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Thread: Ideas to limit spammer member signups

  1. #11
    Andy101's Avatar
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    If you use an email forwarder pointing to your regular email box such as gmail, the spam filtering works as normal. And you know exactly where the source of spam originated from. And it's so easy to cut off the stream of emails.

    Today, on my forum I deleted about 8000 inactive user accounts, and switched over to only accepting owner domain email addresses. Since it's a webmaster forum, it should be no problem for webmasters to implement an email forwarder from one of their domains. Oh the joy of not having to check out 1000's of anonymous users.

  2. #12
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    Given the recent spate of spammers here, would it be possible to have a 'probationary' period for newly registered users? That is have new posts moderated before going live, when the poster proves they are actual contributers then have the account upgraded to posting without moderation, i.e. a full account, after say two or three or more genuine posts. If spammers knew they wouldn't have a live post first off and had to be approved I think it would put them off, they'd certainly be easier to catch even if they did try and wouldn't have the satisfaction of having their garbage on here until it's reported. An example is transmission1.co.uk/forum where all new users have to get approval before enabling non-moderated posts. They have to prove they're worthy and have to post an introduction before even being considered - TM1 new member rules.

    I haven't a clue about forum software so don't know if it's even possible here, but I think something needs to be done tbh. Just a thought
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    robjones (7 November, 2012), TopDogger (7 November, 2012)

  4. #13
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    That is a decision for Rob to make. I don't know if it is possible to monitor a probationary period for new members, but we do warn people who post gibberish just to get their post counts up. The blatant spammers and people who lie about their locations get banned as soon as we see them. I've been here for less than 15 minutes this morning and already banned 6 spammers.

    There are a lot more spammers and crappy posters than there are mods. The spam seems to come in waves and it looks like bots are getting through to post some of it.

    We are working on it.
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    The recent spate looks like some dickweed in China got a copy of Xrumer or the like. I banned a boatload last night and went back behind those y'all banned and blacklisted their IP ranges, not just the one they came in on, so a lotta probable proxies will be onetime use ports of entry here. If they want to burn their proxy list I'll accommodate 'em.

    As far as feasibility, I could create another usergroup that includes members up to a certain post count and make their posts require moderation, but I'd need to know the mods are OK with that before doing so. Having to moderate posts is a pain in the tookus and I won't task volunteers on that without it being their preference.

    Thoughts?
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    I am all for it.

    I also think we should more aggressively delete the useless posts created by new members who are trying to get their post counts up or think they are accomplishing something by posting garbage to increase the the number of signature links. I have been sending warnings to several of these members.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    There's a few more spammers slipped through today, shame. I know the hard part is getting the right balance, encouraging new members, not putting them off or having too many hurdles to jump, and keeping an active forum without spam posts. I've seen too many of the copy 'n post brigade as well, a quick search with the first few words in quotes brings up many with same text on dozens of different forums which I can only imagine will be penalized by big G for duplicate content, so not good for anyone.

    I guess it depends how much time and effort the mods want to spend cleaning up or approving posts, it might save time having new user limits by not having the spam to delete, but it may discourage new sign-ups, so not an easy choice. For my money I'd be tempted to spend $20 on a blockscript licence and have it just on the register page to keep out the proxy/bot users from signing up in the first place. It worked well on one of my lists just having it on the user input pages. I didn't want to block everybody from viewing my site, just keep out the lowlifes and spammers. I thought it was worth the money tbh and it did a very worthwhile job too, the money spent saved so much time it was worth it to me.

    I'm full of ideas I just lack the skill to implement most of them, lol, but I do like this forum.
    If I can't be a good example, I'll just have to be a terrible warning...

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    There is a new Chinese spammer network that is hitting a lot of sites. I think they are using automated submission software. The attacks are so strong that they are taking down servers in what looks like a denial of service attack. The attacks come from a wide range of Chinese IP addresses.

    The new batch of Chinese spammers hitting NB could be this group testing the waters for an attack. I only rarely saw Chinese spammers prior to this recent influx. Almost all previous spammers were in India and Pakistan. We still get a lot of spam from India and Pakistan. The growing number Chinese spammers is new.

    The solution appears to be to block most or all Chinese IPs, but that can put a resource strain on a firewall and server.
    Last edited by TopDogger; 8 November, 2012 at 12:37 PM.
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    The solution appears to be to block most or all Chinese IPs, but that can put a resource strain on a firewall and server.
    That's what I'm doing regardless. If it becomes an issue we'll deal with it then. We have nothing to lose, there's no quality chines traffic coming thru.
    Mike Dammann likes this.
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  12. #19
    Mike Dammann's Avatar
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    As long as it is under control now, all is well. But still: I always like the no live link solution until a certain post count has been reached. And then turn on the live link permission by hand, so mods can take a quick look at what they have posted to not accidentally give a robot permission to start dropping theirs.


    Quote Originally Posted by UncleP View Post
    There's a few more spammers slipped through today, shame. I know the hard part is getting the right balance, encouraging new members, not putting them off or having too many hurdles to jump, and keeping an active forum without spam posts. I've seen too many of the copy 'n post brigade as well, a quick search with the first few words in quotes brings up many with same text on dozens of different forums which I can only imagine will be penalized by big G for duplicate content, so not good for anyone.

    I guess it depends how much time and effort the mods want to spend cleaning up or approving posts, it might save time having new user limits by not having the spam to delete, but it may discourage new sign-ups, so not an easy choice. For my money I'd be tempted to spend $20 on a blockscript licence and have it just on the register page to keep out the proxy/bot users from signing up in the first place. It worked well on one of my lists just having it on the user input pages. I didn't want to block everybody from viewing my site, just keep out the lowlifes and spammers. I thought it was worth the money tbh and it did a very worthwhile job too, the money spent saved so much time it was worth it to me.

    I'm full of ideas I just lack the skill to implement most of them, lol, but I do like this forum.
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  13. #20
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    I just set the registration options to require hand approval before anyone gets a login. That's going to hamstring the bot guys bigtime. That's how we shut them down at V7n when they got bad, and we dont have near the amount of traffic so it wont be a full time job, but i can eliminate a TON that way before they enter the room.
    Mike Dammann likes this.
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