Spam Warning! Please Read!

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Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby PaulH » July 13th, 2016, 4:53 am

Your loyal team of spamfighters is working hard to save you from bad people. Unfortunately we are vastly outnumbered, so while we can keep junk posts away, it's very difficult for us to stop junk users from signing up and having unwanted links in their profiles. Right now we have over 128,000 registered users. My guess is that not all of them have bought a C2 :)

So, starting today, I'm going to start clearing out users with questionable email addresses and usernames. I'm pretty good at spotting legit users, but I'm not perfect. The *best* way to protect your account from potential accidental deletion is to make sure you've posted at least one comment somewhere on the forum at any time (here, if you like), so I'll know you're not an evil creep.

If you see any horrible problems please let me know!

Cheers, Paul
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby Pie Man » July 13th, 2016, 5:25 am

Good luck Paul, it's a thankless task.

I'm not sure about phpbb but could you get a group/role created that makes the user invisible, and prevents them being displayed on the member list. Then any you are not sure on could be promoted to that group along with all new members, so the long list of browsing members is not listed along with their dodgy links. Once they have posted successfully they will be promoted out to a registered user and be viable on member lists etc.
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby PaulH » July 13th, 2016, 5:28 am

It's not a bad idea, Pie Man, unfortunately I don't know of a way to limit the Members list. And even if there is I suspect members would have to be added manually, which with hundreds of (fake) sign-ups per day isn't going to happen!
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby Pie Man » July 13th, 2016, 6:21 am

I meant it to happen at sign up, so any new member is automatically added as an invisible person.I have just had a play with the phpbb 3.1 demo and it doesn't seem to allow you to do what I am saying, also the user search is a pain as you don't appear to be able to search for things like having a website address.

However one thing I noticed was the Group Permissions area, where you can assign a role to a usergroup, you could then assign the newly registered user features role to the newly registered usergroup and edit the role in the advanced area it so that Can change profile field information is set to never, then they wouldn't be able to put in the dodgy web etc addresses. It won't help the ones that are already on, but it will stop them getting the info into the members list.
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby sander » July 13th, 2016, 6:27 am

PaulH wrote:Your loyal team of spamfighters is working hard to save you from bad people. Unfortunately we are vastly outnumbered, so while we can keep junk posts away, it's very difficult for us to stop junk users from signing up and having unwanted links in their profiles. Right now we have over 128,000 registered users. My guess is that not all of them have bought a C2 :)

So, starting today, I'm going to start clearing out users with questionable email addresses and usernames. I'm pretty good at spotting legit users, but I'm not perfect. The *best* way to protect your account from potential accidental deletion is to post a comment somewhere on the forum (here, if you like), so I'll know you're not an evil creep.

If you see any horrible problems please let me know!

Cheers, Paul


I don't consider myself an evil creep, and I am not aware of anyone who considers me to be one. Is this sufficient?
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby PaulH » July 13th, 2016, 6:28 am

@Pie Man - interesting, I shall investigate...

@sander - as you've already posted over a thousand times I'd say you're OK ;) I shall now update the original post to make it clear you only need to have posted once!
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby Citroen » July 14th, 2016, 12:39 pm

Recently we've been getting about 400 posts per day that simply vanish into the bit bucket (aka /dev/null).

I have a Greasemonkey script that looks for key words in posting titles and automagically marks them to be removed. The remaining ones get looked at. If they're a one-line banal comment, they're gone, if the profile has a wonky URL in the signature, they're gone. If the profile "location" field says they're from Lithuania but their posting IP address is in Bangalore (or vice versa), they're gone. (I do a check with a GeoIP service for that, don't automate it because a mismatch is an excellent clue.) If they post English in that dark and ignored Netherlands part of the forum, they're gone.

So my one suggestion is enforce new users setting location in their profile. The crazies, the geeks and the saddoes will put 127.0.0.1, Localhost, Earth or "A small green planet", the legitimate users will put somewhere close to home. In the long run it helps everyone, your response to a post may be tempered by knowing where in the world they're located.
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby Citroen » July 14th, 2016, 12:40 pm

PaulH wrote: as you've already posted over a thousand times [sic] I'd say you're OK ;) I shall now update the original post to make it clear you only need to have posted once!


181 is a long way off a thousand, even you've not exceeded 1000 posts on here.
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby sander » July 14th, 2016, 2:34 pm

Citroen wrote:
PaulH wrote: as you've already posted over a thousand times [sic] I'd say you're OK ;) I shall now update the original post to make it clear you only need to have posted once!


181 is a long way off a thousand, even you've not exceeded 1000 posts on here.


Perhaps my 850 spam posts have been removed?

What if I am from The Netherlands, live in the Czech Republic and post from a business trip to the USA?
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby Citroen » July 14th, 2016, 2:39 pm

sander wrote:Perhaps my 850 spam posts have been removed?

What if I am from The Netherlands, live in the Czech Republic and post from a business trip to the USA?

There's always one. Hopefully our Dutch colleague posts something about rowing (or roeien) and passes the tests that way.
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby PaulH » July 14th, 2016, 3:51 pm

Oh yeah - I was misled by the '1k poster' tag. Not great given that I was the one who created those tags :)
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby Cyclist2 » August 28th, 2016, 1:35 pm

Almost that time of year when I start thinking seriously about the winter erg training. This post is my first in a while, just to reaffirm my existence as a living person.
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby MadeUpName » November 2nd, 2016, 8:41 pm

PaulH wrote:Your loyal team of spamfighters is working hard to save you from bad people. Unfortunately we are vastly outnumbered, so while we can keep junk posts away, it's very difficult for us to stop junk users from signing up and having unwanted links in their profiles. Right now we have over 128,000 registered users. My guess is that not all of them have bought a C2 :)

So, starting today, I'm going to start clearing out users with questionable email addresses and usernames. I'm pretty good at spotting legit users, but I'm not perfect. The *best* way to protect your account from potential accidental deletion is to make sure you've posted at least one comment somewhere on the forum at any time (here, if you like), so I'll know you're not an evil creep.

If you see any horrible problems please let me know!

Cheers, Paul


Paul.....I'm new to the forums and to rowing and now having a blast with a Model E C2 - My coach is a big rowing fan so I'm confident I'll have good cause to be back here several times - however I'm concerned about your post above regarding thining out members based on Username/Email Address - My username and email of "MadeUpName" (though I've used a different email address for here) usually raises a smile when I'm able to snaffle it on websites where someone hasn't already grabbed it....however I am loathe to be thinned without on this occasion just cause..... Hopefully my blog will add some credence to my identity (http://www.madeupname.co.uk/2015/10/abo ... anded.html)
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby Citroen » November 3rd, 2016, 4:06 am

You're taking things too seriously.

The spam rules are for the drugs and porn peddlars. The first post moderation seems to work to keep the junk off the forum.
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Re: Spam Warning! Please Read!

Postby MadeUpName » November 3rd, 2016, 4:09 am

Thank you for the warm welcome :roll:
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