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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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

Usually, it's pretty easy to tell what are legitimate links as opposed to spam links without actually clicking the link. I'd say that's just part of every day moderation, cleaning up any spam messages that end up on the board. If you arganized your board well, I don't think the size of the board is very relevant, because you'd have a number of moderators relative to the size of your board.
Lieutenant Clone
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Lieutenant Clone »

Lets put it like this. Its extra work, that with this 'fix' so to speack, would take away that extra worry.

Besides there are those sites that are not that careful, are short on mods, or mabey dont care. Those boards will become spam havens and will be increasing spammers page ranks....
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Highway of Life
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Highway of Life »

Traditionally Google and Yahoo have not held forum links in high esteem. Those links hold less value to Google and Yahoo.

However, the problem mostly lies with the MSN search engine, it ranks forum links much higher than all the other search engines, and this is where the trouble of spam-site page rank comes from.

The other thing is that a lagit site will gain higher page-rank than a non-lagit spam-type site, since Google (at least) is pretty good at filtering out spam-sites.
And of course we have the added bonus of not letting (guest) bots the ability to post, without at least Mod approval, of course, this as all things, depends on the IQ of the board Admin to make sure Guests can't post by default, and that certain things are limited and moderated correctly.
Usually, if a board get's enough traffic to warrant search spiders frequent or relevent visits, it's usually Moderated, or at least monitored pretty well.
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Lieutenant Clone
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Lieutenant Clone »

I dont know about you, but personally I like to let guests post. I find it very frusterating to need to go through a big signup and verify by email in order to post a small post of thanks or something on a forum I found useful, that I will probably never post on again. And in these times, I usually just leave instead of making my post.

Im sure others have their own reasons to leave it open to guests.

Id say its better to do the rel="nofollow" than not. You cant just mod it in, it will have no affect on spammers. they wont stop to look at your source if they assume all phpbb boards dont have the tag. However if you really dont want that on there, you can mod out the tag, and your good to go.
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SamG
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by SamG »

Not to drag this out, but I think it's unfortunate that VxJasonxV's comment is getting lost. He's certainly not the only one (for example) arguing his case, for what it's worth.

Google is interested in Google and the quality of its search product, not in the level of spam in our forums and blogs.
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Lieutenant Clone »

That link you posted is one of the weakest arguments Ive ever heard. Saying that spammers dont care if their links get tagged with rel="nofollow" is rediculous. If they know that every phpBB board on the net uses them, and there is no way around it, and that because of it the links will not count for their pagerank, then would they choose to spam a phpbb board, or a differnt software witout rel="nofollow" ?

See thats the thing, it has to be either all or nothing, mods wont cut it. Ofcourse your not going to "search" for a page without rel="nofollow" persay, but if its general knowlege that all phpBB installs use this, that will make a huge difference.

And besides, all I hear from you is why it could be bad, instead of a benifit of not using it. Because if there is a possible benifit of adapting it, but no clear benifits of not, well then it only makes sense to give it a go right?
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SamG
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by SamG »

It's really not so weak as you suggest. The essence of it is that WordPress, which has used the nofollow attribute automatically since v1.5, is still targeted, hence the popularity of other approaches in the WordPress community.

I suggest you read especially "Sam's" comments, if you haven't already, before just dismissing all this as weak.

And you'll never find me saying we shouldn't use nofollow. I said it's my least favorite spam control idea for a forum product like phpBB.
Lieutenant Clone
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Lieutenant Clone »

Well if we take all our least favorites and put them together, we might have something that works :P .

And I read that whole page top to bottom, and heartily dissagree.
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

Sam's (the one on the Register, not SamG) argument is that the nofollow attribute will not ban out comment spam because old installations will not get updated.

So be it, but what is our goal? To completely stop comment spam? Or to stop our boards from being targeted? Although the former would be a nice side-effect, I think we can agree that it's undoable and it's in fact the latter most of us are interested in. Sam's argument was a generic one, basically stating the nofollow attribute wouldn't put him out of business by a long shot. That doesn't mean it couldn't benefit individual installations, and especially it doesn't mean it couldn't benefit users of a package such as phpBB, if the package uses the nofollow attribute by default. I think that interview does nothing to render mute the argument that if all Olympus installations by default put the nofollow attribute, Olympus installations will be targeted less by comment spammers.

What I would be interested in is that point about WordPress using the same strategy, and failing at it (can't remember where I saw it). I'd be especially interested in how comparable the situations are at key points, such as the fact that Olympus is essentially a completely new product*, while apparently Wordpress introduced the nofollow attribute somewhere in a minor release (1.5), presumably leaving the general way of placing comments identical to previous installations. That makes the Wordpress situation a lot more comparable to leaving this nofollow thing as a mod to Olympus, because it means some installation do have the nofollow attribute, but others do not. In fact, that is what this quote is about:
http://www.semiologic.com/2005/02/05/prepare-for-more-comment-spam-not-less/ wrote: Then, notice he compiles target lists "by searching for sites with keywords such as 'Wordpress', 'Movable Type' and 'Blogger'", and not "by searching for (…) 'Wordpress' (…) without the rel=nofollow attribute." And you're fully aware, of course, that spammers seldom bother cleaning their databases up.
If anything, that's a compelling argument that if phpBB wants to adopt this, it needs to do it now, with a significantly different release, and not wait until a later release, or leave it for modders, because in that case it will do nothing. The "damage" will be done.

*: With Olympus being a new product, I am assuming that it will break automated scripts that place comments designed for 2.0.x. If it doesn't, the whole argument becomes mute, so it does become comparable to Wordpress introducing it somewhere along the way. Or alternatively, if you are willing to adopt this solution, do make sure that automated posting for 2.0.x will not work on Olympus.
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Highway of Life
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Highway of Life »

Hmm... there are not very many SEO experts in here. :(

I would not like the nofollow attribute in my installation.
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