Whats up with the Spam bots?

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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:42 pm

DancinJack wrote:Are the spam bots this bad on other forums? Has anyone noticed?

Well, I haven't seen such problem on larger forums... But that's probably because they have more overall traffic, so spam posts tend to be less noticeable. Plus there's more moderators on larger forums, some of whom are still "active" when Asian people wake up and start "working" :wink:
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:43 pm

JohnC wrote:Plus there's more moderators on larger forums, some of whom are still "active" when Asian people wake up and start "working" :wink:

And that is one of our largest moderation issues. We've got the American and European schedules covered well, but squat-all in the Asian schedule except for the rare insomniac.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:59 pm

Captain Ned wrote:And that is one of our largest moderation issues. We've got the American and European schedules covered well, but squat-all in the Asian schedule except for the rare insomniac.

Aren't there (at least a few) Australian TR users?
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:05 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
JohnC wrote:Plus there's more moderators on larger forums, some of whom are still "active" when Asian people wake up and start "working" :wink:

And that is one of our largest moderation issues. We've got the American and European schedules covered well, but squat-all in the Asian schedule except for the rare insomniac.

Just find someone else who can be around 1:00-4:00AM EST, that's usually the time period when most spam posts appear on this forum...Shouldn't be that hard to do. Just don't pick me - I do occasionally sleep at these times and I don't visit forums often enough :(
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:01 am

JohnC wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
JohnC wrote:Plus there's more moderators on larger forums, some of whom are still "active" when Asian people wake up and start "working" :wink:

And that is one of our largest moderation issues. We've got the American and European schedules covered well, but squat-all in the Asian schedule except for the rare insomniac.

Just find someone else who can be around 1:00-4:00AM EST, that's usually the time period when most spam posts appear on this forum...Shouldn't be that hard to do. Just don't pick me - I do occasionally sleep at these times and I don't visit forums often enough :(

At least 1-2am (sometimes up to 3) is well covered by West Coast already. It is a bit later than that which is the problem. Weekends too as this is this something called life.

Also, if the spam are replies to a thread, then only Global Mods or Staff can deal with them if the thread is not in the forum a regular mod is responsible for. We are seeing a flood of streaming related spams these days since we are having major sporting events. Since Euro 2012 we have already discussed that it will only get worse with the Olympics.

Again, I will reiterate here that the best way you can help us is to use the Report function. Sometimes it may not be that obvious to us especially if the spam is a reply. Responding in the same thread is only going to help the spammer's SEO and help it stay in the "Hot threads" in the front page. We are already doing the best we can. I suppose spammers like us because we are quite relevant in searches since the forum information is so good. 8)
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:41 am

And, because phpBB is smart about handling post reports (only one report can be sent until a mod deals with that report), no need to reply "reported spam".

On a vBulletin forum (which this is not, so don't do this here), I consider it a best practice to report the spam post, then post "reported spam" or something similar, to let others know that someone's already sent a report. That way, you don't get 200 people reporting the same piece of spam and blowing up all the moderators' inboxes.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:38 am

Geez the Spam bots or non-bots have been out in full force lately!
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:42 am

tanker27 wrote:Geez the Spam bots or non-bots have been out in full force lately!

I think I've seen at least three unique spam accounts just this morning...

EDIT: four...
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:00 am

Had to shut down registration on our phpBB forums due to the influx in the last week of registrations. I think it's still shut down and yet I had 3 more activations attempted today!
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:29 am

BuntyMiff wrote:The following should kill this type of spam:

1. Tough Question
2. Admin Approval for new accounts
3. No free email accounts
4. No links

One site I used to use that got next to no spam posts used the rule you cannot post for your first 2 days as a member.
Could be changed to mods need to approve posts for your first few days (possibly only apply to creating new posts?)
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:34 am

Arvald wrote:One site I used to use that got next to no spam posts used the rule you cannot post for your first 2 days as a member.
Could be changed to mods need to approve posts for your first few days (possibly only apply to creating new posts?)

We've discussed this possibility in the past, and we chose not to, at least for now. The reason being that it blocks people from registering quickly to comment on the frontpage and/or forums.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:15 am

morphine wrote:
Arvald wrote:One site I used to use that got next to no spam posts used the rule you cannot post for your first 2 days as a member.
Could be changed to mods need to approve posts for your first few days (possibly only apply to creating new posts?)

We've discussed this possibility in the past, and we chose not to, at least for now. The reason being that it blocks people from registering quickly to comment on the frontpage and/or forums.

Or when they are in the middle of a build and need help. Not to mention the extra workload on mods.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:27 am

morphine wrote:We've discussed this possibility in the past, and we chose not to, at least for now. The reason being that it blocks people from registering quickly to comment on the frontpage and/or forums.

And your +4 Hammer of Banning makes sending SPAM to the bit bucket a matter of 2 clicks for a spammer's entire oeuvre.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:33 am

Captain Ned wrote:
morphine wrote:We've discussed this possibility in the past, and we chose not to, at least for now. The reason being that it blocks people from registering quickly to comment on the frontpage and/or forums.

