In the last several days I have come across at least 2 edits that were attempting to vandalize a post. I don't mean attempting to edit there own problem into the question or answer, these were absolute spam vandalisms.

Here it the most recent example:


While 2 or 3 in the last several days hardly constitute an epidemic, it caught my attention because I don't recall seeing these before, so I have to assume that previously there have not been too many of them in the past.

Do we need(or is it impossible) to take pre-emptive action to avoid being flooded with these type of edits?

One possible issue that comes to mind it that I have come across suggested edits by anonymous users that are obviously the OP trying to edit that somehow ended up needed to be reviewed as a suggested edit(not sure why that happens??), so preventing anonymous user could prevent the OP from editing their own question in that case....

1 Answer 1


This has always been a problem, whether it be edits, answers, or even questions, it's spam and it's never possible to "prevent" it.

Community moderation does its job though, we all reject those edits, and the universe remains a decent place.

Ulitmately I don't think we need to prevent anonymous edits of this nature, especially since the community does its job well. It's more of a problem when spambots get past blocks and end up posting questions or answers that're spam, because those aren't "hidden" from the universe like the edit approvals are (except for 2k+ repped users).

  • I suspected that prevention was nearly impossible(hence the subtitle of the question). I was just curious if this was an ongoing problem that I just haven't encountered before or something new that needed to be dealt with. You answered both quite well, TY. I have seen quite a few instances of spam being posted as answer or questions, an knew that those are impossible to prevent and can only be mitigated by requiring a user to register before posting...
    – TrailRider
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 20:00
  • @TrailRider This isn't isolated to Ask Ubuntu, have you ever seen any other forum sites that aren't moderated, and seen how much spam those get? It's the same spambots. The problem is there's no way to prevent, and this is mitigated by the community doing its job and reviewing edits. You're right, edit spam is a new thing, but there's no way to block anon edits or posts, if we required users to register, the user database would expand exponentially too (case in point, forums which require registrations to post, and get a billion spam user registrations)
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 20:02
  • @TrailRider Ultimately, so long as the community keeps doing its job, there's no need to reject anonymous edits. As well, some anonymous edits are actually OK, so...
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 20:03
  • Yes I have seen other sites and the spam on them, which is why I tend to avoid them. I think I read somewhere on AU(can't find it now of course) that part of our philosophy is that user reg. is not required so that would be out anyway so I was not suggesting it, good point about spam reg. BTW.
    – TrailRider
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 20:13
  • I don't want to start a whole new discussion or a flame war, but, I also tend to avoid ubuntuforums as well, while it's not spam it's hard to sort through 5 pages of useless discussion looking for some useful info. I only include this as a contrast to show how good(more useful) I think AU is compared to any other site I use and as a testimony to the designers of AU as well as the community at large of how good of a job they are doing, not as a slam to the ubuntuforums, they do provide useful info, I just have a harder time using them....
    – TrailRider
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 20:17

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