Spam on the Forum

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MarkOfNotch
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Spam on the Forum

Post by MarkOfNotch » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:46 am

Hello mods and admins,

Just raising the issue of the frequency and volume of spam posts clogging up the forum. It's happened a number of times now and it makes the forum nigh on unreadable when it does; are there any plans to make the forum less prone to this sort of thing?
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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Nappen » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:25 am

Matt is working on the update.

We have had a bunch lately. Happens every so often when the spambots find a hole, then it gets closed and is fine for a while, then a new one. Lots of fun :)

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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Kovlovsky » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:01 pm

I'm sorry, but we do what we can to get rid of them. The truth is that moderators have a life and we're doing it during our free time. We aren't always attentive on what happens on the forum and sometimes there are as many 40+ posts to clean up posted by multiple bots that all need to be banned. So, please be patient. I try to delete them in the morning and later in the evening, but sometimes they sneak in the forum while I'm sleeping or while I'm busy. It can take as much as 30 minutes of my time to clean the forum during particularly intense spam attacks. If you want to help us, you can either report the posts that need to be deleted or ask Matt to become a mod and give us a hand. There is no magic solution against bots. Capcha and stuff like that aren't very effective at stopping them from creating accounts and it's not easy to put protection that distinguish between legitimate users and bots. So, we will have to live with it until the people behind these bots change their targets. We used to have stupid and unreadable spams about black magic and they are gone. It's just a question of time.
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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Nappen » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:11 pm

I agree, This has been a particularly prodigious round. I did a bunch today and so ha all the mods are doing them daily. Have seen worse, but we do appreciate reports. Makes it easier to track.

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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Dheiti » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:26 pm

Out of interest, are these accounts newly created before each post, or are they already in and dormant?

Just wondering if the latter, if there's any analysis that can be run on the members database to identify and clean them out?
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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Nappen » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:50 pm

I think they get made and then dump a bunch of posts. We go in and delete the posts and disable the accounts.

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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Kovlovsky » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:59 pm

Yeah, they are created and they immediately start spamming minutes after that. They aren't some kind of creepy "deep state" hidden in MWG database, waiting as sleeper agents ready to stab us in the back. :P
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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by miniwargaming » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:27 pm

I know the forum is a little wonky right now, but how have the spammers been lately?

I'm thinking of activating a "first 10 posts have to be approved by a moderator" option, which will create a little more work but will eliminate spam showing up.

Thoughts?

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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by General-Kroll » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:38 pm

It would stop the spam from showing up for users, but make extra work for the mods. Maybe have a holding area for new members where they must be approved first. So a sub forum where newbies can post and introduce themselves, if they are legit, they get access to the rest of the forum, if not, blam, the commissar eliminates them.

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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Kovlovsky » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:07 pm

miniwargaming wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:27 pm
I know the forum is a little wonky right now, but how have the spammers been lately?

I'm thinking of activating a "first 10 posts have to be approved by a moderator" option, which will create a little more work but will eliminate spam showing up.

Thoughts?
We had pretty heavy attacks in the last 2 or 3 weeks. There were two or three days that were particularly bad with like 40+ posts per day, but it's back to manageable levels which means about 10 to 20 posts per day, but there are more days with spam than without. Sometimes, there is no spam during the week end, but it's rare to have more than 2 days in a week without spam. Your suggestion might be an idea seriously. We could ban the user immediately and just deny his posts instead of having to do all the procedure to remove them all the time.
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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by AriaSilverfyre » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:57 pm

If I may offer a suggestion, use custom profile fields for user registration to create some "anti bot" measures. If they can't register, they can't spam at all, and you don't have to go through the trouble of banning them either. I have a phpBB forum myself, and using those features, I have never had an issue with spam bots of any kind. I would be more than happy to explain how they're set up if you're interested. (PM is probably better because then the evil heretics will know our secrets and find a way around it.)

In the meantime, keep up the good work. I know it's rough with everything going on. My Hive Fleet will eat you last. ;)
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MarkOfNotch
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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by MarkOfNotch » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:08 pm

Thanks for the replies guys, really appreciate it- I spent about 8 years as a moderator on a forum so I know what a thankless task it can be! :?
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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by miniwargaming » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:41 am

As to the anti-bot registrations, we actually have a 100% custom registration process, so spammers are actually manually signing up already. There's never anything you can do to stop that...

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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Darkn3ssF4lls » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:00 pm

miniwargaming wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:27 pm
I know the forum is a little wonky right now, but how have the spammers been lately?

I'm thinking of activating a "first 10 posts have to be approved by a moderator" option, which will create a little more work but will eliminate spam showing up.

Thoughts?
Sadly that would crush me as my account seemed to have gotten deleted during this stuff and now i'm at a lowly 3 posts :P. Guess I should get posting around town if your gonna turn on haha.

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Re: Spam on the Forum

Post by Nappen » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:15 am

It seems to have slowed down the last week or so...or just the others are getting to it first.

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