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More spamming that makes this forum unusable




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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3415
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:30 am Reply with quote
We've now seen two massive waves of spam messages from accounts with numeric IDs. I've asked in the past that posts from such accounts be reviewed before being released to the forum. Now I'm just going to step away from the forums for a while. Maybe things will be better in a few weeks.
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Cam0



Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Posts: 4410
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:25 am Reply with quote
These spammers come and go. Report one of their posts and the mods will get rid of them soon enough. I find them to be an inconvenience at most. That being said I'm not sure how possible it is with this forum's age-old tech to have some safeguards against this thing, but like limiting how many threads a fresh account can create within a short period of time or something similar seems like a no-brainer (if such a thing is possible). I just feel like in the year of 2021, we'd have figured out a way to combat spammers more effectively than just relying on mostly human mods.
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Psycho 101
Oscar the Grouch
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 15942
Location: Inn of the Last Home
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:26 pm Reply with quote
There are several security measures in check already. Which is part of why the forum has never been upgraded as what is run here is not simplym a stock version. It is HEAVILY modified and newer versions simply don't have all of what we have now. For every 1 bot that gets in there are dozens that do not. The problem is the people who use spambots are always looking for new ways to get around such measures at any website or forum. That's what they do. The other problem is the more tight and restrictive you make it to even sign up, you alienate potential members. It's a balancing act between putting in more safeguards and not making signing up like trying to break into a bank vault.

As you said these sorts of things tend to come in waves. We've already discussed the matter amongst the mods and are trying to keep an eye on things more. Theron caught 2 more this morning relatively early. We discussed trying to have one check in a bit more regularly just for those bots for the time being. There is another measure being put into place soon that should also help a bit more with that, and other community related topics.
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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 21105
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:22 pm Reply with quote
I wonder why the Anime Series Discussion forum seems to be their favourite breeding ground? I mean, beyond just because it really ticks me off.
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bonbonsrus



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 1405
Location: Michigan, USA
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:21 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
We discussed trying to have one check in a bit more regularly just for those bots for the time being. There is another measure being put into place soon that should also help a bit more with that, and other community related topics.


I'm glad to hear this because I like to check this out in the morning (for me, in Michigan) and I see it sitting around for MUCH too long (several hours) and I was thinking like Yuna49 that I should just stop checking this as it makes this place like like a ghost town nobody cares about for one, and is super annoying.
Thanks mods for taking care of this, staying aware and trying to address it.
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Alan45
Village Elder



Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 8934
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:35 am Reply with quote
Wow, one sub forum was spammed for a couple of hours on two successive day. Damn, it is the end of the world as we know it. Mad

Personally, I consider this a minor annoyance, but your mileage may differ.
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bonbonsrus



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 1405
Location: Michigan, USA
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:01 am Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
Wow, one sub forum was spammed for a couple of hours on two successive day. Damn, it is the end of the world as we know it. Mad

Personally, I consider this a minor annoyance, but your mileage may differ.


Alan! I don't remember you being so curmudgeonly. This post certainly doesn't seem like the post of someone who doesn't get annoyed by things in forums. Wink

Yes, clearly mileage is different for us.
Please forgive my rudeness, we seem to say whatever we want as we age, right? Very Happy
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3415
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:27 pm Reply with quote
As I said, since these postings always come from accounts with numeric handles, I would subject those accounts to a 24- or 48-hour hold for review.

I recall reading once this had to do with people posting from Facebook. Is that still true? Why not make everyone who wants to post sign up for a regular account like the rest of us?
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 8934
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:44 pm Reply with quote
Gee, and I toned down my reaction a lot. Sorry, but I consider "Unusable" to be an over reaction. It took me longer to report the spam than it did to find the real files. Of course I'm still using a computer to browse the forum, it may be worse if you are using some other type of device (I don't own any so I can't tell). If anyone wants to discuss difficult to navigate sites, I'd rather talk about Funimation.

I do hate numeric handles though. Not because of the possibility of spam, but simply because I can't tell them apart, it is like they are all the same person. Maybe they could put in rules that would require that a numeric handle be changed to a normal one if they want to post more than three or so times. Kill two birds with one stone.

I assume that since they are posting in bad faith, that spammers will eventually find their way around any rule established if they feel it is worth the effort.
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Psycho 101
Oscar the Grouch
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 15942
Location: Inn of the Last Home
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:58 pm Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
As I said, since these postings always come from accounts with numeric handles, I would subject those accounts to a 24- or 48-hour hold for review.

I recall reading once this had to do with people posting from Facebook. Is that still true? Why not make everyone who wants to post sign up for a regular account like the rest of us?


What you're suggesting may not be feasible. I am not an admin, nor am I Dan, so I cannot see the specifics of the website hosting within the version of phpBB we use. I am not sure if it can be segregated to where only the accounts created with social media accounts deal with such a boundary, or if it would have to be all new accounts. Part of the reason behind the social media signups being allowed was to make signing up for the forum more accessible (if I remember correctly) to people.

Another problem is often there are accounts that are created, and then spam is edited into posts days, or longer later, or they wait a while before even posting. It's not a simple matter with an easy flick a single switch and it's fixed. As I said we're aware of them and it is being discussed (among admin and such) how to tweak things if possible. We're keeping a more watchful eye out, as we always do when one of these spambot waves shows up. Plus, like I also said before for every one that gets through there's a ton that don't. The internet sucks at times. It is an inconvenience, but it hardly makes the forum unusable. As soon as one is noticed and reported we will remove them as soon as we are able.
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Tempest
I Run this place.
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
Posts: 9957
Location: Do not message me for support.
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:01 pm Reply with quote
We're going to (or have already, depending on where Dan is on it) make FB accounts register an actual user name. I don't know if this will help with the Spam or not, hopefully the extra step will trip them up a bit.

Quote:
I assume that since they are posting in bad faith, that spammers will eventually find their way around any rule established if they feel it is worth the effort.
Absolutely true.
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Snomaster1
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Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 2323
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:36 am Reply with quote
I've had some encounters with some spambots in the Anime Series Discussion section. I hope they get removed soon. I really don't like them. Mad
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 5816
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:34 am Reply with quote
Thanks for the report. I've fixed the problem.

BTW, you only need to report a spam account once. Fixing one gets rid of all of them. If they make multiple accounts, like this person did, that's another matter.
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Snomaster1
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Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 2323
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:24 pm Reply with quote
Thanks a lot,Errinundra and I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be annoying. I hope you can forgive me.
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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:37 pm Reply with quote
Snomaster1 wrote:
Thanks a lot,Errinundra and I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be annoying. I hope you can forgive me.


All good.
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