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Spam Bots

Posted Jan 8, '14 at 7:22pm

Blackbeltr0

Blackbeltr0

802 posts

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?

 

Posted Jan 8, '14 at 9:06pm

Blackbeltr0

Blackbeltr0

802 posts

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.

 

Posted Jan 8, '14 at 9:15pm

UnleashedUponMankind

UnleashedUponMankind

6,783 posts

Moderator

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

 

Posted Jan 8, '14 at 9:32pm

Blackbeltr0

Blackbeltr0

802 posts

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~~

 

Posted Jan 10, '14 at 9:14am

MacII

MacII

1,369 posts

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.

 

Posted Jan 10, '14 at 11:01am

jeol

jeol

3,987 posts

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.

 

Posted Jan 10, '14 at 11:05am

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,093 posts

Moderator

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.

 

Posted Jan 12, '14 at 8:33pm

boppins

boppins

576 posts

Administrator

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.

 

Posted Jan 12, '14 at 8:49pm

Gantic

Gantic

10,037 posts

Moderator

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.
 

Posted Jan 12, '14 at 9:07pm

SSTG

SSTG

11,618 posts

Knight

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.

 
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