Increase in spam posts

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Redirect Left
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Increase in spam posts

Post by Redirect Left » 25 Nov 2018 06:15

As everyone has probably noted now, the rate of spam has heavily increased.

At this point, I think we need to either up the list of moderators, or even put people as perhaps a 'janitor' rank, who can only remove posts by people registered < 48 hours ago, and have them as spam cleaners.
I also see that all of the spam can be resolved by just denying first few posts from posting URLs, including in titles. Perhaps instead of flat out denying them, force them to fill in a CAPTCHA if they do decide to link to something, I'd hope the bots aren't programmed to see this and would error there?

It's also possible my ridiculous sleeping patterns just enable me to see all the spam :p
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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by Andrew350 » 25 Nov 2018 07:43

Redirect Left wrote:It's also possible my ridiculous sleeping patterns just enable me to see all the spam :p
It's not just you...and it's nothing new. Being on the opposite side of the world from most people here, I'm used to seeing this spam linger for hours on the forums. Even before this little uptick in activity, the spammers have basically had free-reign over the forums until the mods wake up, however it's usually just a few posts each night. I'm not sure how prevalent the spam is during "business hours", but it seems relatively minor in the "overnight hours" other than the fact that it tends to hang around for long periods of time.

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by GarryG » 25 Nov 2018 07:54

Not much the makers of this website can do about it as any one can join as a member and than make all those spam links.

What ever we do .. do not click on them .. never open them .. I did that once some time ago and got a lot of spam emails afterwards.
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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by kamnet » 25 Nov 2018 08:23

I thinking having a few more mods around myself would be useful. I'm typically free in the US overnight hours.

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by orudge » 25 Nov 2018 14:08

My main priority will be upgrading phpBB - for that I need the theme upgrade/rewrite to be finished though. Then I can see if there are any new/improved anti-spam mods that can be used.

I’ll also have a think about new moderators in different time zones.

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by NekoMaster » 26 Nov 2018 00:56

I wouldn't mind signing up for a "Janitor" or mod role to help with the spam, as I tend to find spam almost every time I pop in. I wonder if anyone enjoys the silly messages I add to my spam reports.
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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by Pilot » 26 Nov 2018 01:12

NekoMaster wrote:I wonder if anyone enjoys the silly messages I add to my spam reports.
I'll be honest, I rarely, if ever, read the reports when it comes to Spam posts.

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by planetmaker » 26 Nov 2018 09:30

Pilot wrote:
NekoMaster wrote:I wonder if anyone enjoys the silly messages I add to my spam reports.
I'll be honest, I rarely, if ever, read the reports when it comes to Spam posts.
Arguably, I also only look at a report text when I have doubts whether something is spam. I usually move the flagged posts to the spam bin and then close the reports

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by Auge » 26 Nov 2018 11:29

Hello
Redirect Left wrote:I also see that all of the spam can be resolved by just denying first few posts from posting URLs, including in titles. Perhaps instead of flat out denying them, force them to fill in a CAPTCHA if they do decide to link to something, I'd hope the bots aren't programmed to see this and would error there?
Stupid bots will hit the trap. But there is more sophisticated software in the wild, you can't fob with a captcha. Additionally I see postings without a sense from brand new users that I suspect to be reputation entries to circumvent first-postings-URL-barriers. So a first-postings-URL-barrier is only the half solution.
Redirect Left wrote:… perhaps a 'janitor' rank …
Sounds funny. First few minutes of a session one has a broom in the hands. :-)

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by Chrill » 26 Nov 2018 13:55

As one of the people cleaning it all out, I do agree. Whenever I log in, there are always a couple spam reports. Even then, I also come across posts that have not yet been reported as spam.

It feels like there is an absolute increase, and we do our utmost in our own spare time to help out voluntarily. :)
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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by kamnet » 27 Nov 2018 06:58

I kinda like the idea of users being able to help out and pick up a broom to clear out clutter before they start posting. Definitely a very community-oriented, "it takes a village" kind of thing I guess. But, unfortunately, we know that some users just can't be trusted with that power.

One thing I would like would be that once you report a post as spam you don't see it again. Maybe it doesn't disappear for everybody, but just you. Dunno if phpBB3 has anything like that.

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by YNM » 29 Nov 2018 08:52

I suppose that something to entirely block urls would be a good start (including signature, and showing of personal websites and e-mail address). They are only allowed after a certain number of posts or if a moderator clears them. I suppose we have far less new posting members compared to spammers.

Also possibly a "no spam" clause in the initial agreement, along with copies in various languages (incl. mandarin, cantonese, sanskrit and/or tamil).
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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by kamnet » 29 Nov 2018 11:06

How many legitimate users do we have in a day? If not all that many, then perhaps maybe try hand validation of accounts in order to weed out the obvious spam accounts?

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by acs121 » 29 Nov 2018 11:38

I don't remember if there is e-mail verification, but I could have an anti-spam method from some other forums. Somebody that would register on the forums would have restrained access to the forums and could only post in a topic to present himself, etc. Once he has posted his presentation, moderators change the rank of the user so that he can post on all other forums.

This would not only prevent spammers from posting everywhere, but it would also stop this mania of some users to just register and never post any message on the forums.

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by Pyoro » 29 Nov 2018 11:41

I think this is an internet-wide phenomena, pretty much. I've seen more sophisticated captcha, delays (you register and your account unlocks days later), the need to post a minimum number of posts/in an introductory topic, etcetc. Everyone's having trouble with it.

It's annoying, but I guess it's one of those "do what's necessary" things ... ^^;

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by Hyronymus » 29 Nov 2018 14:54

orudge wrote:My main priority will be upgrading phpBB - for that I need the theme upgrade/rewrite to be finished though. Then I can see if there are any new/improved anti-spam mods that can be used.

I’ll also have a think about new moderators in different time zones.
Why wait for the forum design to be updated? I can survive this forum with a temporary default look.

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by Geo Ghost » 29 Nov 2018 18:39

In honesty, I haven't seen much of of an increase in Spam. It comes in drips and drabs.
Some days they'll be a couple of posts, next days there might be nothing, then another day they'll be loads. It's been like it for ages to be honest and not anything too surprising. Sometimes we nab them in the first 15 minutes, other times it might take the afternoon till someone is around and has the time to eliminate them all.

Could just be dull luck you are around at the time they are most active and we aren't all about :P

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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by Chrill » 30 Nov 2018 15:00

Geo Ghost wrote:In honesty, I haven't seen much of of an increase in Spam. It comes in drips and drabs.
That's just because I remove em :mrgreen:
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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by NekoMaster » 01 Dec 2018 08:58

Chrill wrote:
Geo Ghost wrote:In honesty, I haven't seen much of of an increase in Spam. It comes in drips and drabs.
That's just because I remove em :mrgreen:
IF anything, almost every time I come on here theres 3-5 posts that I can see, and theres likely many more that have been removed during the day when I'm not here
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Re: Increase in spam posts

Post by NekoMaster » 01 Dec 2018 14:47

Ok now some of the spam posts are starting to get weird, something needs to be done about this
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