ForumsNews and FeedbackSpam Bots

41 40321
Blackbeltr0
offline
Blackbeltr0
798 posts
4,110

I don't know if there was a system to catch these, but over the last couple days there has been an inappropriate amount of these things.
They just pop up I think in the programming forum repeatedly, but I may be wrong about that.

I have told ferret about the first one, and someone had already dealt with it. It happened yesterday and again today. Mod Moegreche is aware of this and today I also told Moderator Reton8.

I fear this will become worse.... Is there anyway to IP ban them or get the news out to people, because frankly it had 36 views and thank god no one posted, but maybe that is to small of a number, but is there a way we can get theses to stop or be reported faster? I think we need to stop this Spam bot raid. Can we is the question?

  • 41 Replies
Blackbeltr0
offline
Blackbeltr0
798 posts
4,110

Oh thought of an of an idea. Could we have those anti-spam things like what is 12-7 or that stuff when people sign up... Idk if that can happen, but I have seen them on other sites when you sign up.

UnleashedUponMankind
online
UnleashedUponMankind
11,222 posts
21,555

Spam bot raid?... Not really , we faced one last year (all subs where flooded, first 3 or 4 pages was only spamthreads those days...), for a small time AG have Captchas to lower their count... today they are not more than a lil nuisance

Blackbeltr0
offline
Blackbeltr0
798 posts
4,110

I have not seen much like it though.... Yeah that was bad last year, but this is bugging me because I think it is 1 person like Moegrech said to either Ice or Me can't remember which, but he said. "just have to wait for them to make another account."

Ok come on, is there NO way we can Permanently stop this guy from spamming, like an IP ban or something?

All I really want is to raise awareness so we can stop these guys. It is a nuisance, that we should be able to stop (I think IDK if we can).

~~Black~~

MacII
offline
MacII
1,362 posts
1,395

Blackbelt,

I'm sure AG has its anti-spam measures in place (you probably don't wanna know what a place such as this would look like without them), and the mods noticeably clean up diligently after anything that's left. Aided perhaps by people who just simply but faithfully hit the report button on such messages. (And I've never seen any spam message last for long here; although their deleted presence may persist in cache a little longer, still, never for very long. Not even at what to my best knowledge should be off-hours.)

The problem will always be there, and tends to come in waves, and it can never be dealt with 100% effectively. But the way I see it, AG does a fine job at controlling things

(IP bans, btw, are a tricky thing -- not technically, to implement, but to target them right.)

Also kindly note that discussing their precise measures would be defeating the purpose, so I'm sure the staff won't, and I've seen them state that they won't and can't.

jeol
offline
jeol
3,875 posts
6,080

The only truly effective spam prevention program I've seen is one where the admins have to verify your account creation before you can do anything.

Obviously, this would conflict with AG's model, as large as they are and how many accounts are created each day in particular.

Moegreche
online
Moegreche
3,328 posts
16,380

Just to be clear, the problem with spam bots is perennial and extends well beyond the borders of AG. We do have anti-spam measures in place but, as Mac point out, discussing these would allow the makers of the spam bots to circumvent these measures.

I'm genuinely proud of the work the moderator team has done in catching and deleting the spam and, of course, banning those spam accounts. The average time a spam bot account is active is typically under 30 minutes. But in that time, they can do quite a bit of posting.

We are actively considering a variety of measures to address the problem. But let's face it - spam bots will always be a problem. It seems that for every fix, there's a way to get around it. And keep in mind we want the site to be accessible and friendly to new users, so we have to keep that in mind.

As for IP bans, history tells us they don't work. It's very straightforward nowadays to change your IP. And, as Mac also pointed out, banning the right IP can be tricky. You might accidentally end up IP banning hundreds or thousands of potential (or current) AG users.

So in the meantime I have two bits of advice:
1) Don't post on threads that are from these spam bots. It actually makes it slightly harder for us to notice them. Instead, let a mod know about it.
2) For the love of God, don't click any links in these threads. Not only are you putting your computer at serious risk, but you're encouraging the whole process. At the end of the day, if these techniques fail to generate hits for these Websites, the problem will sort itself out.

boppins
online
boppins
693 posts
5,910

We had stricter rules in the past to block spammers, but relaxed on them since the spammers disappeared. If it becomes an issue again, we will up the posting difficulty again until, once again, they go away

I believe the last thing we changed was turning off the "no posting until your account is 3 days old" check.

Gantic
online
Gantic
11,698 posts
33,070

I believe the last thing we changed was turning off the "no posting until your account is 3 days old" check.


It was actually robots.txt. About the time web crawlers were allowed again, spammers started trickling back in slowly.
SSTG
offline
SSTG
12,645 posts
9,475

I think AG should go back to the 3 days or 2 days period before people can post. Also, if they don't favorite any games or play something during this period, their account should be deleted.

Devoidless
offline
Devoidless
3,737 posts
3,620

Yeah, great idea. Alienate and punish users wishing to just visit the forums. We don't require an account to simply play games here, and the only perk of making an account is access to online saves and the ability to comment. If we just deleted accounts for not playing a game within three days of making it, how many people would we lose?

And before you say "Who comes here for the forums and not the games?", I did for one.

SSTG
offline
SSTG
12,645 posts
9,475

Yeah, great idea. Alienate and punish users wishing to just visit the forums. We don't require an account to simply play games here, and the only perk of making an account is access to online saves and the ability to comment. If we just deleted accounts for not playing a game within three days of making it, how many people would we lose?

That's a suggestion. Do you have a better idea?
Devoidless
offline
Devoidless
3,737 posts
3,620

Just because it's a suggestion doesn't make it above criticisms.

I'd rather not discuss our current/potential measures against spammers out in the open.

Ferret
online
Ferret
9,252 posts
6,150

We're cooking up an idea, we're thinking it may be earning Quests to post.

MattEmAngel
offline
MattEmAngel
7,873 posts
4,240

We're cooking up an idea, we're thinking it may be earning Quests to post.


You have to earn the "One Hundred Freaking Million" Quest from Epic Combo Redux if you want to post on the forums.
pft
offline
pft
540 posts
18,120

I believe the last thing we changed was turning off the "no posting until your account is 3 days old" check.


This is something i think should be a good idea.

We're cooking up an idea, we're thinking it may be earning Quests to post.


Maybe, but i have seen some mmo players on this site that has no quests but post in the game forums.
Showing 1-15 of 41