Report Spam Users

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Pony99CA
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Report Spam Users

Post by Pony99CA » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:03 am

There should be a way to report spam users even if they haven't posted. For example, on the board today, I saw birthdays for the following two suspicious names -- vaginaplastyg (really?) and Ikdl4jSmduq. I checked both profiles and they joined well over a year ago and have no posts, so I suspect that they are (or were) spammers.

Adding a Report spam user feature to the user profile would allow reporting these accounts easily. It could be in the same place where the Administer user link goes for Admins.

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MichaelC
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Re: Report Spam Users

Post by MichaelC » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:35 am

-1. A lot of these spam users register but never do anything and letting them sit there has no disadvantage (Unless your concerned by the disk space taken up by a row in a users table?). It's not spam users that are problematic, it's spam posts.
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Re: Report Spam Users

Post by VSE » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:59 am

MichaelC wrote:-1. A lot of these spam users register but never do anything and letting them sit there has no disadvantage (Unless your concerned by the disk space taken up by a row in a users table?). It's not spam users that are problematic, it's spam posts.
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Pony99CA
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Re: Report Spam Users

Post by Pony99CA » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:46 pm

MichaelC wrote:-1. A lot of these spam users register but never do anything and letting them sit there has no disadvantage (Unless your concerned by the disk space taken up by a row in a users table?). It's not spam users that are problematic, it's spam posts.
Not true in several ways. Here are a few (roughly in order on importance):
  • They can include links in their profiles to spam or malware sites via the Web site or signature fields (perhaps like this guy -- I didn't click his Website link).
  • They can send spam PMs to various users without moderators knowing unless somebody complains.
  • They can waste CPU resources, not just disk space, by causing more hits on the database for Member List or birthday displays.
  • They can have offensive or inappropriate names (like vaginaplasty mentioned above or underageporn.com -- not a real ID as far as I know).
The above obviously depend on various board settings, but the fact that these have to be explained to somebody on the Website team is a bit worrisome.

I realize that most people probably won't see these users unless they send spam PMs or people check things like the Member List or birthdays, but why would you not want an easy way to report them? You can't have spam posts without spam users (unless you define "spam" like phpBB.com does :D).

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DavidIQ
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Re: Report Spam Users

Post by DavidIQ » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:37 pm

Pony99CA wrote:They can waste CPU resources, not just disk space, by causing more hits on the database for Member List or birthday displays.
You could probably eliminate this. I can't imagine someone of your technical background thinking that a user registration would somehow take up disk space or cause extra database hits when compiling the birthday or member lists. ;)

If you mean database space that is also negligible/unimportant. Probably takes what... 1-2 KB of database space for a registration? Would take many thousands if not hundreds of thousands of registrations of spam accounts to be a relevant factor.

There's probably better ways of dealing with such a problem to the point of preventing it in the first place. The birthday list could probably be adjusted so as to not include newly registered users or users with zero posts. That's a simple enough fix/change that I'm sure many would be happier with.
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Re: Report Spam Users

Post by Pony99CA » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:05 am

DavidIQ wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:They can waste CPU resources, not just disk space, by causing more hits on the database for Member List or birthday displays.
You could probably eliminate this. I can't imagine someone of your technical background thinking that a user registration would somehow take up disk space or cause extra database hits when compiling the birthday or member lists. ;)
I wasn't the one who brought up disk space; MichaelC did that. I was just pointing out that, beyond any extra database usage, there's also likely to be a CPU hit. Are you claiming that more rows in the table won't increase CPU usage when generating the Member List or birthdays? It may be negligible, but that depends on how many spammers you have. I bet that phpBB.com and Area51 have lots of spam registrations that have never posted. I wasn't even really looking and found three here in two days (without combing through the Member List).

But even if you want to ignore that point, there are still the others that I raised. And what's the downside of having a quick way to flag spam accounts?

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