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Author: Subject: Tired of reporting spam
Swinfi2
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[*] posted on 29-5-2018 at 10:26


I really like Reboots idea of a sign up quiz. say like 5 easy questions.

eg:
Balance this equation CH4 + _O2 -> _CO2 + _H2O
Give the formula product of H2SO4 + NaCl -> NaHSO4 + __
What is a Kelvin: A) A material. B) A name. C) Unit of temperature. _
Give the Element symbol for any element that's a liquid at room temperature: __
what is the SI unit for energy: _

just long enough that a human who has to look this stuff up might think ffs i'll post quicker somewhere else.
a bot should obviously fail unless its given the answers, i guess make them show up in random order.
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crystal grower
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[*] posted on 29-5-2018 at 11:53


Thats a great idea.
I can also imagine giving a picture of for example destillation apparatus or erlenmeyer flask, crystal of CuSO4, bromine, etc. and asking to name that piece of apparatus or compound/element.




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aga
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[*] posted on 29-5-2018 at 13:59


I can imagine a really active Amateur Chemistry forum where just about Every post is full of photos and detailed information about
amazing Chemical experiments the member did that day.

So detailed that many other members could (presumably would) try to replicate it and have a bundle of fun, and discuss their findings.

'Signal-to-Noise'-wise, we're not really in that ballpark here, not today/month/year for sure.

Any barrier to Inclusion would further make SM an exclusive playground for the endless stream of non-chemists who like to type words into a computer, imagining they are living Real lives.




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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 29-5-2018 at 14:41


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
I can imagine a really active Amateur Chemistry forum where just about Every post is full of photos and detailed information about
amazing Chemical experiments the member did that day.

So detailed that many other members could (presumably would) try to replicate it and have a bundle of fun, and discuss their findings.

'Signal-to-Noise'-wise, we're not really in that ballpark here, not today/month/year for sure.

Any barrier to Inclusion would further make SM an exclusive playground for the endless stream of non-chemists who like to type words into a computer, imagining they are living Real lives.

Amen! Do it aga!
Fix that signal to noise problem.




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fusso
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[*] posted on 29-5-2018 at 21:33


@Tsjerk
Ah shit I should've used the edit function earlier





[rquote&author=Nyaruko]It's not crime if no one finds out.[/rquote]
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RogueRose
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[*] posted on 16-6-2018 at 14:56


it's been bad the last 3-4 days. Must have reported 40-50 postings.

Is there a way to show how many reports each member has made? That would be interesting to see!
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SelfInflicted
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[*] posted on 16-6-2018 at 15:48


Sorry if this has been suggested before.

There is a report button. What if a process could count the number or reports that has the word spam in the report and automagically move off the message.

Who has time to program that though.

Could be a list of trusted members and if that member reports the post it is off to the spam folder. Report "spammer" an then automatically temporary ban.

Just thoughts.
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RogueRose
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[*] posted on 16-6-2018 at 17:43


Quote: Originally posted by SelfInflicted  
Sorry if this has been suggested before.

There is a report button. What if a process could count the number or reports that has the word spam in the report and automagically move off the message.

Who has time to program that though.

Could be a list of trusted members and if that member reports the post it is off to the spam folder. Report "spammer" an then automatically temporary ban.

Just thoughts.


I found in my U2U outbox it lists all the reports of SPAM, so you can count them there.. I have about 700
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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 16-6-2018 at 22:27


You guys do know you are requesting people to write code, test that code, and implement that code just so you can see how often someone else reported spam, or so other people can see how often you reported spam?

I guess mods and admins who are volunteering their time here have better things to do with their time.
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MJ101
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[*] posted on 17-6-2018 at 04:52


Quote: Originally posted by Bot0nist  
I like what barley81 did in the last spam thread. After reporting it, he posted "Spam thread reported" in the thread. This way everyone who always reports every spam they see (like me) will know its handled, and it will keep us from flooding the moderators with report U2Us. So, If you see a spam thread and it doesn't have a "reported spam" post in it, report it and post that you did. I think this will help.


@Bot0nist: That's a great idea. I'll do that the next time I report a spam post.
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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 17-6-2018 at 16:09


Quote: Originally posted by MJ101  
Quote: Originally posted by Bot0nist  
I like what barley81 did in the last spam thread. After reporting it, he posted "Spam thread reported" in the thread. This way everyone who always reports every spam they see (like me) will know its handled, and it will keep us from flooding the moderators with report U2Us. So, If you see a spam thread and it doesn't have a "reported spam" post in it, report it and post that you did. I think this will help.


@Bot0nist: That's a great idea. I'll do that the next time I report a spam post.

Actually, not as good an idea as you suppose.
The spam-deletion script only runs on threads with zero replies. If there is a reply then it must be deleted manually. Just report with the tag-line spam.




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MJ101
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[*] posted on 18-6-2018 at 06:04


@j_sum1: So sorry. I did it once.

I won't do it again.
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XeonTheMGPony
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[*] posted on 14-7-2018 at 19:23


They're on a rampage, can we just send them a package, and just tell them to ignore the ticking and open it in their spam meet up group?
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WGTR
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[*] posted on 18-7-2018 at 04:43


I just reported the latest round of it, every post. Someone else needs to go back and report spam from the last 2-3 days to get all of it.



