Stopping "spam" - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Stopping "spam"

I've only been a member for about a month here. It doesn't seem like "spam" is a huge deal on this site, but I do notice enough to make it a headache for the site administrator, moderators, etc.

I used to have a forum (totally unrelated to motorcycles) and I found that the "challenge question" security feature eliminated all of my spam. I had vBulletin as well.

Anyway, in my forum, when someone wanted to become a member, they had to answer a question which was 1) unique enough that the average spammer wouldn't know (or bother with) the answer, but 2) not so unique that someone new to this forum wouldn't be able to answer it.

The most basic example would be "What is the name of the motorcycle that this forum is about?" Of course, the answer would be "Versys". Now, that might be a little too basic, but you get my point.

To my understanding, a lot of the "spam" senders are really just computer programs that scan for forums and are able to identify the basic fields of name/e-mail address, etc., but aren't set up for challenge questions like this. Like I said, I asked a very basic question that anyone who would join my previous forum should know, and it eliminated spam completely. Anyway, just an idea.

Tim
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 11:51 AM
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consider an IP block, or IP range, assumign the spam is coming from a the same ISP
consider change text for frequent SPAM

eg if they are flogging mobile phones
replace
"HTC Desire" with "We are scumbags whgo want to rip you off"

change the registration process
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 01:43 PM
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One forum I am on makes you read a FAQ before letting you in and then entering a code that is in the FAQ. Never seen spam on there. Seems like it would be much easier long term on the mods.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 04:42 PM
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Great suggestions! Sponser Ads I understand, but selling "Blackberry" phones I could live without on the site.
Moderators are doing a great job here, but if these suggestions would eliminate some of the spam, I am all for it.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 10:47 PM
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I vote for changing certain tagged words to funny phrases.. On the Volvospeed forum, if you type the word "ass" or use it like Pain in the ---, it comes out as "Pain in the ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY HYPNOTOAD!"

FAQ read might be best though!
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 02:47 AM
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The amount of spam actually appearing here is very very low
in part I'd expect that as this isn't a very large trafficed forum. however it does look to have been recognised by at least one spam bot.. the mobile phone scammers who consistently start 3 new threads, sometimes several times a day.

now that may mean the the sites spam filters are doing a good job, the moderators are getting there first or the visitors to this site aren't seen as a rich seam for the scammers to mine. after all I'd hate to think that owners of the Versys are going to fall for such obvious scams as the long running mobile phone one. its hardly credible that there are so many internet based companies selling mobile phioens using the same language, the same prices the same layout, or are there?

one thing that does pee me off is that spam reporting tools are set up in such a way that you have to wait to report more than one post, that I find a ridiculously limiting factor and one that on several times deters me from reporting spam. If the forum was made of shy retiring sensitive folk who take exception at any and every perceived slight then I could understand limiting the number of abuse reports. but if its spam its spam, and it needs to be deleted as soon as. so putting an arbitrary time limit defeats the point of a self regulating forum.

Last edited by healdem; 09-16-2010 at 02:51 AM.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healdem View Post
The amount of spam actually appearing here is very very low
in part I'd expect that as this isn't a very large trafficed forum. however it does look to have been recognised by at least one spam bot.. the mobile phone scammers who consistently start 3 new threads, sometimes several times a day.

now that may mean the the sites spam filters are doing a good job, the moderators are getting there first or the visitors to this site aren't seen as a rich seam for the scammers to mine. after all I'd hate to think that owners of the Versys are going to fall for such obvious scams as the long running mobile phone one. its hardly credible that there are so many internet based companies selling mobile phioens using the same language, the same prices the same layout, or are there?

one thing that does pee me off is that spam reporting tools are set up in such a way that you have to wait to report more than one post, that I find a ridiculously limiting factor and one that on several times deters me from reporting spam. If the forum was made of shy retiring sensitive folk who take exception at any and every perceived slight then I could understand limiting the number of abuse reports. but if its spam its spam, and it needs to be deleted as soon as. so putting an arbitrary time limit defeats the point of a self regulating forum.
I agree with you. You shouldn't have to wait 30 seconds or 1 minute to report another spam. I have seen an increasing amount of spam on here and I do see a good deal of value in the above suggestions. I report at least one a day but don't want to wait to report another or forget about it as I get further into the forum notes.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:06 PM
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spam

I reported 8 spam ads today. I hate the 1 minute wait.
Maybe a waiting period for anything other than an introduction...


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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 12:50 PM
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Hey guys, thanks for reporting the spam. It helps us keep the boards clean. I will make sure that the other mods see your suggestions as I think they are valid ideas, but I don't control board settings so I cant make the changes.

As to the 1 minute wait. Believe it or not typically a single report will result in multiple things being deleted. We manually have to review the reports, but when we delete and ban folks we can delete all that persons posts when we ban. So if I get a single report and that person has 3 or 4 messages of spam I will delete all of the spam posts. I also personally do a double check of new posts when I respond to a spam report. So when you see a single spam its not necessary for you to go and root out other spam, just gives us double reports and takes you time.

Sometimes we are slow to respond to a report. I have a day job, family and I'm a full time student, so I have other things that take my attention. So keep that in mind if you see spam linger for a day until one of the mods can respond.

Thanks again,

Steve

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 02:39 PM
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I fear you are missing the point
the delay is introduced after any report of an abusive post.
I don't bother reporting the same spammer multiple times (I will usually note that the spammer is multiple post abuser), but there are occasions when there are multiple spammers that need reporting.

Im a mod on dbForums, where our spam load is much higher but we don't put artificiai hurdles between users of the site and reporting problems, the 40 second wait does. it makes me want to omit reporting any other abusive threads.

this is the first forum I've come across which places such a stupid barrier between users and the moderators.

