Recent spam in the forum

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JoeStrout
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Recent spam in the forum

Post by JoeStrout »

Sorry about that, guys — my wife is away this week, so I'm taking care of the kids myself, leaving me little time over the weekend to keep an eye on the forum. I see that in that time, four spammers signed up and posted their crap in the General forum.

I've already deleted it, deleting their accounts, and added two new domains to the blocked-domains list. I'm reluctant to add any new hurdles for legitimate people to join the discussion, so we're still going to get these buggers from time to time. When you see one, please do not reply to their spam; that just draws attention to it. Instead, just keep up the on-topic discussions, and if you think I'm asleep at the switch, send me email about it (joe@strout.net). Hopefully you'll never have to do that, though — I'll be as vigilant as I can.

Best,
— Joe
Joe Strout
Talk-Polywell.org site administrator

Zixinus
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:39 pm

Post by Zixinus »

I still think that you should either appoint a moderator or take measures to prevent spam. Such measures can be easy to implant and most people are already used to them.

JoeStrout
Site Admin
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
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Post by JoeStrout »

Zixinus wrote:I still think that you should either appoint a moderator or take measures to prevent spam. Such measures can be easy to implant and most people are already used to them.
I'm a moderator; what would we gain from appointing someone else? Unless you mean somebody who had to approve every new account or post, in which case, we gain spam protection but lose timely discussion.

And I do take measures to prevent spam: every time a spammer signs up, I delete their account, ban their email address, and in some cases ban their entire domain. What additional measures would you suggest?

I've been on other forums where you were immediately treated with suspicion, and had to go through a lengthy approval process before you could post (or could post certain types of content). I always found that highly annoying, and from other poster's comments I know I'm not the only one who thought so. I don't want talk-polywell to be like that; it should be friendly and quick for real people to participate. So whatever measures you suggest, please keep that in mind.
Joe Strout
Talk-Polywell.org site administrator

Zixinus
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:39 pm

Post by Zixinus »

I'm a moderator; what would we gain from appointing someone else?
Additional moderation?

EDIT ADD -NOTE: Also, an extra moderator would serve as a back-up when you are unavailable.
What additional measures would you suggest?
There are two simple security measures that are effective: first, image-reading when registering. There is an image with a random number and you have to write it down. Simple enough task for a actual user, difficult for a spambot. Since this would only have to be done during registration, this should be minimally intrusive.

Second, a single forum where every new member must post first. It works well for biteycastle, if for nothing else, but to prevent spam filtering into general discussion. The forum would also be useful for introductions for every member.

Both processes are automated and easy enough, minimally intrusive.

Nanos
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Location: Treasure Island

Post by Nanos »

(agrees with Zixinus)

JoeStrout
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Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:40 pm
Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
Contact:

Post by JoeStrout »

Zixinus wrote:
I'm a moderator; what would we gain from appointing someone else?
Additional moderation?

EDIT ADD -NOTE: Also, an extra moderator would serve as a back-up when you are unavailable.
True. I'm not unavailable very often, but it does happen on occasion.
There are two simple security measures that are effective: first, image-reading when registering. There is an image with a random number and you have to write it down. Simple enough task for a actual user, difficult for a spambot. Since this would only have to be done during registration, this should be minimally intrusive.
Already in place.
Second, a single forum where every new member must post first. It works well for biteycastle, if for nothing else, but to prevent spam filtering into general discussion. The forum would also be useful for introductions for every member.
Do you know how to make phpBB2 do that? I've looked through all the docs and configuration options, and I don't see one for that. But perhaps I've missed it.

I don't think the spammers here are spambots; I think they're real people whose job it is to look for forums and spam them. I could make it so that new users have to be manually approved, and if necessary, I'll do that. But I don't think it'll be necessary — I've blocked a whole lot of email addresses and entire domains by now, and the rate of spam seems to have slowed down.
Joe Strout
Talk-Polywell.org site administrator

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