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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorRichard Williamson
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2019
    • (edited Feb 16th 2019)

    At the back of my mind, I am persistently a little troubled by how easily the nLab may currently be attacked. Equally, I am a little troubled by the fact that there quite a few unannounced edits, especially by Anonymous or attackers, even though these edits are typically harmless.

    It would be significant work to implement a proper login mechanism for the nLab, but it occurred to me that, since the nLab is quite mature, we could introduce a de facto mechanism by requiring that all edits must be announced by Anonymous or any author with less than a certain threshold of edits. Thus guest posting would still be allowed, but it must come with announcement.

    Let me know what you think. I’m happy not to implement it if it’s not felt to be a good idea.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2019

    Sounds good to me.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2019

    Let’s see, so if I understand correctly, you’re suggesting that if an edit is signed by someone without a long enough history of edits, then the edit will automatically be announced at the forum whether or not they enter any text?

    One potential problem I see is that without an actual login mechanism, it would be easy to defeat this by impersonating one of the regulars, entering their name in the signing box. We’ve gotten away without an actual login mechanism for so long partly because there’s little to no incentive for anyone to impersonate anyone else, but this would actually be creating such an incentive.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2019

    We could try again to have strictly every edit announced.

    This will lead to some noise, but maybe we get used to it.

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2019

    Ugh. Maybe if we made a separate forum category for trivial-change announcements, and excluded it from the RSS feeds the way we do for the spam category.

  1. Re #4: I think I agree with Mike that this might be a bit too much, I think things are about right at the moment, and I’d like not to disturb that too much.

    But I also see #3. I did consider that, and had some ideas for how we might mitigate it a bit, but it’s true that this might introduce more problems than it solves.

    Maybe I just have to bite the bullet and implement a login mechanism!

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