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Spam Threads

Last posted Mar 06, 2013 at 03:09PM EST. Added Feb 14, 2013 at 08:24AM EST
108 posts from 40 users

This is way too clever to be automated, I’ve noticed them creating accounts with incremental numbers and making new accounts immediately after old ones are banned.

Sorry, I had to duck out for an hour and a bit for important personal reasons, I came back just in time though, only a page or so of threads had been made. Either that or someone else has been helping, thanks if so.

EDIT: Alright, seems like it’s all gone…for now. Not much as I banned the accounts relatively early so they couldn’t create the hundreds of threads like they did yesterday.

Last edited Feb 16, 2013 at 06:14AM EST

Captain Douglas J Falcon wrote:

Can’t you IP ban guys?
or are they using a proxy or anything like that?

Most likely proxies. Permanent IP bans is what we already do by default agains this stuff.


Side-note: James gave note that he’ll implant a thread creation limit on monday.

Last edited Feb 16, 2013 at 03:41PM EST

RandomMan wrote:

Most likely proxies. Permanent IP bans is what we already do by default agains this stuff.


Side-note: James gave note that he’ll implant a thread creation limit on monday.

What will the limit be? like a certain amount of threads per hour?

Last edited Feb 16, 2013 at 04:28PM EST

Captain Douglas J Falcon wrote:

What will the limit be? like a certain amount of threads per hour?

More than likely a limit in between threads, like what we have now for comments and forum posts, but significantly longer. That would solve more problems that X threads/hr as people could still dump multiple threads in quick succession.

Captain Douglas J Falcon wrote:

What will the limit be? like a certain amount of threads per hour?

Like 1 new thread per hour.


You can post in threads just like it is now. But you can create a brand new thread every hour.
(I’ve only created like 2 threads in 7 months. So that won’t be a problem) No user should create a thread every hour anyway.

You know, every time the spam starts, we don’t need people to tell us. If we’re on the forums and able to see this thread, we’re obviously going to see the spam.

I would like users to refrain from posting in this thread just to report spam. It is slow, and inefficient, and by the time you post there is a high chance that someone has already reported it in the IRC.

Tahrdan Ismeh Wu-Temporis wrote:

…How about there is a delay between registering an account and being able to post?

Like, say, a day…

That’s not a bad idea. I doubt human spammers will wait 24 hours to post, so that may stop most spam.

May.

If a bot is worked to post, then it will simply post until it can. It will fail every minute for 24 hours. And then it will post again successfully. If that’s the case, then you still have a spam spree. The spam just comes a day later.
 
If there’s an hour delay in making threads, then at most there will only be 3-5 threads in the forum for each of a hypothetical set of 3-5 spammers per hour. The only way that we end up with several pages of spam is if:

  1. There are no forum moderators on site for several hours. Between just Cyber6x and me, we generally have one set of eyes on the forum 24/7 (sad, now that I think about it…) who can delete threads and delete spammer accounts. That’s not counting administration and several other moderators with forum powers who have been putting in equal amounts of effort like MDF, madcat, Bob, RM, and various others who just clean up the spam without saying anything.
  2. Dozens of unique spammers hit the forum at the same time. That hasn’t happened as of yet. It’s been a few spammers just spamming a lot of threads.

Even if they post consecutively in those same threads, it doesn’t flood the forum. It’s also easier (for me) to delete consecutive posts than it is to delete multiple threads.

Would it be possible to set a bypass for the accounts? Say, if you’ve been here longer than one month, then you are allowed to create multiple forum threads within the time frame of an hour. Any time less than that, however, and you have the one hour limit. It would keep out spam bots and let new users get a feel of the forum.

Topic nesting might be an idea too. If a thread with the same exact title is used as an old one, then the new post is created as a nested topic/new post of the previous one. Instead of having 5 pages about escorts in Crapakola, you have a single topic with a ton of posts. All you have to do is wipe the thread.

James wrote:

I added a 15 minute waiting period before creating another topic and we’ll see how it goes from here. It’s the same waiting period used for entries.

15 minutes is an appropriate time. When I first came here I definitely waited at least that long before even posting. (I was researching my info trying to sound smart. lol.) The only “disadvantage” I can think this could cause is if someone has some “time sensitive” information they are trying to bring something to our attention, like an AMA is starting on reddit, or m00t just posted something important in a thread or something like that. However, I doubt they would come here and create an account to do this and, if they really needed to reach us, they could still message somebody or join the IRC and bring it up.

Also, just wondering if anyone is actually able to monitor the number of users that join? I know there is the Activity page, but I don’t know if it actually informs who just joined.

Lastly, it seems like you could set up some script flagging system that would monitor the activity and alert any active moderators or something if say 8 or more post are made in a set time period or even 4 or more topics are created sequentially.

Just trying to future-proof and help patch up any loopholes or “0-days” against future spam attempts.


tl;dr: 15 min is great!

