The Spam Chronicles

Discussion in 'Guidelines & Introductions' started by Saiko, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. Saiko

    Saiko Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,181
    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. Arouet

    Arouet Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,222
    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.
     
  3. Ian Thompson

    Ian Thompson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Home Page:
    So spam moves to second place after an innocuous opener?
     
  4. Ian Thompson

    Ian Thompson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Home Page:
    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?
     
  5. Arouet

    Arouet Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,222
    It's possible but I don't think I've seen it happen. It didn't happen on the old forum when first posts required approval.
     
    Ian Thompson likes this.
  6. Saiko

    Saiko Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,181
    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.
     
  7. Ian Thompson

    Ian Thompson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    348
    Home Page:
    No it has not yet been implemented. Just look at the list of first profile posts at http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/find-new/2520910/profile-posts
     
  8. Arouet

    Arouet Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,222
    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.
     
  9. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,676
    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. Saiko

    Saiko Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,181
    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. Saiko

    Saiko Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,181
    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. Arouet

    Arouet Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,222
    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. malf

    malf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,015
    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.
     
    Hurmanetar likes this.
  14. lighter_than_air

    lighter_than_air New

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    85
    Translation - You're an idiot.
     
  15. lighter_than_air

    lighter_than_air New

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    85
    Translation - You're an idiot and I'm brilliant.
     
  16. Saiko

    Saiko Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,181
    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.
     
  17. lighter_than_air

    lighter_than_air New

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    85
    Translation - I'm brilliant.
     
  18. Saiko

    Saiko Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,181
    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.
     
  19. Saiko

    Saiko Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,181
    Fact - you're an abject failure at both doing "translations" and mind-reading.
     
  20. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,219
    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
     
    Ian Thompson likes this.

Share This Page