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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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16,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As you are all well aware, we have been getting a huge amount of spam lately. This must be automated somehow, despite the "human verification" system on the registration screen. This is the little app that shows a short advert and asks you to enter "Progressive Insurance" or whatnot. What I didn't know before was that this verification could be bypassed by using an SMS verification instead. This must be how the spammers are doing it, getting an SMS sent to a cell phone, so I have disabled the SMS option on the registration screen. The only way to get verified now is with a valid email address, and clicking a link in the email.

If this doesn't work, I'm thinking of moderating new users. This will prevent their first post from showing up until one of us approves it. What do y'all think about that?
 

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Super Moderator
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Yeah, the spammers have an automated feel to them. Legit members use a name that at least makes sense somehow not just 8-10 scrambled lowercase letters that seem to come from a random letter generator. The other thing they have in common is posting a link, not something a legit new user would normally do on a first post.
I'd say try your non-SMS fix first or prohibit links in initial posts.
But since we probably have more new members than spammers (you probably have the data on that) pre-approving them all would probably be more work for us (and discouraging for legit applicants) than even the current situation.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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16,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, and I tried blocking the spammers IP addresses, but they must be spoofing because they are from all over. I have no way to stop new users from posting links, so moderating them would be a last resort.
 

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Super Moderator
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If we go the moderating route it could be fairly quick & easy. If the current pattern continues with just a glance we could let thru any that don't have 1) an alphabet soup name, 2) a nonsense or non-automotive title, and 3) a link. Let the rest thru w/o study and catch any "smarter" spammers later as we spot them or they get reported.
 

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Super Moderator
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11,507 Posts
These type of spammers usually come in waves......quite a few daily then a lull. I'm hoping for the lull to happen soon. I am not in favor of moderating every newbies first post unless it becomes absolutely necessary. After all they are not hacking the site making it unusable, merely being an irritant & spammer.
 

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The only way to get verified now is with a valid email address, and clicking a link in the email.
That's exactly how Craigslist does it every time I post something and it doesn't bother me at all. If it did I'd join CL but that's just another PW to forget.

Question, could spammers post as Guests w/o joining?
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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16,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's exactly how Craigslist does it every time I post something and it doesn't bother me at all. If it did I'd join CL but that's just another PW to forget.

Question, could spammers post as Guests w/o joining?
They could, when the new owners implemented a "sign in with your Facebook account" option which they failed to tell me about. Suddenly we were getting all these "guest" posts from non-existent users. I put a stop to that.

Looks like disabling the SMS user verification has stopped the onslaught of streaming sports spammers for now.
 

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Super Moderator
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Great catch. Nice of them to clue you in when they change things (sarcasm).
 

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Super Moderator
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Weekend onslaught??

I wonder if we'll see an onslaught of NFL & World Series spam today.
If so maybe use Mod approval just on weekends.
I see two legit new members that would have had to been approved this weekend.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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16,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, I've had enough. We are now moderating new users. They will not be able to post without being verified by one of us. Let's see how this works.
 

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Super Moderator
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Worth a try. Certainly will look cleaner to our current members. How will the verifications come to us and be approved?
 

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Super Moderator
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Same here...how does this work? Do we all get the same emails as we do now when something is reported?
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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16,930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Same here...how does this work? Do we all get the same emails as we do now when something is reported?
I just tried it by registering as a new user. It looks like the only way to verify or deny new users is from the Admin control panel. I already denied 2 from Russia and 1 from Luxembourg.
 

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Super Moderator
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Wow that puts it all on you as I'm not at all familiar with admin.
May let it run "normally" weekdays.
Possibly contact Quickdtoo who says he's done that level work.
And didn't Tex have that level a while ago.
 

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Super Moderator
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Well James it appears it's all on you for this way of doing things. All that Dyno & I can do is delete & ban what we come across. Not ideal since you are now back to full time work + overtime.
 

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Super Moderator
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Yeah I've done 9 today, two of which were after James said he was going to Admin approval. Musta changed back. Okay with me, I kinda like vaporizing them. But I don't see the need to file a report each time since who did it is listed with the deleted thread.
 

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Letting the others know that the problem has been taken care of is only necessary if someone other than mods has reported it. Then all of us know that it has been handled and no further action is required. If you spot spam on your own and it has not been reported yet then just do the B&D.
 

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Super Moderator
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Makes sense. If you get a Reported Post email with no reply you don't know which "Thread Deleted by (Moderator)" it applies to and t/f if it's been taken care of. But if it hasn't been reported yet no email needs to go out.
 

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Super Moderator
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I see the two new Moderated threads and responded to one, but when I sign out they don't come up. Does that mean other members can't see them? Or they need their responses moderated? Also the "Replies" counter stayed at 0.
 

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Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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16,930 Posts
I see the two new Moderated threads and responded to one, but when I sign out they don't come up. Does that mean other members can't see them? Or they need their responses moderated? Also the "Replies" counter stayed at 0.
Yes, new users are now moderated. If you see a moderated thread and it's legit, you need to check the box and then select "Approve Thread" from the drop down menu. You can approve multiple threads this way, but make sure they aren't spam first. After 5 posts, the user isn't moderated anymore.
 
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