Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Discuss the policies of ePlaya here.

Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:16 pm

Actually, I'ms a semi-retired mod who still has access and a will to spam whack.

I delete dozens of the bastard posts daily, but cannot touch the users.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Here and there » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:49 pm

I had guessed as much. I couldn't picture you leaving somebody like that on the board, by choice.

This has to be a nuisance. Tossing out one possible suggestion, which I haven't thought through, so take it for what it's worth - having ePlaya membership be by invitation, only. Invitations could only be issued by those who had posted at least 100 times, or by recognized members of the community (members of the LLC, camp directors, etc.). Let's say, when one hits the 100 post mark, one gets three points. Every time one of the people one invites gets thrown off the board, one loses a point. When one is out of points, one can no longer issue invitations, until one has earned them back. One would earn them back by volunteer work, including spam flagging duty, after one's next hundred posts.

The point would be that while making a mistake and inviting the wrong person shouldn't be the end for a member of ePlaya - we all make mistakes - it should be at least a little bit of a nuisance, in order to deter people from just randomly inviting strangers in order to be "nice". Nobody who has to help pick up trash is going to be too thrilled with the people doing the littering after a while, right? Also, there would be some virtue into forcing people to invest a little time before getting those invitations, so that the spammers couldn't just create a swarm of new identities in anticipation of the policy change, and invite themselves in with ease. Picture somebody inviting in a few of his alter egos, and then using each of these to invite in a small swarm of his other alter egos, and have those secondary socks do the spamming for him.

To require 400 posts or a thousand would protect the forum against that even more, but one does want to be able to have people bring their friends without an absolutely impossible amount of work, so I'm thinking that 100 posts would offer a reasonable compromise between the desire to achieve a little control over the flow of spammers into the forum, and the desire of the members to not collapse. Just a thought.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:35 pm

You do realize we had over 1900 new users when the tickets sold out? Most of whom are one post wonders. Overall, the mods don't want to be gatekeepers too.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Eric » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:43 pm

Here and there wrote:which I haven't thought through, so take it for what it's worth - having ePlaya membership be by invitation, only. Invitations could only be issued by those who had posted at least 100 times, or by recognized members of the community (members of the LLC, camp directors, etc.).


I would never have been able to join the board under those conditions (for better or worse)- I had just gone to my first Burn & didn't know a single person on here. Did you when you joined?

Until the MnG last year I still only knew most of the people on here by posting & PM's. That's the case for most people- and isn't a big part of the reason we're here to help people with questions? Anybody should be able to join, unless they're a spambot. Do we still have the "you need to enter the 3 word of the second sentence" or whatever thing for new sign-ups?

Back to your regular Spam thread...
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Here and there » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:51 pm

Eric wrote:Did you when you joined?


Yes, I did, and I knew my local coordinator and a camp director, as well, both of whom were recognized members of the community and either of whom could have vouched for the fact that I wasn't a spammer. Thank you for asking.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Here and there » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:56 pm

AntiM wrote:You do realize we had over 1900 new users when the tickets sold out? Most of whom are one post wonders.


And so, if they had never joined, would not have been much of a loss.

AntiM wrote:Overall, the mods don't want to be gatekeepers too.


They wouldn't be asked to be. The 1900 one post wonders of whom you speak, not having met the 100 post minimum, would not have any invites to give, and so wouldn't be producing any new members for you to screen or keep an eye on.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Here and there » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:11 pm

Here and there wrote:
Eric wrote:Did you when you joined?


Yes, I did, and I knew my local coordinator and a camp director, as well, both of whom were recognized members of the community and either of whom could have vouched for the fact that I wasn't a spammer. Thank you for asking.


Oh, and I might add - if the answer to your question had been "no", which I'm guessing that you were hoping that it would be, the relevance of this would be ... what? Certainly, I wouldn't have been prevented from ever getting on the board. I'd just have found an additional motivation to go to local events, and meet and get to know recognized members of the community (eg. the local coordinator), who I could then ask to vouch for me by sending me that invitation, after they'd gotten to know me and I had earned their trust. Isn't this the sort of thing that one is supposed to be doing, anyway, as a member of a community that is centered around participation? At most, I would have been denied the immediate gratification of being able to sign up at will, and if the lack of immediate gratification is a deal breaker for somebody, is Burning Man likely to be an experience that is going to work for him, anyway? Isn't dealing with a little frustration part of the package deal that is that experience?

