Forum Moderation

Just what it implies.
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Dobber
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Dobber » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:16 pm

Yoo-hoo Mods, the spammers are back.....again.

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southwestforests
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by southwestforests » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:44 pm

Maybe I'm imagining things which aren't likely, but how long until they go from spam to data theft?
"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
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Richard Baker
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Richard Baker » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:05 pm

southwestforests wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:44 pm
Maybe I'm imagining things which aren't likely, but how long until they go from spam to data theft?
I think the only danger is if you actually click on one of the spammers links
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Merlin Jones » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:12 pm

The only way to stop such active spamming is correspondingly active Moderation.
Until that happens, the Forum is going down the toilet.

There'll be no shortage of volunteers to manage these nobs, so what's the issue?
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Tracy White
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Tracy White » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:45 pm

southwestforests wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:44 pm
Maybe I'm imagining things which aren't likely, but how long until they go from spam to data theft?
All of these posts are bot driven - pure program with no human interaction. Data theft these days is generally the same unless you are a high-value target (or work for one) in which case it warrants spear phishing. Otherwise they try and get infected banner ads into the advertising networks so the servers that are displaying the ads will have infected pages that inject infections into computers when users read through. The spam outbreak here is annoying, but not likely to cause anything more than an awkward moment if you happen to open a link when a spouse, child, or co-worker is present.
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chiangkaishecky
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by chiangkaishecky » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:55 am

Merlin Jones wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:12 pm
The only way to stop such active spamming is correspondingly active Moderation.
It might help if members don't click on threads that are obviously spam nor the links within
Latest offender already has views on those threads
http://starshipmodeler.net/talk/memberl ... le&u=17885

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southwestforests
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by southwestforests » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:22 am

Contemptibly poor is the characterization I would apply to the whole situation.
"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011

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Richard Baker
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Richard Baker » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:10 am

chiangkaishecky wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:55 am
Merlin Jones wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:12 pm
The only way to stop such active spamming is correspondingly active Moderation.
It might help if members don't click on threads that are obviously spam nor the links within
Latest offender already has views on those threads
http://starshipmodeler.net/talk/memberl ... le&u=17885
That is all well and good, but the SpamBot keeps posting on threads I have been following for weeks- the real trick is to figure out which name it has created for the latest barrage and avoid any new postings using that name.

Unfortunately the only way to find out whether it is the SpamBot or a new member is to open up the thread. Having a bunch of Russian Brides in Bikinis is not a great thing here at work...
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Saturn
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Saturn » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:55 am

chiangkaishecky wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:55 am
It might help if members don't click on threads that are obviously spam nor the links within
Latest offender already has views on those threads
http://starshipmodeler.net/talk/memberl ... le&u=17885
This post is more useful than endless complaining about the spammers or moderation. I've added the user to the Foe list / kill file, and I'm not seeing their posts. Takes all of two seconds to do.
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Richard Baker
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Richard Baker » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:40 am

Problem is you block one name, the Mods nuke the posts and the Bot creates a new account and the cycle starts over/ This one Bot I think has used at least five names so far.
Once the current posts are nuked and the membership deleted, any kill-view is obsolete and there is a new name to start watching for.

Until this current situations is dealt with I am only clicking on new posts made by friends I have known on SSM for years
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Liberator
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Liberator » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:39 pm

I open up the quick link to new posts and then I've clicked on the last posters name link to see if.

1. they have only just signed up
2. have made 5-10 posts as soon as they have signed up.

Helps me from the embarrassment of reading a post at work I've been interested in and following only to find some T&A posted

Not fool proof but helps.
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onezero
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by onezero » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:44 pm

We're working on finding a solution to the problem, and we have been for some time.

The things we have tried so far have only worked for a short time. Spammers have broken the CAPTCHA authentication. All it takes is one human to register and then the "answer this question" authentication is broken. We can change the question daily but even that may end up being ineffective. We have been IP-banning, without much success.

Meanwhile, we have gone back to admin approval of all new accounts before they can post. It's a major PITA for admins, and it won't stop the spammers, but hopefully it will slow them way down.

The fact that this is a popular forum with thousands of active members means we are a perpetual target. That's the reality.
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Tracy White » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:27 am

onezero wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:44 pm
It's a major PITA for admins

*snip*

The fact that this is a popular forum with thousands of active members means we are a perpetual target. That's the reality.
I realize that there may be few people on the forum that you truly know and trust, but as systems get more used there's an increasing need for control and resources to perform that maintenance. At some point you're going to need more moderators if the number of users grows. That's the reality.
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onezero
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by onezero » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:17 pm

I would much ratherhave a preventive strategy in place than a continually-cleaning-up-the-mess strategy.

Obviously what we've tried so far doesn't work, but nonetheless we persevere.
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Richard Baker
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Richard Baker » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:35 pm

Your efforts are deeply appreciated!

Just wondering- this sort of problem was very rare on the original site software- have the SpamBots upped their game or could it be an vulnerability in the new site setup?
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onezero
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by onezero » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:25 pm

The old site had problems with activating users .... it was more luck than anything else that kept the spam volume low.

I *think* I may have solved the spambot issue - at least for now.

I've made a new forum called "Newly Registered Users". Only Admins, Mods and Newly Registered Users should be able to see it, and only those groups should be able to post in it. Newly Registered Users can't post anywhere else - in fact, that and the forum rules are all they can see once their account is activated. All posts must be approved by a mod/admin. Once a post is approved, I will move the user out of the newly registered user group and into the regular user group. Hopefully, that will contain all the spammers to one place..... if I set it up right.
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Richard Baker
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Richard Baker » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:30 pm

Interesting approach- I like it!
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Merlin Jones » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:57 am

Sounds like a plan! :8)
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Tracy White
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Tracy White » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:04 am

Just in case it isn't apparent since my last post may have come across as a bit cranky and critical - your efforts here are greatly appreciated. It's a good reason why I've ordered through the store several times.
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onezero
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by onezero » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:53 pm

I was just as frustrated as you people were, believe me. I worry that making it harder to join will drive people away .... but on the other hand I'd like to convene a grand jury and indict Russia for all the damn spammers.

So, it's a balancing act, I guess.

Thanks for sticking with us while we sorted the issue out.
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john lester
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onezero
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by onezero » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:54 pm

Lest you think I'm unfairly targeting Russia, IP's and eMail addresses indicate I'm not.
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Slartibartfast
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Slartibartfast » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:48 pm

Only Russians would think it unfair if you did indeed target them.
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Wug
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Wug » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:10 am

onezero,

So far so good.

Thanks

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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by CLBrown » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:30 am

There's a tool called "shadow banning" which some sites use. It's rife with potential for moderator abuse, of course... but I doubt that'd be a problem here.

When someone is "shadow-banned," they see everything as normal. They can post as much as they like, and are never challenged.

However, to everyone else, their posts are hidden. Moderators can see the posts, if they choose, as well.

The only indication to the poster is that nobody ever responds, or follows their links.

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Richard Baker
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by Richard Baker » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:22 am

"Shadow Banning" might be useful in a couple of instances, but the Spammers are pretty obvious as to what they are doing from the get go- no real need to petri dish posts.
Thus far what mechanisms in place seem to be working- it has been a while since something slipped past the shields
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jackshield
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by jackshield » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:03 pm

I tried to go to "thunderdome" but wasnt allowed.
text states "go to "usergroups" above" but i dont see anything titled "user groups"

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onezero
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Re: Forum Moderation

Post by onezero » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:39 pm

It's now in "User Control Panel" on the "Usergroups" tab. Click on your login name at the top right for the "User Control Panel" dropdown choice.
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