A way to help stop spammers?

Discussion of general topics related to the new version and its place in the world. Don't discuss new features, report bugs, ask for support, et cetera. Don't use this to spam for other boards or attack those boards!
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Discussion of general topics related to the new release and its place in the world. Don't discuss new features, report bugs, ask for support, et cetera. Don't use this to spam for other boards or attack those boards!
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EXreaction
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by EXreaction »

spambot wrote: With permissions, you can turn off links in signatures and the ability to view profiles for bots. Same thing.
You can? 8O
Sweet! :mrgreen:

But I still think that a "rel='nofollow' " would really help. :P
(make it so that that is in effect until a user has a certian # of posts)
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I don't think pages deserve a higher pagerank just because their owner filled in their profile on a board and left their homepage URL in there. If I, as the webmaster, think a page is valuable, I'll add it to my links section, or to a page where the link is relevant, and in that case I think it is completely justified for that page to get a score for that. Or even, if a page gets mentioned in a forum post, apparently it has somekind of value to the poster. But it doesn't really make sense to me that just because the owner put their page in their profile, they get a pagerank increase for their profile page, and every post they make on the forum.

I wouldn't loose sleep over it if this was kept in, but if someone suggests that stopping homepage listings from getting a pagerank increase would reduce spam registrations (or would it simply increase spam postings?), and this is the argument not to do that, I say, bad argument, because giving homepagelistings an increased pagerank is backwards in the first place, so no harm done if noone gets credit for their homepage listing, including legitimate users.
ElbertF
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by ElbertF »

I don't agree. If millions of BB users (not web masters) post links to a certain website then the website is considered popular or important. Google just mirrors this global opinion, it's a democratic system. Same goes for signatures, I might post a link to Wikipedia in it. Why wouldn't it deserve a higher ranking?
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

Read carefully, I was talking about the homepage field in the profile. In probably 99% of all cases (disregarding spam registrations), this is someone's personal site. I don't see why they should get a pagerank bonus for filling out that field (and a bonus correlated to the amount of posts they make on the board at that, seeing as a link to their homepage is added to each of their posts).

I'd be tempted to say the same goes for signatures, but your wikipedia example makes me doubt that (although the same argument goes for that in a lesser extent as it goes for personal sites; does the site become more valuable just because someone posts a lot to discussion boards? It doesn't get added because it is relevant to the topic at hand - which is assumed for links posted manually - but because it is part of a user's signature and gets added to the page regardless of the topic).

Either way, I explicitly excluded regular posts from my statement, because I'm completely with you on that one, although I now realise I'm not sure whether the original suggestion was about adding nofollow to *all* links on the board. That might have caused the confusion, and I'm certainly not advocating that. That's also why I said, would this help to reduce spam registrations (no more advantage in having a registration with your site's URL), or would it simply increase spam posts (since posts would still get their links pageranked).

In summary, I guess I'd be in favour of the following:
- Configuration option for profile links to have nofollow, default on.
- Configuration option for signature links to have nofollow, default on.
(- Configuration option for links in post bodies to have nofollow, default off).

(The trick really is all in the defaults and the assumption most administrators would use the default settings - the point is it needs to be made unattractive to invest time for spammers to target phpBB boards).
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naderman
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by naderman »

Obviously that's a flaw in the search engine's mechanism then. It's not a website's issue how a search engine calculates how important other websites are.
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

Sure. But if a flaw in a search engine's algorithm means creating bogus registrations becomes attractive for spammers, it does become a website's issue.
SamG
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by SamG »

Eelke wrote: That's also why I said, would this help to reduce spam registrations (no more advantage in having a registration with your site's URL), or would it simply increase spam posts (since posts would still get their links pageranked).
If the blogosphere is any guide, spam posts will become the routine, I think. In that sense, spam registrations in themselves are a relatively benign problem.

At the same time, I think that there have to be multiple lines or layers of defense, so perhaps regardless of the consequences, making spam registrations useless for marketing purposes has its place (nofollow being one of my least favorite ideas for accomplshing that, but that's okay).
Lieutenant Clone
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Lieutenant Clone »

Google wrote: Q: What types of links should get this attribute?
A: We encourage you to use the rel="nofollow" attribute anywhere that users can add links by themselves, including within comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists. Comment areas receive the most attention, but securing every location where someone can add a link is the way to keep spammers at bay.
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/01/ ... -spam.html

I agree.
Anywhere a user can add a link, should not be counted. Just because someone posted it, doesnt mean its good. Now if you legitmatly add a link to your site, on say a links page, that is what needs to be counted. This is the way it was originally supposed to work. If your site is good, people will link it, thats all there is to it.

Remember: User input can never be trusted.
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

So, Google themselves are even stricter about it than I proposed above. My personal view for a discussion board would be that links in posts should count for pageranks. It is up to the moderator of the board to make sure that everything that is posted is relevant to the discussion.
Lieutenant Clone
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Lieutenant Clone »

Tell me, have you ever moderated a board with more than 10000 members (such as this one)? I havent either, but I can bet combing every single topic for links and click every one, would not be very appealing, and possibly not possible on some forums. Would it not simply be easier to just not worry about it?

And besides, I still stand with google on the subject, if a page is really worthy, then it will get linked legitimatly on links pages. Thats the way its supposed to work...
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