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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SamG
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by SamG »

Eelke wrote: I think you misinterpreted that slightly.
That, I regret, is entirely possible. Here's a key paragraph in terms of how I'm looking at the spam issue for our purposes in this discussion:
Sam the Spammer wrote: Here's why [Sam spams]. When Sam spams tons of blogs and sites with links to his sites - which are affiliates of bigger PPC sites - people see the links and, seeking some porn, pills or casino action, click through to his site, and from there to the parent site, which pays Sam for each person landing there. The PPC sites can see revenues of £100,000 to £200,000 per month, says Sam. He gets a slice of that - and he wants it to stay that way.
I'm not saying this is Sam's only revenue stream (though I think I did say that he's not concerned about pagerank, which isn't true: "They usually target comments to old posts, so they won't show up to people reading the latest ones, though search engine spiders will spot them and index them."), but as an affiliate, he doesn't need to use pagerank alone. I think. In any case, nofollow would have zero effect on the process outlined in the above paragraph, which is what I was driving at.

Note also that he distinguishes himself from e-mail spammers by a technicality, not by an entirely different marketing agenda.
Eelke wrote: That's why I said Olympus needs to be sufficiently different from phpBB2 (so that automated spamming scripts break) for this to work out.
I'm discounting this because "[w]hen a new blog format appears, it can take less than ten minutes to work out how to comment spam it. Write a couple of hundred lines of terminal script, and the spam can begin." Additionally, neither WordPress 1.5 nor WordPress 2.0 have found themselves immune from comment spam on the strength of nofollow alone, and it was with the rollout of WordPress MU/2.0 that WordPress as an organization implemented Akismet.
Xau
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Xau »

What about the People who just register, to have their WWW link show...

what i personally do about that is completly remove the WWW for everyone... not the best thing...
what i would love to see and this may help everyone.. is a variable that the webmaster can choose how many posts
before a link shows... This can remove help slow a form of abuse.

The only way to stop people abusing the forums with links to sites just to increase their visability is simply to have good moderators... There isnt a good preventive thing for this, only a reactive. unless you put an option to follow certain peoples links, but then that would be a nightmare to admin, for the larger boards...

Xau
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

SamG: As you say yourselve (I think? somewhere?) we're not arguing whether this nofollow-thing is going to solve all comment spam, because we all know it won't. There's other incentives apart from pagerank, there's spammers that are either too fast with adapting their scripts before realising spamming 3.x will not do their pagerank any good, and spammers that are either too stupid or too uninterested to realise it.

All I'm arguing is that if it's to have any effect at all, the nofollow should be introduced with the first release of Olympus, and Olympus will need to be incompatible with existing automated scripts. That's not to say that existing scripts will not be adapted or new ones created, but it may just make a difference.

The phpBB developers may decide the anticipated difference is not worth the effort of including the nofollow in strategic places, but if they don't do it now, they should not anticipate doing it later. This is not a "feature" that can be post-poned to the next release, because it will be completely useless by then (because spammers will be happily firing away at 3.x boards by then, and they won't stop just because the latest release has nofollow).

Lastly, in all honesty:

people see the links and [..] click through to his site

I did forget this one, I was too lazy to go back and check the article, I thought I remembered what he had said about click-throughs :) So, we're both right, kind of :)
marosell
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by marosell »

With the email confirmation, before its confirmed, does the username still appear on the memberlist?
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

I don't think it does, but then I have a fair number of spam registrations that are activated; automating the activation is no rocket science.

I personally would like the current email confirmation combined with a notice to the admin for every new registration.
SamG
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by SamG »

Eelke wrote: SamG: As you say yourselve (I think? somewhere?) we're not arguing whether this nofollow-thing is going to solve all comment spam, because we all know it won't.
Well, I did get the impression that some were arguing that pagerank was the only significant incentive to spam, but perhaps I got lost somewhere in the discussion. My point has just been that nofollow might help most with spam registrations, least with spam posts/replies. Since I think of permissions as the more elegant solution to the spam registrations, I just think nofollow is best reserved for solving other problems. But it's not something I'd care to argue too hard over. :)
Eelke wrote: So, we're both right, kind of
Yes, I think so :) . I also think we really agree on this more than it sounds like we do.

EDIT: This is interesting.
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EXreaction
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by EXreaction »

Hey guys, this is going a little off topic...but I have been working on an awsome anti spam MOD for phpBB2. :mrgreen:
http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=399374" target="_blank
It's still in beta, but I think its ready for a RC1. I could use a few other bug testers if anyone wants to try it out. 8)
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Highway of Life
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Highway of Life »

So am I correct in assuming with Sam the Spammer, that it's not all about pagerank, but about users actually visiting the blog and clicking through.... correct?
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

That's an important other factor besides pagerank, yes. Same motivation as for sending email-spam, really.
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Highway of Life
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Highway of Life »

Eelke wrote: That's an important other factor besides pagerank, yes. Same motivation as for sending email-spam, really.

At the request of Eelke, I'm posting in this topic instead of the other one.

Eelke, I was thinking about this and thought that perhaps the new Events system in 3.2(?) would enable you to disable the use of BBCode and URLs in user's posts if they have not posted more than x times.
So a spambot or spam person would not be able to post ANY links at all until they reached the x limit.
I think this would greatly reduce the amount of spam a board might get, and in addition, decrease the number of posts the head to the Moderator Queue.

On the other hand, you could always MOD in a Newbie Group MOD, like I am, to create a group that users automatically get placed in when they register, and once they reach x posts, are able to use BBCodes and URLs.
I'm sure that will be a MOD for phpBB3.0 (as 3.2/4 will have the Events system that should handle this)
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