Friday, July 12, 2013

Vandalizing a Wiki

"A wiki is a web application which allows people to add, modify, or delete content in a collaborative environment, usually using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor." (Encyclopedia Brittanica)

"The encyclopedia project Wikipedia is the most famous wiki on the public web, but there are many sites running many different kinds of wiki software. Wikis can serve many different purposes both public and private, including knowledge management, note-taking, community websites and intranets. A wiki enables communities to write documents collaboratively, using a simple markup language and a web browser.

A defining characteristic of wiki technology is the ease with which pages can be created and updated. Generally, there is no review before modifications are accepted. Many wikis are open to alteration by the general public without requiring registration of user accounts. Many edits can be made in real-time and appear almost instantly online. This can facilitate abuse of the system. Private wiki servers require user-authentication to edit pages, and sometimes even to read them." (Wikipedia)

Anybody can just start a wiki at one of those free hosts, like anybody can start a forum at a free host. Others may contribute by adding information like inserting the link and description to their own sites or forums, if they see it fit.

But what about an individual who vandalizes a wiki, changing the links and descriptions to other sites, he might see as a competition to his own, using insults of the lowest degree? He must have overlooked that his IP address was displayed together with the changes he had made, that apart from his already known style, vocabulary and sick behavior he can't remain anonymous, just like a forum troll...

"Most wikis keep a record of changes made to wiki pages; often, every version of the page is stored. This means that authors can revert to an older version of the page, should it be necessary because a mistake has been made or the page has been vandalized." (Wikipedia)

So, reverting an act of vandalism isn't a lot of work, just a few clicks. But the act of vandalism itself was an anti-social act, directed against the internet community of people interested in that specific wiki.

What do you think, Vandalfie, another way to go?

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