Spam flood

Yame

New member
I've noticed that lately, this forum has been getting spammed very often. I get email notifications when someone responds to a thread I posted in, and some nights my email gets spammed with responses from here, nearly all of them being trolls/ads.

I know I can change the email settings if it really bothers me (though I'd rather not), but I figured we should probably address the spammer problem instead, since it just keeps getting worse.

From what I've noticed the mods are fairly quick at deleting these posts, but perhaps there are ways they can be prevented in the first place? For example, have you guys thought about starting to screen new sign-ups, and approve them before they post anything? I'm a part of a few forums that do this. Perhaps to help with this screening, you could put in a mandatory question that all new people signing up have to answer before being approved. It could be something like "what got you interested in belly dance?" or "what got you interested in this forum?" or even "tell us something about yourself." Just to see if it's a real person interested in the forum behind that screen. I think this might filter out a lot of the spammers.

Also, I don't know if you guys already do this, but banning spammers after the first offense would be good too.
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
Behind the scenes the spammers are banned as fast as we are able to ban them, for instance in the last 24 hours I personally have banned 40+ new registered spammers, and other mods have banned quite a few as well - most of them don't make it onto the forum, there will be those who do when our backs are turned :D We have over the last month been on a slow laborious clean up of spammers well over 1600 so far. Salome has put into the registration process re-CAPTCHA & is looking into other means to catch spammers, but that will mainly deter the spambots, single post spammers will be harder to catch at the door, but we mods work hard to keep them at bay and get rid of them as soon as we spot them. They are a pain and a nuisance, and very time consuming, bear with us we are doing all we can to stop them or rid the forum of them ASAP.
~Mosaic
 

Harry

Member
As Yame indicates, the spamming is frequent, not just here, but in most forums and BBs. Working in the IT business, spamming is the bane of my existence, and sometimes, it is not just spamming... We come up with a 'solution' to counter the latest junk, and somebody out there finds a way to get around the protection.

So, in a roundabout way, I appreciate the effort that the volunteer moderators put into keeping the trash out of here. It's not an easy task, at times.

By the way, I did some research: It appears to me that our wonderful volunteer moderators do completely 'zap' spammers out of the forum. :clap::dance:
 

Yame

New member
for instance in the last 24 hours I personally have banned 40+ new registered spammers, and other mods have banned quite a few as well - most of them don't make it onto the forum, there will be those who do when our backs are turned :D
Wow, that's insane! Sounds like hard work. Has it always been this bad, or is this recent? I wonder what attracts people to our forum. I highly doubt anyone actually clicks those links!
 

gisela

Super Moderator
Wow, that's insane! Sounds like hard work. Has it always been this bad, or is this recent? I wonder what attracts people to our forum. I highly doubt anyone actually clicks those links!
Not always. It comes in waves. Some years ago it was almost unbearable, but then Salome introduced some new functions and it became much much better. Recently there has been, as you say, a flood, again :(.
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
Wow, that's insane! Sounds like hard work. Has it always been this bad, or is this recent? I wonder what attracts people to our forum. I highly doubt anyone actually clicks those links!
It seems to come in batches, of craziness, then it will slow to just a few or we'll get a day without any. Spammers look for easy places to drop their doo-doo, hopefully some of the stuff Salome will set up will stop some of it. but like Harry said, bung up one loop hole and they find another hole or break through the barriers, it is juts a never ending job trying to stay one step ahead.

Sometimes I feel like I 'live' on the forum:D I have been here zapping for the past few hours and I'm off to bed - it is nearly 3am here in Oz!

Thanks for the heads up Harry:D
~Mosaic
 

Yame

New member
It sounds like you guys are doing a great job of keeping most of the spammers at bay, but it never hurts to brainstorm some new ideas, hence why I opened the thread :)

Hopefully this flood phase won't last too long. What a PITA!
 

gisela

Super Moderator
Absolutely Yame. It's good to bring the subject up now and then as the members might have new knowledge from other sources.
 

Harry

Member
... What a PITA!
Exactly... The big thing is vigilance. The thing that makes this whole thing work is, if you see something that looks like it isn't supposed to be here, contact the moderators. They're good; they'll check it out.
 

LadyLoba

New member
The only one I saw today was some sort of weird ad that had nothing to do with anything under the "favorite bellydancers" thread. You moderators deserve a lot of credit...I would lose my patience getting rid of all that junk.

That and trolling...esp trolling that starts out sounding like legitimate participation in the web site. I havent seen that on here in a while...but I've been on chat sites that were teeming with it.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
Yesterday was horrendous. I think I zapped nearly as many as Mosaic. I suspect it had something to do with the internet blackout protest on in the last 36 hours.

I had to quit at about 6pm my time because I was getting sick of having to delete 5-6 accounts in one hit and then taking a short break to sew a costume (which was my plan for the entire day yesterday). Let me put it this way - if yesterday had been a normal spam day, my galabeya would be finished with the sewing part, ready for me to think about beading now. As it is I have about 4-5 hours work left on it.
 

