IP Addresses are not a reliable means to identify users though. You also still have the potential issue where the actions of one person are impacting a much larger set of other users. It can also be completely circumvented with something as easy to use as TOR. How do you guys feel about the use of persistent cookies or something similar in this scenario? Assuming that it ever is that drastic of a problem.
That Warcraft example you give is pretty much spot on to what I am suggesting. There would have to be a few adjustments made, oftentimes short and concise posts are more valuable then walls of text, but I'm glad to see that there are real world examples that prove that the concept is sound.
Is the CAPTCHA system to annoying for everyone to implement it after each new thread or post? Or are is there any scripts that can solve it for them?
There was a new user in the #cplusplus IRC that goes by the name of kobra999 that appeared a few days ago, seemed to attacking certain people within the IRC, could this be linked with the amount of spam recently? Someone trying to attack this website and community?
My knowledge of this is very limited, but I'd like to help out where I can.
A CAPTCHA system is effective at preventing bots from spamming a site but it doesn't prevent real people from spamming the site themselves. The volume of spam that I see seems to be too low for me to suspect a bot but this could just be because MiiNiPa is faster at cleaning it up then I am at seeing it.
Thanks for the insight Computergeek01. I'm out of ideas then I'm sorry I can't be of much use.
All I can think of is people are ranked, have you seen on websites there is a title next to their user, something like 'Noobie', 'Amateur', 'Complete h4X0r coding guru' and the like, each rank could be used to limit an amount of posts people can make, maybe separate from asking and answering questions.
I.E: A new user can ask a question a certain amount of times, but if they solve someones problem, they gain an extra question. I guess this could be used as a filter for people who are genuine in helping and taking an active part in the community.
No, we can certainly do the post cap of 5-10 posts a day making it take a new user 10-20+ days to be able to post in more than that. While we are at it, why not just lock new users from making no more than one thread a day and only be able to do the 5-10 posts in their own thread until they get to 100 posts, then that would really stop spam. It would likely stop our user base from growing, but why worry about that so long as we stop the spam so users are happy to have a spam free site.
It isn't my philosophy any of you should worry about as I'm not the administrator. It is twicker's philosophy you should worry about as he has told me in a few pms about the matter and an email that he doesn't see it as that serious of a problem and pointed out that is what the report button is for.
Does it bother anyone else that the reporting here is anonymous?
Nope. Twicker and I even discussed possibly changing it so that no one knows when a post is reported anymore because of the fact that every time one is reported the thread derails for a few posts with users trying to figure out why it was reported.
Threads per day. Did you actually read discussion?
It doesn't matter, at 5-10 threads or posts still gives anyone that wants to spam (commercial or otherwise) the opportunity to spam. Instead of having a single user of 50+ threads (like bji349 from last night) we would have bji349 to bji*** posting 5-10 spam threads/posts. We will have to put more restrictions in place other than that to combat spam as your method would prevent thread spam, but if you don't do a post cap to, it will open them to do post spam, but if you block them on that, they will start making spam accounts to make use of the other restrictions.
I'm not expecting a perfect fix, but the proposals thus far won't curve anything as there are obvious holes that they will make use of to continue to spam their ads and such on the site. To fix it enough to actually curve it, twicker would have to spend a lot of time putting in several restrictions that won't hinder users and that he feels is fair.
You never have to worry about my philosophy because I'm not the administrator. Though, you should worry about twicker's philosophy as it is him you have to persuade to implement these changes and last I talked to him, he didn't feel the spam was enough of an issue to implement anything above the report system in place now.
It doesn't matter, at 5-10 threads or posts still gives anyone that wants to spam (commercial or otherwise) the opportunity to spam.
Of course it matters. If all the spam is confined to a small number of threads they are incapable of making the forums unusable and the spam is much easier to clean up (and ignore.) Whereas if one can make all the threads one wants, it is simple to push everything else off the front page.
You never have to worry about my philosophy because I'm not the administrator.
Nor do we have to worry about his ability to follow logic. As usual, it's absent.
No, I'm logical and looking at the bigger picture. I have this annoying ability to look at things and see nothing but the flaws in them. Everyone else is looking at it as one user 5-10 threads problem curved. If it is a bot doing it, the chances are there is a maintainer who will simply reprogam it (if it doesn't already have this coded into it) so that it will make multiple accounts and then the problem goes from one user with a large number of threads pushing topics off the main page to multiple users spamming and pushing topics off the main page. If a bot can make a user have 51 threads in a matter of minutes, then it would be no problem having it do 50 users spam 10 threads in a matter of minutes.
No protection is perfect. Any can be bypassed. However it is more profitable to simply go for the more easy targets than to modify your bot just for one site which does not get that much traffic anyway.
If it is a bot doing
And if it is not, we are safe. Even if it is, see pt1↑. With temporary limiting registration from single IP in case of spam, you can make it not worthy target.
BHX Specter wrote:
I have this annoying ability to look at things and see nothing but the flaws in them.
Well, I think the system currently in place has generally been able to cope with spam reasonably well so far.
But it's true that recent attacks have caused disruptions and are a waste of time for all of us who have to report or moderate that.
It definitely makes sense to impose some limits, and time-based limitations like those suggested here, can be easily implemented and should be able to alleviate somewhat the problem.
Therefore, the following limitations now apply (for all users):
- Max 3 posts per minute.
- Max 3 new threads / 15 minutes.
I understand this could cause some issues on certain hot threads. But after all, the current system cannot really be used as a chat room, as pages need to be manually updated to see what others reply.
The other suggested measures would be more complicated to implement, but they are definitely not discarded.
Thanks for all the suggestions in this thread. You guys are great!
I seem to be getting new options for dealing with spam. First I was simply able to report a post then I could remove it. In the latest spam storm I was able to block the user from posting altogether. How is this governed?