Something sort of magic happened a short time ago, sometimes a graph is worth a thousand flags:
That's right, around March 28, the spam protection layer blocked about 20,000 spam attempts, mostly in the form of suggested edits, while users didn't see much of an increase in what they had to flag in order to thwart it.
The false-positive rate remained the same, less than one percent - including a surprising amount of suggested edits that attempted to 'hijack' another user's question or answer with a completely different question. Yes, people are odd.
We capture the text that we block in our log table, which as you can imagine is getting quite obese with bacon and turkey flavored spam - I was wondering if any of you would find any value in me making a public dump of what we block available every 30 days or so? If yes, in what format would it be the most useful?
This is basically what you'd get in CSV format (or XML, JSON, SQLite DB):
DateTime WhyBlocked BlockedText SiteWhereItWasBlocked
WhyBlocked field will
include text contain an integer that indicates if it was a suggested edit, post denied, post hobbled, etc.
Note, I'm currently working on a tool that will allow anyone interested to meta-moderate actions that the spam system takes. You just look at lots of crap while clicking 'spam' or 'not spam' - It's something I plan to hang off the network sort of unofficial-like for a while to determine just how useful of an endeavor it turns out to be. Tracking our false positive rate currently involves me running a query once each week, and counting the number of things that probably shouldn't have been blocked, of which there are exceedingly few. As you can tell, when we get .. this sort of volume, that quickly becomes an insurmountable task. Anyway, I digress.
What use would the data have, you ask?
- You could conceivably come up with a list of the most prolifically spammed links
- Each spam bot has very specific purposes, from what I can see. Some simply determine what kind of markup your site accepts by attempting to spam, then see what renders. Categorizing these could be fun.
- Times of the day that we tend to get hit the most
- Some of it is solid comedic gold, just browsing the CSV can yield some lulz
Exporting this would be a bit of a manual process for me, so please only indicate interest if you have something beyond morbid curiosity as a motivation. No identifying information can (of course) be included, but there's plenty of interesting things you could do without it.
What say you, meta? I've released this previously - I'm wondering if it would be a useful regular thing.