LadyLoba

New member
I get why trolling happens...people think theyre clever or funny or whatever...but why do spammers continue to spew spam? I know a lot of it is putting up ads...and I have to ask...why?

As a customer...Id be a lot LESS likely to buy some product if the company or private seller was unprofessional and rude enough to just ram it into something I was trying to read. Are they doing it just to prove they can?

Im not being rhetorical here...I really dont get what the purpose or goal is....anyone who does know??
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
It sounds like you guys are doing a great job of keeping most of the spammers at bay, but it never hurts to brainstorm some new ideas, hence why I opened the thread :)

Hopefully this flood phase won't last too long. What a PITA!
I agree, brainstorming can sometimes find out some new thing that could be implemented. Thanks for opening the thread, we do welcome members input:D
~Mosaic
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
I get why trolling happens...people think theyre clever or funny or whatever...but why do spammers continue to spew spam? I know a lot of it is putting up ads...and I have to ask...why?

As a customer...Id be a lot LESS likely to buy some product if the company or private seller was unprofessional and rude enough to just ram it into something I was trying to read. Are they doing it just to prove they can?

Im not being rhetorical here...I really dont get what the purpose or goal is....anyone who does know??
Many (if not most) of the spammers are actually paid per link, so if they can get links in somewhere they will be paid even if they end up being deleted, but probably they would need to be around for a while, so if we can zap them within a few hours at most we probably cut down their revenue. It is fun to zap at the door so to speak:D I suppose sitting at a computer all day & annoying people all over the world with their rubbish is easier than getting dressed and going to some job somewhere, as they can probably continue to collect unemployment benefits as well. They are total evil weasels.

Probably Harry has far more more knowledge on the why's & wherefor's of this than I do as he deals with this stuff all the day in his line of work.
~Mosaic
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
...and it's still going...

I hate to say it but at this rate it may be necessary to freeze membership for a few days. This is getting ridiculous.
 

Harry

Member
...
That and trolling...esp trolling that starts out sounding like legitimate participation in the web site. I havent seen that on here in a while...but I've been on chat sites that were teeming with it.
Sliightly off topic, but sometimes just as big a PITA as spamming... I know when I first started coming around these parts, some of the ladies probably wondered what I was up to. Well, it's like developing any other relationship. Trust develops, and the one who developed it shouldn't violate it. So, for those that are out there lurking, start taking a real interest in what is discussed here, forget the stereotypical stuff that you think you know about belly dancing and the ladies who practice it, and learn something about this ancient art! Yes, there is some teasing and the occasional risque remark, but it's all in friendship, and never crude.:naghty:

Ok, that's the end of my little rant...
 
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LadyLoba

New member
I get what you mean. And yes, I hate trolling. I used to use...and occasionally still stop by to see if anyone new and decent joined...a couple of clean chat rooms for adults. I pretty much gave up on those because even after weeding past the scammers, and the spam accounts that try to "talk" to you, then you check their webcam and realize it's some porno ad...so many of the real people are on there to troll. It's either somebody on there looking to pick a fight with anyone they can manage to irritate, or somebody starting a conversation like they want to just make friends, then two minutes later they're asking all kinds of private questions trying to get a picture and/or description...if they find that appealing they start going for a cyber or phone sex version of a one night stand...if they don't. or if you refuse..they start bragging about others they've done it with...asking you about others in the room...etc.

I'm not prudish. I dont have a problem with that kind of thing overall....and it's none of my business if adults want to do random hookups online or offline.. I'm just saying...why waste your time and someone else's pretending that isn't what you're after? If you're looking for an online version of going to a bar and picking someone up....judging from the ads and the links you get when you just type in chat room... there are more sites dedicated to that than there are clean chats or sites. Go over there and do that. I've never gone to that type of site as I prefer to save all types of private sharing..online or off...for people I'm comfortable with...but they can't be that complex to navigate.
 

gisela

Super Moderator
We've had some darling little trolls here, but not in quite a while now, thankfully. They have been all sorts of trolls. From people out to defame others, to just generally being a pest to everyone, to some just being trolls in nature and acting and writing as trolls while not even knowing what an internet troll is ;)

Spammers are easier to handle but still a major PITA!
 

Harry

Member
@LadyLoba: Wow, you describe it so well. I hate to admit it, but a couple of years ago, I got (ahem!) involved in one of those on-line relationships in an adult chat room. It had a terrible effect on me, and I do mean mentally. :confused: I'm not going that route, ever again! I was glad to find the BD Forum, and the great folks that are here. My "other job" is in entertainment (as you might guess from my avatar), so it wasn't a big stretch to get into what BD is really all about, and develop some trust.

So, I've become what I hope is considered a positive support of what is going on here.
 
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