Getting rid of the spam

I believe that recent versions of Vanilla forum have a Troll flag that can be set by moderators and admin.
This has the effect of allowing a user to post and see their own messages, along with all the other posts, but nobody else on the forum will see the posts from that user. I propose that this would be an effective way of dealing with spammers such as the movers and packers and shoe salesmen, since they would not know their posts are not visible and would therefore not be motivated to keep creating new accounts for their spamming activities.

Comments

  • Hear, hear-! Mods please take note, we need this-!

  • Prompt removal might help too. They usually post on friday and saturday, so keeping a close watch during that time might also help. Doesn't Vanilla have a function that can scan new posts for certain keywords (Nike, movers, packers etc.) and mark them as suspect?

  • It is getting out of hand now

  • I noticed simular activity on other boards, its not just here. I wonder if they actually ever sold anything, i mean if someone actually bit on it, or if its just strickly an attempt to annoy...or worse.

  • I think the problem with this is that they're always from newly registered users aren't they?

    @WMWM they're not hoping any of us will click on a link. They're trying to build 'reputation' with the google bot. If a site links to your site, with keywords in the link, google will rank it higher when a random person searches for that keyword. If a lot of sites link to your site with those keywords, you have a much better chance of appearing on page one of the search results. Alas, this is an antiquated practice and google is very very hip to it. It does nothing for them but the moving company who purchased the spammy 'web marketing service' doesn't know that.

  • @syrupcore said:

    I think the problem with this is that they're always from newly registered users aren't they?

    I think that's because they keep getting their accounts cancelled, so they create a new one. If the accounts weren't terminated they might just keep using them.

  • I got knocked out of the first round of my 8th-grade spelling bee for spelling "cancelled" with two l's. Turns out either spelling is acceptable—IIRC, the version with two l's is British English, the other American English.

    That didn't matter since, in the teacher's words, "We're working off a specific word list, not the dictionary." What a lesson to teach a kid!

    I'm sharing this tale of woe with you all because each of you is my brother in music and I know you care.

  • @kgmessier said:

    I got knocked out of the first round of my 8th-grade spelling bee for spelling "cancelled" with two l's. Turns out either spelling is acceptable—IIRC, the version with two l's is British English, the other American English.

    That didn't matter since, in the teacher's words, "We're working off a specific word list, not the dictionary." What a lesson to teach a kid!

    I'm sharing this tale of woe with you all because each of you is my brother in music and I know you care.

    Time you let go of your pain, matey...

  • @syrupcore said:

    I think the problem with this is that they're always from newly registered users aren't they?

    @WMWM they're not hoping any of us will click on a link. They're trying to build 'reputation' with the google bot. If a site links to your site, with keywords in the link, google will rank it higher when a random person searches for that keyword. If a lot of sites link to your site with those keywords, you have a much better chance of appearing on page one of the search results. Alas, this is an antiquated practice and google is very very hip to it. It does nothing for them but the moving company who purchased the spammy 'web marketing service' doesn't know that.

    Oh

  • @PaulB said:

    @syrupcore said:

    I think the problem with this is that they're always from newly registered users aren't they?

    I think that's because they keep getting their accounts cancelled, so they create a new one. If the accounts weren't terminated they might just keep using them.

    Possible but not likely. It's either a script that does the registration or a person being paid $0.05 per post with the instructions to create a new account to avoid exactly that. Still, might be worth a shot.

  • I figure if it works once or twice, we're better off, and if it doesn't work at all, we're no worse off...

  • Toucharcade.com which is the biggest site/forum for iOS games related stuff had lots of troubles with spam on the forum. What they eventually did was asking regulars on the forum volunteering to help out with it all, being a "spam police". Essentially a bunch of trusted regulars given tools and access to delete spam threads as they popped up. But in no way whatsoever act as MODs or delete anything else then apparent spam threads (made by spam bots etc). Seemed to have worked out really good for them.

    A lot of times, certain things will attract these spam bots. Like adding an email address in a forum thread ( (blabla (at) blablabla (dot)(com) ). And I'm guessing leaving spam left by spam bots etc perhaps attracts some as well. :/

    Anyway, might be an idea worth considering at least.

  • By far, the best system I've seen yet is the new forum software created by the creators of Stack Overflow called Discourse. Essentially, it gives increasing levels of moderation permission automatically to users with a certain amount of 'points' (more points, more moderation permissions). The points are accumulated by posts and up votes. They took what they learned and built for Stack Overflow and rolled it into forum software. Pretty smashing.

  • edited September 2014

    Users should definitely not be given any kind of moderation permissions on this forum though. We're not there yet. If anything really needs moderation here, a message to Michael or Sebastian would/should be enough.

    This spam police thing would only allow a bunch of trusted regulars to delete apparent spam threads from spam bots, nothing else at all whatsoever.

    It's one of the thing that makes this forum so great, we don't have a bunch of mods with daddy issues, and we can usually sort out any misunderstandings ourselves here without any intervention from Seb or Mick.:)

  • they do spam again :(

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