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Old 04-14-2019, 07:18 AM
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An amusing spammer


I've got to admit, the spammer I just nuked had some serious chutzpah. It registered back in March, and then waited for a thread that could be construed as complaining about ads. It then posted
Quote:
Advertisements aren't inherently bad, but many use manipulative tactics that ... Here's a look at how manipulative ads work, the problems they cause, and what you can do to avoid these negative consequences.

---------------
and then posted its spam as an example of a manipulative ad.

Heh.
  #2  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:36 AM
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So that's what Abed is up to now.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:43 PM
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So have you got any ads for "death spell casters" yet? I just ran across one in the comments of a site I read, and it looks to be making the rounds.
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:17 AM
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same thing happened here https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...1#post21608251
  #5  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:17 AM
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Right now we're getting flooded with a low-life a-hole spammer for bouncy castles in the UK.

We haven't had many spell casting spams for a while. We used to get them fairly regularly, though they were for love spells or magic spells to find out if your loved one was cheating on you. I don't recall any death spell spams. I guess some of the guys who had their lover stolen by a love spell want revenge.
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:48 AM
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You might want to ban your newest member before they start posting.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:12 AM
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Too late to edit ...

You know that the vast majority of the SDMB's new members are active or sleeper spammer accounts, right?

"Late adopter", "cautious", "prefer vBulletin to be as stock as possible", whatever. Just get a Stop Forum Spam API, install the plugin, have a more comprehensive list of keywords that can't be in usernames or emails, and send posts that have URLs or certain keywords from new users into a moderation queue. Also, purge spammer accounts with zero posts -- many have URLs in their profiles, and it artificially inflates the member count. And at least ban registration from IPs from Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, Pakistan, India, Vietnam, and China already. Do you really have that many active users from those countries? Even if you got a legitimate user out of the bunch, would they be more than a one-post wonder?

IMHO, mods should spend most of their time moderating, not dealing with spam. But, hey, if you really enjoy the time and effort of manning the walls and picking off the hordes as they climb over, fine. It's not my board.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
And at least ban registration from IPs from Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, Pakistan, India, Vietnam, and China already. Do you really have that many active users from those countries? Even if you got a legitimate user out of the bunch, would they be more than a one-post wonder?
I know we have at least one 15,000+ post long-time member from Pakistan. And we've had posters who post from places like China, although my impression is that they've generally been ex-pats rather than native Chinese. Still, their IPs would presumably show up as Chinese.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:37 AM
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I don't know if it's the latest version, but we do have and use all of those tools. And a fair bit still gets through. I shudder to think what it would be like without all of that.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:14 AM
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Too late to edit ...

You know that the vast majority of the SDMB's new members are active or sleeper spammer accounts, right?

"Late adopter", "cautious", "prefer vBulletin to be as stock as possible", whatever. Just get a Stop Forum Spam API, install the plugin, have a more comprehensive list of keywords that can't be in usernames or emails, and send posts that have URLs or certain keywords from new users into a moderation queue. Also, purge spammer accounts with zero posts -- many have URLs in their profiles, and it artificially inflates the member count. And at least ban registration from IPs from Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, Pakistan, India, Vietnam, and China already. Do you really have that many active users from those countries? Even if you got a legitimate user out of the bunch, would they be more than a one-post wonder?

IMHO, mods should spend most of their time moderating, not dealing with spam. But, hey, if you really enjoy the time and effort of manning the walls and picking off the hordes as they climb over, fine. It's not my board.
We use that. It catches a lot. But there will always be spammers amongst us unless we deny access to everybody, it's just the nature of the beast.

Of course we don't want the spammers around -- we've never tolerated them -- but we also want as many legitimate users as possible to be able to access the site. That means you can't be buttoned up too tightly.

You know, of course, that banning entire countries was the Lynn Bodoni Method of dealing with spammers? She didn't quite ban an entire continent but she had some ideas on the subject.

I once accidentally banned an entire company coast to coast; they ran all their internet access nationwide out of a server at company headquarters. I was only after one problem child and wound up denying access to approximately 50,000 people. I heard about that one pretty quick.

Memories ...

Jenny
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
IMHO, mods should spend most of their time moderating, not dealing with spam. But, hey, if you really enjoy the time and effort of manning the walls and picking off the hordes as they climb over, fine. It's not my board.
I, and I think most of the mods, spend 99.9% of my time moderating rather than dealing with spam. I spent a bit more when we we had a couple of very persistent streaming spammers from Bangladesh, but even then it was a few minutes a day. Fortunately they either got tired, or hopefully got hit by a bus, so we don't get quite so much. engineer_comp_geek does most of the heavy lifting regarding spam, but I believe he's a robot, so that's OK.
  #12  
Old 04-25-2019, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TubaDiva View Post
You know, of course, that banning entire countries was the Lynn Bodoni Method of dealing with spammers? She didn't quite ban an entire continent but she had some ideas on the subject.

