11
   

Method for countering daily spam ?

 
 
fresco
 
Reply Tue 10 May, 2016 11:46 pm
I'm no programming expert, but I would have thought there is a simple filter which could be applied to eliminate post titles containing website references like www or http.
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Type: Question • Score: 11 • Views: 1,265 • Replies: 23

 
Lordyaswas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 12:00 am
@fresco,
I was also going to suggest a facility on the 'New Posts' page ( a bit like the old hotmail page where there was a small box next to each post) for ticking when wishing to report or delete.
That way we could scan down the page and tick all relevant boxes in a matter of ten seconds or so (seeing as the thread titles are so obvious) and then click a big report button once, rather than opening up each thread, etc etc.

The mods could then do exactly the same for the delete action.

I'm a bit of a dino when it cones to computer stuff, so I've no idea what extra programming would be involved, but this would certainly speed up the reporting/deleting process, especially when the occasional swarm attack happens.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 12:09 am
@Lordyaswas,
I even suspect there are 'spamming agencies' operating which blitz public forums for their clients....similar to computer generated nuisance phone calls.
Maybe membership credentials could be tightened such that all 'first posts' were subject to scrutiny before membership was granted.
Lordyaswas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 12:22 am
@fresco,
In the ideal world, any potential new member should first have to present themselves before Jesp and RP, so that a full medical inspection can be carried out.

If I was a spammer, just the thought of standing there and coughing for jespah would terrify the pants off me, so to speak.

0 Replies
 
roger
 
  5  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 12:27 am
@fresco,
The problem there is that often legitimate posters join to ask one specific question. They would be gone before they got here if they were quarantined till membership were granted.

As for blocking new posters with links, what about those who need artwork and minerals identified?
Lordyaswas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 12:30 am
@roger,
Is there a robot test wotsit doodah when signing up nowadays, Rog?
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 03:47 am
@Lordyaswas,
That's called a captcha, and i have no idea if they use one here now, and if not, why not. As for Fresco's question, yes there are indeed people who will promulgate and disseminate spam for clients. The process is often automated, which is why a time limit has been imposed on posting--to eliminate much of the automated spam. Of course, it's a war, so the other side will certainly learn to deal with such obstacles, and probably sooner rather than later.

Several years ago, and in the month of May, we began to see "bots" arriving here. There were very obvious telltale signs of the "botdom" of those signing up, which i have never openly enumerated--i don't want to give the jokers doing this any clues. I may get in trouble fo saying this, but i believe that the member calling "herself" selectmytutor is a bot, or rather, a programmer attempting to perfect what can be called a content bot. Long after "she" registered, "she" added a profile in which "she" claims that her name is Leesa Johnson, and "she" has added a picture of a young woman with European features. Such an image can be found, of course, at any site providing clip art. The name can come from a name generator. The potential of name generators has been exhausted already. But if you are normally called Pandit Gullawar Prathachulthorn, you might do better with AdolfHunson from a name generator, for however implausible that name may be.

Content bots can be useful to those selling services who are more interested in probable success than volume. For example, someone would launch a couple of content bots, one which asks for kitchen fixture suppliers in Norfolk, and another which supplies the name of such a supplier. The original bot can cycle through a list of city names for the UK. Content bots also search the web for questions on a certain topic, and then dump their content where they find such questions. I should think you wouldn't make much money at that, though, because your response would not necessarily lead someone reading at that site to call His Lordyship's Gold-plated Loo Fixtures, Limited.

Another trait of content bots is mimicry. Apart from the implausible name, i first began to suspect "selectmytutor" of being a content bot because "she" would post at the end of a language learner's thread, parroting what another, actually human member had posted. When selectmytutor sets out to attempt an original response in English, the results are usually hilarious, and pathetic. That's why i think of selectmytutor as a long-term programming development project.

Here now, i've got other things to do. Maybe i'll comeback later with more comments. Maybe i'll go make myself a bacon sammich instead.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  3  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 07:37 am
@roger,
Cannot links which appear in the title be blocked ? It could be a partial solution.
tsarstepan
 
  3  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 07:43 am
@fresco,
Most spam here doesn't have the url in the title. 9 out of 10 spam have innocuous (albeit terrible grammatically constructed) titles.
fresco
 
  4  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 07:46 am
@tsarstepan,
But quite a lot of recent ones do.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 04:20 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Cannot links which appear in the title be blocked ? It could be a partial solution.


I forgot about those. That idea has potential, but might be complicated to implement.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 04:27 pm
@tsarstepan,
The grammatical ineptitude of the visible titles, even more apparent if one is foolish enough to actually read the OP is one of the best indicators. I don't know, though, that that could be useful in fighting spam. We have any number of reasonably well-educated members here who can't produce a grammatically correct title, let alone an OP. I'm not just referring to spelling errors, either, something we all occasionally succumb to.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 04:45 pm
@Setanta,
Pardon me, but it seems like many years have gone by before Fresco has noticed spam. He/she may not know about the unending efforts of the mods on all this.
Yes to Set, there are usually clear clues of one sort or another, and he is sharp on the modes going on.

Some of us sometimes mess up titles, after which it is too late to fix, but that is fairly easy to tell and most of us are forgiving in the circumstance.

Meantime, I think Robert has a grasp of the situation and will address it when he revises.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 11:40 pm
@ossobuco,
Noticing spam ! Shocked
You may not be aware that in recent years European members can be hit by two pages of the stuff, possibly originating in Asia, while you guys in the US are still in bed. When it gets to the second page, the 'report procedure' is particularly tedious.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2016 11:55 pm
@ossobuco,
NB (UK 6.50 am local time)
I've just reported 14 in the last 30 mins, 11 of which had titles announcing links...and they keep coming every few seconds.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2016 12:03 am
@fresco,
Of course I am aware. You aren't privileged by the assholes, they dredge all of us. That is part of why we have people to monitor and those who are volunteers to cull the ****.

You could volunteer.

fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2016 12:09 am
@ossobuco,
And that's why I am suggesting that patterns, titles/groupings etc, might be open to automatic filter.
I cannot guarantee daily monitoring but I have started to do what I can. The problem is after it gets beyond 1 page.
EDIT
To solve the one page overflow, maybe 'reported threads' could immediately be removed to a holding 'category' for inspection for 24 hours pending deletion or otherwise. (Going back to zap the latest litter!)
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2016 01:02 am
(8.00) Now off page 1.
About a dozen more in the last 30 mins, many with links in the title.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2016 03:53 pm
@fresco,
Some good ideas here. I like the checkbox that saves the chore of opening obvious spam in order to report. Also, the automatic rejection of topics with URLs in the title. How about noting the number of reports in the thumb column? Currently, a topic can have a dozen thumbs down and score no lower than 0. Then, when we see a suspicious post with a negative 2 or 3, we won't need to bother.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 May, 2016 04:22 pm
@neologist,
URLs and international phone numbers? Maybe new members with more than 15 or so posts in the first hour?
0 Replies
 
 

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