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Author: Subject: Tired of reporting spam
Bert
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[*] posted on 20-5-2018 at 00:21


I have been rather irritable of late, and had started analyzing the spams for details that allow the spammer accounts to be uprooted wholesale, rather than retail.

Someone is unhappy that all their lovely wickedness is going away?




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[*] posted on 20-5-2018 at 09:42


You could require a moderator's approval of a new member's first post before their posts become public.

Or, given the specialized nature of this site, we could have a quick quiz on the signup page. A couple of questions on basic chemical trivia might do the job. For instance, you might ask them the chemical formula for hydrogen bromide; things that are, if not immediately obvious to all chem students, at least easily looked up.
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[*] posted on 20-5-2018 at 10:57


On some forums it is mandatory for noobs to introduce themselves in a designated topic, i.e. 'Welcome' before being able to post spam everywhere.

Is spam reporting still helpful ?
Just i have this terrible image of an Inbox that some poor soul has to look at, full of spam reports.




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[*] posted on 20-5-2018 at 12:19


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
On some forums it is mandatory for noobs to introduce themselves in a designated topic, i.e. 'Welcome' before being able to post spam everywhere.

Is spam reporting still helpful ?
Just i have this terrible image of an Inbox that some poor soul has to look at, full of spam reports.


I personally don't like the whole mandatory-introduce-yourself-thread thing. I would have found it very off-putting if I had to do that rather than just realising I had something to say about a thread and replying.

--

There is of course anti-spam software and services like Akismet but I don't know how easy it would be to integrate that with the current forum software. I guess that's part of the motivation to migrate to newer software.

Or, as suggested, just a simple chemistry question at sign-up. As trivial as possible (i.e. google-able), so as to avoid creating a barrier for chemistry newbs. Anything really, it only needs to be enough to stop a dumb generic bot.

[Edited on 20-5-2018 by DavidJR]




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[*] posted on 20-5-2018 at 15:14


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
Is spam reporting still helpful ?
Just i have this terrible image of an Inbox that some poor soul has to look at, full of spam reports.
It's still helpful, but the image is accurate:

IMG_4440.PNG - 185kB
They used to be deleted automatically but it doesn't work anymore for some reason. The reports are still effective though.




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[*] posted on 20-5-2018 at 15:44


We have had a bit of a glut in spam the last few days. I woke up to 56 reported posts in my inbox this morning, which is a bit unusual. Especially since I had been pretty vigilant about checking and deleting over the weekend.

Under the circumstances, if you report a post for a reason other than spam, there is a risk that the report will get lost among all the spam reports. If the spammers are particularly active it might pay to U2U a mod as well as reporting if you have other concerns.




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20-5-2018 at 18:55
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[*] posted on 20-5-2018 at 22:32


I’m guessing those report bunches are to do with ‘waves’ of spam, what I like to do and what I think would be most helpful is to mention that there are several spam posts in a single report as opposed to reporting all of them. Then it’s just a matter of filtering through the Today’s Posts page, most bots are easy enough to spot from that alone.

Oh, and how about a feature prevents other users from reporting an already flagged post? Not that I have any experience but I’m sure that at least some posts are reported multiple times - would help with clogging up the report list.

[Edited on 21-5-2018 by LearnedAmateur]




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[*] posted on 20-5-2018 at 23:23


All good ideas. But the best thing is to activate the spam-nuke script that runs when spam is reported. It does not always work reliably (for reasons I am not sure of) but when it does, it does a good job.

It checks a few criteria and then deletes all threads started by the spammer, bans the account and auto-deletes the reported post u2us.

So, don't reply to spam posts - this will prevent the script from working. And if you notice more than one spam under the same username, just report the one with the most views. After a certain number of reports the whole lot will disappear.

It looks bad at the moment but would be a lot worse without the script.




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[*] posted on 21-5-2018 at 01:13


It would be easier if we could report the member account doing the spamming, rather than having to report their individual spam posts
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[*] posted on 21-5-2018 at 01:21


The thing is though, I’ve noticed, is that different accounts do the spam - it’s only a few times I’ve seen a single account with multiple posts. In each wave for instance, you’ll get several new accounts each with the one post and that’s it; a single post each is a reason for a quick sign-up question, and your idea would come in handy for multiple post spambots.



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[*] posted on 21-5-2018 at 01:47


@ LA. That's true this time around. But it is not always so.

@NH. If the spam script runs the account gets banned; so reporting a post also deals to the account.




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[*] posted on 21-5-2018 at 05:29


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
All good ideas. But the best thing is to activate the spam-nuke script that runs when spam is reported. It does not always work reliably (for reasons I am not sure of) but when it does, it does a good job.

It checks a few criteria and then deletes all threads started by the spammer, bans the account and auto-deletes the reported post u2us.

So, don't reply to spam posts - this will prevent the script from working. And if you notice more than one spam under the same username, just report the one with the most views. After a certain number of reports the whole lot will disappear.

It looks bad at the moment but would be a lot worse without the script.

Remember as you said dont reply?
Well, spammers started replying themselves LOL.


Screenshot_20180521-152501.png - 342kB




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[*] posted on 21-5-2018 at 06:07


Crap, they’re evolving. Just have to hope they don’t start replying to actual threads.. Things will get really messy in that case.