I once accidentally banned an entire company coast to coast; they ran all their internet access nationwide out of a server at company headquarters. I was only after one problem child and wound up denying access to approximately 50,000 people. I heard about that one pretty quick.

Memories ...

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Iím a Wikipedia admin. IP bans are an option there but they (we) are extremely careful about it, precisely for the reason you cited.

Though sometimes you want to ban a large organization on purpose. They banned the Church of Scientology after all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church...g_on_Wikipedia
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
Right now we're getting flooded with a low-life a-hole spammer for bouncy castles in the UK.
So, it isn't true that if I buy two bouncy castles, I get the third of equal or lesser value absolutely free?
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:50 PM
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So, it isn't true that if I buy two bouncy castles, I get the third of equal or lesser value absolutely free?
Yes, but you have to go to Tintagel to pick it up.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:03 PM
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engineer_comp_geek does most of the heavy lifting regarding spam, but I believe he's a robot, so that's OK.
I prefer the term Artificial Person myself.
  #16  
Old 04-25-2019, 09:19 PM
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Spammers are everywhere right now. I frequent a KNITTING site and they're fighting spammers right now. Spammers sign up, "friend" a regular poster and then send them a message which is usually sex talk of one variety or another. I have no idea what the purpose is. So far I haven't gotten any; I guess my knitted projects aren't sexy enough. Sigh. I think the SDMB mods and admins are doing a fabulous job sweeping spam out promptly. And some of them are in fact amusing in their ineptitude.
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Quoth Colibri:

I, and I think most of the mods, spend 99.9% of my time moderating rather than dealing with spam.
I don't know about time, per se, but spam is definitely much less effort than some other moderating tasks. If I get a post report for spam, it's easy to know what to do with it, and nuking a spammer (banning and deleting all of its posts) takes only a couple of clicks. But when the report is something like "Tempers are getting heated in this thread", I have to go in, read through the whole thread (or at least, a good fraction of it), decide if there's actually a problem, decide if the thread can be salvaged, figure out who or what is the root of the problem, decide if any disciplinary action is needed (and if so, what), and figure out how best to get the thread back on track. That's a lot more complicated than just clicking on "delete post as spam".
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:38 AM
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You know that the vast majority of the SDMB's new members are active or sleeper spammer accounts, right?.
And maybe the rest of us are just undertaking an elaborate, 1920s-style "deep spam".
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:15 AM
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I think the SDMB mods and admins are doing a fabulous job sweeping spam out promptly. And some of them are in fact amusing in their ineptitude.
Dear kayT,

As you are no doubt aware, one of the pitfalls of the English language that besets us from time to time is the ambiguity of a pronoun's referent. This can lead to unfortunate mistaken interpretations that can cause unintended amusement or sometimes embarrassment.

We write, therefore, to inquire as to who, exactly, the pronoun "them" refers to in the above sentence. We trust that we will find your clarification reassuring, and that it will stem the tide of considerable ill will that some here believe you may have inadvertently created, as we're sure you can appreciate that "ineptitude" is not a title to which we willingly aspire.

Regards,
The SDMB mods and admins
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:03 PM
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Yes, but you have to go to Tintagel to pick it up.
Oh man, Tintagel Castle is not bouncy!

Lovely place. Very... cliffy.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:43 PM
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I don't know about time, per se, but spam is definitely much less effort than some other moderating tasks. If I get a post report for spam, it's easy to know what to do with it, and nuking a spammer (banning and deleting all of its posts) takes only a couple of clicks. But when the report is something like "Tempers are getting heated in this thread", I have to go in, read through the whole thread (or at least, a good fraction of it), decide if there's actually a problem, decide if the thread can be salvaged, figure out who or what is the root of the problem, decide if any disciplinary action is needed (and if so, what), and figure out how best to get the thread back on track. That's a lot more complicated than just clicking on "delete post as spam".
Also, there's a certain gratification about banning a spammer, like stepping on a roach. And you don't have to worry about a spammer starting an ATMB thread in protest, or other posters doing so to complain about the banning.

Last edited by Colibri; 04-26-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 04-26-2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
Dear kayT,

As you are no doubt aware, one of the pitfalls of the English language that besets us from time to time is the ambiguity of a pronoun's referent. This can lead to unfortunate mistaken interpretations that can cause unintended amusement or sometimes embarrassment.

We write, therefore, to inquire as to who, exactly, the pronoun "them" refers to in the above sentence. We trust that we will find your clarification reassuring, and that it will stem the tide of considerable ill will that some here believe you may have inadvertently created, as we're sure you can appreciate that "ineptitude" is not a title to which we willingly aspire.

Regards,
The SDMB mods and admins
Didn't seem to bother any of the mods and admins. Which does not include you apparently. Sorry if it wasn't clear that the referent was the closest noun. Unless you don't think "spam" is a person. Well, maybe not. OK you win, the ineptitude is mine. Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:01 PM
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Hey, wolfpup, who you callin' a referent?
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