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View Full Version : How can we report spammers before they spam



kleindoofy
2010-Apr-22, 07:16 PM
For instance, just now a certain "BuyAmoxilOnline" registered.

I'm wager my first born that that's a spammer.

I've seen them in the past, but having visited the profiles, I can't find any built-in method of "report this user."

I know the mods usually nab them before they post, but can a "report this user" button be built into the profiles of users with, say, five posts or less? That way normal useres could make the mods aware of them, perhaps quicker than now, certainly before they post.

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 07:32 PM
No unfortunately, but I am trying to kill them as they appear. :( But I can't sit here all night with my British L96A1 sniper rifle poised. I have a back up member but he falls asleep all the time:

Helper (http://www.thejump.net/humor/sniper.jpg)

kleindoofy
2010-Apr-22, 07:57 PM
In my imagination, such a moderation to the profile window can't really be too difficult. Something along the lines of this fantasy code:

if ($POST_COUNT < 5)
{
$REPORT_USER_BUTTON = '1';
}
...

Swift
2010-Apr-22, 08:11 PM
We see the "BuyViagra" users too, and if we spot them, and it is obvious that they are a spammer, we can ban them before they even post. Except for the blatantly obvious user names, I'm hesitant to ban someone, until they prove themselves a spammer.

Tensor
2010-Apr-22, 08:13 PM
kleindoofy, in a case like the one you mentioned, I've sent a mod a PM when I've noticed it before. I check the currently active users to see which mods are online. I generally look for chrissy first (based on comments I've seen by other mods) then other mods, as my comfort level with them goes.

kleindoofy
2010-Apr-22, 08:13 PM
Yes, but a report isn't a ban.

Just a 'heads up!'

[edit: response to Swift's post above]

@Tensor

Yes, but a report blinks away on every mod's page.

I'm not complaining, just asking it is possible, resp. if the admins would consider doing it.

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 08:16 PM
In my imagination, such a moderation to the profile window can't really be too difficult. Something along the lines of this fantasy code:

if ($POST_COUNT < 5)
{
$REPORT_USER_BUTTON = '1';
}
...

I am not the one to make those changes, it is down to Fraser and the other admins.

Sticks
2010-Apr-22, 08:16 PM
For information

BuyAmoxilOnline has been banned and the sock puppet that was using the same IP address

Fazor
2010-Apr-22, 08:16 PM
I concur. Sit back and make sure they post some normal-enough posts before they toss out that sales pitch. And, if you'd like to sit in style while you wait and see, go to www.fazorschairemporium.com for the lowest priced moderator friendly chairs on the net! We also sell xboxs for $50 (totally legit!) and Viagra for $5 less than the leading e-mail offers!

...err, what were we talking about? Yes. Sometimes it's easier than others to spot spammers. I think Chrissy et. al. do a good enough job though (markedly better than most other boards I've been to, which is impressive considering the size and popularity of BAUT). I'm not convinced a "report username" or whatever button would really help them out; I'd guess it'd return more false-positives that would take them longer to sort through.

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 08:19 PM
kleindoofy, in a case like the one you mentioned, I've sent a mod a PM when I've noticed it before. I check the currently active users to see which mods are online. I generally look for chrissy first (based on comments I've seen by other mods) then other mods, as my comfort level with them goes.

This is the way other members do it too, I have received a few PM's referencing spammers. :)

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 08:20 PM
For information

BuyAmoxilOnline has been banned and the sock puppet that was using the same IP address

I killed them both, because of this thread kleindoofy started, a heads up so to speak.

Swift
2010-Apr-22, 08:23 PM
I'll also let people know that the average user only sees the tip of the iceberg. A lot of the spammer posts end up in the Moderation Queue, waiting for approval, because of certain keywords and links. They are invisible to the general membership unless approved, and are usually killed and the poster banned at that point. I never have done the math, but I suspect 50% or more of the spammers' posts are never even seen by the public.

Moose
2010-Apr-22, 08:27 PM
It's probably well beyond 95%, Swift, based on what I'm seeing.

slang
2010-Apr-22, 08:29 PM
No unfortunately, but I am trying to kill them as they appear. :( But I can't sit here all night with my British L96A1 sniper rifle poised. I have a back up member but he falls asleep all the time:

Helper (http://www.thejump.net/humor/sniper.jpg)

Fixed url (http://www.thejump.net/humor/sniper.jpg). Too cute to let it sit there only pointing to the end of the internet. :)

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 08:30 PM
I concur. Sit back and make sure they post some normal-enough posts before they toss out that sales pitch. And, if you'd like to sit in style while you wait and see, go to www.fazorschairemporium.com for the lowest priced moderator friendly chairs on the net! We also sell xboxs for $50 (totally legit!) and Viagra for $5 less than the leading e-mail offers!

