FRIHOST FORUMS SEARCH FAQ TOS BLOGS COMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Anyone noticed the rise in new member spammers?





watersoul
I wasn't sure where to put this topic so mods please feel free to move if not appropriate here.

I have noticed a huge rise in new members clearly spamming here on Frihost. Some are really easy to spot when they stick their links in a lot of almost random text, or are even more blatant about it with a clear advert for their site or whatever in their first posts here. These I will always report because, to me, it goes against the spirit of the forums.

Some others are a little more subtle though and what I see happening is new members signing up and in their very first post (usually some lame 2 line reply in general chat) they already have their link to their service/site in their signature.
I'm sorry, but in my gut instinct that is spamming. The idea of the forum is to get involved and make decent posts etc, but if you've taken the trouble to sign up and then before even making a post you've set your sig as a link to your site, it tells me you are a spammer.

Just wondering what anyone else thinks? I don't actually report the second type as I admit I cannot be sure they are spam posts. I guess we'll only know when after 10 or so rubbish replies they stop posting and the realization (to me) is that the advert/link was the real intention of joining.
I find it frustrating, especially when a topic just has a list of new members contributing with one line replies full of links to their sites. Is it just me? And am I being unfair and too quick to judge perhaps?
standready
Yes watersoul, it should be the responsibility of all the members of our little community to help weed out spam.
I do report your first type. Been pressing the "report" button more than I care to lately.
The second type, I will screen their link to make sure that the link is appropriate for our community considering younger members. If uncertain, I will pass along to staff for review.
watersoul
standready wrote:
The second type, I will screen their link to make sure that the link is appropriate for our community considering younger members. If uncertain, I will pass along to staff for review.


That's a good idea standready, I think I'll keep that in mind myself.

I'm also going to start making a note of the site types (affiliates or webdesign companies etc) as some seem similar. Maybe it's just one or two little designers thinking Frihost is an easy target?
I know it might seem a bit of a geeky thing to do, but spamming is such a wind up to me on a forum site that I enjoy for interesting posts.
Ankhanu
standready wrote:
Been pressing the "report" button more than I care to lately..


Same here :/

Spam is an ever evolving problem for forum mods/admins. I've been in the race with various forums I've run and managed, and you really have to keep on top of it. Even when you're on top of things, the bots get through. It's quite frustrating.
truespeed
I have noticed them on here for a while,i report both types ,those that link within posts and those that sign up make a couple of random comments in random threads just so the link in their sig shows up.

I get them a lot on my forum,always the second type who post random stuff just so they get in the link,i always delete user and posts as they add nothing to my forum.
Bikerman
I've just 'purged' a couple, which might help ...
milleja46
Well gotta say i have noticed a uprise lately of spam. Including of this animation software called synfig i use. For some reason spammers just seem to flock to forums of importance to anyone, including my own for my site i have here. There is really only one way i want to see if it would work to put a knock down on spam, and that would be akismet, but as far as i know there is no phpbb or other forum plugin for this. It is up to members to help weed it out but it is also up to the owners to find the help nesscary to weed it out and rid the forums of future attacks. There are plenty of plugins and other included modules that admins could implement to also crack down on this, things like captcha isn't enough when they're real people...
SonLight
Any forum manager has to strike a balance between letting all spam in, even from simple bots, and making legitimate new users jump through too many hoops to stay. Captcha, "are you human", limitations on links for first few posts, and mod approval of first few posts are all tools that can be used.

Perhaps a good policy would be to clearly inform new users that some posting limitations may be used, and try to maintain a somewhat apologetic and humorous tone. Randomness in method and variability based on recent spam sightings would be a plus.

For example, a request could say:

I'm sorry, I'm only a model T computer, but I'm hoping you're not.

