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Late night spam bots

James M

Unknown Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Location
Davis CA
This makes night two of being bombarded by spam once the mods go to bed. Yesterday it was one account and now there is (atleast) four. Two accounts where banned during the day but more keep cropping up easily.

I don't want new members to lose the ability to ask questions right away but some limit on threads for accounts created same day seems in order.

<Screenshot of a dozen threads in Chinese would be here>

How can we go about stopping this without impacting people who are attempting to join and actually participate in the forum??
 
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Please don't post screen shots of spam posts.
i'm sure there's a functional reason for this, but it's a weird kind of non-response to his inquiry especially considering you're the spam specialist of the mod team.
 
I've removed the image, also interested in the specific reasoning behind the request. Not disagreeing, just interested in what effect it may have.

I originally included it because the threads get removed in the morning, I assume before most people see them. A broader understanding of the issue would seem like a positive thing to achieving a solution.

I will refrain from posting them in the future.

As a thought based on these specific intrusions, maybe make event threads something mods have to approve? They may just move to another section but if it's a small brained bot it might limit the current spam
 
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I've removed the image, also interested in the specific reasoning behind the request. Not disagreeing, just interested in what effect it may have.

I originally included it because the threads get removed in the morning, I assume before most people see them. A broader understanding of the issue would seem like a positive thing to achieving a solution.

I will refrain from posting them in the future.

As a thought based on these specific intrusions, maybe make event threads something mods have to approve? They may just move to another section but if it's a small brained bot it might limit the current spam
First post for a new user must be viewed and approved by a mod? Might be a smidge restrictive to new folks that just want to ask a question and burdensome on the mod team.
 
First post for a new user must be mod approved? Might be a smidge restrictive to new folks that just want to ask a question.
That's the thing I'd hope we avoid. A balance between stopping obviouse spam without the need for 24/7 removal of individual threads/accounts and loosing potential new members to restrictions that make getting assistance here harder than shitty Facebook groups.
 
They strike again! I don’t understand the purpose of the spam. There is no link to a website, just a bunch of mandarin characters with the only English words being an assortment of universities.
 
They include a WeChat number and a request to talk to them about a graduation certificate.

I tried signing up but you gotta get a current member to verify your number on WeChat and I'm not going through all that
 
They strike again! I don’t understand the purpose of the spam. There is no link to a website, just a bunch of mandarin characters with the only English words being an assortment of universities.
Possibly search engine optimisation - as TB threads are searchable via Google, the more times a phrase appears across a site or different sites, the higher that phrase ranks in a Google search.

Is the spam from the same IP address range? If so, would it be easy for an admin to block that IP range from accessing the site, or at least signing up for new accounts?
 
Possibly search engine optimisation - as TB threads are searchable via Google, the more times a phrase appears across a site or different sites, the higher that phrase ranks in a Google search.

Is the spam from the same IP address range? If so, would it be easy for an admin to block that IP range from accessing the site, or at least signing up for new accounts?
This one was from 7 different IPs, 5 prefixes, so an IP ban might not work. I know Dana has banned IPs before, and maybe we need to temporarily ban a region.
 
We are all still learning the new software when we have the time, and sometimes it throws a curve ball. That might have happened last night, not sure. This spammer is banned now.
 
This one was from 7 different IPs, 5 prefixes, so an IP ban might not work. I know Dana has banned IPs before, and maybe we need to temporarily ban a region.
Not sure if something like that can be implemented with the software you guys work with but how about implementing a 200 character limit for first time posters.

As well as preventing posts with non standard text/characters like chinese from being submitted in the first place.
 
There are apparently a lot of features that can be added in.
Dana spent a TON of time getting us on this new platform, and when he gets time he has added some features and adjustments.
Similarly, we mods have been adjusting to/learning the software. We have some nice features like a temporary mute within a thread rather than the nuclear ban option.
But it took a while to find the ban function, and the phone mode is quite different from computer in good and bad ways.
 
This one was from 7 different IPs, 5 prefixes, so an IP ban might not work. I know Dana has banned IPs before, and maybe we need to temporarily ban a region.
In the modern era of VPNs and cloud resources it is next to impossible to realistically enforce IP restrictions like this anyway.

Region ban? Just use a VPN. Banning specific IPs? Spin up a new virtual machine on AWS and you have a new IP.
 
blacklist the CJK unicode characters in posts. :-P or just require moderator approval for posts with a lot of em
 
I really do appreciate all the work you admins do and please don't take this the wrong way, but every morning when I visit TB (being in Europe that obviously means middle of the night in the US), there are so many spam posts it makes viewing the board a bit annoying.
Hope there's something that can be done about it.
 
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