We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

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PROC Star
Posts: 7,363
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We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

: I've suggested this before, but I'll suggest it again.  Couldn't a small group of us serve in a volunteer role with the ability to block a spammer and, in blocking them, delete all of their posts?  Over the weekend, any real posts get totally lost among the spam.


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‎03-09-2014 09:23 PM
SAS Employee
Posts: 232

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

I totally agree with you.  Because these people are creating real profiles for the web, including responding to the email verification requirement and sometimes even creating a communities profile, there isn't much that I can do.  Anything that we put in place now will require real users of the community to experience the same restrictions.  We have some options that we investigated last year when this happened.  We will be choosing the least problematic for existing community members and that we feel is managable.  We will post information to the community as soon as we have something specific to share.

All I can do right now is keep deleting and apologizing.  To all of the people who took the time to mark some of the entries as abuse, I say "Thank You!"

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‎03-09-2014 09:23 PM
SAS Employee
Posts: 232

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

I totally agree with you.  Because these people are creating real profiles for the web, including responding to the email verification requirement and sometimes even creating a communities profile, there isn't much that I can do.  Anything that we put in place now will require real users of the community to experience the same restrictions.  We have some options that we investigated last year when this happened.  We will be choosing the least problematic for existing community members and that we feel is managable.  We will post information to the community as soon as we have something specific to share.

All I can do right now is keep deleting and apologizing.  To all of the people who took the time to mark some of the entries as abuse, I say "Thank You!"

Trusted Advisor
Posts: 1,250

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

Thanks for raising this Art and I agree. I was thinking the same as you over the weekend as I was marking entries as spam.

I'm sure the community will be happy to assist when you have some information to share Renee. Thanks for your efforts with combatting spammers.

Cheers,

Michelle

Super User
Super User
Posts: 6,502

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

Do you use Captcha on the form for new user accounts?  That is what most sites use to prevent robots from getting access.

Or you could switch to another discussion forum software tool and abandon the current "Jive Turkey" tool.

Respected Advisor
Posts: 3,899

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

I believe the pattern that separates spammers from the rest of us (even when creating a community profile) is: Newbie starting to add posts in short intervals. That's may be the ones you want to remove automatically.

If the intervals get considerably longer then spams can't render the forums unusable and we will have time enough to flag such accounts as abusive.

Else: Totally agree with Art that a small number of users could help to keep the forums clean.

SAS Employee
Posts: 232

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

Just a reminder that the entire community has the ability to mark any post as abuse, which removes it from the view of the community, removes it from any communication stream and puts it into the community manager's task stream to be evaluated and removed.  Sometimes the user is deleted, sometimes banned, and when possible the IP is banned so that new accounts at that address can't be created again.

I really appreciate all that you do and SAS is taking this seriously.  We will continue to work towards a solution that works best for all involved.  Note that I may not be able to tell you much about how we block it in case that gives away too much info; thus allowing the spammers to find a way around our actions.

Don't give up yet Smiley Happy

Thanks again!

PS: To make a post as spam, go to the post and select Report Abuse either in the Reply line or in the Actions box.

PROC Star
Posts: 7,363

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

An easy to implement compromise, then, would be for an abuse report to affect ALL of a user's past and present posts .. not just the one being reported.  That way, they would ALL disappear until the administrator had an opportunity to review.

Super User
Posts: 10,516

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

I agree with Arthur here. Especially after marking a dozen posts and seeing that more posts are occuring while I'm doing that.

SAS Employee
Posts: 232

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

Just a quick update: a technical fix to help prevent spam has been implemented.  This fix should help and we will be monitoring the status over time.

Other solutions are being tested and assessed for additional backup and I will update you later as plans evolve.


Thank you for your patience and concern.



PROC Star
Posts: 392

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

After removing another bunch of spam posts this morning, I agree with Art that it would be good to be able to tag a profile as a spamming profile and have all their posts hidden (or their profile disabled for the forum admin to review and delete if appropriate). Even if it only disabled the profile for an hour or two it might help to cut down on large numbers of spam posts in a short timeframe.

Alternatively, the ability to tag posts as spam with a single click from the activity page would make removing spam posts much quicker. Is this possible with the forum software?

PROC Star
Posts: 392

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

One other thing. Is it possible to report status updates and file/image uploads as spam too (in addition to discussions)? I can see few of those in the activity stream now but I can't see how to report them as spam and remove them.

Respected Advisor
Posts: 2,655

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

Well, spammers get smarter...

The latest round somehow suppresses the "Report Abuse" button.  All that is available is the "Reply" button.

Steve Denham

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 78

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

Two Aussie Homeses posting in the same thread!  Can't be coincidence. Smiley Wink

PROC Star
Posts: 7,363

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

Maybe I didn't make my suggestion strong enough.  The spam is getting strong enough that, if a solution isn't found quickly enough, people will quickly lose interest in the forums.  However, many of us would welcome the opportunity to stop these spammers in their tracks, but NOT if it has to entail spending useless time simply marking each of their individual posts.

A user marking a post as spam MUST remove all of that individual's current, past and future posts UNLESS the administrator decides to reinstate them.

I noticed that one attempted resolution was to hold our posts if it included a link.  That is definitely NOT the way to go as many of us link to useful information that we don't care to plagiarize.

Super User
Posts: 5,085

Re: We REALLY ought to take more aggressive action against spammers!!!

Art,

I think one must be very careful about this type of solution.  If marking a post as Spam automatically removes all of an individual's past and present posts, that requires some controls.  A simple implementation would allow spammers to erase the entire board.  The power should be limited to posters with a minimum duration and a minimum number of points, for example.  Even the minimum number of points criterion might be specified separately for points, Helpful Answers, and Correct Answers.  I'm not trying to set up an elitist vigilante group, just trying to avoid putting a destructive tool into the hands of spammers.

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