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spammies

  • That implies that the spam accounts are being registered by real people, not by robots.
    How very sad to think that there are people who have nothing better to do than that, but perhaps they're very well paid!

    I'm assuming there's a mix of bots and people. There are services that offer captcha-solving at ~$2 for 1000 solved captchas, with APIs you can use directly in your automated spam-bot. These services likely use both humans and optical character recognition software to solve captchas.

  • If phone marketers and/or scammers employ dozens of people in "boiler rooms" making "cold calls" for hours on end (and they do), it would come as no surprise to me if some spammer outfit might employ multiple folks to do nothing but register names as members in forums. Labor costs in some less-developed parts of the world are almost trivial, so a lower unit-cost 'reward' for the spamming business compared with phone marketing might easily be offset by the lower labor costs, at least to some degree.

    What seems most striking about the spam that afflicts these forums (at least currently) is that so much of it is clustered around one or two subjects (baba spam), with another one or two odd topics or spam techniques that seem to occasionally arrive within the same fairly brief time windows as the baba spam bursts. There are literally a thousand spam topics out there on the Internet, as witnessed from time to time in other web forums, but I've never elsewhere seen such a single-focused array of spam as what has been occurring here.

  • There's an interesting piece on eliminating spam in forums at the following link. It might be worth a look. I've copied and pasted a few of the more interesting suggestions. I know at one time that Havaard mentioned have second authentication as a requirement when signing up for an account here on the forums. That might also help.

    http://blog.vanillaforums.com/help/9-ways-to-eliminate-spam-in-your-community-forum/

    1. Make sure links in your forum are set to ‘nofollow’. This tells search engine crawlers not to follow the links and therfore, SEO spammers will derive no benefit from spamming your forum.

    2. Require email confirmation before allowing someone to post. Bots and humans can get around this but it’s an extra bit of efforts that most real people won’t mind.

    3. Only allow members that have proven themselves and have a reputation to be allowed to post links. In Vanilla, it’s possible to prevent members with a low Rank from posting links, editing comments, etc. Ranks are earned by accumulating reputation points or making a certain number of posts.

    1. Now these forums' pages - including threads and comments - are searched and found with Google &c. Which is good.
    2. Can be considered, but it's an obstacle taking time and bother.
    3. 🇳🇴 We monkeys are not deities: these forums are intended for every man or woman searching for help/advice, which includes the availability to post any relevant information on your very first visit here.
  • ...
    We monkeys are not deities: these forums are intended for every man or woman searching for help/advice, which includes the availability to post any relevant information on your very first visit here.

    @joshl, on the other hand, new posters could always post any necessary urls without their http term (eg: www.google.com) thus stripping them of their live-link ability, and still get across to readers what the URL was. It might make things a little inconvenient, but that could well be a small price to pay for greatly reduced spamming.

  • I could see it alternative (though I don't like it anyway) - links are not rendered if a user's less than 24 hours old. That'll make spam links practically unrenderable - providing a mod pops up within 24hrs OR we have a hiding feature.

  • But I don't like it anyway nor do I see it necessary. We have a few $uperheroes to easily deal with this cosmetic inconvenience - which can be additionally eased out by a hiding feature I've already proposed.
    And I dislike "ranks" - nobody's "better" just because they came earlier.

  • But I don't like it anyway nor do I see it necessary. We have a few $uperheroes to easily deal with this cosmetic inconvenience - which can be additionally eased out by a hiding feature I've already proposed.
    And I dislike "ranks" - nobody's "better" just because they came earlier.

    I don't like "ranks" either, but at root, the idea of limiting new-user privileges is about trust rather than rank. Trust is something one extends, usually based on demonstrated trustworthiness of the party to whom trust is extended. That demonstration requires time to develop, however short that may be. Admittedly, even then a dedicated spammer can still game the system, but it burns up time and requires a degree of personal involvement - both anathema to spammers' cost structures.

    I have genuine concerns that, as @leushino notes further up, those "Superhero" mods will experience frustration and eventual burnout having to deal with the never-ending, 24/7 waves of spam hitting the forums the way they're now structured, as happened with the MyOpera forums. Granted, the current forums are simpler (no blogs, etc), but the challenges/risks remain nevertheless.

  • I have a better idea - we hire an Exorcist! :idea:

  • Please do something about spam please.

  • They are extremely persistent, aren't they.

  • We're being haunted!

  • Old news department: I read a couple of years back that spammers are, in fact, using humans to get through the CAPTCHA system. They go to a place like India where you can hire people for pennies on the dollar for what it would cost here, and these people do little else all day but read and respond to CAPTCHA graphics.

    It comes as little surprise, when you consider we're dealing with people who think the entire Internet was created just so they can advertise Viagra, body enhancements, dating scams and Nigerian noblemen who need to spirit large sums of cash into stranger's bank accounts to everybody in the world. In other words-- scum.

  • You left out our most common spammers here - the "black magic" Indian babas. That guy up there doesn't like black magic ...

  • ... and has a unusual taste in some types of meat. O.O

  • There has to be tighter registration requiring second source authentication. In addition, the captchas are pretty much useless. Maybe a system of questions and answers (avoiding numeric answers since bots can guess these) during the registration would help. There is also Xenforo tools for dealing the spam once it raises its ugly head. I've also read good things about KeyCaptcha.

  • There has to be tighter registration ... Maybe a system of questions and answers... There is also Xenforo tools for dealing the spam once it raises its ugly head. I've also read good things about KeyCaptcha.

    Indeed! There are a number of forums out there that never exhibit a single spam (various Microsoft forums, Wilders, DSLR, etc), even though they allow posting by new posters. Whether it's their registration processes or the tools they use to protect/clean the forums, these alone stand as proof that it can be done.

  • No, Blackbird - Norway just should bomb India.
    😛

  • No, Blackbird - Norway just should bomb India.

    Which would be a pity, wouldn't it, if the spam posting was actually originating in Vietnam or Pakistan or Bulgaria? Just because the topic of the spam is located in India doesn't mean the spam poster himself is located there... a lot of this stuff is contracted out as a bulk commodity arrangement.

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