Spam and how to minimize it

Discussion in 'HBA Announcements & Support' started by Swampyankee, Aug 18, 2017.

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  1. Aug 18, 2017 #1

    Swampyankee

    Swampyankee

    Swampyankee

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    I've noticed an increase in spam postings, the most recent this morning. These all show similarities: same font, always in boldface, etc. Since this causes some annoyance and work for the mods, I wonder if there is a way to make it tougher. I realize there is no perfect solution, but one I've seen is that posters cannot include links in their first few posts.

    My suggestion is that HBA incorporate a similar policy: until a member makes a certain number of posts, spread over a number of days, all links will be stripped out of posts. I think HBA may be able to do this with the hosting site's software.
     
  2. Aug 18, 2017 #2

    Topaz

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    We have quite a number of anti-spam measures in place. You'd be boggled at the amount of spam we'd get here if they weren't. Boggled. They always find a new way in, eventually. It's a measure-countermeasure war. We've resisted that particular measure for a while, because we want to be friendly to legitimate new members. If it comes down to it, we may have to go there.

    Our very best defense against spammers is all of you. Report any such post you see by clicking on the black triangle near the lower-left corner of the offending post. The moderators (and Nathan) get an immediate e-mail from the system with your report, and we can delete the few that get in, right away. When the posts the spammers put up are gone within minutes, receiving few or no "clicks", we become a poor choice for their garbage. They're not making any return on targeting us.
     
  3. Aug 18, 2017 #3

    Dana

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    Part of the problem is we're running a rather old version of the forum software, which may not have as much flexibility as later versions. Until Jake is back any major upgrades are on hold.

    I've long pushed for moderator approval of new users, but that's also Jake's call. However, in this case nearly all of the spam posts are from the same IP range (103.212.xxx.xxx, which is India). We've blocked IPs in the past, perhaps it's time to do it again... but only Nathan can do that.

    Dana
     
  4. Aug 18, 2017 #4

    Aerowerx

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    I thought that new members had to be approved. I know when I applied for an account it was a few days before I could log on. Or am I confusing it with Yahoo groups (not to use them as a good example)?
     
  5. Aug 18, 2017 #5

    Dana

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    Many yahoo groups require moderator approval, but I don't think HBA ever has.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2017 #6

    Swampyankee

    Swampyankee

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    I'd probably not be boggled. I'm a long-time poster at a science-related site, cosmoquest.org, which still gets spammers after requiring admin approval of new users and requiring some level of review for the first dozen or so posts from new users. They have also been crashed by several DDOS attacks.
     
  7. Aug 19, 2017 #7

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

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    I was recently refused admission to a group as being an immigrant, I lacked a background for them to check... But no links in the first few posts does seem reasonable. While we are on the topic, HBA is littered with lonely 'reported' posts. Could they be cut along with the spam? I've stopped making such posts as they get up my nose.
     
  8. Aug 19, 2017 #8

    akwrencher

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    I like it when people post that they have reported a post. I can imagine mod emails getting pretty cluttered if several folks report the same post each time......what say you moderators?
     
  9. Aug 19, 2017 #9

    pictsidhe

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    I don't mind people saying 'reported', until it's orphaned when the spam is wiped but the 'reported' isn't.
     
  10. Aug 19, 2017 #10

    Dana

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    If several people report the same post the reports are grouped together, so no big deal. If you reply "reported" to spam in an existing thread the "reported" reply stays, but it goes away if the whole thread is deleted.

    Dana
     
  11. Aug 19, 2017 #11

    TFF

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    It would not hurt anything if the "reported " reply was deleted. If the thread has some other reactions, a moderator could just put a note in that states discontinuity because of spam.
     
  12. Aug 19, 2017 #12

    pictsidhe

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    Once the spam is gone, a 'reported' post becomes a perpetual reminder of spam. I report, but dont post 'reported' because of that. It's a little irritating to check new posts to find a 3 year old thread has been continued with 'reported'. /rant
     
  13. Aug 19, 2017 #13

    Topaz

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    No need to post "reported" after submitting a report. It's pretty rare that a spam post is reported twice, since we get the e-mail report so quickly. There's at least one moderator awake almost any time of day, between Autoreply in Europe; Midniteoyl, Dana, and Nathan in the middle of the USA, and myself on the west coast. I'm a bit of a night-owl and Autoreply tends to get up early, so there's hardly any gap at all in our "coverage."
     
  14. Aug 19, 2017 #14

    gtae07

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    Heck, it seems like he never sleeps...
     
  15. Aug 20, 2017 #15

    Swampyankee

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    Autoreply's a person? I thought that somebody had solved AI....
     
  16. Aug 20, 2017 #16

    Aerowerx

    Aerowerx

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    The people in Hawaii know how to minimize Spam.. They eat it!

    Oh, you mean the other kind?:gig:
     

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