Are you an (a) bot (b) HAL 9000 (c) person (d) outlaw

If questions like that were varied, it might be good to spedify that the "test" is open book, and provide links to more information. My example dates me a little bit, but would be ok with links to info about HAL and Dave in the 2001 movie and model T cars (no, that one isn't a computer; substitute IBM 650 if you prefer and if your hosting provider won't get upset about calling their servers mentally challenged) .
deanhills
I have also noticed it Watersoul, but have not pressed the report button, as I thought the spam postings would have been equally glaringly obvious to our Moderators.
milleja46
It might be obvious but if it's sooner reported the quicker it can be taken care of. Spam is just a never ending nuisance that needs to be taken care of. It would be nice if there were a end all to end all spam control plugin for every website software. I wonder if akismet or captcha were to make a phpbb plugin that would not only target the computers, but would also check against a known database of spammers like stopforumspam.com to also get rid of them...hmm, just another project for another day i guess
adri
Yeah I noticed them too, but most of the time they just post a few posts and then you never hear from them again. I do report often, not only spammers or spamposts but also posts which lack content.

I tend not to spent a lot of attention on them or to reply to them as it only results in other people saying the same (aka 'this is a spampost bla bla bla') and it gets more views which isn't worth it.


adri
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
I have also noticed it Watersoul, but have not pressed the report button, as I thought the spam postings would have been equally glaringly obvious to our Moderators.

I guess you're right there Dean, they are obvious if a Mod looks at them as well, but I kind of think if we all do a bit of 'reporting' ourselves it puts less of a strain on Mods having to read every single post. I don't know what it's like to be a mod, but anything that gives them more time as a user to participate in the topics they are interested in must be a help. I assume if everyone clicked 'report' then the mods can concentrate mainly on the reports that are generated without having to read every post.

adri wrote:
I tend not to spent a lot of attention on them or to reply to them as it only results in other people saying the same (aka 'this is a spampost bla bla bla') and it gets more views which isn't worth it.

I'm guilty of that I must admit, I know I shouldn't but sometimes I can't help sticking my 2 pence worth in to criticise the spam...must try harder to ignore it! Smile
deanhills
milleja46 wrote:
It might be obvious but if it's sooner reported the quicker it can be taken care of. Spam is just a never ending nuisance that needs to be taken care of.
Yes, but then that would mean a double load for the moderators. They would have to work through loads of reports, in addition to fixing the problems. We've just learned that there were a few people who reported all of the spams at the same time, so that must have been quite a significant list of reports to deal with in the report system.

I don't see how the reports would make things faster, rather than slow things down. If it is something we are in doubt about, then maybe we can report it, but if it is a glaringly obvious spam post, we can assume that the Moderators will be quick on the number, and if they are not, well reporting will not speed things up either. They would be as slow to get to the reports as to the actual glaring spam posts. For example, there was no result from the reports, until Watersoul posted this thread. So Watersoul should be commended for that, as it did get the attention and obviously did the trick. Maybe we should be doing this more often, as obviously it worked.

There was a time when I pushed the report button for every spam I saw, but after a while I stopped doing that. The more I reported it, the more focused I became on it, and it sort of created an expectation of being attended to that could get disappointed. I then asked, why am I doing this? And then instead learned to accept how it is. If Moderators pick up on the problem, great, if not, then I should learn to live with the odd spam post here and there and rather invest that time in writing posts.

Having said that however, I am grateful for Watersoul posting this thread. Especially since it seems to have had good results. That is always the bottom line for me. And I don't like spam threads, or spam postings. Spam postings for me are when one poster obviously tries to get points by responding with one to five words, or single sentences to one thread after the other in one row in the same Forum. When one opens the forum, you can see it staring you in the face. It is irritating as the name of that spam poster serves to mask the name of the poster of the last meaningful reply to the threads in the same Forum. And then after being irritated, I again tell myself, I can live with it. The guy is obviously trying to keep his Website up and running, and maybe he doesn't have time, nor is much into posts. So I will leave that for the Moderators to deal with.
milleja46
That's really and truly to me why there needs to be a mod for phpbb or something like that, that is geared to check against a known list of spammers and handle it for the mods and all that so that only a little bit seeps through, and leaving a smaller job for mods and admins to handle. But of course that would take alot of effort and looking through the code of sites like that to get it fully functional...
hunnyhiteshseth
By the way, going to the original pot I want to clarify one thing that not all second type of posts that you mentioned are spams. They may be legitimate other sites of a member looking for getting one more site in frihost.
For example, even when I joined before making any post, like I do in any site, I filled up my profile. So, obviously, I filled my signture too with a link to my blog on another site. And then went to making my first post. I do not think that amounts to spamming!
watersoul
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
By the way, going to the original pot I want to clarify one thing that not all second type of posts that you mentioned are spams. They may be legitimate other sites of a member looking for getting one more site in frihost.
For example, even when I joined before making any post, like I do in any site, I filled up my profile. So, obviously, I filled my signture too with a link to my blog on another site. And then went to making my first post. I do not think that amounts to spamming!


