Ward off the spam!

Ward off the spam!

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MidKnight
Posts: 2650
Joined: 10 Sep 2008, 03:11

Ward off the spam!

Post by MidKnight » 22 Feb 2011, 06:35

So today I log on and check for interesting new posts, and...
Image

This thread is for discussing measures to keep these annoying bots and hired shills off of our forums.

Some ideas:
- Improve/vary the CAPTCHA
- Remove or change the "Powered by phpBB" message at the bottom of the site, so spiders don't find us as easily.
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Jazcash
Posts: 5302
Joined: 08 Dec 2007, 17:39

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by Jazcash » 22 Feb 2011, 10:54

More efficient moderators.
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SinbadEV
Posts: 6475
Joined: 02 May 2005, 03:56

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by SinbadEV » 22 Feb 2011, 16:19

Jazcash wrote:More efficient moderators.
I can't ban people anymore and when there are 20 spam messages in quick succession it's time consuming to delete them... perhaps better moderation tools? Also, I don't think most moderators work holidays or weekends...

That said, it's entirely possible these spammers are spending the 2 minutes or so it takes to manually set up their accounts... and we can't do much about that.
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Neddie
Community Lead
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Joined: 10 Apr 2006, 05:05

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by Neddie » 31 Mar 2011, 23:29

I primarily work holidays and weekends.
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SpliFF
Posts: 1224
Joined: 28 Jul 2008, 06:51

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by SpliFF » 01 Apr 2011, 10:28

How about if 3 users flag a post as spam it is hidden automatically and that user gets instaban on further public posts and registrations from that IP. If it turns out it wasn't spam the user applies to moderators for review and if it turns out the post wasn't actual spam the reporters get a ban for abusing moderation. Abuse could also be limited by only applying instaban on users with less than 50 posts over a week old (as in, they regularly posted stuff in the past that wasn't flagged).

Also a limit of maybe 1 post per hour and 5 posts per day until you have a post count of 20 or more.

Basically, we're talking about a Stack Exchange style community moderation. I don't know if PHPBB has something like this as a plugin.
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SinbadEV
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Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by SinbadEV » 01 Apr 2011, 18:43

SpliFF wrote:How about if 3 users flag a post as spam it is hidden automatically and that user gets instaban on further public posts and registrations from that IP. If it turns out it wasn't spam the user applies to moderators for review and if it turns out the post wasn't actual spam the reporters get a ban for abusing moderation. Abuse could also be limited by only applying instaban on users with less than 50 posts over a week old (as in, they regularly posted stuff in the past that wasn't flagged).

Also a limit of maybe 1 post per hour and 5 posts per day until you have a post count of 20 or more.

Basically, we're talking about a Stack Exchange style community moderation. I don't know if PHPBB has something like this as a plugin.

I saw a guy online who had made a custom PHPBB mod that would show potential spam (reported by users, new topics by new users etc) with a simple "one click to remove" button for those posts and additionally it had a "spam hammer" button that would permban the user and delete any topics they had started that had not been replied to.
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Neddie
Community Lead
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Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by Neddie » 01 Apr 2011, 18:44

I'll look into the time based limits, though I'd just limit it to a post every ten minutes and a topic every thirty until you hit twenty or twenty five posts.

If Sinbad can find that module, I'll look into it as well.
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SinbadEV
Posts: 6475
Joined: 02 May 2005, 03:56

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by SinbadEV » 01 Apr 2011, 18:54

can't find the one I was looking for but:

http://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/ban_hammer/

Looks fun.

edit: Also, looks like I CAN ban people after all... oops.


edit again: The following ones are cool too

Complicated Math problems:
http://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/c ... ha_plugin/

Requires new users to explain WHY they should be allowed to join the forums and then a moderator has to approve them:
http://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/a ... ification/
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smoth
Posts: 22295
Joined: 13 Jan 2005, 00:46

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by smoth » 02 Apr 2011, 01:18

SinbadEV wrote:Complicated Math problems:
http://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/c ... ha_plugin/
hur durr I am a nerd and only other nerds can post.
SinbadEV wrote:Requires new users to explain WHY they should be allowed to join the forums and then a moderator has to approve them:
http://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/a ... ification/
user doesn't get authed until 2 days later, user loses all desire to post.
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
Posts: 6103
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 01:14

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by FLOZi » 02 Apr 2011, 01:30

Is it me or does:

Image

Clearly not have a solution?

