I'm tempted to point out that this mainly affects new editors who cite their 
edits, other new editors will get bitten in other ways. But the internet is not 
the best venue for irony.

More practically, if you have a tame admin on tap then you can reduce this and 
other problems at editathons by setting those new accounts as "confirmed". And 
yes I know we also have a shortage of admins, and also that it is likely that 
only a tiny proportion of the editors we lose through this are at editathons.

Earlier this year as a result of the glam organisers event in Paris I made a 
proposal at bugzilla for an event organisers useright. This would have allowed 
us to circumvent this problem at those editathons that are targeted at newbies, 
and it got widely endorsed by GLAM editors from several languages. Sadly it got 
marked as resolved because there was something that looked similar to 
developers, though not of course to potential users. If anyone here knows how 
to bypass phabricator or how to mark a phabricator request as unresolved and 
still much wanted, then the link is https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T91928 
alternatively perhaps we could persuade the education community to endorse it, 
it should be just as useful to them and they seem to have more clout with the 
WMF than the GLAM community.

As for whether the capcha is useful in keeping out spammers, remember there are 
two capcha steps, one when you open a new account and the other when you use 
that to add links. Presumably any spam program that can pass the first hurdle 
can pass the second. But for new good faith human editors each capcha is a 
possible lost edit/editor. It would be good to test dropping the capcha 
requirement for adding new links, alternatively perhaps we could whitelist 
certain domains as likely to be reliable sources and unlikely to be spam. 

Regards

Jonathan 


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