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Author: Subject: Stopping spam by banning .com and slashes together in post titles
Elemental Phosphorus
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[*] posted on 18-5-2017 at 03:46
Stopping spam by banning .com and slashes together in post titles


I was thinking that most spam posts have both .com and a slash in the title, so if there was a piece of software that could automatically flag posts with both a slash and '.com' in them, the amount of spam could be greatly reduced.

[Edited on 18-5-2017 by Elemental Phosphorus]
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laserlisa
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[*] posted on 18-5-2017 at 04:53


Or... Why not implement a proper modern captcha for registration of new accounts?
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Jstuyfzand
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[*] posted on 18-5-2017 at 04:57


I'm pretty sure most spam is posted by real people, but a proper captcha will filter some of the spam out.
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Melgar
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[*] posted on 18-5-2017 at 11:12


Quote: Originally posted by Jstuyfzand  
I'm pretty sure most spam is posted by real people, but a proper captcha will filter some of the spam out.

I will bet you 10:1 odds that at least 99% of the spam here is posted by bots. For every dollar you put up, I'll pay out ten if I'm wrong. This offer is open to everyone here. I'm completely serious; it'd be easy money for me, so why wouldn't I be serious?

Scripts search the web for html bits that are indicative of various popular content management software, then attempt to interact with it using the software's default settings. If there's a built-in captcha that came with the software, they'll often be programmed to get around that. And that's it. It's a numbers game, like email spam. If it succeeds 40% of the time, it's a success. These scripts are usually attached to one or more email boxes too, so they can receive registration confirmation emails.

Now, if someone can make themselves available that's an admin, to edit the php files directly on the server, I can send altered php code for the member.php file to have a very small obstacle to registration, say "How many protons does a carbon atom have?" (or better, something that Google won't automatically answer) You can all tell me it won't be enough to stop them, but if you really believe that, then bet against me! You all have to bet at least $10 though, ok? Trust me on this, I used to run a forum myself, and after being swamped by spam, doing a simple little trip-up like this made it so there were maybe two spam messages a month.

I just need someone that can edit the member.php file on the server, or who can let me modify it somehow. Someone let me know when would be good to do this, ok?
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[*] posted on 19-5-2017 at 00:13


Well, the spam has been more than averagely annoying recently and there are no real indicators that it will let up. There have been numerous good suggestions made -- a captcha is probably the simplest and best. I am not sure why nothing new has been implemented in the three years I have been here. I do wish an admin would chime in on this (or similar) discussion and give their thoughts.
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[*] posted on 19-5-2017 at 02:46


In the last 5 minutes or so, I reported 9 spam posts. This is getting extremely annoying. I know my posts are not earth-shatteringly brilliant, but all the spam makes reading the board a nuisance.
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[*] posted on 19-5-2017 at 03:49


You all are right, a captcha is the best way. Yesterday, I saw 5 spam posts in 'Chemistry in general' when I logged on. The .com and slash idea might work if the spam was posted by people.
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[*] posted on 20-5-2017 at 10:00


I have added another spam heuristic for post titles, based on suggestions in this thread. I will consider tweaking it further depending on how it performs.



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unionised
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[*] posted on 20-5-2017 at 11:33


Could we implement a rule whereby nobody's first post could include a web address?
(better yet, a rules that says "you can't post until you have tried to post something that doesn't have a web link")
It would be a marginal nuisance for some new starters, but it would double the "workload" of human spammers and it would block robots whose only purpose is to post stuff with links.
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[*] posted on 20-5-2017 at 11:44


It is significantly more effort to set up a rule like that with actual user interaction. If I just run a script that uses some heuristics to eliminate the most-obviously-spammy new users and their posts after they post something, the software just has to interact with database tables. I don't need to integrate it in the actual forum software. If I wanted to implement a new gating rule that would prevent first posts containing links, I would have to put it inside the forum software proper. That's more work, especially if I set up proper error messages to guide new users.



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[*] posted on 21-5-2017 at 02:05


Whatever you did Polverone, it seems to be working. I just clicked on a post to report it and it disappeared as soon as I clicked it.
The board has been a lot cleaner today. :)
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[*] posted on 30-5-2017 at 13:14


It's slightly annoying though, when a part of the boards looks like there are new posts there, and it turns out to just be spam that was deleted that made it look like there were new posts. I can edit the member.php file easily enough, which should kill bot registrations, but I don't want to have to set up an entire backend just to test a simple change like that. I guess if I ever do that, I'll just post my changes here (to the XMB default file) and if anyone wanted to critique it or test it, they'd be welcome to.
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[*] posted on 5-7-2017 at 18:15


I think we could make our own captcha like "pick the GLASSWARE" in these pictures. Would weed out the spammed and the how do I make meff??-ers
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