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We've been experiencing a reoccurring issue with Anonymous users editing answers to introduce spam onto our site. See https://tridion.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/962 and https://tridion.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/948 for a couple examples of this.

On the moderator team, the only real tool we have available to prevent these types of edits are to temporarily lock the posts they are being made against. We have done this twice for the post Should I install the Content Delivery web sites and services with Integrated Application pools?.

The issue with this is that while locked, no one is allowed to vote on, comment on or edit the locked post.

One potential solution suggested to us by moderators on other SE communities is to have Stack Exchange disable anonymous editing on our community.

So, the question I have is: Would disabling anonymous edits be something the community thinks is a good idea?

Update 12-18-2014: Flagged the question as a feature-request so the Stack Exchange Community Managers will be notified of our desire to turn off anonymous edits on our site.

  • I think we can safely conclude that this proposal is a go, nobody seems to be against it. @Glenn will you put in a request at the SE team to disable anonymous edits? – Bart Koopman Dec 13 '13 at 8:33
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This isn't something that we can easily disable on a per-site basis. However, we do have a pretty comprehensive system in place that takes care of this quickly, so that you don't have to deal with it. A little more about it can be read in this answer I wrote to a similar issue on Meta Stack Overflow.

Locking, unfortunately, doesn't help much. A big problem with locks is that they get forgotten about, content rots and nobody can edit. As the spam system takes care of the overwhelming majority of this stuff, spam isn't technically much of a concern when it comes to scoping exactly what locks should prevent.

However, massively distributed spam attacks, such as what you saw here are something we're continuing to refine the system to better deflect. We do in fact keep track of these seemingly innocuous posts that find themselves targeted by these huge networks, and treat spam edits to them quite differently. Unfortunately, when you have several hundred unique hosts going at it, communities need to block 30 or 40 attempts before the system correctly identifies and swats the bad hosts away.

I'm going to look into a change that just automatically disables anon edits on a per-post, per-site basis once it's received n rejected anon edits in y amount of time, ideally configurable on a per-site basis so that we can really put the screws to these creeps when this happens. That, unfortunately, isn't going to happen in 2013.

However, I manually queried the suggested edit table of Tridion's database, fished out the networks primarily responsible for this, and fed them to our spam system. This should significantly reduce the amount that you're seeing, and I'll continue to coax more out of that table as needed.

Other community managers and developers have been informed of what's going on (and it was affecting other sites as well) - so we'll be keeping an eye on this, even through the holiday.

8

Yes I'm in favor of disabling them, I've thought about it and I don't see any benefit of allowing anonymous edits on our site.

It is welcomed that everybody makes edits on our questions and answers, and if they have less than 1000 reputation, their edits have to be reviewed.

But when edits are made by an anonymous user (they always need to be reviewed), we don't have a way of disciplining the user as it was an anonymous one. So the only thing this is allowing is for spam to be introduced, not actual visible spam, since nobody in their right mind would approve such an edit, but all it does is give us moderators (not just Glenn, Rob and me, but all of the established users who get to review edits) a lot of unnecessary work.

So I vote to disable anonymous edits. If you agree, by all means vote for either Glenn's post or mine, or leave an answer/comment of yourself.

If you disagree, please leave an answer stating that, so people can gather votes on that too.

  • 1
    I agree with your position for exactly the reasons you have stated. I will also add the community has done a good job of making sure the spam edits we have experienced have not made it through. – Glenn Stevens Dec 10 '13 at 12:41
  • +1 I am for disabling anonymous edits. – Rob Stevenson-Leggett Dec 10 '13 at 23:07
  • I concur, they add no value in such a small community – Chris Summers Dec 10 '13 at 23:37
  • The spam-edit reviews I get always seem to be on your posts, Chris. Anyone else see the same or know what makes him a target? :-) – Alvin Reyes Dec 12 '13 at 18:30
  • @AlvinReyes almost all the spam-edit's have been against just one answer that happens to be from Chris: tridion.stackexchange.com/a/1171/39 which is why it looks like his posts are a target. – Glenn Stevens Dec 13 '13 at 4:06
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I am in absolute favour of disabling the anonymous edits. I do not see an advantage of having it enabled but a lot of disadvantages are there, one of which we are discussing here - Spam and unnecessary content.

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