Spam Cops

Web discussions, including project website, forums, wiki, and others.

Should we add spam cops?

Yes
10
43%
No
13
57%
 
Total votes: 23
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Crush
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Crush » Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:57 am

Automated spam has increased a lot in the last months, and removing it has turned from a small inconvenience to an annoying chore. Whenever I load the "view new posts" page, and I do this several times a day, I see between double and four times as much spam as on-topic posts.

But I don't think that adding more moderators to the forum would be a good solution, because nobody would be satisfied just with deleting automated spam. When you make someone a mod, they would automatically also demand to moderate the real users. Having a ton of moderators, all with slightly different moderation styles, can also be dangerous and disruptive to a forum.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by meway » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:11 am

any way to make the group only able to moderate newly registered users?
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by enchilado » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:33 am

Crush wrote:nobody would be satisfied just with deleting automated spam. When you make someone a mod, they would automatically also demand to moderate the real users
I have to disagree with the 'nobody'. Although I did only ask for moderator powers so I could edit the tags on graphics development threads, I've been dealing with spambot posts when I see them too (it'd be kinda rude of me not to), and I have absolutely no desire to do any moderating of real users.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Crush » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:48 am

poison_ivy wrote:
Crush wrote:nobody would be satisfied just with deleting automated spam. When you make someone a mod, they would automatically also demand to moderate the real users
I have to disagree with the 'nobody'. Although I did only ask for moderator powers so I could edit the tags on graphics development threads, I've been dealing with spambot posts when I see them too (it'd be kinda rude of me not to), and I have absolutely no desire to do any moderating of real users.
But you do admit that you are using your moderation powers for more than what you were giving them initially.

Sure, there is nothing wrong about fighting automated spam. And I am grateful for your help.
But there is also nothing wrong about deleting non-automated spam.
And who could disagree with disciplining users which are definitely breaking forum rules?
And when you are already enforcing the forum rules, how about bending them a bit?
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by meway » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:52 am

why do you feel obligated to question even yourself as an admin? There is an obvious problem with spam. What are we going to do about it?
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Crush » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:08 am

I would rather prefer a technical solution than just throwing menpower on the problem.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by meway » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:12 am

can we limit the amount of posts a newly registered user can post in one day?
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by enchilado » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:23 am

Crush wrote:But you do admit that you are using your moderation powers for more than what you were giving them initially.
Well, I suppose so. :?
Crush wrote:I would rather prefer a technical solution than just throwing menpower on the problem.
The captcha is broken, isn't it? Fixing it would likely cut back most of the spam.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Crush » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:32 am

Limiting newly registred users would be a major inconvenience but wouldn't help much. Most spam attacks create about 3-4 users which only make between1-3 posts each. However, there are still the avalanche-like spambots which make over 20 posts with a single user in different threads - in that case I usually delete the user with all its posts using the admin control pannel which is just 3 clicks. I usually avoid doing that, because it can not be undone and I already hit one or two innocent users with that by accident.

The main problem is, in my opinion, the weak captcha the forum uses. Some of the spam we got is advertising the spam tool itself, and its website claims that it has a highly advanced text recognition which defeats many commonly used captcha systems.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Alige » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:42 am

Same thing happened on wiki. What we did was that we changed the way of making accounts. A player needed to request one and a wiki admin needed to accept it. That completly removed spamming from wiki.

When I reject an account on wiki, it is, most of the time, because the name is improper, because I get strange things in the description of the account or for any other weird reason. Most of the requested accounts get accepted, especially if the account name has the same name of a player in TMW.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Crush » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:55 am

requesting accounts also greatly reduced the number of legitimate new contributors on the wiki. I don't want this to happen on the forum, too.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Alige » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:40 am

Crush wrote:requesting accounts also greatly reduced the number of legitimate new contributors on the wiki. I don't want this to happen on the forum, too.
You're probably right, but I'm pretty sure that didn't affect wiki a lot, unless there was a guy who intended to do as much as me which is highly unprobable.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Freeyorp101 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:57 am

Ideally we'd be using reCaptcha, but apparently the themes are broken for it.


What part of the theme is relevant for displaying the captcha, and how does it differ between themes? It appears to display fine with the prosilver theme (it works in the acp)

Alternatively, perhaps the default theme should be changed to prosilver until the custom theme is fixed?


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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Crush » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:01 pm

I'd like to give the question&answer captcha plugin a chance. In theory it is easy to break because the number of questions you can come up with which are trivial for humans but withstand limited lexical analysis is limited, but in practice I doubt that the spammers will enter the answers manually, because I suspect that the spammers are aiming for circumventing the security of a large quantity of targets at once instead of tailoring their bot for individual targets.

But the GD image plugin seems to be the only one that works. You suspect it's the theme? I don't know enough about phpBB to make any assumptions about possible reasons.
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Re: Spam Cops

Post by Chicka-Maria » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:30 pm

if this does have a go would it be alright if i gave it a try? im on the forums everyday and i report more spam then i can count.
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