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GitHub is polluted with unwanted pull requests, what went wrong?
Hacktoberfest is an annual event that occurs every October held by Digital Ocean. The event encourages developers to submit Pull Requests to Open Source repositories and as a reward you earn a limited-edition T-shirt.
Developers must contribute to a minimum of 4 repositories, But there is no upper limit set by Digital Ocean, this is where they went wrong.
In the first glance, it seems that the YouTuber is at fault, Most of the PR Spam looks a lot like
demonstrated. (I am not linking the YouTube video here, it might get deleted by the time you read
Searching GitHub for "Amazing Project" or "Improve Docs" (PR changes he demonstrated in his video) is being widely used for the PR spam! — here is an example.
But is he the only one responsible? No, the issue began with Digital Ocean Not being clear on what
needs to be done to qualify.
Providing T-Shirts for PRs was not a good idea to begin with as it just screams the Cobra Effect at their face!
The current implementation by Digital Ocean to fight spam is by labeling PRs with "invalid" or
This also means that, the people who never heard of this event will not be able to report this unless they go to Digital Ocean's post on figting spam and understand what's to be done.
They also mentioned that they validate all PRs later in the event, but that will not stop anyone from this abuse.
Here what can be done.
Digital Ocean could stop current way of Hacktoberfest. But instead they can do a proper hackathon which promotes free and open-source software.
Let the developers improve on some existing repositories or create one of their own on platform of their choice. But set a limiter on how many repositories are considered. (Right now There is no upper limit)