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Thread: Keep your eyes open.

  1. #31
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Quote Originally Posted by fredoyster View Post
    We have similar problems on pro-audio lists that I administer. Our solution has been to make all new members moderated until a moderator sees at least a couple of legit posts. It's usually obvious from a post that someone is actively engaged in a discussion and warrants unmoderated access.
    The main problem is the zombie members. Those accounts are full of spam URLs in the details that get picked up by the search engines. For every one that gets through with an actual spam posts there are dozens of these zombies. It's become a mission of mine to clean them out.

  2. #32
    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    We've been hit with spam 3 times today so far, so I looked at the membership list. It's shocking how many new joins there are (over 60 just today) that are obviously sleepers waiting to post spam. You can tell by their profile narrative and by their homepage links. Maybe we need another cleaning.

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  4. #33
    Registered User Hot Wings's Avatar
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    It's been a while since I joined, but I do remember being kind of surprised that there was ZERO in the way of identity challenge. All I did was make up a screen name, a password, and supply an unverified E-mail address. Has this process changed since then?
    Conventional wisdom and practices yield conventional results. If that is good enough for you:
    Problem solved.

    "--and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out."
    Richard P. Feynman

    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
    Frank Zappa

  5. #34
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcj View Post
    We've been hit with spam 3 times today so far, so I looked at the membership list. It's shocking how many new joins there are (over 60 just today) that are obviously sleepers waiting to post spam. You can tell by their profile narrative and by their homepage links. Maybe we need another cleaning.
    Some of us are legitimate lurkers. =)

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  7. #35
    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Quote Originally Posted by apache123 View Post
    Some of us are legitimate lurkers. =)
    Absolutely. The intent of a newly joined member can usually be determined by reading their profe and noting their homepage link if they provide one.

    You'd be amazed if you went through and read most of the profiles of many of the new joins who have not posted yet.

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  9. #36
    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcj View Post
    Absolutely. The intent of a newly joined member can usually be determined by reading their profe and noting their homepage link if they provide one.

    You'd be amazed if you went through and read most of the profiles of many of the new joins who have not posted yet.
    It's a continuing problem. I know I spent over an hour one time deleting such "sleeper" accounts and barely got out of the "a"'s. Nathan has spent a lot more time at it. I wish a simple "capcha" would do the trick, although it's been discussed in the moderator forum. However, right now at this very minute, at several somewhere's in China, India, etc., there are people working in little sweat-shops whose sole job is to answer "capcha" challenges for web bots. When the bot runs into one, it's forwarded to the shop , where a human answers it and passes it back to the bot. Seriously. That's a real thing. There's enough money being made in spamming forums and the like to pay for whatever pennies they throw at these companies providing this service.

    We've taken steps to reduce spam traffic of particular kinds, and that's worked fairly well. Obviously there's more to do, but some of it requires some significant money to implement at larger scales. This is a free site, with no paid advertising. All of HBA is financed out of the goodness of Jake and Belle's hearts and their love of aviation. All the hosting, and the site maintenance, trouble-shooting, and upgrades that Nathan does for us, and so on, all come from their individual pockets and from the donations that members provide.

    The very best thing the members can do is to keep reporting spam postings as soon as you see them. You guys came up, all on your own, with the protocol of reporting a spam message and then posting "reported" immediately afterwards in the same thread. Thank you for that! It keeps the number of reports for the same message to a bare minimum, and helps we moderators to be more efficient in getting rid of the spam.

    Also, do not click on the links in those spam posts. Clicking on such links does two things: Gives the spammers income, which is usually based on the number of "clicks" they generate, and it also exposes your computer to possible malware. A big illegal industry today is infecting as many computers as possible with malware that can be used to remotely control them as a group, and then hiring out those "bot nets" of thousands of computers to other illegal actors, for uses ranging from blackmail distributed-denial-of-service attacks, to mining "bitcoin", or even as raw computational power for attacking other networks, etc. Clicking on the links in spam messages does nothing good for you, and everything good for them. If they never get click-thoughs here, they're eventually going to decide that we're not worth even the very minimal trouble it takes to make a fake "sleeper" account here.

