Note: There are a few cases of duplicates in user autocompletion which are being worked on.

Add configurable delays for content from new users

RESOLVED WONTFIX

Status

Mozilla Developer Network
Editing
--
enhancement
RESOLVED WONTFIX
a year ago
a year ago

People

(Reporter: jwhitlock, Unassigned)

Tracking

(Blocks: 1 bug, {in-triage})

Details

(Whiteboard: [specification][type:feature])

(Reporter)

Description

a year ago
What problem would this feature solve?
======================================
A significant portion of the SEO spam comes from newly created accounts. If a new user is prevented from editing or creating new pages for a short time after account creation, this help distinguish actual users from spammers.

Who has this problem?
=====================
All contributors to MDN

How do you know that the users identified above have this problem?
==================================================================
When the site is open to new users, it is eventually attacked with SEO spam.

How are the users identified above solving this problem now?
============================================================
Since February 12th, the site has been mostly closed to new accounts.

Do you have any suggestions for solving the problem? Please explain in detail.
==============================================================================
Add database-stored config variables to restrict actions by new users for a given number of seconds:

NEW_USER_WAIT_FIRST_EDIT = 120  (2 minutes)
NEW_USER_WAIT_FIRST_PAGE = 3600 (1 hour)
NEW_USER_WAIT_FIRST_TRANSLATION = 120 (2 minutes)

During the wait period, display a banner telling the user they need to wait to take the action, but accept the edit and submit to Akismet if they ignore it.  This may allow us to manually or automatically ban users before content appears on the site.

Is there anything else we should know?
======================================
Some investigation is needed to:

1) confirm that SEO spammers create content shortly after creating an account
2) determine if a separate timeout is needed / possible for starting a new translation
(Reporter)

Updated

a year ago
Blocks: 1109994
Keywords: in-triage
I <3 this.
(Reporter)

Comment 2

a year ago
I ran some numbers against our users actions since the start of the year, measuring how many would be blocked by different numbers. The actions are "edit", where an existing page is edited, "new page", where a new English page is created, and "new trans.", where a new translation is created.  The table is best viewed in a fixed-width font (like on bugzilla):

     Edit    |    Banned   | Not Banned
-------------+-------------+------------
Total Users  | 132         | 934
In 1 minute  |   2 ( 1.5%) |  65 ( 7.0%)
In 2 minutes |  17 (12.9%) | 201 (21.5%)
In 5 minutes |  69 (52.3%) | 363 (38.9%)

  New Page   |   Banned    | Not Banned
-------------+-------------+------------
Total Users  | 239         |  28
In 1 minute  |  11 ( 4.6%) |   0 ( 0.0%)
In 2 minutes |  52 (21.8%) |   2 ( 7.1%)
In 5 minutes | 148 (61.9%) |   4 (14.3%)
In 24 hours  | 236 (98.7%) |  16 (57.1%)

 New Trans.  |   Banned    | Not Banned
-------------+-------------+------------
Total Users  |  11         | 285
In 1 minute  |   0 (   0%) |   3 ( 1.1%)
In 2 minutes |   0 ( 0.0%) |  13 ( 4.7%)
In 5 minutes |   3 (27.3%) |  40 (14.0%)
In 24 hours  |  11 ( 100%) | 242 (84.9%)

My takeaways:
1) Legitimate users do quickly edit a page or translate it, and any delay would be annoying.
2) Spammers are more likely to quickly create a new English page than legit users.
3) Any delay on edits and new translations would annoy more legit contributors than spammers
4) A delay on new pages would annoy but not block spammers

I now think there will be more effective ways than a set delay to combat spam.  Feel free to put in your $0.02, but I'm closing as won't fix for now.
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: a year ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
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