So, who are we going to lose? The people who can't get out of their houses? The people who nobody will ever trust?
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby trilobyte » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:28 pm

Actually, today we broke the 2000 mark (new members since tickets sold out). And now at 2900 new members since the beginning of July (the busy season). Last year, the July/August busy season was ePlaya's biggest new user gain ever - just under 2000 new users.

We do need to figure some things out, not only because moderating and managing the board needs to be easier and less painful, but because when the spammy phisherbots hit fever pitch the boards bog down and become nearly useless in no time. I'd love to be able to make some promises or outline specific plans of things that will happen in the very near future, but I can't. The event starts in three weeks, and the limited resources and bandwidth that anybody has (myself included) is near the point of being nonexistent. But ePlaya is important, and I've got a meeting at BMHQ later this week to try and raise a few issues and see what we can do.

What I really don't want to see is setting up barriers that can make it difficult or impossible for a total newbie to join the site. The invitation idea has some merit, but I think it could end up excluding some non-spammers, and I don't think we want that. Hopefully we can come up with some ways to tighten up the new user signup process so fewer bots can get through, and then sort out some ways to attack those that do at the account level.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:02 pm

I didn't know anyone when I signed up.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Here and there » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:12 pm

trilobyte wrote:Hopefully we can come up with some ways to tighten up the new user signup process so fewer bots can get through, and then sort out some ways to attack those that do at the account level.


Lost cause, for reasons familiar to anybody who has ever seen the IP addresses for those spamming a blog. A good many of them indicate the use of servers located in soft currency countries. The spammers don't need to use bots. They just need to outsource.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby trilobyte » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:41 pm

I'd rather let in spammers than exclude people because they didn't know someone.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Here and there » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:10 pm

Image


Lost cause, for reasons familiar to anybody who has ever seen the IP addresses for those spamming a blog.



But honestly, I'm done caring. The primary function of this board seems to be to provide a place for people to clutch at straws looking for excuses to not do things and to not let anybody else get anything done, and to create a disruption to keep others from listening, when their rationalizations are debunked. I already knew that before. I should have remembered.

My bad. Talking about how to get something done in a den of slack run by potheads for potheads, as if I had never met a pothead, and didn't know what to expect from their kind - and then trying to talk to them as if they were adults whose intelligence was worth respecting? Where was that supposed to lead? No, these people were precisely what I should have expected them to be. Good for entertainment value, sometimes, but nothing more.



I'd rather let in spammers than exclude people because they didn't know someone.



Point already addressed, Trilobyte, but of course, you'll never understand that, because you can't. I've been condemning you for being a troll, when perhaps this is the best you can do. I might as well have walked into the little friends and yelled at them for not paying attention during a discussion of ... but you wouldn't get the reference, would you? "Science", let's just say "science", and leave it at that. This was cruelty on my part. Not deliberate - I really and truly did believe that you could function on the level that I was asking of you - but certainly negligence on my part. The signs were all there. I just failed to look. Sorry about that.

From now on, I'll try to remember to just post pretty pictures and videos to this board, and not ask so much of the people on it. Maybe a few recipes, if they don't seem to be confusing people too much. I think that will be good for some of you, and again, so very sorry.





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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Eric » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:19 pm

Here and there wrote:Point already addressed, Trilobyte, but of course, you'll never understand that, because you can't. I've been condemning you for being a troll, when perhaps this is the best you can do. I might as well have walked into the little friends and yelled at them for not paying attention during a discussion of ... but you wouldn't get the reference, would you? "Science", let's just say "science", and leave it at that. This was cruelty on my part. Not deliberate - I really and truly did believe that you could function on the level that I was asking of you - but certainly negligence on my part. The signs were all there. I just failed to look. Sorry about that.


Man, I forgot what a worthless, belligerent, arrogant little pseudo-intellectual troll you are. Of course you're the only person on the board with intelligence, so I'll just re-plonk you like I had you on the old board & we'll both be better off.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby trilobyte » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:37 pm

You're cute, too.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby capjbadger » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:12 am

Eric wrote:
Here and there wrote:Point already addressed, Trilobyte, but of course, you'll never understand that, because you can't. I've been condemning you for being a troll, when perhaps this is the best you can do. I might as well have walked into the little friends and yelled at them for not paying attention during a discussion of ... but you wouldn't get the reference, would you? "Science", let's just say "science", and leave it at that. This was cruelty on my part. Not deliberate - I really and truly did believe that you could function on the level that I was asking of you - but certainly negligence on my part. The signs were all there. I just failed to look. Sorry about that.