Fair comment, I agree not always. But a lot unfortunately are, as I've noticed after clicking on the sig links concerned there appears to be the same SEO/marketing companies name at the bottom of each index page. Coincidence there, I think not.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
milleja46 wrote:
It might be obvious but if it's sooner reported the quicker it can be taken care of. Spam is just a never ending nuisance that needs to be taken care of.
Yes, but then that would mean a double load for the moderators. They would have to work through loads of reports, in addition to fixing the problems. We've just learned that there were a few people who reported all of the spams at the same time, so that must have been quite a significant list of reports to deal with in the report system.
We much prefer it when posters DO use the reporting system.
To give insight into why this is, consider my typical session on Frih:
a) Login
b) Check staff forum for important announcements, changes etc.
c) Follow-up any AWITs (warnings) I have outstanding.
d) Check reports & deal with any 'obvious' ones.
e) Normal posting mode.

It is MUCH easier for me personally if users report spam outbreaks/users. If I have already spotted it then it only takes me a couple of seconds to mark the report 'handled', so that isn't a big issue.
metalfreek
Disabling the signature links and post link for new members might help a lot. Regarding bot doing this may be 2/3 level captcha might be better.
deanhills
milleja46 wrote:
That's really and truly to me why there needs to be a mod for phpbb or something like that, that is geared to check against a known list of spammers and handle it for the mods and all that so that only a little bit seeps through, and leaving a smaller job for mods and admins to handle. But of course that would take alot of effort and looking through the code of sites like that to get it fully functional...
Excellent idea mille, maybe for a new software business like anti-virus, except in this case it would be anti-spam software for phpbb?
truespeed
deanhills wrote:
Excellent idea mille, maybe for a new software business like anti-virus, except in this case it would be anti-spam software for phpbb?


Thats fine if its a bot doing the spamming but if its a human spammer as is often the case then theres little you can do,other than to delete users and posts,hopefully over time the spammers will stop targetting your board as they wil know they are wasting their time.
LittleBlackKitten
This is why I never click a link unless I 100% recognize it - things like facebook and whatnot.
standready
deanhills wrote:
milleja46 wrote:
It might be obvious but if it's sooner reported the quicker it can be taken care of. Spam is just a never ending nuisance that needs to be taken care of.
Yes, but then that would mean a double load for the moderators. They would have to work through loads of reports, in addition to fixing the problems.

As Bikerman has addressed, reporting by the community does makes the Mods life simpler. Weed out problems then search the boards during normal posting mode.

hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
By the way, going to the original pot I want to clarify one thing that not all second type of posts that you mentioned are spams. They may be legitimate other sites of a member looking for getting one more site in frihost.

I agree, not all are spam. As I said earlier, screening links to make sure that the link is appropriate for our community considering younger member and, to add, does not violate this site's TOS.
deanhills
standready wrote:
As Bikerman has addressed, reporting by the community does makes the Mods life simpler. Weed out problems then search the boards during normal posting mode.
Obviously you should be commended for your effort. However, my response to this is that Bikerman is more than a frequent poster and has an above average critical eye as far as posts are concerned. Chances are that when you and I have noticed a spam post that the spam post must have been noticed by him as well. To me that is logical.