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[*] posted on 18-7-2018 at 05:54


It can't be that much work to set up a quiz thingy mentioned before. It seems like a good option. Then we can just work through deleting the San threads and the bad guys are out.



If chemistry was easy it would be called biology.
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MJ101
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[*] posted on 18-7-2018 at 10:32


Here's a few things you can do.

1: Report IPs
https://www.abuseipdb.com/

Depending on the forum software (We have Woltlab but we're changing to Xenforo soon) The admins can see and report malicious IP addresses.

2: SpamCop:

https://www.spamcop.net/anonsignup.shtml

This can be used by the admins to report spammers, and hopefully get them kicked off of their respective ISPs.

Captchas are great for preventing spam bots from accessing the forum. Even a simple captcha would thwart a lot of spam.

But please. Keep the Captchas simple. crystal growers' idea for a captcha with pictures of a lab setup, asking the user to identify a piece of glassware is a great idea, and would be more than enough
to strain out those with zero knowledge. At least it would force them to do some leg work to learn about lab glassware. :)

(You can glean the info simply by watching chemistry videos on youtube ;) )

Hopefully, the info presented here will help the admins to minimize the amount of spam here. :)

BTW: What's the difference between a Florence flask and a round-bottom flask?


[Edited on 18-7-2018 by MJ101]

[Edited on 18-7-2018 by MJ101]
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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 19-7-2018 at 01:47


It must have been a bad couple of days on the spam. I disappear for a 36 hours and return to this:


Screenshot_2018-07-19-19-19-39-53.png - 117kB
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 03:06


I've just reported another round of spam. Thanks to whoever it is that has already cleaned up most/all of it.

There are plenty of good ideas here for how it might be prevented in the future. What we really need to do is pick one and get it implemented.

The chemistry related question as a CAPTCHA seems the most straightforward. Using the virtual machine Polverone creates as a backup I've started making the changes. I've updated the form and now need to add choosing the question and then evaluating the response.

I'll seed it with some simple questions but the administrators should be able to add new or delete them from the database.

Screenshot from 2018-07-20 06-51-12.png - 53kB
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 04:31


or what is the symbol on a periodic table of X and have x element change every time. that will make it harder for the bots to learn

but looking good
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 10:33


With this latest round of spam I've been uncomfortable reporting it from a work computer. I can imagine the questions from IT regarding why I'm clicking on threads entitled "Horny Housewives" and such.



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streety
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 14:04


Quote: Originally posted by XeonTheMGPony  
or what is the symbol on a periodic table of X and have x element change every time. that will make it harder for the bots to learn

but looking good


This is a really good suggestion. I doubt the questions will need to be difficult to be effective and this style gives lots of variety.

I got the question selection part implemented this morning before going to work so just have the evaluation step to go. With a bit of luck I might be able to get this finished today.
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 16:33


Quote: Originally posted by streety  
This is a really good suggestion. I doubt the questions will need to be difficult to be effective and this style gives lots of variety.

It was my idea!

But when I tried to fix the XMB code myself, I got bogged down in php, and then my laptop display broke. So I had to use my really old laptop with a broken space bar. I had to copy a single space to the clipboard and hit ctrl-v every time I needed to type a space. So I ended up doing a lot more reading than writing with that laptop.

Now I have a new laptop, but it's super low-end. It actually works pretty decently now that I've replaced the OS with Linux, but it's hardly a coding rig.

There's been indications that some members believe that there are actual humans behind some of this spam, but I assure you, it's about 99.9% bots. As someone who used to have a job coding workarounds for sites that tried to block me from scraping their images, I do know a thing or two about how to code effective bot logic. Bots cast a wide net, and if you put up any significant customized obstacle to stop them, it's not worth the effort for them to write the code to bypass it.




The first step in the process of learning something is admitting that you don't know it already.
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 17:00


Sorry Melgar. I think I went back to page 15 but I find these really long threads a bit intimidating. I'm sure I missed a lot.

I can understand your experience. I first learned programming with PHP but it has probably been a decade since I last used it. I moved on to python where the prime directive is to write readable code. Getting to grips with this codebase was quite the culture shock. The approach seems to have been to take code that would be understandable spread across 50 files and squeeze it all into 2 files.

However, I think I have a working implementation. I'm writing up instructions now.
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 17:13


I believe I now have a simple captcha question implemented.

The steps needed to add this to the forum are:

1) Merge in the pull request on github: https://github.com/mattbernst/xmbforum/pull/1
2) Copy member.php and templates.xmb to the forum (these are the only files changed)
3) Restore the templates cache by going to the Administration panel, then templates under 'look & feel', clicking 'Restore all' and then 'yes'
4) Add the questions to the database by going to Administration panel, then 'insert raw sql' under 'database tools' and submitting the sql query in the attached file

Attachment: table_creation.sql (1kB)
This file has been downloaded 24 times
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 17:44


This sounds great, sreety.
I haven't polverone's thoughts on the spam problem and possible solutions. He would need to be the one to implement this. But it sounds pretty straightforward.

I have just deleted 55 spam threads that have sprung up in the last 12 hours so a reprieve would be welcome.
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