30 May 2008

How to control Human Spammers on CE?

CEans,

Spam is a universal problem. There have been lot of discussions & techniques around to fight the spam. Its easy to control the computer bots that spam, but what about human spammers?

CEan Ash & I spend lot of our time on CE banning the spammers and removing their posts. Recently, we noticed that we're getting spammed by human spammers from China. I guess, these spammers are 'hired' to spam on the forums.

The question is - is there any effective way of dealing with human spammers? What strategy should we adopt to control the spam?

Post whatever ideas you have. No idea is bad, after all [​IMG] !
Ashraf HZ

Ashraf HZ

Communications
10 years ago
Ah, I wonder how much they get paid *rubs chin*

Using post filters is a good method, I suppose. But nothing beats human moderation! Speaking of which, we could try having CE moderators from different time zones. This could provide the 24 hour spam patrol we need 😉
10 years ago
ash
Ah, I wonder how much they get paid *rubs chin*

Using post filters is a good method, I suppose. But nothing beats human moderation! Speaking of which, we could try having CE moderators from different time zones. This could provide the 24 hour spam patrol we need 😉
Well, not much. Most of them are from China and I'm sure they aren't well paid.

Having mods from different time zones is a good idea. Moreover, I was thinking if we could maintain a database of known spammers & their IPs. It would be nice to update the spammer database at one location and verify new registrations using the data from the central database.

One more idea would be to restrict new members from posting links until their post count crosses 20. But I guess it would annoy few genuine new members.
mayurpathak

mayurpathak

Branch Unspecified
10 years ago
Database of spammers might be a good idea. But how many of such spammers will you block?

Manual moderation is a good idea. But if there are interested programmers, we can get a virtual moderation tool designed. The way they use it in Wikipedia 😀
Prasad Ajinkya

Prasad Ajinkya

Branch Unspecified
10 years ago
Kapcha? Can we have kapcha when repetitive content is posted?
mayurpathak

mayurpathak

Branch Unspecified
10 years ago
Well what is that?

I found some information and this is a link I have got from source forge

SourceForge.net: kapcha IT Operations Management Portal
Ashraf HZ

Ashraf HZ

Communications
10 years ago
I think kidakaka meant "captcha" 😛 Its the image verification thing where you have to enter the set of letters you see on the screen. This sorta helps combat the robot spams, but doesnt do much to human spammers. At most, it'll annoy them 😛

Regarding blocking IP's.. its a good idea as long as they are static IPs (likely if they are a dedicated spamming company 😉 ). If they are individual spammers using dynamic IPs, blocking them would also block others who will be given that same IP address from their ISP later. Theres collateral damage there!

Manual moderation is a good idea. But if there are interested programmers, we can get a virtual moderation tool designed. The way they use it in Wikipedia :smile:
Oh, is it like how you can click on the [edit] link for an article?

I notice we have that "report post" button for each post. Other CEans can help report the spam, I suppose. Avoids us having to dig around for spam, haha.
10 years ago
[Ash: I'm going to simplify the process of banning 😁 ] Just press one button & the user is gone! Its gonig to be evil but I guess that's okay.
mayurpathak

mayurpathak

Branch Unspecified
10 years ago
Well a virtual moderation is a tool that sits over your code that allows users to post their content. Simplest version does the following things-

1. It allows only the registered and authentic users to post. You can also limit users from posting in a particular thread or section. (Basic utility)

2. It prevents usage of phrases and contents that are banned by the admins. Of course the phrase rules will have to be manually written. Mistakes repeated for specified number of times bans the user automatically from posting in a particular section or website on a whole.

3. You can also manually feed words which are objectionable. Posts with such words are not immediately posted but sent to the moderator for approval, via email alerts. Words are banned, but may be essential for the particular context. The moderator needs to take a decision.

4. Now for spamming, if you use a sentence where words don't make any sense in English language, the post is again sent to the moderator. This prevents people from using local languages and mobile jargons. 😀 This will save a lot of effort from Biggie to rebuff the newbies😁

5. All the posts with an html link are also sent for moderation. This prevents website from virus attacks as well.

This is a very simple utility. If you own a google group you will know.
gohm

gohm

Branch Unspecified
10 years ago
Good idea! Many other forums I am on use these & keep spam down. increasing moderators to deal with site/individua forum traffic also helps. Big K, I like your instant zap button idea.

mayurpathak
Well a virtual moderation is a tool that sits over your code that allows users to post their content. Simplest version does the following things-

1. It allows only the registered and authentic users to post. You can also limit users from posting in a particular thread or section. (Basic utility)

2. It prevents usage of phrases and contents that are banned by the admins. Of course the phrase rules will have to be manually written. Mistakes repeated for specified number of times bans the user automatically from posting in a particular section or website on a whole.

3. You can also manually feed words which are objectionable. Posts with such words are not immediately posted but sent to the moderator for approval, via email alerts. Words are banned, but may be essential for the particular context. The moderator needs to take a decision.

4. Now for spamming, if you use a sentence where words don't make any sense in English language, the post is again sent to the moderator. This prevents people from using local languages and mobile jargons. 😀 This will save a lot of effort from Biggie to rebuff the newbies😁

5. All the posts with an html link are also sent for moderation. This prevents website from virus attacks as well.

This is a very simple utility. If you own a google group you will know.
mayurpathak

mayurpathak

Branch Unspecified
10 years ago
Thanks for the appreciation gohm. Are we capable and equipped to develop such a tool? Don't worry about writing business use cases and business rules. We have enough people here.

Biggie just an idea, can we take this up as an upcoming project under CE labs?
10 years ago
mayurpathak
Biggie just an idea, can we take this up as an upcoming project under CE labs?
Well, we'd love to have all such projects coming up. However, I still think we should start one 'SMALL' project & make it happen. CE Bot is in progress and xHx & Ash are doing fantastic job with it. The problem we still have is to get more number of active members.

Right now, to have such a functionality is not a big deal. We'll try to have it as a part of our next forum upgrade [though I'm not sure of it].

We'll try to have more number of moderators separated by time zones. That should help us moderate the forums round the clock. The 'ban' button should be there in couple of days.
gohm

gohm

Branch Unspecified
10 years ago
Doesn't vbulletin offer some of the features Mayurpathak is referring too as part of their forum system tools?
10 years ago
Yep, they do. That's the reason we'll have to wait for the next forum upgrade.
suyash

suyash

Branch Unspecified
10 years ago
I had read somewhere about new innovative type of captchas which are a bit difficult for computer bots to surpass:

instead of a normal word, we can have an arithemetic expression like 2+3 and the user will have to post the answer before repeatedly posting similar content... just a thought though.. human spammers can overcome this easily though !

and another idea to lampoon spammers from forum, to grant some free time for mods, we can have a "rate as evil" button which can be pressed by normal users.... of course it will be in effect only after posting similar links repeatedly..

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