Last edited Feb 18, 2013 at 09:08PM EST

James wrote:

I added a 15 minute waiting period before creating another topic and we’ll see how it goes from here. It’s the same waiting period used for entries.


They joined 2 minutes before that.

Edit:

And now they’ve resorted to bumping threads…

Last edited Feb 19, 2013 at 02:08AM EST

^It’s pretty clear they’re two different profiles with different IPs.

Anyway, we’re seeing the first results of the 15 minute limit -

Thankfully, it cuts down on the amount of threads as expected. Meaning that we should catch the bot before more than one or two threads are made, rather than the dozens or even hundreds before. Still hasn’t deterred them though.

@Stare Master (below)
So? The rule implemented meant you couldn’t post another thread within 15 minutes of another. Oh, are you suggesting we impose a time limit for creating threads for Brand New Members?

I’m personally opposed to that, despite wanting users to lurk and learn the system as much as possible. Many users come to this site to create an entry, a thread or comment. The reason we don’t have a similar thing for entries is because it’d restrict users and cause many of them to say ‘Meh, nevermind. I can’t do this instantly’ which reduces our potential userbase.

Plus: all it would do is delay the thread (although it would be great if it totally discouraged them, which seems unlikely since the 15 minute rule didn’t), when they post it we get alerted to their presence and can ban them right there.

Second Edit: Now I’m really confused. What’s wrong with a spambot making a thread 2 minutes after it joined?

Last edited Feb 19, 2013 at 02:34AM EST

^-but the first part of my post. dipeeka3322 had joined at like 1:43 or and the post was made 2 min after that.-

edit: also sankalp is still active #TangoDown

@Cyber6x No, not an additional 15 min between topics. It’s just the already implemented buffer somehow let dipeeka3322 through. He made a post 2 min after he joined not 15 min.

Edit: But as far as the activity goes, maybe something that raises a flag in the irc or something? I really don’t know, but they’ve found out they can bump threads. Maybe new users should get a capture? I’m just throwing out ideas here. The spam isn’t obviously flooding us, but it does seem to come in waves.

Edit: Never mind. I thought James had put a 15 min buffer before any new user could post. I didn’t think it was between post. *Derp

Last edited Feb 19, 2013 at 02:43AM EST

MDFification wrote:

http://knowyourmeme.com/users/alphamartin

I think it’s probably OK to go back to the previous Advertising Accounts for single accounts that aren’t threatening several pages of the forum.

I wouldn’t lock this just yet though. I’d like to see if James’ implementation holds up for a while. If Cyber6x is right, then the Valentine’s Day spam may be/have been a more targeted and constantly evolving effort. The person or persons behind it may come back in a week with several accounts all spamming a different thread or something.

I got it!

But seriously. I google searched some of their keywords and they apparently spam tripadvisior.com and a few other sites like skype’s community too.

I recommend we run a trial of captcha for creating new threads and entries. I mean we already have it for the IRC and, in my opinion, if you really want to post a brand new thread you can spare 2 seconds to type “baTMAn b00lz” or something.

The Cute Master :3 wrote:

I got it!

But seriously. I google searched some of their keywords and they apparently spam tripadvisior.com and a few other sites like skype’s community too.

I recommend we run a trial of captcha for creating new threads and entries. I mean we already have it for the IRC and, in my opinion, if you really want to post a brand new thread you can spare 2 seconds to type “baTMAn b00lz” or something.

I see no need to penalize regular users when the 15 minutes between threads is in effect. Captcha’s don’t really block spam unless they’re using super primative bots.

MDFification wrote:

I see no need to penalize regular users when the 15 minutes between threads is in effect. Captcha’s don’t really block spam unless they’re using super primative bots.

Then why do we use it for the IRC? As far as I know, the IRC doesn’t see spam.

The Cute Master :3 wrote:

Then why do we use it for the IRC? As far as I know, the IRC doesn’t see spam.

Yeah, it does get spam, sometimes. When it does, it’s pretty bad. Besides, the CAPTCHA for the IRC is only built into the web client; use a standalone program like IceChat or mIRC and there is no CAPTCHA required.

Last edited Feb 22, 2013 at 08:18PM EST

The Cute Master :3 wrote:

Then why do we use it for the IRC? As far as I know, the IRC doesn’t see spam.

In addition to what Twilitlord said, we didn’t create the client, so we didn’t choose for it to have captcha.

madcat wrote:

In addition to what Twilitlord said, we didn’t create the client, so we didn’t choose for it to have captcha.

Yet it still doesn’t deter people from joining the irc does it? I highly doubt anyone would decide not to create a thread or an entry if they were force to enter a captcha.

Oh those spam threads. They are so annoying. Whats more annoying is getting attacked by trolls however. Just saying:D. Spam threads are annoying,though,REALLY ANNOYING>

Skeletor-sm

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