If Bikerman should be absent from the Board for any reason, or if I should find a spam post in a forum that he does not frequently post in, then I may hit the Report button.
truespeed
Bikerman is also a busy poster though,we don't get half the posts daily on my forum as frihost do,and sometimes because i am busy posting,i don't always pick up the spam,so its helpful to have someone report and point it out.
k_s_baskar
metalfreek wrote:
Disabling the signature links and post link for new members might help a lot. Regarding bot doing this may be 2/3 level captcha might be better.


Agree. Disabling links and signature for new members will reduce spam posting.
deanhills
k_s_baskar wrote:
metalfreek wrote:
Disabling the signature links and post link for new members might help a lot. Regarding bot doing this may be 2/3 level captcha might be better.


Agree. Disabling links and signature for new members will reduce spam posting.
This is a great idea, but on the other hand, are there really that many spam posts that come through to justify disabling of the signature links?
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
standready wrote:
As Bikerman has addressed, reporting by the community does makes the Mods life simpler. Weed out problems then search the boards during normal posting mode.
Obviously you should be commended for your effort. However, my response to this is that Bikerman is more than a frequent poster and has an above average critical eye as far as posts are concerned. Chances are that when you and I have noticed a spam post that the spam post must have been noticed by him as well. To me that is logical.
Logical or not, it isn't necessarily true. Just because I appear in the list of logged-in users, that doesn't necessarily mean I am active or even at the keyboard.
If you don't wish to report such incidents then fine - it isn't compulsory - but I would encourage other users to do so, for the reasons I've already given.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
k_s_baskar wrote:
metalfreek wrote:
Disabling the signature links and post link for new members might help a lot. Regarding bot doing this may be 2/3 level captcha might be better.


Agree. Disabling links and signature for new members will reduce spam posting.
This is a great idea, but on the other hand, are there really that many spam posts that come through to justify disabling of the signature links?


Most of the signature-link spammers are actually all the same person (or at least the same IP address).
An IP ban would probably be better, though it may no longer be necessary; I haven't noticed many new incidences of that particular pattern.

We're working on a solution, but it's a tricky problem, and any good solution will also probably require coding, making it take a while even after being decided on.

In the meantime, please report them all. (It's easy if you middle-click the report button to open the report in a new tab.) It doesn't really add to the workload; it actually makes things easier because we don't have to spend time finding them.
(And don't worry about the same post being reported by multiple people - the 'veiw reports' page is organized by post/topic/user reported, so multiple reports of the same post can be handled all at the same time.)
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Logical or not, it isn't necessarily true. Just because I appear in the list of logged-in users, that doesn't necessarily mean I am active or even at the keyboard.
If you don't wish to report such incidents then fine - it isn't compulsory - but I would encourage other users to do so, for the reasons I've already given.
You're wrong. I calculate your presence in terms of your fast turnaround of responding to posts, as well as the number of posts you are making. You post more than I do at times. Even when you are not showing as logged-in, I've noticed you making your appearance to respond to a post almost immediately after I have posted it. You seem to be having your eye on the Board in different ways than just simply logging in, posting, and then logging off.

Bottom line here is that both you and I are frequent posters. If we are both "busy" posting, I would have thought the onus would have been more on you, the moderator, to keep your eyes deliberately peeled for detecting spam posts than on me, the non-moderator to report them. That is exactly what went through my mind when I noticed those spam messages. I thought there would have been a 100% chance that you would have picked up on them.

Given that you seem to be needing help with identifying spam posts, perhaps it would not be a bad idea for having Deputy Moderators to pick up on the spam posts. Perhaps you can call them Spam Detectives? I think it is only fair that those non-Moderators who are concerned enough to actively keep their eyes peeled for identifying spam posts on the Board be given proper acknowledgment for their good work.
watersoul
deanhills wrote:
Given that you seem to be needing help with identifying spam posts, perhaps it would not be a bad idea for having Deputy Moderators to pick up on the spam posts. Perhaps you can call them Spam Detectives? I think it is only fair that those non-Moderators who are concerned enough to actively keep their eyes peeled for identifying spam posts on the Board be given proper acknowledgment for their good work.


