TechNet Wiki looking back to 2018, the end of bulk spam


You probably have noticed that some of the article edit counts ("activities completed") have been extremely high, the last few days, while the actual article edits seemed very low.
Unless you checked the high number of "SPAM_..." articles quickly passing by again in the Wiki history the last weeks, months...

Let me take you back for a bit more than a year...

Around november 27, 2017...

Remember these?

Before november 27 we had an immense surge of bulk spam posting on the TN Wiki...

In the background, already for weeks the Wiki technical platform support team had been working on a final solution to block the spam, which went live on the 27th. Since then, the spam publication count literally went down to null, 0, ZERO!

Although we can't disclose the full details for obvious reasons, there was a small side effect to this measure, meaning fresh new MSDN/TechNet users were not able to publish new Wiki articles.

This situation has been explained in this blog post and Wiki article:

Also on the TN Wiki forum and the TN Wiki Facebook group, the topic was discussed...

But while most of the TNWiki Ninjas returned to 'normal' business, the spam and rubbish that was left behind on the Wiki, required a manual clean up...

Just to give you an idea, the cleanup started already in 2017 ... and will be finished in the next few hours.. more than a year later.

Just to give you an idea...

In numbers

At the end of the cleanup there will be close to 20.000 locked and deleted articles.

If you know that the current number of published articles is around 27500 articles, this amount of spam is pretty massive.

Power of PowerShell

Working through all this spam was a manual job from the start... Luckily the spam killer team (mentioned earlier) did a great job, properly tagging the spam.
Which brought me to writing a PowerShell script manipulating the spam articles, changing tags, locking and deleting the articles. Still not optimal referencing the performance of the internet connections and the Wiki website (which has now greatly improved thanks to Ronen Ariely's aka pituach work lately...)

Conclusion

With all the spam locked and deleted, we really can go back to TN Wiki business again. And there are quite some challenges coming up...

Let's make the best out of it, and take it step by step.

Better quality, better platform. Keeping up with the new technology, leaving the old stuff behind.

Lessons learned

That being said, and more about it in a new blog post: the new challenge for 2019 will be cranking up the Wiki article quality and improving accessibility and searchability... I found out that we have 27500 articles, with 29500 tags used. More than 19000 single-use tags.

That needs to improve.

But the Wiki has one single major advantage: YOU.

You, bringing added value from practical and operational experience and major troubleshooting field experience, which a product creator at the design board will never have.

I'm really happy to have all of you on board, because without you, it simply wouldn't work!

 

Enjoy Christmas Time, enjoy the holidays, have a Great New Year, and best wishes for 2019!

See you around in 2019 and beyond!

Comments (3)

  1. A few weeks ago I did a PowerShell tag search on “spam” and “candidate for deletion” and found many thousands. I repeated the search just now and found a big fat 0 !!! Great work Peter, and the whole team. Thanks for the update.

  2. Thank you to Peter and all our Wiki Ninjas who contributed to removing the spam!

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