Today we are making some changes to prevent Wikispaces from being used by spammers. In short, users who are not “verified” will not be allowed to make wikis publicly viewable. We are making it as simple as possible for users to be verified, so this won’t impact most legitimate users, but we are taking a hard line against spam.
Spam is an insidious problem. Spammers take advantage of services like wikis and web hosts to scam people. And they do so at massive scale. Wiki spam is a particular form of spam where wiki hosts are abused by spammers posting huge numbers of spam pages. These pages can be used to drive people to dangerous websites and entire economies have built up of scam artists convincing people that wiki spam is a way to get rich quick.
We have been fighting the spammers who have been taking advantage of Wikispaces for years and we have decided that we cannot in good conscience allow Wikispaces to continue to be used for these purposes. Fortunately there is a relatively straightforward solution. We will no longer allow content to be publicly viewable on Wikispaces unless the user making the content public is “verified.”
So what does this mean for you?
- If you are a Wikispaces Private Label customer, you won’t see any difference. These changes only affects wikis on Wikispaces.com.
- If you don’t want or need any of your wikis to be publicly viewable, then you don’t need your account to be verified.
- If you already have a publicly viewable wiki, or you plan to make one in the future, you may already be verified. Visit your publicly viewable wiki. If you do not see a warning at the top of the page your account is already verified.
- If your account is not verified and you would like to have publicly viewable wikis, you’ll see a prompt when you try to make a wiki Public asking you to verify your account. This will require you to pay $1. The $1 is one-time only and covers your user account and all the wikis you create. It’s the easiest and most effective way for us to identify you as not being a spammer.
If you have any questions or concerns about that you can always contact us.
Right now, all publicly viewable wikis that were created by accounts that are not verified will display a banner to the organizers indicating that the creator’s account needs to be verified. At some point in the near future we will switch all of those wikis over to be Private.
Our Basic Plan now allows a wiki to be Private. But a Private Basic wiki can only have a maximum of 5 members or organizers. This does not affect education users, since they can upgrade to Plus for free. Other users who want a private wiki have a choice between a private Basic wiki with up to 5 members, or paying for a Plus wiki for $50 per year. And remember, to make a Basic wiki publicly viewable, your account needs to be verified.
Our Plus Plan allows a wiki to be publicly viewable or private and has no limitations on the number of members it can have. We give away our Plus service for free for any wiki used exclusively for education, K-12 or Higher Ed. Non-education users can pay $50 a year for a Plus wiki.
Our pricing page is a good place to get an overview of these changes and our plans.
Doing all of this will stop spammers from using Wikispaces to hurt people. And that’s something we take very seriously. We appreciate your support as we make this change.
As always let us know if you have any questions or comments.