Man, I forgot what a worthless, belligerent, arrogant little pseudo-intellectual troll you are. Of course you're the only person on the board with intelligence, so I'll just re-plonk you like I had you on the old board & we'll both be better off.

...damn. I had forgotten too. 0_0

*plonk*

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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby capjbadger » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:21 am

The answers are easy. I know this since I dealt with this exact same problem ever since CAPTCHA was broken arond New Years 2011.

However... I had Admin level access. As "simple" Mods, you cannot do what needs to be done. :|

Trilo, if you want the full rundown (for your meeting this week) of what I did to solve this problem, I'll type it up for you in a PM. I've posted it before around here, but it appears the Admins are too "busy" to put simple solutions into action. :x

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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby shroom » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:54 am

I'm glad we have mods to take care of the spam, but really wish they had power to boot users. The spam users or spambots are a bit much right now.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Laf' » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:59 am

btw, I got a spam PM today.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby AntiM » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:09 am

Yeah, we can't get at them.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby shroom » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:23 am

Laf' wrote:btw, I got a spam PM today.

that is terrible!
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby jkisha » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:28 am

Now that's an understatement if there ever was one. I logged in at 4AM this morning and there were literally THREE PAGES of spam, all but one post was by users I have FOE'd. Among those three pages, there were maybe five real posts. This is NOT an exaggeration.
shroom wrote:I'm glad we have mods to take care of the spam, but really wish they had power to boot users. The spam users or spambots are a bit much right now.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby AntiM » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:34 am

jkisha wrote:Now that's an understatement if there ever was one. I logged in at 4AM this morning and there were literally THREE PAGES of spam, all but one post was by users I have FOE'd. Among those three pages, there were maybe five real posts. This is NOT an exaggeration.
shroom wrote:I'm glad we have mods to take care of the spam, but really wish they had power to boot users. The spam users or spambots are a bit much right now.


Yes, I rather noticed that myself this morning.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby trilobyte » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:41 am

Imagine how bad it would have been if I had gone to bed at a normal hour, instead of staying up playing whack-a-mole with hronchik til 2ish...
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby jkisha » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:28 am

Interesting, just when the Ticket threads are starting to subside a bit, the spam is taking over the board. :(
trilobyte wrote:Imagine how bad it would have been if I had gone to bed at a normal hour, instead of staying up playing whack-a-mole with hronchik til 2ish...
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Igneouss » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:31 am

trilobyte wrote:Imagine how bad it would have been if I had gone to bed at a normal hour, instead of staying up playing whack-a-mole with hronchik til 2ish...


It's a bummer that you do not have the authority to delete/block the offending accounts.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby jkisha » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:34 am

Yup he or any of the other mods could have permissions upgraded to admin and be able to delete accounts and the situation would be greatly improved immediately. Then after the event, hopefully, someone from IT will have time to install the modules to block spam automatically.
Igneouss wrote:
trilobyte wrote:Imagine how bad it would have been if I had gone to bed at a normal hour, instead of staying up playing whack-a-mole with hronchik til 2ish...


It's a bummer that you do not have the authority to delete/block the offending accounts.
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:36 am

jkisha wrote:Yup he or any of the other mods could have permissions upgraded to admin and be able to delete accounts and the situation would be greatly improved immediately. Then after the event, someone from IT will have time, hopefully, to install the modules to block spam automatically.
Igneouss wrote:
trilobyte wrote:Imagine how bad it would have been if I had gone to bed at a normal hour, instead of staying up playing whack-a-mole with hronchik til 2ish...


It's a bummer that you do not have the authority to delete/block the offending accounts.


It's a pity that we're not going to see a permanent solution until after the event. Eplaya is much more useful and more heavily used, before the event. After the event, I am not sure anyone will notice of care.

Just sayin'. :)
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby knowmad » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:37 pm

<poof>

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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby trilobyte » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:57 pm

That's a newer form of spambot, from what we've been finding. Bots on the prowl, scouring the boards for various keywords, and then replying with contextual adverts - either blatant spam, or something actually related to what's being discussed, then with an ad link in the post or the signature. Diabolical bastards, I tell you!
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Re: Death to Spammers, Phishers etc.

Postby trilobyte » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:03 pm

Oops, and belated response to jkisha & Ugly Dougly's earlier posts, we did make some significant changes which I think had a positive impact to the site. And yes, we know the site is more heavily used before Burning Man than it is after. Sadly, without infinite resources at our disposal, we can't get to everything beforehand.

Flag 'em if you see 'em, then move on.
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