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[*] posted on 21-5-2018 at 10:34


Quote: Originally posted by LearnedAmateur  
Just have to hope they don’t start replying to actual threads.. Things will get really messy in that case.


I actually think I have seen one like that. There was an old thread about either phosphine or phosgene (can't remember which, not interested in trying either at home), which had been bumped by a completely unrelated post, advertising nursing degrees or something. I reported it as "spam," and it disappeared. Should have taken a screenshot! I suppose it couldn't be that hard to make a bot that can reply to threads with unrelated posts.

And then there's the real sneaky kind:
Quote: Originally posted by Bert  
EVERYONE! Please be on the lookout-

For a new spam variant-

Characteristics observed so far:

Human authored, an apparent reply to existing thread, but with little meaningful content, usually the majority is a quote of another's previous reply, with perhaps a sentence or two of new content.

BUT!

After the body, down in the bottom where a signature might be- There are links, in a font/color very close to color of default page background. Easy to miss-

Please report these ASAP if you notice such links hiden in otherwise apparently legitimate posts.

Some of the spam I deleted today had been present for over a month without anyone noticing/reporting the spam links-


I wonder how much money is really made using these adds. Surely advertisers wouldn't hire actual humans to come up with unique handmade spam posts... Or would they?

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[*] posted on 21-5-2018 at 11:08


It's all a Numbers game.

If one idiot in a million clicks and Buys a $0.99 item, just need to send out a billion spams to get a million buyers.

Internet junk is pretty much free, so they just send out 10 billion bits of spam garbage to make sure.

If The-Idiots-Who-Click-and-Buy could be systematically eliminated, the spam would stop.

Edit:

Early UK billion definition there, not US.

[Edited on 21-5-2018 by aga]




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[*] posted on 27-5-2018 at 01:11


I have a suggestion regarding the report system.
Is it possible to add a option "spam" when reporting which you would just tick off instead of writing spam?
It seems like no big deal but after reporting 15+ spam posts at a time , it would really come in handy.




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[*] posted on 28-5-2018 at 11:46


I like your idea and not responding to spam would make it easier but unfortunatly we have to open up some of them of they are chemistry related vs spam
some sort of system that helps

So im for the spam button then a comfirmation page
To prevent accidental reporting

Maybe members that reach hazard to others would help keep it from being abused by visiter of the site by potentual new member that are just spam accounts none of them go past 10 posts.

And they would be the only ones who can report spam
So its not a revenge thing if a new user just wants to be spoonfed

I think this idea may help admin here



[Edited on 28-5-2018 by symboom]

[Edited on 28-5-2018 by symboom]




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[*] posted on 28-5-2018 at 12:35


Us rank-and-file users have less of a hard time with spam than the mods.

All we have to do is report it and it pretty quickly disappears.

I think someone has to press buttons for that to happen, which would be a Mod, so less bitching about it you proles - they have a harder time with it than any of us do.

If Lord Bertie could please clarify one point:
is it easer on Mods if we ONLY report the earliest spam that we see, or is it better for you if we report them ALL.

I still have this nightmare vision of a volunteer Mod wading through a long list of reports, each with my name on it, when the first report could have been enough.

Nightmare-ish enough to get a message with my name on it in any case ;)




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[*] posted on 28-5-2018 at 12:43


If there is a bunch of spam from the same user then it will suffice to just report one. I try to pick the one that has been viewed (and hence reported) most often. When the account gets deleted then all spam from that user vanishes with it.

This is of course predicated on the fact that our systems are working properly -- which is not always the case.




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[*] posted on 28-5-2018 at 12:48


If there are multiple threads started by the same spam account, you only need to report one thread.

Also for some reason my spam reports are still not being automatically deleted, but that seems to just be affecting me and not the other mods. And I can't seem to get ahold of Polverone to get that fixed. :mad:




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[*] posted on 28-5-2018 at 13:00


Thanks for the clarification chaps.

So, to be clear :-

If there is a spamming account making multiple posts, it is better to just report one of their posts, saving you Mods having a million U2Us for no benefit

If there are multiple spamming users posting just once, report them all.

Is that about right ?

[Edited on 28-5-2018 by aga]




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[*] posted on 28-5-2018 at 13:01


Spot-on



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[*] posted on 28-5-2018 at 13:07


Confirmation received.

Begin reprogramming brain .....
... error. retying 1/3 ... success.
... completed.

Resuming normal operations.




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[*] posted on 29-5-2018 at 08:34


Oh fuck, seems like SM is being targetted by spammers and scammers recently. I keep seeing annoying spam posts every few hrs.:mad::mad::mad:
Hey cocksucking motherfucking son of bitches!!! YOU WILL NEVER GAIN ANY REWARD SPAMMING HERE!!! Just go home and hide back in ur motherfucking mothers' cunts!!!:mad::mad::mad:

Aww... another auto-reply spam post just today...:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

Is there any ways to ban certain email domains from registering? I see some of them are from the same domain/site.


Attachment: Screenshot-2018-5-29 (416kB)
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[Edited: merged posts]
[Edited on 29/05/18 by fusso]

[Edited on 30/05/18 by fusso]

[Edited on 30/05/18 by fusso]




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[*] posted on 29-5-2018 at 09:58


@Fusso; stop your yelling and cursing and tripple posting. You are actually doing the same stuff as you are accusing these bots of.
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