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Thread: Fighting spam

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    SurfMan's Avatar
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    Default Fighting spam

    Ladies and gents,

    The amount of spam we are getting at the moment is eyewatering. Take this thread for example: How to ask someone to marry you in Java?. Eleven (!) pages of crap at the time of writing.

    I am sure the mods are doing everything they can to keep up, but the fact that so many bots can sign up and post their shit is worrying me. Isn't there a plugin for this forum that can help nab these type of posts? Captcha was broken a longtime ago, and it doesn't help if a whole room of Chinese workers are typing all this in, but we sure must be able to do something?

    If you need more mods to kill spammers, consider me in.
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2™ © 2013

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    surfdude, if there was someone who could ( / cares to) do something about it, don't you think it would already have been done?

    The forum only gets worse. Just look at the PHP errors that have started to spawn upon certain actions since a few weeks. Frankly I'm amazed that there is still someone who apparently reboots stuff when the site goes dead.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Well apparently we have moderators: Tolls, Norm, JosAH, maybe more, I don't know. Someone must have made them moderator? Who is this "someone"? Who owns this forum?

    From the Whois:
    Registrant Name:Levent Bayindir
    Registrant City:Ankara

    Is (s)he even around?
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2™ © 2013

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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    I heard the history from Mr. Burke when I just signed up, the number of moderators dwindles with the time (case in point: DB himself has since put down his moderation responsibilities) and there is nobody really maintaining this forum anymore for some time now. Its all up to Jos and his rotating knives machine :)

    edit: and not to forget Norm's valiant attempts to try and keep the junk out.
    Last edited by gimbal2; 04-15-2014 at 02:26 PM.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    Tolls is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    DB had developed a technique for spotting spammers before they hit the site, but I'm not around long enough in the day to actually follow through on it.

    Whether that technique is still valid, though, I don't know.
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    I just cleaned up the Marry Me post. 416 separate spam comments (mostly from separate accounts) and counting.

    (Edit: make that 424. In the time it took to post this, 8 more spam comments were posted.)

    The moderators haven't heard from the admin in quite some time. I hope he's okay and just lost interest in the site, but either way, it seems like the site has been abandoned.

    This has meant more and more spammers, and no way (that I know of) to promote anybody else to moderator. Darryl has quit his moderator duties because it's too much work to keep up (we came here to help people program, not fight a losing battle against spammers).

    I don't like to be a doomsayer, but if we keep getting attacked like we have been over the last couple days, we won't be able to keep up.
    Last edited by KevinWorkman; 04-15-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Quote Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
    DB had developed a technique for spotting spammers before they hit the site, but I'm not around long enough in the day to actually follow through on it.

    Whether that technique is still valid, though, I don't know.
    Darryl's technique was to look at the user accounts individually and then ban blocks of them according to member ID, since spammers tend to register a bunch of accounts at one time. This is still a very manual process that won't be able to keep up with this newly increased rate of spammers without some automated (admin) action. Ugh.
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Also, here is the account of the admin of the site: http://www.java-forums.org/members/javaforums.html

    It says his last activity was a month ago, but his last post was over a year ago. His account might also have been compromised.

    I'm not sure what we can do with any of this information, but now you guys know as much as the moderators do.
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    I have sent the guy that owns the domain "java-forums.org" an email. Now we wait...
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2™ © 2013

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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Looks like they've now moved on to this post, 20 spam comments and counting: Where to place "openTo()" command to make it work?
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Quote Originally Posted by SurfMan View Post
    I have sent the guy that owns the domain "java-forums.org" an email. Now we wait...
    Darryl tried that a while ago, and he didn't get a response. Hopefully you'll have better luck, but I'm not holding my breath.
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    jim829 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    I also sent the admin some suggestions months ago. As I understand it, the new owner of the forum took the reigns without any announcement or contact of mods,etc (according to DB). We have also lost some long time moderators since I joined over a year ago. I assume it was out of frustration.

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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    I got in touch with him. Expect an update soon!
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2™ © 2013

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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Crikey!
    Please do not ask for code as refusal often offends.

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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    The moderators haven't heard from the admin in quite some time. I hope he's okay and just lost interest in the site, but either way, it seems like the site has been abandoned.
    Like I said, not entirely because when the site goes dead SOMEONE brings it back to life.

    In any case the spammers seem to now have changed strategy again and are creating threads in stead of hijacking existing ones :/ I kind of like OTN's "solution" to the problem, the first post made by a user has to be approved by a moderator before that user is allowed free access. But that requires very active moderation.
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Quote Originally Posted by gimbal2 View Post
    Like I said, not entirely because when the site goes dead SOMEONE brings it back to life.

    In any case the spammers seem to now have changed strategy again and are creating threads in stead of hijacking existing ones :/ I kind of like OTN's "solution" to the problem, the first post made by a user has to be approved by a moderator before that user is allowed free access. But that requires very active moderation.
    That would have the added bonus of being able to unapprove "code plz" type questions... but then we might not be left with any questions at all!
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Another thing that javaprogrammingforums.com does is not allow links in the first X posts. I think that would help us quite a bit here.
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    Another thing that javaprogrammingforums.com does is not allow links in the first X posts. I think that would help us quite a bit here.
    *time-out buzzer*

    That would prevent people from admitting they cross-posted.

    BUT! I guess you mean in the first X posts made by a user, not the first X posts in a thread. That would be an acceptable compromise.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    I believe how it works is it that if you have fewer than X (5? 10? 1? Not sure.) posts, any of your posts that contain links must be approved by a moderator. So people can still post links if they need to, but 9 times out of 10 a link is probably a spammer.

    I assume this is a default VBulletin setting that the admin just has to activate.
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    Default Re: Fighting spam

    Ah yes the moderator approval comes back. That is indeed even better than what OTN (or rather: Jive) does. Also from the moderator's perspective, its much nicer to click approve/reject a few times than having to cleanup piles and piles of spam garbage.
    Last edited by gimbal2; 04-16-2014 at 02:41 PM. Reason: admin = mod
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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