Skip to Content

The forum

19 replies [Last post]
hulken
Offline
Joined: 04/18/2009

I think we need to do somthing about the registration here. There is way to manny spamers getting in here and posting. It is realy anoyin and cloggs up post.

Is it just me or do other people think it is a problem aswell?

ilta
ilta's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/05/2008
I agree. Also, have you guys

I agree.

Also, have you guys heard about this great new system for betting on horse races? It's all in my book, "I swear I'm not spamming you guys: horse betting for board game fans." Available wherever fine books are sold!

Pastor_Mora
Pastor_Mora's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/05/2010
Not many, just one

I think it's just that lousy chinese company X _ _ _ _ I that's doing the spamming. A single-post limit for the first 24 hours after registration could help. Don't know if that's technically possible.

I think is a problem aswell.

sedjtroll
sedjtroll's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
You said it!

hulken wrote:
I think we need to do somthing about the registration here. There is way to manny spamers getting in here and posting. It is realy anoyin and cloggs up post.

Is it just me or do other people think it is a problem aswell?

You don't have to tell me twice! Whenever I log in and see three spammers with 3 posts each - it pisses me off something fierce AND I have to go block them and delete it! I don't really know how to fix that, but I'll look into it.

Hopefully I'm quick enough at deleting it that it doesn't ruin anybody's browsing/posting experience!

dobnarr
dobnarr's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
Blocking and deleting is

Blocking and deleting is great, but it doesn't help if you're reading on RSS, because the blocked posts stay there after they're entered. I'm really hating those guys.

InvisibleJon
InvisibleJon's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
Consider banning repeat offenders' IP addresses...

Howdy,

Y'all are using Drupal, right? I'm using Drupal on two of my sites (inevitablethegame.com and protospielsouth.com). Over at inevitablethegame, I had a few really significant problem entities. I did a little research, figured out how to ban by IP, and installed a module that uses an ban list derived from data from Project Honeypot (It's called "http:BL". You'll find it at: http://drupal.org/project/httpbl ). These two steps (and installing the Captcha module) have helped immensely (nearly 100% reduction in spamming and other forms of antisocial behaviors).

...and that's my two bits.

PS/edit: The advantage of http:BL is that it sees where they're coming from and blocks 'em from accessing the site – before they do anything, like post junk and mess up the above poster's RSS feed. - JAL

sedjtroll
sedjtroll's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Damn it!

Ok, so I changed some of the CAPTCHA settings, and it sees the spam has gotten WORSE.

Jon, thanks for posting that, I will have to look into it. Unfortunately, I really don't know what it means :/

I'm a little concerned that while I'm out of town for a week at BGG.con, that the site will be completely overrun by spam posts. If anyone knows how to deal with this, please contact me via PM or something because I'm really uneducated in all things internet software related :(

- Seth

dobnarr
dobnarr's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/29/2008
Not bots

The spamming is often done by real people rather than bots - it's bizarre, but there's apparently enough value to getting a higher search ranking that it's worth paying people in China or India to post link spam in unrelated forums. In these cases, the captcha stuff doesn't actually help, since the human poster can get around it easily.

It's a very difficult nut to crack. If it keeps up, you might need to shift to some kind of post moderation, at least at first, until people earn trusted-user status. I'd be happy to volunteer to do some of the moderation.

These are really hard captchas, too, incidentally - I missed the first three.

rcjames14
rcjames14's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/17/2010
Cat & Mouse

dobnarr wrote:
there's apparently enough value to getting a higher search ranking that it's worth paying people in China or India to post link spam in unrelated forums.

Fascinating. It had not occurred to me that the real 'audience' for spam like this is not the people on the site but the webcrawlers at Google. But, it makes perfect sense now that you mention it because oftentimes the content is close to gibberish. I imagine that it is because the spammers are actually packaging a number of different clients together to into one post in order to maximize their own return on investment of labor. So, what we see is the garbled jumble of keywords and links which a 'stupid' webcrawler might not necessarily recognize as meaningless.

Wow. Quite interesting. We are not the targets of the information but the pawns.

pelle
pelle's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/11/2008
spammers

One forum I joined had manual approval of each post by a new user until an admin was convinced it was safe to flag user as non-spammer.

Catchpa is probably more problem to mobile users than spammers.

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2008
i tried a couple of different

i tried a couple of different anti-spam things on my forums, the thing that worked best was one that asks a very simple question as a captcha, rather than a distorted image. notably, the ones that ask math questions DIDN'T work very well at stopping things, but the ones that ask general knowledge questions work perfectly. obviously this still doesn't stop actual humans, but there's not really a good solution to that that i'm aware of.

ReneWiersma
ReneWiersma's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2008
Hehe, these captcha's are

Hehe, these captcha's are pretty hard. I got the third one right ;)

Seth, if you give me the proper moderating rights, I'll be happy to delete the spam when I see it.

