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Apologies and solutions?

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sedjtroll
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I just want to apologize to all BGDF users about the constant spam posts and other sub-optimal parts of this website. For some time I've been meaning to do something about this, but my lack of expertise in this department has caused hesitation and delay. I am gearing up to find (or at least look for) a professional solution - I will let you know more when I figure it out.

Thanks for continuing to come back and participate in the BGDF community despite any irritants and sub-optimal stuff.

- Seth

drktron
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No apologies necessary. I

No apologies necessary. I for one am grateful that such a forum exists and for those who maintain it. Thank you. A few spammers is a small price to pay for how valuable a resource this forum is. The insight and knowhow freely given by the members of this forum is remarkable.

sedjtroll
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drktron wrote:No apologies

drktron wrote:
No apologies necessary. I for one am grateful that such a forum exists and for those who maintain it. Thank you. A few spammers is a small price to pay for how valuable a resource this forum is. The insight and knowhow freely given by the members of this forum is remarkable.

Thanks for the kind words. But I would prefer for BGDF to be the premier forum for amateur game designers, and I'd love for it to really shine, while I currently feel it's a little bit ghetto.

I still thin it's worthwhile, I just hope to make it sharper looking and even more useful!

drktron
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It is already the premiere

It is already the premiere forum for amateur game designers. Of course a better product is always worth striving for, much in the same way we all work to refine our games. I'm sure with the talents and ideas of the forums members some productive ways to improve the site can be found. Just don't underestimate how good bgdf is now; to me it has a much better and less cluttered interface than boardgamegeek. That site is full of info but atrocious to navigate.

Blake
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Trap?

Seth, have you ever tried creating a trap for spammers? A game store near where I live recently started their own online forum, and this is essentially what they do. They still get a ridiculous number of spam accounts that they have to delete by hand, but the spamming doesn't interfere as obviously with the forum.

If you want to check it out, here it is:

http://7thdimensiongames.com/forum/

Best of luck!

-Blake

sedjtroll
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Blake wrote:Seth, have you

Blake wrote:
Seth, have you ever tried creating a trap for spammers? A game store near where I live recently started their own online forum, and this is essentially what they do. They still get a ridiculous number of spam accounts that they have to delete by hand, but the spamming doesn't interfere as obviously with the forum.

If you want to check it out, here it is:

http://7thdimensiongames.com/forum/

Best of luck!

-Blake


I'll give it a shot. Thanks!

Lofwyr
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"Conan, what is good in life!?"

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=427852

This is helpful but a few other tricks can work as well. The main thing Id need to know is what countermeasures you have tried and what effect did they have. For instance, you did enable Captcha for a bit their, what was its impact on spam. Although Im not a PHP pro I have have a variety of code savvy friends at my disposal; answering a few questions gives me the information I need to ask them "informed" questions and possibly generate solutions.

E

sedjtroll
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Lofwyr

Lofwyr wrote:
http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=427852

This is helpful but a few other tricks can work as well. The main thing Id need to know is what countermeasures you have tried and what effect did they have. For instance, you did enable Captcha for a bit their, what was its impact on spam. Although Im not a PHP pro I have have a variety of code savvy friends at my disposal; answering a few questions gives me the information I need to ask them "informed" questions and possibly generate solutions.

E


The Captcha did not seem to have any appreciable effect on the spammers ability to join the site and post spam. :(

simons
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Technical question

I assume the reason they are doing this is because they are trying to boost their Google rank, right? Is there a way that you could disable people from posting links?

It would be a little annoying, but I feel like it's not too big of a price to pay. You could still write www. webpage_name .com, or something like that, right?

Alternatively, make a rule that you can't post links until you have been on at least N weeks and made at least X posts. Would that be possible, and would that be against the spirit of bgdf?

Evil ColSanders
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I would like some required

I would like some required fields when signing up. something like "What brought you to this site?" and "What company makes your favorite board game?" or something along those lines. something really simple. Along with this, you could personally approve everyone that signs up. (I don't know the numbers of new users per day is) If it isn't too stressful, the hands-on approach would certainly cut down on the spam.

ilta
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human spammers

bots can be dealt with, but unless a mod personally approves and supervises each new member, you will never truly be free of human spammers.