(* x's cancel, Sin(x) = 84, utter nonsense?)
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SinbadEV
Posts: 6475
Joined: 02 May 2005, 03:56

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by SinbadEV » 02 Apr 2011, 01:35

FLOZi wrote:Is it me or does:

Image

Clearly not have a solution?

(* x's cancel, Sin(x) = 84, utter nonsense?)
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=%2 ... *x%29%3D42

apparently the answer is imaginary...

Also... I wasn't recommending the latter two... they were just cool.
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hoijui
Former Engine Dev
Posts: 4342
Joined: 22 Sep 2007, 09:51

what is actually happening with spam

Post by hoijui » 02 Apr 2011, 10:17

the increased number of spam-posters and the unprovoked captcha-assisted logins came at about the same time.

lets say, i am a big company in the information business, which is both expert in all web stuff and in commercial-placement. i quite own the market, but as this system we are living in goes, still want more.

They would start to create bots to advertise in forums and the like. Advertise in a way, that makes the bots look like normal users. so instead of "Buy product X", it would be "I had the same problem, and product X helped me there". Of course it would still be easy to spot, in the beginning. but with all the info i have about how real humans act online (and i have it ALL), plus my knowledge in AI and stuff, it will not take long till i have it perfectionized. i will maintain users in forums, and let them post messages without spam at all, just trolling or actually giving useful replies to simple questions, like: "why can i not host games" -> "forward port on your router"

At this time, some of thee bots will already be unrecognized, and others will be spotted still, but the deilusionized people of the time (in a few months from now), will mostly agree upon this not being a problem, as long as the bots do not bother them too much. and hey, even their ad-posts are mostly useful!

The minority that is not ok with this spam, will have no practically feasible way to counter it. compared to the past, where you could fend of ads with ad-blockers, or by not looking at the right side of your screen (where the ads were). Even if you could half reliably make all these posts invisible, you would still see 80% of the real forum users respond to posts like this, and you would have to read these posts anyway.

this whole idea is so straight forward and profitable... it just has to happen, and i am sure it does happen/advance there right now.

but of course, that does not make me (the big info company i am) unmoral or evil or anything, as i am just playing within the rules of this wonderful system.

side note: the reason i do not easily give out all info i have about my clients, is to protect their privacy, not to prevent others doing what i do with the data.
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knorke
Posts: 7971
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Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by knorke » 02 Apr 2011, 11:31

Image
?
when there are 20 spam messages in quick succession it's time consuming to delete them
Image
wat.
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Licho
Zero-K Developer
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Joined: 19 May 2006, 19:13

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by Licho » 02 Apr 2011, 12:12

Lol time consuming.. this guy does not know what is time consuming..
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hoijui
Former Engine Dev
Posts: 4342
Joined: 22 Sep 2007, 09:51

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by hoijui » 02 Apr 2011, 16:18

exactly this is the problem... the general user will not even see a problem with this happening, but keep in mind, that these bots will advertise stuff of customers paying them, not what is actually good. in other words, and among other issues, it is a mayor problem for free software.

"does anyone know a cool free RTS, a bit like TA back in the days, but more modern?"
-> "no, there is none, but Supreme Commander 5 is awesome, and i can get it for less then 30 bucks here"
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Licho
Zero-K Developer
Posts: 3803
Joined: 19 May 2006, 19:13

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by Licho » 02 Apr 2011, 17:08

You could also do it same way Zero-k.info does... using lobby accounts..

Spam bot wont download and register in lobby..
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knorke
Posts: 7971
Joined: 22 Feb 2006, 01:02

Re: Ward off the spam!

Post by knorke » 03 Apr 2011, 16:25

"does anyone know a cool free RTS, a bit like TA back in the days, but more modern?"
-> "no, there is none, but Supreme Commander 5 is awesome, and i can get it for less then 30 bucks here"
I think the idea is not that people go directly to their site but instead they want to increase google rating by spamming their links everywhere, together with keywords.
Thats alot easier then coming up with a bot that posts customized stuff, anyway i only ever see do you want to buy wow gold we got the best wow gold free wow gold we got do you want to buy it we got the free wow gold do you want the free wow gold we got it at http://www.derpgold.com
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