Another spam topic: watching new members

Another spam topic: watching new members
by on (#37849)
Until a good solution to spam is found, can active moderators (read: tepples) at least take a more proactive stance toward spam management?

New member list

Spammers conveniently show their intentions through www links. They also have a pattern of waiting some time after joining before posting their rubbish. A daily sweep through this list, killing obvious spammers would probably help.

by on (#37852)
I agree. Hey, perhaps when you register, state something like this:

Do not post anything as your personal website until 7 days after you register. If you do, you will be banned.

Would this be hard to stick in? If not, why not do it? This will give you the opportunity to look a the "New Members" list, and see who has a link to a website. If they do, cut them out. Even if not all spammers have a link, it still would heavily reduce the number here.
Re: Another spam topic: watching new members
by on (#37855)
loopy wrote:
New member list

Spammers conveniently show their intentions through www links.

Thanks for pointing that out. I just swept up a bunch of accounts with a spammy-looking www that were registered in the past month.

Quote:
They also have a pattern of waiting some time after joining before posting their rubbish.

How long? Months?

by on (#37857)
More like a few days, it seems.

by on (#37858)
It varies. A few days, to a few weeks.

Quote:
Hey, perhaps when you register, state something like this:

Do not post anything as your personal website until 7 days after you register. If you do, you will be banned.

"If you're a spammer, follow these steps to avoid detection:"

by on (#37862)
I suppose I was thinking about spambots... They'd be able to get past this message?

by on (#37864)
Who knows. I don't think a warning is really necessary. It's not that hard to tell whether a website is made for spamming or not.

For example:

http://464.com/

Hmmmmmm... what do you think? If there's any doubt, then leave it alone.

by on (#37865)
Let's see how this goes for a couple weeks if I sweep new accounts every couple days.

by on (#37866)
You should probably sweep new accounts close to every day. You should at least check the new members list every day, and as soon as you see a spammer, delete them.

by on (#37868)
I'm glad you're going through with this, but at the same time, I know it is going to get tiring. This is the exact same step I took on PlayTheNES when the forum first started. I _quickly_ got tired of deleting spam accounts everyday. Maybe you will have more patience than I did at the time though.

by on (#37869)
I did it here for a long time, too. It was getting absolutely insane (and our memberlist is still padded out by 1000+ I'm sure). But 99.99% of the accounts I was deleting back then were inactive anyways, and couldn't post. They were registering like 10 accounts per day.

Then I patched in a simple security question that someone had suggested, that cut off the flow of spammers for a while, but obviously the asshole spambots are getting smarter now. :x

If they can get past a simple (but customized) question, it's hard telling what other measures they can bypass also..

by on (#37871)
There has to be some way you can indicate whether or not a person is a spammer before they become a member... Are most spammers spambots/not-real-people? Are there lots of spammers here who are real people? Real-life spammers seem like they would be next to impossible to get around...

by on (#37909)
The vast majority of spam messages that I've deleted from this board appear to have been generated by a bot. So it's either A. posted by a bot, or B. generated by a bot and copy-pasted into the forum by a human.

by on (#37914)
How about (1) accounts made by semi-human, fed to spam database (2) access to said database sold to unscrupulous business and (3) bot generates posts at a later date.

That's harder to catch.

by on (#37920)
Quote:
The vast majority of spam messages that I've deleted from this board appear to have been generated by a bot. So it's either A. posted by a bot, or B. generated by a bot and copy-pasted into the forum by a human.

It would be the other way arround I guess ? Created by humans, posted by a bot. How could a computer create a message by it's own, and then an human stupidly copy/paste the message ?
Quote:
Are there lots of spammers here who are real people? Real-life spammers seem like they would be next to impossible to get around...

Most spammers are robots but again there is jargon...

by on (#37921)
Bregalad wrote:
Quote:
The vast majority of spam messages that I've deleted from this board appear to have been generated by a bot. So it's either A. posted by a bot, or B. generated by a bot and copy-pasted into the forum by a human.

It would be the other way arround I guess ? Created by humans, posted by a bot. How could a computer create a message by it's own, and then an human stupidly copy/paste the message ?

First, a human constructs a template and a list of interchangeable parts (for example "bump this thread!" vs. "kick then ban as soon as possible", or random selections from Project Gutenberg etexts). Later, the computer fills the template with pseudorandomly chosen parts, and either the computer posts it or a human copy-pastes it.

I found another canary in the list of new members that haven't posted yet: Google the user name and the part of the e-mail address before the @. If either shows up as a banned spammer on a couple other forums, scrub the account.

I also increased the delay after post from 5 seconds to 30.

by on (#38139)
Thanks for the suggestion on how to purge spammers' sleeper accounts. It appears the spam rate has declined sharply (to 0 it appears) now that I'm doing this.

by on (#38141)
Out of curiosity, did the rate of new spammers drop any after Memblers modified the registration page?