OpenStreetMap

AAARGH !!! Those Spammers !

Posted by ika-chan! on 17 May 2017 in English (English)

Can someone please do something about the spammers? I am a regular reader of the OpenStreetMap Blog feed, but recently they have been overrun by spammers that abuse the user diary system and go as far as to peddle software cracking (warez).

Extra: Another thing I noticed is that the OpenStreetMap signup page does not have that “I’m not a robot” captcha, which is a far cry from the days you had to figure out nearly-indecipherable words. If there was one, it would significantly reduce automated spammers.

Extra II: But the captcha I refer to helps Google Street View, even though it will be some time before OSM can excel in the street view sector. So what now? Panic?

Comment from SomeoneElse on 17 May 2017 at 14:30

The admins do tidy the diary entries periodically, but if you’re reading the feed that won’t help. You’d need to suggest to whoever runs the feed that they change the way it works - perhaps only posting after a period of time. I’m not sure who runs it, but if you ask in #osm-dev on IRC, someone may know.

Comment from smsm1 on 17 May 2017 at 15:18

The code for the RSS feed system is at https://github.com/gravitystorm/blogs.osm.org

Comment from ika-chan! on 17 May 2017 at 15:39

The problem now is that the spammers are doing it nearly everyday, pushing all the legitimate entries off the feed. Another thing I noticed is that the OpenStreetMap signup page does not have that “I’m not a robot” captcha, which is a far cry from the days you had to figure out nearly-indecipherable words.

Comment from Richard on 17 May 2017 at 19:27

Yeah, the problem with the most popular (and successful) captcha is that it’s used to crowdsource data for Google’s proprietary mapping database, which is kinda contrary to the OSM project.

Comment from ika-chan! on 18 May 2017 at 05:59

@Richard

My bad. (facepalm)

Comment from ff5722 on 18 May 2017 at 07:22

People without contributions to the map have zero reason to be allowed to write diary entries I think. Help questions can be asked on the forum or on help.openstreetmap.org. Companies that want to announce news about OSM could be whitelisted by the admins.

Comment from Christian Ledermann on 23 May 2017 at 09:43

Bayesian spam filter?

Comment from Alan Trick on 24 May 2017 at 23:24

@ff5722: theoretically a great idea, but how would you keep the spammers from just making a garbage changeset first.

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