And your +4 Hammer of Banning makes sending SPAM to the bit bucket a matter of 2 clicks for a spammer's entire oeuvre.

Easy Ned, you're making me blush.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:37 pm

I would probably be happy with a cooldown on threads from new users. I usually browse threads by "Hot Forum Topics," which means that the bots who post 3+ threads at once become annoying fast because they flood the top of that list.

I think stopping posts at one per day until a user reaches "Gerbil" status would prevent spam like that. You would obviously still get bots posting here and there, but if a users only post is spam, at least their impact will be minimized.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:12 pm

With the +4 HoB, as long as you report spam threads and, most importantly, do not respond to spam threads, the increased volume is easy to handle. Responding to a spam thread means I have to move it to the private moderator bit bucket and it complicates the simple 2-click extermination of spammers. Click the report link on all you see and we can easily make it go bye-bye.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:18 pm

morphine wrote:Easy Ned, you're making me blush.

Among the mod/supermod/admin/owner crowd at August's BBQ the HoB was universally lauded as a great way to quickly beat down spam. Take a bow for/from all of us as you deserve it. Tell me where you're landing next year and I'll pick you up.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:42 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
morphine wrote:Easy Ned, you're making me blush.

Among the mod/supermod/admin/owner crowd at August's BBQ the HoB was universally lauded as a great way to quickly beat down spam. Take a bow for/from all of us as you deserve it. Tell me where you're landing next year and I'll pick you up.

I am truly humbled.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:48 am

There's just tons of new spam nearly every day here... not the worst thing in the world;it's handled quickly, but darn... Is it really worth the spammers' time to have their stuff on the front page for a few minutes before it's deleted?
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:46 am

FireGryphon wrote:There's just tons of new spam nearly every day here... not the worst thing in the world;it's handled quickly, but darn... Is it really worth the spammers' time to have their stuff on the front page for a few minutes before it's deleted?


As other Mods and Admins have mentioned, it's not so much about making money from the click itself as it is about creative a massive index for search engines to aggregate. I'd be curious to know if any stats are kept on who reports the most, and if we can have special forum flair. :lol:
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:32 am

steelcity_ballin wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:There's just tons of new spam nearly every day here... not the worst thing in the world;it's handled quickly, but darn... Is it really worth the spammers' time to have their stuff on the front page for a few minutes before it's deleted?


As other Mods and Admins have mentioned, it's not so much about making money from the click itself as it is about creative a massive index for search engines to aggregate. I'd be curious to know if any stats are kept on who reports the most, and if we can have special forum flair. :lol:

I have seen some of the spam posts ended up top of Google search within an hour. :o So I guess this works. Too bad for the spammers we killed those posts really fast, thus invalidating the search results.

We still have too many gerbils responding to some of them instead of using the Report button. Please don't respond and bump their posts. Report and whoever in the mod group swings by that moment can just scoop them up and shove them to the junkyard.

And for those who missed the brief mention, our site coding ninja Morphine created this thing called the "Hammer of Banning +4" (the HoB), which allows SuperMods/Admins like JBI and Captain Ned the ability to kill these single-post spams extremely quickly. I think it is time the term HoB enters into the general TR forum lingo like the word "gerbil". :)
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:37 am

Flying Fox wrote:And for those who missed the brief mention, our site coding ninja Morphine created this thing called the "Hammer of Banning +4" (the HoB), which allows SuperMods/Admins like JBI and Captain Ned the ability to kill these single-post spams extremely quickly. I think it is time the term HoB enters into the general TR forum lingo like the word "gerbil". :)

As long as no one has responded to the spam, it kills multiple-post spams on contact as well. It's a wonder weapon compared to the old way of doing things.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:18 pm

Just sent another post on a one-way trip to the junk forum
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:10 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:And for those who missed the brief mention, our site coding ninja Morphine created this thing called the "Hammer of Banning +4" (the HoB), which allows SuperMods/Admins like JBI and Captain Ned the ability to kill these single-post spams extremely quickly. I think it is time the term HoB enters into the general TR forum lingo like the word "gerbil". :)
As long as no one has responded to the spam, it kills multiple-post spams on contact as well. It's a wonder weapon compared to the old way of doing things.
So does that mean it's no longer necessary to report every one of the posts from a particular spammer?
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:38 pm

UberGerbil wrote:So does that mean it's no longer necessary to report every one of the posts from a particular spammer?

Give the man a ceegar!!!

One report is all I need as the HoB process is based on usernames, not posts.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:09 pm

It's just despicable that they would use thread titles referring to the school shooting as click bait. I can't even think of anything much more soulless than that. :evil:
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:20 pm

Well, given that they're likely automated bots that just screen-scrape headlines off of the news sites to use as thread titles, "soulless" is probably about right.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:21 pm

It's standard procedure to de-humanize the enemy. Think of those spammers as soulless evil beings instead of people.
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Re: Whats up with the Spam bots?

Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:32 pm

Aren't spammers generally that way anyhow?
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