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Old 01-04-2011, 09:38 PM   #1
Bill
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Default New anti-spam tools coming

The number of spam attempts has grown enormously in the past couple months. Chris is putting a lot of time into integrating some new anti-spam tools, but they need refinement. In the last couple days, a few legitimate posts have gone into Moderator Hell - a holding pen for "questionable" posts. Most of the hell-bound posts really are spam, and by holding them, the tool gives me the opportunity to ban the spammer. At the same time, I have been releasing the legitimate posts, of course. The tools need fine-tuning, so please be patient as Chris works to get this capability up and running for us.

For a long time I have dealt with spammers manually, but recently the spam load has been so high that I can no longer deal with them effectively this way. We really have to have these automated tools. Please be patient with us as Chris works to get it all up and running for us. In the meantime, if you get a message saying "Your post was held for the moderator", send me a PM and I will get it out of there right away.

Thanks, Chris, for all you do.

Bill
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:44 PM   #2
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Thank you Bill, and thank you Chris for all your moderating & work maintaining this board. I don't know where we'd be without you.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B_and_D View Post
Thank you Bill, and thank you Chris for all your moderating & work maintaining this board. I don't know where we'd be without you.
Ditto! You guys are great!

Dave
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:43 AM   #4
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There is always a little pain with something new. Keep up the good work
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:13 AM   #5
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I would much rather have a post sit in "moderator hell" for a day or two than have to sort through the tons of SPAM that would otherwise clutter up this board. I have unsubscribed to several other boards I belong to simply because over 80% of the posts are spam and finding useful information is impossible.
Keep up the good work.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:28 AM   #6
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We appreciate the good words, folks. The sad fact is that this board would cease to exist without the anti-spam tools and efforts. Among the major attractions of this Board are the lack of spam and the lack of paid advertising. The content provided by all of you is amazing, but as you said, Bob, I don't think many of the Sponsors would continue to pay the fees to operate the Board if the content were to become submerged in spam. And the Board would die. Simple as that.

The spammers kill these Boards. In a very real sense, they are their own worst enemies.

Bill
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:09 PM   #7
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I wanted to give you guys an update. We're working on a couple of different approaches, some working well, others causing pain. LOL. I have just changed the verification back to questions, simple questions that have lots of words and no numbers. That has had good luck with some of the other boards. Second we've joined efforts with other boards to stop this spam flood and to identify them and block them. There are some other things that we may use depending on the severity of the continued attacks.

We are not alone in this, but every year as they come at us, we all band together, figure out some solutions and put a short term end to it. I appreciate your patience as we figure this out.

I specifically want to thank Bill for all of his continued efforts. If you get a free moment, pop him an IM and thank him as well. We really do appreciate everything you do here Bill.

Thanks, and don't hesitate to contact me directly if you need to, and thanks to those who already have.

Ct..
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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THANK YOU as well. I run a few smaller boards for non profits and feel your pain. We are fortunate that we get to see the results, but do not see all the effort and time to get there. Thank you and Bill for all you efforts it IS appreciated.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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Please excuse this suggestion if it is really dumb, but would it be possible, in addition to what is already being set up with code to get rid of spam, to do the following:

1. Add to the "Post Quick Reply" a "Smilies" for "S-P-A-M".
2. Add an internal procedure that counts, as such "Smilies" are responded in each unique "Quick Reply" to a suspect posting (unique meaning from different sponsors).
3. Add an internal procedure that AUTOMATICALLY blocks that poster after a count of 3 unique poster's "spam smiles", until Bill receives an eMail from the blocked poster to explain the intent of the "spammed" post and determines whether to re-establish the banned poster.
4. Add a publicly available current list of blocked posters.

The advantage of such a system is that it puts the work load out on all sponsors who routinely read the site, and that appears to be a bunch, and automates the "spam" response to where Bill only has to evaluate and act on the few "explanations" that are received.

Just trying to be helpful, and feel free to discard without response if you wish. I too have come to treasure this site and would hate to lose it.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:03 AM   #10
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I can't answer whether it is "possible". But you have to remember that this board, like most others, operates with a purchased software package. In our case, it is vBulletin. And no one is going to rewrite a commercial software package.

The bounds of "possible" shrink a lot when the question is rephrased as "does the vBulletin software give you the ability to ..."

When the board was brand new, almost 10 years ago, I hounded Chris to rewrite the software to make simple changes. I didn't like the login procedure, could he change it? I hate the logout procedure (still do), could he change it? Could he move this green button to the other corner of the screen, and make it blue? This version of a smiley is hard to read, could you substitute that one?

Chris was very patient, and didn't berate me, and I gradually learned the ways of the world. This may be a similar case.

Bill
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