As some of you already saw, people are trying to spam the LtU forum.

I deleted the spam message that appeared earlier today, and blocked the user that posted it.

Beacuse the popularity of LtU has increased, spammers are likley to be more interested in us than in the past. In order to kill this in the bud, I am going to be more aggressive in the treatment of spam, and supposedly spam, messages than in the past.

If you have any doubts about the appropriateness a message you want to publish, don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

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Wiki community fixes

Spam has been a problem in the wiki community for a while. Not because the spammers hope to reach an audience on the wiki (or here), but because it supposedly increases their pagerank on google and other search engines.

The wiki community has tried several things to keep out spammers (while preserving the open nature of a wiki). One of the most successful techniques is is delayed indexing. Newly created/edited pages have the nofollow tag set for the first 10 hours or so of the page's existence. That's more than enough time for human editors to detect and remove spam--newly contributed spam links cannot add to pagerank. After 10 hours, the nofollow tag is removed (on the assumption that any remaining links are useful content).

Not sure how that would work here; especially if followups keep resetting the counter. I'm not familiar enough with web-authoring technologies to know if nofollow can be set on a finer granularity than a page.

Not yet...

The problem is currently easily managable using simpler techniques. Let's hope we don't need more extreme measures.

To follow or not to follow.

According to Google, while there is a meta tag that applies to the whole page, for finer granularity one can set (or not) the rel="nofollow" attribute on individual <a> elements.