As a mod elsewhere i don't actually care if you come back after moderation, we all have got more important things to do, unless there is a query on why the report was made or why the no action has been taken.

if you have spam lurking for a day or so then you will attract more spam. the only way oif dealing with the scum is to get rid of 'em as soon as., thats not a criticism of you, its a criticism of the way the moderation is setup.

on dbForums we try to have a mix of time zones for mods. we have a sligth exposure in the early morning GMt as we don't have any far eastern./Australasian mods, but outside of that timezone theres plenty to go around, from the looks of it this site has 3 possibly 4 mods all US based.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 03:27 PM
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Hey guys, thanks for reporting the spam. It helps us keep the boards clean. I will make sure that the other mods see your suggestions as I think they are valid ideas, but I don't control board settings so I cant make the changes.

As to the 1 minute wait. Believe it or not typically a single report will result in multiple things being deleted. We manually have to review the reports, but when we delete and ban folks we can delete all that persons posts when we ban. So if I get a single report and that person has 3 or 4 messages of spam I will delete all of the spam posts. I also personally do a double check of new posts when I respond to a spam report. So when you see a single spam its not necessary for you to go and root out other spam, just gives us double reports and takes you time.

Sometimes we are slow to respond to a report. I have a day job, family and I'm a full time student, so I have other things that take my attention. So keep that in mind if you see spam linger for a day until one of the mods can respond.

Thanks again,
Ditto!





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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-16-2010, 03:29 PM
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I vote for changing certain tagged words to funny phrases.. On the Volvospeed forum, if you type the word "ass" or use it like Pain in the ---, it comes out as "Pain in the ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY HYPNOTOAD!"

FAQ read might be best though!

I like this idea too!! Hahaha! Man that could be some fun!



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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 03:26 AM
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Above post is just cheeky!

Burn him!
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 03:33 PM
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Above post is just cheeky!

Burn him!

How 'bout I ban him...


Hahahaha!! It was pretty damned funny he posted that crap in this thread!!






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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 09:42 PM
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What is the process I should follow to "report Spam"? Right now, there's at least a half dozen crappy spam threads. I'd be glad to report them, but how? Thanks.

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 09:45 PM
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It's very simple, in the right hand corner of each post, there are a few icons, one of which is a little red & white triangle with an exclamation point in it. When you see an offending post (spam), just click the little red triangle on THAT post, and it'll notify us.

Easy as pie.



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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 09:55 PM
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healdem View Post
consider an IP block, or IP range, assumign the spam is coming from a the same ISP
consider change text for frequent SPAM

eg if they are flogging mobile phones
replace
"HTC Desire" with "We are scumbags whgo want to rip you off"

change the registration process
Banning IP's doesn't work. IP addresses are generally dynamic, they can be changed with a simple reset of the modem. Banning IP ranges is also silly because generally a range has the chance of blocking an entire geographic area, which is all well and good if it's Russia or some other spam haven, but bad if it's in the western world.

I agree that you ought to discourage people from utilizing their company. Maybe ban them, move it to off topic, and change the body to "do not use this company of spammers" sounds cluttery and time consuming though. Or maybe a list of spamming companies in one post, perhaps forum members might spam or DDOS them ahem.

At the XT225 forum the moderators have to approve every new account, but seriously, how can you tell a good one from a bad one unless it's a company name? Also it can take a day to get approved.

For the 'CAPTCHA' you should be careful with the complete the phrase questions. Like PAIN IN THE -BLANK- because for some members, english is not their first language and idioms could prove challenging. It should be something unique, difficult for a computer but fairly simple for a human. How 'bout some simple algebra, like y=6x+3 solve for x. Math is the universal language, right? haha
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 11:40 PM
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like y=6x+3 solve for x. Math is the universal language, right? haha
If it has letters in it, it ain't Math.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 03:29 AM
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Banning IP's doesn't work. IP addresses are generally dynamic, they can be changed with a simple reset of the modem. Banning IP ranges is also silly because generally a range has the chance of blocking an entire geographic area, which is all well and good if it's Russia or some other spam haven, but bad if it's in the western world.

I agree that you ought to discourage people from utilizing their company. Maybe ban them, move it to off topic, and change the body to "do not use this company of spammers" sounds cluttery and time consuming though. Or maybe a list of spamming companies in one post, perhaps forum members might spam or DDOS them ahem.

At the XT225 forum the moderators have to approve every new account, but seriously, how can you tell a good one from a bad one unless it's a company name? Also it can take a day to get approved.

For the 'CAPTCHA' you should be careful with the complete the phrase questions. Like PAIN IN THE -BLANK- because for some members, english is not their first language and idioms could prove challenging. It should be something unique, difficult for a computer but fairly simple for a human. How 'bout some simple algebra, like y=6x+3 solve for x. Math is the universal language, right? haha
My experience of being a mod elsewhere (dbforums.com) is that careful and selective banning of IP Addresses/IP ranges from known spammers works. the current spam pushing mobile phones and Nike looks like its machines generated spam, and that means its coming from a specific computer(s). we get very little of that crap on dbforums precisely becuase we ban on IP. if its obviously human generated (and its usually very obvious which is which we just ban the user). we analyse the IP addresses where human spam is originating from and if we get several from the same IP address and no 'valid' posts we ban those IP Addresses as well.

Theres a notorious ISP based near Ripon which is in reality a spam house, blocking these guys reduced the amount of spam appearing quickly. they are not the only spam house, there are others

what ever else you do do, don't be tempted to allow SEO optimisation tools (link backs and so on) on this site, that attracts spammers flies round ****
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