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Thread: Spam killers?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mohamed Ellozy's Avatar
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    Spam killers?

    First off, I feel that the moderators kill off spam pretty fast, probably fast enough. But another BB that I often use has found a way of killing it off even faster: a class of users with "spam killer" rights.

    They are authorized to delete posts/threads that are spam, but not to do any other moderating functions.

    Not sure whether this restriction is exercised in software or on the honor system; with suitable choices of "spam killers" the honor system seems fine to me.

    Again, I am not sure this is a real problem, but Mattl's recent post suggests that some people find the spam irritating (I have long ago accepted spam as a fact of life).

  2. #2
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    I just clicked on New Posts and 6 of 25 are obvious spam.

    Easy to ignore, but annoying anyway.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohamed Ellozy
    Again, I am not sure this is a real problem, but Mattl's recent post suggests that some people find the spam irritating (I have long ago accepted spam as a fact of life).
    Matt, no kidding. But you must know that these spam-posters are not readers of this board. They will never see your plea, and they DO NOT CARE! They are obviously the bottom feeders on the net. I'm sure if there was a way, Darren et al would have stopped them by now.

    I wonder if spammers have their own boards where they exchange information?

    And do those boards get spammed? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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  4. #4
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    This spam is all posted by 'bots, there's not one there to read the protests so please don't create more work for us to clean up by posting complaints to the spammers. This thread obviously is fine. We can look into adding more moderators as Spam Killers - we'd just need to add moderators for the New Hampshire trail conditions forum since that's the only one they hit. But that's Darren's call.

    Right now one of us cleans things up first thing in the morning, and then occasionally through the day. We clean them up as fast as we can, but it's the price we pay for keeping the Trip Reports section open to the world. (Actually it's not really, we've blocked whole countries. )

  5. #5
    Senior Member WinterWarlock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky
    - we'd just need to add moderators for the New Hampshire trail conditions forum since that's the only one they hit. But that's Darren's call.
    Since this has been 'found' by the bots, why not change the name slightly, like to NH instead of New Hampshire...that usually throws them off for a while.
    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

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    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    No one else finds it funny that a post like "mature woman looking for young man" gets like 30 views by 8am?! Especially since the your age thread told us that there is very few by percentage of young guys on here. A bunch of wishful 50 year olds I guess, hehe.
    Cory D
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdRiverRun
    No one else finds it funny that a post like "mature woman looking for young man" gets like 30 views by 8am?! Especially since the your age thread told us that there is very few by percentage of young guys on here. A bunch of wishful 50 year olds I guess, hehe.
    Yes, it's funny!
    At least there were no replies...

  8. #8
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterWarlock
    Since this has been 'found' by the bots, why not change the name slightly, like to NH instead of New Hampshire...that usually throws them off for a while.
    Changing the name wouldn't do anything - the bots just look for the first non-login forum and post there. They never even look at the names.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 1ADAM12's Avatar
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    My question is as follows: When VFTT had the other trail conditions page was that hit by a lot of spammers like we are seeing in the NH sections? I don't recall seeing as many in the other format.

    Anyways hats off to the moderators. I wouldn't want your job
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  10. #10
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    The old trail conditions was a custom piece of software that Darren wrote. The only spammers there were individuals because no one was going to write a 'bot to attack one lousy message board. There was little true spam, it was mostly just people being stupid.

    The new trail conditions is built using standard vBulletin software, one of the most popular message boards on the web. The 'bot writers have written many scripts that go after this software, so this isn't surprising that we're getting more spam. We could eliminate it completely by only allowing members to post on trail conditions, but we like having it open to the world. None of the spam we're seeing is actually posted by people, it's mindless spam 'bots that just look for open vBulletin message boards to post in.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Papa Bear's Avatar
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    Would it help to block IP addresses or blocks of IP addresses? Is it burdensome to do that? Could it be semi-automated (a click for a moderator)?

    Are some (all?) of the offending bots running off innocent bystander infected PCs?
    Pb

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  12. #12
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Bear
    Would it help to block IP addresses or blocks of IP addresses? Is it burdensome to do that? Could it be semi-automated (a click for a moderator)?

    Are some (all?) of the offending bots running off innocent bystander infected PCs?
    We already block Russia, Ukraine, and a few other broad IP addresses. The others are too varied and changing to be able to block them. They are often corrupted machines but even the ones that aren't change IP addresses very quickly.

  13. #13
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Let me take this opportunity to thank Dave and Alan for weeding out 99% of the spam before any of us ever see it. I would not want the job myself. I would volunteer to do it for a week or two per year, kind of 'vacation coverage' for them.

    I would also point out that the 30 or so readers of the aforementioned "mature woman looking for young man" could themselves be bots (either search engines like Google, or spam bots trying to harvest e-mail and IM information. )

    Tim
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky
    We already block Russia, Ukraine, and a few other broad IP addresses. The others are too varied and changing to be able to block them. They are often corrupted machines but even the ones that aren't change IP addresses very quickly.
    Would it be possible to scan posts and reject them if they contain certain words? I realize this is not perfect. Or maybe if TC's contain urls, could they be rejected?
    Tom Rankin
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin
    Would it be possible to scan posts and reject them if they contain certain words? I realize this is not perfect. Or maybe if TC's contain urls, could they be rejected?
    I get about 30 spams per day advertizing for things like Vi3agra, 5viagera, and vibabera. Getting all the possible permutations would be very burdonsom.
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