I like the idea of making new members (time based, or post based? my instinct is maybe both) unable to post links.

assuming that most spammers are non-english speakers, you could make a forum or thread where anyone who posts in it is automatically banned and their post deleted, label it as such, and then include a bunch of key words that will make it show up high on spammer's forum-trawling lists (casino, video game, cheat code, whatever).

a post limit (one per minute?) might also work, although it's annoying for people like me who log in and want to respond to a bunch of threads. less annoying than wading through spam though.

Willi B
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Seth - no apology needed.

Most of us are happy to have the BGDF regardless of spammers. I have no good solutions to offer, just thanks for the efforts.

ACSheets
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A good post you may want to

A good post you may want to look at.
http://www.thesamet.com/blog/2006/12/21/fighting-spam-on-phpbb-forums/

It's simple but effective. Something similar has kept my forums mostly clean.

sedjtroll
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ACSheets wrote:A good post

ACSheets wrote:
A good post you may want to look at.
http://www.thesamet.com/blog/2006/12/21/fighting-spam-on-phpbb-forums/

It's simple but effective. Something similar has kept my forums mostly clean.


Any idea how to implement that in Drupal?

Also, I don't know if it's true, but I thought I'd heard that computers could break the math problems pretty easily, because they can be made to recognize numbers and they're good at math. Questions like "How long was the 6 day war" or "What color is a white elephant" seem like they could work better though.

salish99
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nonono, Seth, thanks for

nonono, Seth, thanks for hosting this site now. Thank YOU!

sedjtroll
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Here we go again!

For a little while we seemed to have a respite, but spammers have started joining the site and posting blogs about their stupid Ed Hardy this or Jewelry that.

Sorry again guys :/

I swear, as soon as Eminent Domain goes to the printer I will start putting my plan for fixing this situation into action!

sedjtroll
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Also, I would love to require

Also, I would love to require each new member to be approved by me, but I can't even figure out how to do that!

Someone mentioned moderating posts for new members until I say "ok" - I'd be for that as well if I could figure out how to do it - ideally every new member would need moderation until an Admin clicked some button to turn that off (on a person by person basis). That would be sweet.

sedjtroll
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SOMEHOW I MISSED IT

I just found where I can make it so any new account must be approved by an admin. How the hell did I miss that before? I turned that on, so at least new spammers will get blocked automatically.

Looks like we have some sleepers though who have been members for days or weeks and are all right now choosing to post spam. Sorry about all that.

- Seth

GrimFinger
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Suggestion

I think that some software seems to encounter more problems than others, when it comes to dealing with automated spambot postings.

On my forum, I use MyBB forum software, and for dealing with Spambot postings, I found a Regular Expression plug-in that has effectively eliminated automated spambot registrations, which in turn addressed the problem of spambot postings in the forum.

I don't manually approve any new site user sign-ups for the forum, either.

sedjtroll
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Evil ColSanders wrote:I would

Evil ColSanders wrote:
I would like some required fields when signing up. something like "What brought you to this site?" and "What company makes your favorite board game?" or something along those lines. something really simple. Along with this, you could personally approve everyone that signs up. (I don't know the numbers of new users per day is) If it isn't too stressful, the hands-on approach would certainly cut down on the spam.

I can't seem to make those fields, but I was able to make the system auto-block everybody, now when you register you get an email saying that due to spammers please reply with something that shows you're not a spammer and I'll activate the account. When I get such a response, I go to their account and activate it.

It's not the best system, but it's better than it was!

Kirioni
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Would it help...

Would it help to have more spam patrollers (users who can flag spam/remove it)? I am not sure what that looks like on the tech side, or perhaps a way to report spam to make your job easier. What you already do is much appreciated!

sedjtroll
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Kirioni wrote:Would it help

Kirioni wrote:
Would it help to have more spam patrollers (users who can flag spam/remove it)? I am not sure what that looks like on the tech side, or perhaps a way to report spam to make your job easier. What you already do is much appreciated!

One thing I'm trying to avoid is spam ending up in people's RSS feeds, which isn't addressed by simply removing spam once it pops up.

I believe this new system will work until further notice, I just hope it doesn't put any undue annoyance on people trying to legitimately make an account.

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