Wikivoyage uses the spam blacklist extension to block external links to certain websites on a keyword basis. The spam filter consists of two lists of regular expressions against which edited articles are compared. If the edited text matches the regular expression, the user is warned and the file is not saved.
The pages and tools used for tackling spam are:
- MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist - Wikivoyage-only list of hosts to block
- m:Spam blacklist - global list of hosts to block, shared by all Mediawiki projects
- MediaWiki:Spam-whitelist - Wikivoyage-only list of hosts to allow
- Special:AbuseFilter - Filter that can be used for more complex scenarios, including non-URLs
These pages are editable only by administrators; update the corresponding talk page to request a change.
The global blacklists are maintained at Meta-Wiki. These shared lists are m:Spam blacklist and m:Title blacklist and affect all Wikimedia Foundation projects. Only Meta-Wiki administrators can edit these pages.
Since this spam filtering system was put into place, we've had a very steep decline in the number of spam postings on Wikivoyage. This has freed up people to work on other things, like making a great travel guide.
There are a few problems with the banned content list, as it stands:
- It's kind of unwiki -- a technological solution to a social problem.
- It's overstretching -- the list can occasionally block a well-meaning edit.
Sometimes spam sites slip through the filter, and sometimes valid sites are incorrectly blocked — please report both kinds of problems on the spam filter talk page so they can be fixed. Alternatively, for URLs that are being incorrectly blocked, Wikivoyage maintained an editable spam filter whitelist. If a URL is being blocked that should not be, it was listed on this page with an explanation of why the URL needs to be whitelisted on the whitelist talk page.