The Spam Chronicles

#1
No offense meant but this is the only forum I've used in the past five years that has such a proportionately large spam problem.

I know that Alex has made great effort to squelch it but so far to no avail. I don't now the ins and outs of what has been done but it may or may not be significant that none of the other forums I've used have been running XenForo.
 
#2
I've posted this before but the simple solution is to require a new member's first post to be approved before being posted. I'm guessing that xenforo has this capability as most forum software does now.
 
#4
I've posted this before but the simple solution is to require a new member's first post to be approved before being posted. I'm guessing that xenforo has this capability as most forum software does now.
But something like that is needed! Just look at all the first posts at http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/find-new/2520910/profile-posts.
Maybe the first 10 posts of a new person should not result in email notifications or as new threads in the list?
 
#6
I've posted this before but the simple solution is to require a new member's first post to be approved before being posted.
That does little. I'd assume it's already been implemented. A spam-bot will simply ferret out the marker that is used to show poster validation and reflect that back to the server and database.
 
#8
That does little. I'd assume it's already been implemented. A spam-bot will simply ferret out the marker that is used to show poster validation and reflect that back to the server and database.
I'm not sure technically what that means. All I can go by is my experience on forums that I know implement this method, and where I've seen very little spam. Skeptiko is a good case study of this . There was hardly any spam when this method was being used. Once it stopped, the forum started being flooded with spam (I seem to recall posting about this pretty soon after the shift). It may not be foolproof (Ian's example of a spammer making a first real post then following it up with a spam one wouldn't get caught - but I don't think most spammers bother with that) but I think it successfully keeps out the lion's share.

The downside is that it is more upfront work for Admins, who have to keep up with approving new first posts and results in delay of legit first posts getting seen. But it results in a better user experience for all and I think new users understand that. And not doing it still requires work to go and delete and ban the accounts after the fact. Not sure which takes more admin time but I'm pretty sure I know which one results in a better user experience.

The key is to have a message clearly posted on the new user sign-up page warning that first posts must be approved.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#9
I don't know if this is related or not (probably not), but I also noticed this site is not secure (connection not encrypted), which is unlike other forums I've visited. I've contacted Alex about it but have not heard back.
 
#10
But something like that is needed! Just look at all the first posts at http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/find-new/2520910/profile-posts.
Maybe the first 10 posts of a new person should not result in email notifications or as new threads in the list?
It may not be but you couldn't tell from that. Depending on the database setup, the marker that the bot code spoofs in order to post wouldn't be stored in the same field as the one that is queried for that list
 
#11
I'm not sure technically what that means. All I can go by is my experience on forums that I know implement this method, and where I've seen very little spam.
Unless you know all that the site employs there's no way to isolate that as the main cause. What I can tell you for a fact is that, barring other measures, spam-bots can and do get around that. That's old news at this point. A low-level hack.
 
#12
Unless you know all that the site employs there's no way to isolate that as the main cause. What I can tell you for a fact is that, barring other measures, spam-bots can and do get around that. That's old news at this point. A low-level hack.
All you're saying is that it wouldn't be 100% effective. I'm suggesting that it is still worthwhile and is a relatively easy, low tech, simple way to block a good percentage of these spam posts and could be implemented right away.

The kind of changes required to make the site hack-proof would be welcome, sure, but are a lot more work - and possibly expense - for Alex. So in the meantime...
 
#13
No offense meant but this is the only forum I've used in the past five years that has such a proportionately large spam problem.

I know that Alex has made great effort to squelch it but so far to no avail. I don't now the ins and outs of what has been done but it may or may not be significant that none of the other forums I've used have been running XenForo.
If you could just move beyond your physicalist view of this problem you may find a more satisfying solution. You appear to be stuck on finding an intellectual answer here. Move outside that little box.
 
#15
Unless you know all that the site employs there's no way to isolate that as the main cause. What I can tell you for a fact is that, barring other measures, spam-bots can and do get around that. That's old news at this point. A low-level hack.
Translation - You're an idiot and I'm brilliant.
 
#16
If you could just move beyond your physicalist view of this problem you may find a more satisfying solution. You appear to be stuck on finding an intellectual answer here. Move outside that little box.
lol. That would be a zinger - except for the fact that I usually state "physicalist approaches are valid for solely physical concerns." Beyond that it's not up to me to solve the issue at hand. If it was - it would have been solved already.
 
#18
Translation - You're an idiot.
If you're going to take this approach you're going to only help reduce this forum to a set of petty flame wars. And ironically, it's an approach that is used by someone who fancies that they're "being smart." If you have issues with me fine but .don't make a fool of yourself in your efforts to attack me.
 
#20
No offense meant but this is the only forum I've used in the past five years that has such a proportionately large spam problem.

I know that Alex has made great effort to squelch it but so far to no avail. I don't now the ins and outs of what has been done but it may or may not be significant that none of the other forums I've used have been running XenForo.
I think the problem is that some of the add-ons that Alex has tried have not worked well.

Please make sure you report any spam you see (using the "Report" button at the end of the post), I usually clear out the spam at least one a day, and the sooner it is removed the less 'value' they get out of posting it!

Don't assume someone else has reported it - if I get 10 reports referring to one post, they all get cleared up in one operation.

David
 
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