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Bot-spam, hide by default

The constant spam from bots is rather annoying and my proposition for a fix is:

Make a forum-rule about new users not being allowed to post links in their first post to the forums and, if they do, automatically mark all of their posts -- including the first one -- for review and hide them from other users until reviewed, but not from the bot/new user themselves -- possibly show a banner that the post is waiting for a review, though. Why? Some bots check, if they can see their own posts or not in an effort to detect if they're hitting some spam-filter, but if they think their posts got through, they'll move on to the next site. Otherwise they may attempt again by posting a few random posts without links in them in an effort to get past such filters.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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5 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Make a forum-rule about new users not being allowed to post links in their first post to the forums and, if they do, automatically mark all of their posts

This could potentially hit a lot of first-time posters who post PcPartPicker links to get support with their build. Probably better to use a "real" spam filter. Is there something like SpamAssassin for forum posts? :D

 

Agreed with the rest though, mark it for review, hide it for anyone else and whitelist them after x posts if they were cleared.

Remember to quote or @mention others, so they are notified of your reply

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3 minutes ago, Eigenvektor said:

This could potentially hit a lot of first-time posters who post PcPartPicker links to get support with their build.

Well, that's why their post would be marked for review and the banner would inform them of that. They'd just have to wait until the post had been reviewed. Doesn't seem like a huge issue to me.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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2 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Well, that's why their post would be marked for review and the banner would inform them of that. They'd just have to wait until the post had been reviewed. Doesn't seem like a huge issue to me.

That may discourage people to join the forum to start with and could lead to them thinking that they'd have to go through the process each time. And after all I barely notice the spam and it's taken care of within 30 seconds or less. It's just a minor annoyance that doesn't really bother me. There's better ways to go about doing this.

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3 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Well, that's why their post would be marked for review and the banner would inform them of that. They'd just have to wait until the post had been reviewed. Doesn't seem like a huge issue to me.

orthey could go even further and not search for links only, but like if it is like a pcpp link it would allow it, or amazon, limitless

"I know a lot about a little, but a little about a lot"

Note that I am a student so what I say is based on what I read, and may not be the case for everyone.

I am not the best technician, so don't make fun

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2 minutes ago, AndreiArgeanu said:

There's better ways to go about doing this

Do mention those, then.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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Just now, Ankh Tech said:

orthey could go even further and not search for links only, but like if it is like a pcpp link it would allow it, or amazon, limitless

That's why I mentioned SpamAssassin. These tools are a lot more sophisticated than a simple "contains link = bad". They learn based on what you mark and do not mark as spam.

Remember to quote or @mention others, so they are notified of your reply

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2 minutes ago, Eigenvektor said:

That's why I mentioned SpamAssassin. These tools are a lot more sophisticated than a simple "contains link = bad". They learn based on what you mark and do not mark as spam.

really, never heard of that

"I know a lot about a little, but a little about a lot"

Note that I am a student so what I say is based on what I read, and may not be the case for everyone.

I am not the best technician, so don't make fun

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15 minutes ago, Eigenvektor said:

This could potentially hit a lot of first-time posters who post PcPartPicker links to get support with their build. Probably better to use a "real" spam filter. Is there something like SpamAssassin for forum posts? :D

 

Agreed with the rest though, mark it for review, hide it for anyone else and whitelist them after x posts if they were cleared.

No reason why you cant parse the text for a link address for pcpp

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3 minutes ago, Eigenvektor said:

That's why I mentioned SpamAssassin. These tools are a lot more sophisticated than a simple "contains link = bad". They learn based on what you mark and do not mark as spam.

I don't have particularly good experiences with SpamAssassin, but sure, if they wanna try it, I don't mind.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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1 minute ago, WereCatf said:

Do mention those, then.

Have a detection system that only puts posts from freshly made accounts with unrecognized links under review. So if you post something with a PCPP link, or a recognized news website or social media then generally speaking that won't be deleted and will pass. With time more trusted websites are to be added as necessary. Of course some kind of text filter may also be necessary but I'm not the best at determining what should and what shouldn't be filtered.

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4 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

I don't have particularly good experiences with SpamAssassin, but sure, if they wanna try it, I don't mind.

I use SpamAssassin on my mailserver and it seems to work quite reliably. It learns based on what I move into Junk (or out of it) and after some time it does that on its own.

Remember to quote or @mention others, so they are notified of your reply

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1 minute ago, Eigenvektor said:

I use SpamAssassin on my mailserver and it seems to work quite reliably. It learns based on what I move into Junk (or out of it) and after some time it does that on its own.

I know what SpamAssassin is, I just said I don't have any particularly positive experiences with it.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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Just now, WereCatf said:

I know what SpamAssassin is, I just said I don't have any particularly positive experiences with it.

And I just wanted to point out that I do. So it's 1:1 in terms of anecdotal evidence :P

Remember to quote or @mention others, so they are notified of your reply

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Just now, Eigenvektor said:

And I just wanted to point out that I do. So it's 1:1 in terms of anecdotal evidence :P

I didn't know it was a competition. 🤨

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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Just now, WereCatf said:

I didn't know it was a competition. 🤨

It's not. Don't mind me. Obviously this depends on whether something like it is even available for this forum software anyway.

Remember to quote or @mention others, so they are notified of your reply

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Related

 

So the little spam you see is just tip of the iceberg. I've banned 2 spammer from reports, and 3 from approvals today. Don't know how the numbers are for @Spotty.

^^^^ That's my post ^^^^
<-- This is me --- That's your scrollbar -->
vvvv Who's there? vvvv

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There's already protections in place which catch the majority of spam and we're constantly monitoring the situation for new types of spam and finding ways to combat that as they come. Thanks to the reports we receive from many members through the built in Report system whatever spam does make it through the existing protections is often caught and removed very quickly, often within minutes of being posted. Reporting spam does help so if you see a post you think might be spam please report it.

 

Spam is very annoying, but if you get too aggressive with the measures to tackle spam you can end up causing more disruptions to the people wanting to use the forum than what the spam is causing.

If people have suggestions for ways to help reduce the amount of spam then I'd be interested to hear it, however requiring all new user posts or all posts with links in it (or some combination thereof) would be too disruptive and would require a lot of additional staff time to review posts, which could actually result in a situation with staff having less time available to detect and remove spam.

 

Quote

Require all posts from new users to be manually approved by a moderator/block all non-latin characters/don't allow links in new members' posts (to prevent spam)
There are far too many posts for manual approval to be remotely feasible, and the other suggestions would adversely affect legitimate content too. We have a number of spam filtering systems in place, so the vast majority of the spam is caught before it is posted.

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27 minutes ago, Spotty said:

however requiring all new user posts or all posts with links in it (or some combination thereof) would be too disruptive and would require a lot of additional staff time to review posts

At least I was very specifically talking about the first post from a new user, if the post contains links. Not all posts with links from everyone nor requiring manual review of all new users, either.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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54 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

At least I was very specifically talking about the first post from a new user, if the post contains links. Not all posts with links from everyone nor requiring manual review of all new users, either.

Still, considering how many of those we get, and with legitimate links (like foreign webstores, is-it-real questions, not-so-common software etc.), it would become very tiresome fast.

^^^^ That's my post ^^^^
<-- This is me --- That's your scrollbar -->
vvvv Who's there? vvvv

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