Acknowledgment for their good work?! I report stuff because spam winds me up, not for any altruistic reasons! Laughing
I like this little place on the net full of interesting folk, but the rubbish spam posts spoil a topics continuity sometimes so I click 'report' so the people who are able to trash it get the 'heads up' to do it quickly.
If all it takes for the mods to make their online 'modding life' easier/more efficient is multiple users to take half a minute to click 'report' then it's probably sensible that we all get involved - we get loads of benefits out of this place (especially if you are a user who takes advantage of the hosting), so it's got to help everyone if we all try to 'seperate the wheat from the chaff as a community!'
Bikerman
Quote:
I've noticed you making your appearance to respond to a post almost immediately after I have posted it. You seem to be having your eye on the Board in different ways than just simply logging in, posting, and then logging off.
I can't help what you see, what I actually DO is what I said earlier.
Quote:
Given that you seem to be needing help with identifying spam posts, perhaps it would not be a bad idea for having Deputy Moderators to pick up on the spam posts.
Not needed. If members simply do as they are currently doing then we will deal with the issue. Other members are clearly willing to report spam as they come across it, and that will do nicely.

I've explained before why it would be a bad idea to have separate moderators for spam - none of the existing staff have expressed any support for the idea, so I think it is a non starter.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Quote:
I've noticed you making your appearance to respond to a post almost immediately after I have posted it. You seem to be having your eye on the Board in different ways than just simply logging in, posting, and then logging off.
I can't help what you see, what I actually DO is what I said earlier.
How you post is none of my business nor relevant to my point of view. You brought that up. My point of view is very simple and I thought common sense. As a Moderator the onus is more on you than me to keep your eyes peeled for spam posts while your are posting. When both of us are posting at the same time on the Board, the responsibility is more on you than me to report spam. I'm all for helping, but then you have to set some example to me first of being out there busting REAL spam posts. I have not seen any of that happening. When I do however, then of course I will help you.
Bikerman
*sighs*
Over the last two days I have deleted 42 items of spam, banned 3 accounts and warned 2 others.
Why do you expect to see this? We just do it, we don't advertise.

PS - make that 54 items of spam and 4 accounts banned....did you notice me just slip away to deal with that? No?
watersoul
...while you're at it just stick a broom up your ass and brush the floor as well! Lol Laughing
I don't personally understand anyones problem with just taking 30 seconds to click 'report' myself, it can only help support the nice online community that Frihost is trying to be.
Bikerman
LOL...well, users don't have to report spam if they don't want to (or if they think that the moderators are either ignoring spam or just can't be bothered). I would, as I said, much prefer it if they WOULD report any such spam, but I'm not going to cry about it if a few would rather not..
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:
LOL...well, users don't have to report spam if they don't want to (or if they think that the moderators are either ignoring spam or just can't be bothered). I would, as I said, much prefer it if they WOULD report any such spam, but I'm not going to cry about it if a few would rather not..


Well save the tears for when the brush is up your ass!! Lol Laughing

...just a shame not all users feel they can make a 30 second effort.
milleja46
Ok i make the effort to look, i mean i see it alot on other forums here not so much when i actually look...but it's strange how the newly registered users helps tackle it before other users have seen it though i don't have any REAL users on my site besides the other admin...but that's just because i've yet to make the site better looking. But the spam lately is like playing whack a mole..lol
rjraaz
i have also see an increment of spammers in forum. most of them are new users and i have usually report their post to mods.
Related topics
new member
What a New Member must do to
Hi, I'm new member here
New member...
New Member
New Member - Dragonball Z
New member!!
NEW MEMBER WELCOMES ALL!
New Member
Howdy, new member from aus
hiiii....im new member
Why am I still a new member?
new member
indoor Karting
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> General -> General Chat

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.