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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Quadrille
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Quadrille »

I am posting in this thread, as later theads all refer to it (and mostly depracate 'repeating this discussion'). I hope that's OK.

As we all know, there is no ONE WAY to stop forum spam, but ALL the major search ebgines (with Google in the lead, in this instance), have agreed that it helps them, and by extension, quality sites in theor indexes, for blogs, forums etc., to use nofollow.

While no-one believes this will stop forum spam overnight (two years and counting!), it will, if enough people do it, reduce the incentive for spammers.

It is worth noting that most of the 'leading brands' do this - either for signature files or for all outgoing links - and I believe it would enhance the standing of this program to do it too.

Plus I'd like to use it on my forums, as I like to practice what I preach!

I have to admit I really do not understand the objections written here, so I cannot debate them - but I recognise that they exist.

Therefore, I'd ask for 'nofollow' to be "deselectable" at the next upgrade, rather than mandatory. I don't think it's the 'best' solution, but for many of us, it is better than no nofollow at all.

Thanks, ~Q
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EXreaction
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by EXreaction »

It has already been requested (actually, by me IIRC), and it was refused.
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MasterZ
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by MasterZ »

Hey EXreaction, how are you doing? I use your Anti Spam mod on my forum and it works great. Can't wait until you come up with one for version 3, because it's only a matter of time before spammers break the captcha.
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

Quadrille wrote: While no-one believes this will stop forum spam overnight (two years and counting!), it will, if enough people do it, reduce the incentive for spammers.

It will, but at what cost? I personally believe that what should count is why search engines follow links; to find more worthwhile information (and I presume that Google, for example, which assigns value to the number of links a certain page gets from other pages, does not include links with the nofollow attribute in that statistic either).
It is worth noting that most of the 'leading brands' do this - either for signature files or for all outgoing links - and I believe it would enhance the standing of this program to do it too.

I don't really see the point behind this reasoning. Has your mother never asked you, if your friends jump off a bridge, will you jump off it too? ;) However, following my above reasoning, I believe the nofollow attribute makes sense for signatures and the homepage profile field. These produce links that are repeated often (because they are displayed with each post the user makes), and not because someone elects to place that link each and every time, but only because the user elected to put a link to their homepage once. The fact the link is created many times just means the person posts a lot, not that the contents of their homepage becomes any more worthwhile .

If, on the other hand, a genuine user (as opposed to a spam user) decides to link to some information in the text of one of their posts, we can assume the information linked to is worthwhile (in whichever context it is placed), because it somehow contributes to the thread. To put the nofollow attribute there I think is too much of a kneefall towards spammers. Having said that, this also means there needs to be active moderation to get rid of junk that is not worthwhile. So, that means it may be a good idea for this to be controllable through some setting that is on by default; board administrators that bother to turn off the setting (i.e. they understand what it's about) will probably also bother to get a sound moderation procedure in place. (I think I just repeated an argument I have made before...)
Plus I'd like to use it on my forums, as I like to practice what I preach!

That's no problem, I would say it's a rather straightforward modication, it's probably even limited to template stuff. I just think it becomes a very theoretical thing when individual board administrators start doing this, as opposed to the package doing this by default.
Quadrille
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Quadrille »

Weirdly, SEs DO follow nofollow links; they just do not give 'credit' - this works on the basis that the webmaster has not recommended the link; but in the interests of finding new sites, spiders will go.

You'll notice that forums using 'nofollow' tend to get a visible page rank on individual threads, rather than the gray bar I see here. Google, at least, recognises 'noncompliant' forum software.

That means that ALL links from the forum are being discounted (ie do not count towards receiving site's ranking), not just the nofollow ones in compliant forums.

A bit of a raw deal for phpbb users - but your choice, by the sound of it.
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Eelke
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Eelke »

Interesting. That would mean there actually is merit in this for individual site administrators. I think I will at some point make a modification so that it works as I described above, then (nofollow on signature and profile URLs).
Martin Blank
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Martin Blank »

Even with anti-spam measures, I'm unlikely to ever go back to allowing new users to go straight in. There's a small chance that I may do this with a group for unverified users who are moderated on all posts until we're convinced they're not bots, but as long as I have an easy way to review (and delete) new users, I'm relatively happy.
You can never go home again... but I guess you can shop there.
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EXreaction
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by EXreaction »

MasterZ wrote: Hey EXreaction, how are you doing? I use your Anti Spam mod on my forum and it works great. Can't wait until you come up with one for version 3, because it's only a matter of time before spammers break the captcha.


I don't think I am going to do a mod for phpBB3 related to spam. At least, I have no plans for one right now.
Eelke wrote: Interesting. That would mean there actually is merit in this for individual site administrators. I think I will at some point make a modification so that it works as I described above, then (nofollow on signature and profile URLs).


That wouldn't really help. Spammers will still spam your site whether you have nofollow or not as long as the majority does not have no follow, because they won't know that you do have no follow set.

The only way something like this would work is if it was set that way on all boards.
marosell
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by marosell »

I think it's a great idea to have it in signatures and profiles, but ONLY in signatures and profiles, and on every board.

Is there a disadvantage?
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Highway of Life
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Re: A way to help stop spammers?

Post by Highway of Life »

EXreaction wrote: That wouldn't really help. Spammers will still spam your site whether you have nofollow or not as long as the majority does not have no follow, because they won't know that you do have no follow set.

The only way something like this would work is if it was set that way on all boards.
And even then, it won’t stop spammers from spamming your boards. -- They don’t stop spamming certain blog software (WordPress?), even though all external links are all set to nofollow.
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