    Report them quickly, and starve them of what they want.
    Last edited by Topaz; September 20th, 2015 at 01:17 PM.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

  10. #37
    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
    This is a free site, with no paid advertising. All of HBA is financed out of the goodness of Jake and Belle's hearts and their love of aviation. All the hosting, the site maintenance, trouble-shooting, and upgrades that Nathan does for us, and so on, come from their individual pockets and from the donations that members provide.
    And this is a great opportunity to point this out to our newer members. There is a link near the top if anyone is inclined to donate toward the maintenance of this site. It's a great way to show that we appreciate what we have been given here and to help ensure its continued existence in its present form.

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  12. #38
    Registered User RPM314's Avatar
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Hmmm. Some picture formats have geographic location embedded in them, right? How about new members need to set an avatar of themselves or their plane or something, taken at their place of residence, and it has to match the location they give in their profile. Bots wouldn't be able to just grab some pic off the web to satisfy the new requirement, so the effort required to put spam here would increase.
    I don't think just decreasing the profitability of the site will be enough to drive these guys out. If most of the process is automated it might actually take more effort to stop the spam than to just let it keep going and make whatever small sum it does, or even if we drive it down to zero profit. We need to make it more hassle to put new spam up in the first place than they get out of a few accidental link clicks. Mine's just one thought.
    Arriba. Siempre arriba. -Jorge Chavez

    Stranger s**t than this has flown. -Victor Bravo

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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    I actually was just PM'd a great idea from a member that might cut down on the spam-bots, and not be as complex for (legitimate) new members. I don't want to say what it is, but I like it, and am passing it along to Nathan and the other moderators for consideration.

    And yes, if you can, and want to, please donate to HBA. Doesn't matter how much or how little. Jake and Belle have done us all a huge favor in creating and maintaining this site. Helping them is a great thing to do.

    Just so you know, and because membership donations are visible and I always feel a little guilty about this: Jake has told the moderators, "Don't donate. I won't take your money, and I'll return it if you do". He seems to think coming on here and talking to you guys about stuff we love is "enough contribution" to the site. It's not that the moderators don't care enough to donate, or think we're "too good for it". Jake just won't let us.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

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  15. #40
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    You've probably already looked at this, but just in case you haven't:
    Stop Forum Spam

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  17. #41
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manticore View Post
    You've probably already looked at this, but just in case you haven't:
    Stop Forum Spam
    Thanks for the shout out...

    The site already uses this service.

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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    I say don't even allow the edible Spam! ;-)

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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Unless it comes with spam, spam, spam, eggs, spam, bacon, spam, spam, and pepsi.
    Arriba. Siempre arriba. -Jorge Chavez

    Stranger s**t than this has flown. -Victor Bravo

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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Quote Originally Posted by Topaz View Post
    He seems to think coming on here and talking to you guys about stuff we love is "enough contribution" to the site. It's not that the moderators don't care enough to donate, or think we're "too good for it". Jake just won't let us.
    The few bucks I kick in each year is nothing compared to the hours you put in and the occasional "internet fistfight" you have to break up. Jake's right, your doing enough already.
    Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr

  22. #45
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    Re: Keep your eyes open.

    Quote Originally Posted by NathanF View Post
    The main problem is the zombie members.
    I browse the members list occasionally and see lots of obvious zombies and sleepers. Would it help to add a report link to profiles like you have in posts for us to call your attention to them when we see them, despite their having made no posts yet (as if you're not busy enough already)?

    I noticed that some of them don't post, but spam the members' profile pages instead.

    For example, here are just a few off the top that look extremely suspect:
    View Profile: NamelyNewborns5 - HomeBuiltAirplanes.com
    View Profile: GarageDoor16 - HomeBuiltAirplanes.com
    View Profile: joshanlames - HomeBuiltAirplanes.com
    View Profile: fingersong - HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

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