Redcap
Redcap's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
Captcha was far too hard, I

Captcha was far too hard, I was honestly scared I was going to have to post at www.boardgamegeek.com to let you know I couldn't log in. Could you just do something along the lines of captcha, but disable per individual per request. So for example if I say please don't make me use Captcha, you can flag my account as safe. Where as if user WOWGOLD$$$$ asks to be taken off you can reply, after you are in the community for at least 3 months and post relevent content.

pelle
pelle's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/11/2008
introduction

One thing I also saw on one forum was that to register you sent a mail to admin describing who you are and why you would like to join the forum. I don't think this forum has so many new users that such a system would overload anyone with work? Or have automatic captcha questions that are boardgame-related and involves a little bit of work to answer, maybe look something up on this site or on bgg. Just enough work so that even human spammers will not find it worth the time to try to get in, not just simple maths questions that even a bot can solve (https://github.com/kbhomes/TextCaptchaBreaker/blob/master/README.markdown).

ReneWiersma
ReneWiersma's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2008
Seth made me an administrator

Seth made me an administrator and after a few days I made the following observations:

1) It looks like the spammers are indeed real human beings
2) BGDF gets an average of 30 new users per day(!)
3) Of these 30 new users an average of one seems to be a real, serious new user, but of course it is hard to tell just by looking at the email address
4) Of these 30 new just users, 28 never perform any activity on the BGDF
5) Of these 30 new users, one user actually spams the boards
6) An average of 15 spam comments are made per day
7) Cleaning up the spam and blocking the user takes an administrator around 15 minutes per day
8) An administrator is not always around to clean up the spam. It might take a couple of hours, or even days in the worst case, before an administrator notices it and has the time to deal with it

I have to talk to Seth when he gets back from BGG.con, but I would suggest the following.

I don't think the captcha's do much, other than making it difficult for real users to login to the site. Maybe they discourage a couple of would-be spammers, but apparently there are still enough spammers that are willing to go through the trouble. The site only offers two variations of captcha's, the math one and the image one, so we don't have a plethora of choices here. I would suggest doing away with the captcha.

One option mentioned was to have an admin approve each new user. I like this idea, because there aren't so many serious, new users anyway, so it won't take an administrator much time to approve new users. Less time than cleaning up the spam anyway. One downside is that new users might be intimidated by it and be less inclined to join. It can also take up to one or two days before a new user is approved. Also, it is important that an admin is able to distinguish a real, serious new user from a spammer. I'm not sure if there's an option to ask a new user to tell about his motivations to join BGDF and perhaps some other questions (such as, what's your favorite game or game designer) which would be necessary to make this distinction, but if it is possible I think this could be a better solution than the captchas.

dannorder
dannorder's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/20/2008
Ugh

The CAPTCHA on this site is about the worst one I've ever seen. It took me 8 tries to decipher what the heck the computer thought it was showing me just to log in.

Whatever problems there would be in verifying that a new user is legit a much better solution that constantly requiring existing users to verify themselves.

InvisibleJon
InvisibleJon's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2008
I totally forgot to talk to Seth about this...

Oh, nuts. I totally forgot to talk to Seth about this.

ReneWiersma wrote:
The site only offers two variations of captcha's, the math one and the image one, so we don't have a plethora of choices here. I would suggest doing away with the captcha.

If the BGDF is using the Drupal CAPTCHA module I think it's using, there are many other CAPTCHA options available. I've found several that strike a very nice balance between effectiveness and challenge.
ReneWiersma wrote:
I'm not sure if there's an option to ask a new user to tell about his motivations to join BGDF and perhaps some other questions (such as, what's your favorite game or game designer) which would be necessary to make this distinction, but if it is possible I think this could be a better solution than the captchas.

Yes, it is relatively easy to implement a small survey of questions that a new use must answer when submitting a new user form.

If the BGDF would help implementing this, I'd be happy to assist.

ReneWiersma
ReneWiersma's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/08/2008
I made the CAPTCHA a little

I made the CAPTCHA a little easier. I removed some of the letters and numbers that looked a little too much alike, as well as removed some of the letters where it was hard to make a distinction between the capitals and non-capitals. I also removed the lines in the CAPTCHA and made it five characters instead of six. I hope this makes it a little easier for the users to fill it in, without making it too easy for the bots.

Quote:
Yes, it is relatively easy to implement a small survey of questions that a new use must answer when submitting a new user form.

If the BGDF would help implementing this, I'd be happy to assist.

Sounds like a good idea. I will discuss this with Seth.

Pastor_Mora
Pastor_Mora's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/05/2010
Thanks

Much better, thanks! I hadn't had the patience to log for almost a week now.

ilta
ilta's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/05/2008
likewise. it's nice to be

likewise. it's nice to be able to actually log in again.

But I think our problem is with fakers joining the site, not posting.

I wonder if an IP block on Southeast Asian and Russian IPs would do the trick? Perhaps with a note that asks them to contact a mod directly if they're interested in joining. I'm not sure where the spammers are coming from, but my experience suggests that most will be from outside North America and Europe, while most legitimate posters will be from inside those areas.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut