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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

How to reduce spam

Discussion in 'Communications' started by jcgoble3, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    In other news, is there anything we can do to help cut down on the amount of spam, other than reporting/deleting it on sight? There's been quite a bit of it recently. I know I've reported three or four instances of spam just here in Comms this week, including one that I just reported and just got deleted a few minutes ago. I don't know how much, if any, is getting into other areas of the boards. Any ideas?
     
  2. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    I report a lot as well and I notice this past week it's all times of day instead of the usual late at night.
     
  3. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    A lot of the spammers are from Eastern Europe so they tend to hit in the early hours US time. I've also seen some with US IPs and they would hit later in the day. Comms and WNU seem to be their current Happy Hunting Grounds. The boards here have a nice Spam Cleaner - deletes the spam, bans the spammer, and checks the spammer's IP for other users. If the IP isn't shared by legitimate users and isn't a mobile or AOL IP we can then ban it if other spammers share it.
    We do have a CAPTCHA question feature which new users have to answer, and periodically we rotate the questions around. Maybe we need to do that again.
    If you see spam and it hasn't been cleaned fairly quickly feel free to report it. I know there are times when there are only a few of us mods online and a heads-up is appreciated.
     
    Brad_walker and jcgoble3 like this.
  4. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    With a CAPTCHA, ideally every single person accessing it should be presented with a different one, rather than having a single question for everyone that's merely changed out occasionally. I would recommend reCAPTCHA.
     
  5. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    We actually have a pool of questions it randomly pulls from. In addition, the last time we switched to reCAPTCHA we saw an increase in the number of spammers registering.
     
    JoinTheSchwarz likes this.
  6. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Have you considered combining it with the image CAPTCHA? On RPM, we have ours cranked up to its highest setting, which has deterred many a bot. It makes registering a bit more frustrating for those of us with poor eyesight, but we've been relatively bot-free.

    We also have the board set for admins to approve members, which is something I have to do on occasion. Haven't had too much bot trouble since we reset our CAPTCHA.
     
  7. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Our options are reCAPTCHA exclusive or question pool, or yes, we would turn on some more things.

    Reinstating manual approval (Which we were doing towards the end on the temp boards) is a nuclear option that I'd prefer not to take again, because ultimately spam cleaning is not as much of a hassle as inconveniencing new users for an indefinite period of time and preemptive sorting is.
     
  8. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Yeah, spam-removal is certainly easier than sorting through members. I admit to getting lazy with that, as having to check IPs and hostnames through my various sources is tedious, particularly if I have a number of members to go through.

    Aside from ReCAPTCHA options, it's looking like having vigilant people to find and report the spam will do. When RPM was having a bot problem, I wished people would've been more vigilant and helped me to find and eradicate them. It's nice to just have another set of eyes sometimes.

    Does Xenforo have mods you could install? It's entirely possible that someone may have made a bot-detector or bot-deterrent. I know of such mods for Simple Machines, but I'm not sure the amount of customizability for Xenforo.
     
  9. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Spam removal in XenForo is just one single click. It automatically bans, deletes posts, makes IP checks and even sends the spammer a strongly worded e-mail. So it's not really that much of a hassle.
     
  10. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Purely out of curiosity, can that email be posted here for our amusement? :)
     
  11. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    I agree, I want to see it! Might give me ideas on what similar mods I can look for for RPM.
     
  12. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2002
    I've caught spam quite a bit in SWC and the occasional one in EU. Usually in the early morning hours.

    I report it and it gets taken care of within an hour or two....
     
  13. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I normally catch some of the SWC ones as it's too early for the SWC mods. We have a thread in Mod Squad where we report actions taken on boards other than those we normally mod on..
     
    Bardan_Jusik likes this.
  14. Bardan_Jusik

    Bardan_Jusik Mand'alor - Manager of EUC/SWC star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 14, 2009
    And we love you for it LAJ. :p

    [​IMG]
     
    LAJ_FETT likes this.
  15. andresfelix

    andresfelix Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    May 25, 2014
    the definition of spam here is too high(or low), normally spam is considered this: "
    not here, posting 100% Star Wars related content that is not offensive either, is considered spam.

    it reminds me of the Santa Claus robot in Futurama, who considers all humans evil
     
  16. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    That definition works for the bulk of the stuff I've cleaned up.
     
  17. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2008
    andresfelix If you have issues with the terms under which you were banned you can contact the moderator in question via PM for a rules clarification.
     
    CloneUncleOwen and andresfelix like this.
  18. mitchell1990

    mitchell1990 Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Perhaps you should try Captcha or random question related to the major of the forum? I think it works very well.
    Anyway, thanks all you guys for supporting me many ways to prevent spammers.
     
  19. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Spambots seem to be working overtime tonight...
     
  20. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Yeah - tis the season. If you see any that hasn't been handled within 5-10 minutes feel free to use the Report function on it.
     
  21. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval TV Screaming Service / FFS! star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    You are all ungrateful. All they want to do is to offer us last minute holiday shopping options...

    Scrooges... the lot of you.
     
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  22. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Uh... a couple of the ones last night were apparently porn sites, from the keywords that accompanied the links. (I'm not stupid enough to click on the links. :p)
     
  23. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I think I got a couple of those before I went offline. (And I'm not stupid enough to do that either.)
     
  24. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009

    Dealt with a good few you've reported recently, and it's much appreciated, make no mistake about it - same for everyone else who reports these pests.:) Simply using the Report function straight away for obvious spam is a huge help to keeping these boards in order.
     
    Cushing's Admirer likes this.
  25. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Especially during periods when only a few mods are online - seeing numbers in the Report section are like a red flag..
     
    Cushing's Admirer likes this.