.456.789.00.

How to spot them?: In the Recent Changes, you may see several spam pages made by the same user or the same IP, this is a Spam User or a Spam IP whichever the case. Sometimes you may see a user with a special title, such as SysOp, Admin, Google. Be careful! These usernames are sometimes made for confusing people into thinking they're the real administrators of the wiki. Be sure to know whether they are really who they claim. If you find someone who claims it's a SysOp, Bureucrat or administrator here, it may be a spammer.

Also, User:WikiSysop is NOT a spammer.

What to do: Click on the username or IP. Then, search for the Edit tab at the top of the page and click it. Once there, type {{blockme}} and then click "Save"

Spammed existing page

What is it?: A spammed existing page is any "normal" page in which spam has been inserted. It can be a userpage, a page about a certain rule or something like that. The difference with the one above is that this isn't a New Page.

How to spot them?: This is slightly harder, as it doesn't have the bold N in the edit summary. However, you can check if it's spam in various ways:

  • If you see a userpage edited by someone else, there's a chance it's Spam; check the edit first before blindly removing it!
  • Ridiculous names that contain website names or random strings of characters are a big tip-off. Very long names or names such as "sysop", "admin" and such aren't trustworthy.
  • Check for the summary of the edit: if it contains senseless typing, an external URL repeated, non-english text and such, it's probably Spam
  • If none of the above are present or you are unsure whether it's or not Spam, just check the page itself.

What to do: Go to the page and click the "History" tab. You'll see a list of the previous versions of the page. Click on the second timestamp and see if it's Spam (The timestamp is just the date and hour of the version, it looks something like 22:15, 21 September 2007) If it's spam, go back on your browser and try clicking the next timestamp until you find a nonspam version.

If it's not spam, click on the "Edit" tab at the top of the page and then click "Save"

Stopping spam before it starts

Many of our spammers are chronic, repeat offenders; they will utilize the same websites, phrases, and styles over and over again (one example is the 'cheefsmsn' spammer). To stop them in their tracks, go to MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist and suggest any of the URLs or phrases you see showing up repeatedly. A SysOp will come by shortly and add it to the blacklist, which will prevent that URL from being used here again. The blacklist itself is not editable by normal users, for what are probably obvious reasons.


A wiki is a webpage where everyone can participate. Of course, you may feel unsure whether to mess with the pages, you may be afraid of doing something irreversible when you first edit something, it's perfectly normal. The instructions above are very clear for anyone to follow without trouble. Even if you make a mistake, it's reversible in almost all cases, so don't feel bad if you misclick or tag something incorrectly!

But if you still are a little afraid of changing something, but still want to help when spotting Spam, you can contact one of the sysops, leaving a quick message in their Talk Pages or posting in the Forums. (Who are the sysops?)

Final note

This guide is intended for people new to wikis and/or Mafiascum who wish to combat Spam. Even if you're not the original author, feel free to change this guide if you feel the changes will improve it.