People editing posts into spam

So this is a “How would you handle it?” question.

I have a customer support forum and had a person come on the forum and post a very legitimate question, the question was promptly answered and the post was buried as is natural. Eight days later this person came back and edited his post replacing the contents with a Vietnamese gambling site, but it wasn’t caught for a nearly 2 months. Since this wasn’t the last post, the thread didn’t get bumped and brought to anyone’s attention. Does anyone have ideas on how one might combat or keep on top of this type of behavior?


That’s a very clever and devoted spammer!

You might reduce the time allowed to edit a post.


The simplest thing that comes to mind is limiting the number of minuts available to edit your post by modifying the site setting post edit time limit.


There is a specific plugin that would handle this situation:

I believe it works like this:
Modifications / new posts on the end bump the visibility of the topic in the topic list and once a moderator has read the post it would return to it’s original position and no longer be highlighted for moderators.

Regardless of me perhaps being incorrect about the movement in position at least it’s highlighted with an asterisk for moderators.

Official description:

Discourse Moderator Attention

This plugin was designed for heavily moderated sites, once installed we track which moderator read which post and when.

Any unmoderated topics (topics with at least 1 unmoderated post) will be displayed in the topic list with and asterisk for moderators only.


Food for Thought:
Do edits run through Akismet? Should they? Especially if the edit happened after several days and the User is TL 1 or less?


Good question! @eviltrout I think TL0 edits should go through Akismet but this might be a big change?


I took a peek at the code I wrote and it seems like it wouldn’t be an awful amount of work to add a new state of edited and have it go through Akismet. The time consuming part is testing it to make sure it all works as expected. I’m a bit busy right now but probably someone else on the team could handle that.


Has this changed happened? Wiki edit spam is still very much a thing.

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No, instead we did trust level based edit time limits. So people at TL0 and TL1 have far smaller allowed edit windows out of the box – 24 hours. TL2 users get 30 days…

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Ok so does wiki edit spam have any mitigations now?

Is this a serious problem? I mean, we have no evidence it’s actually happening. I don’t take action based on hearsay or theory.

It’s something I’ve previously dealt with, yes.

It’s also something I’ve previously reported as happening to the wiki posts here on meta.

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But, with due respect, you are one data point.

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It’s happened on at least 4 separate occasions with us. Serious, no. Semi-hard to catch, yes. We only ran across this by accident because edits don’t get bumped to the top of the activity lists. There may be other’s we haven’t found. I suppose setting TL0 to 24hrs isn’t a bad option. I haven’t seen it for quite a while so maybe that had solved our problems if that became a default a while back.