...err, what were we talking about? Yes. Sometimes it's easier than others to spot spammers. I think Chrissy et. al. do a good enough job though (markedly better than most other boards I've been to, which is impressive considering the size and popularity of BAUT). I'm not convinced a "report username" or whatever button would really help them out; I'd guess it'd return more false-positives that would take them longer to sort through.


My bold.
It is a good job I know you, :p

The thing is with spammers who come here a lot of them try to use normal names to avoid detection, like Peter19 or even Tanyakitten06, sorry if there are established members with those names here on BAUT.
When I find a spammer I check the ips out and I usually get a list of riders on it so if they had been missed a day before or a year before as I have had, I kill them all.
If the report button was available we would end up having an influx of "possible spammer" reports and a lot of genuine reported posts would not get the full attention required, especially if there is only one moderator on here.

Fazor
2010-Apr-22, 08:31 PM
Fixed url (http://www.thejump.net/humor/sniper.jpg). Too cute to let it sit there only pointing to the end of the internet. :)
Lethal by day, but at night it's position is given away with a simple set of headlights reflecting off the eyes. :/

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 08:35 PM
Fixed url (http://www.thejump.net/humor/sniper.jpg). Too cute to let it sit there only pointing to the end of the internet. :)

Thanks, I have done so too. I saw what I did.

Tensor
2010-Apr-22, 08:41 PM
I'll also let people know that the average user only sees the tip of the iceberg. A lot of the spammer posts end up in the Moderation Queue, waiting for approval, because of certain keywords and links. They are invisible to the general membership unless approved, and are usually killed and the poster banned at that point. I never have done the math, but I suspect 50% or more of the spammers' posts are never even seen by the public.

With the upgrade it's a bit more visible, at least with the banned name. I get a chuckle out of seeing the names in the currently active users and seeing four or five with the strike through on their names and they've been on for less than ten minutes.

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 08:44 PM
I scratch a 5 bargate method to keep count of my kills on my desk and it is a huge one (desk). :D

pzkpfw
2010-Apr-22, 09:04 PM
Yes, but a report blinks away on every mod's page.

There may be a setting I've missed, but this isn't true for me.

PM's make the "Notifications" thing at the top rightish of the page tell me something.

While reports don't do anything on the general BAUT pages. (Though I do get an email for every report).

Moose
2010-Apr-22, 09:07 PM
Obvious spammish usernames are a problem, but they really aren't an emergency until/unless they post something that makes it to the board. Don't fret too much about 'em when they show up. Just PM a mod, we'll take care of it.

Torsten
2010-Apr-22, 09:11 PM
So as I write this, the latest member, already banned, had member number 101175, yet member count is 78307. Does this mean that 22868 accounts have been banned (the majority I assume are spammers)?

How hot does the barrel get Chrissy?

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 09:16 PM
@Tensor

Yes, but a report blinks away on every mod's page.

Actually no it doesn't, it comes through via e-amil and if you miss the notification you don't know there is a report unless you goto the moderation area and check. I have missed a few reported posts even tonight while I am sat here.

chrissy
2010-Apr-22, 09:20 PM
So as I write this, the latest member, already banned, had member number 101175, yet member count is 78307. Does this mean that 22868 accounts have been banned (the majority I assume are spammers)?

How hot does the barrel get Chrissy?
Put it this way, I could heat a few houses with it. The trigger finger gets a bit sore at times, but I have become very adept to the breathing techniques before I fully release the trigger and my groupings...... they are all in the same hole.

kleindoofy
2010-Apr-22, 09:28 PM
There may be a setting I've missed, but this isn't true for me. ...
Sorry, my bad. I was a moderator on a pretty large board for a few years (before it was taken over by a total crackpot who, among a large number of other things, de-modded and banned almost all of the previous moderators), but that board was phpBB, not vBulletin.

We had an annoying squiggly thingy that jumped up and down all over the top right hand corner of the screen until some mod opened the report.

ABR.
2010-Apr-22, 09:55 PM
So as I write this, the latest member, already banned, had member number 101175, yet member count is 78307. Does this mean that 22868 accounts have been banned (the majority I assume are spammers)?

I was watching the member count one night awhile back (last year maybe?) when the count number suddenly dropped by over 20,000. I suspect these members weren't just banned, but were victims of ToSeek's Tantalus Field!

mugaliens
2010-Apr-23, 05:25 AM
No unfortunately, but I am trying to kill them as they appear. :( But I can't sit here all night with my British L96A1 sniper rifle poised. I have a back up member but he falls asleep all the time:

Helper (http://www.thejump.net/humor/sniper.jpg)

Aww...

Try an M82A1. More accurate. :) And if you get 'em, kitty can sleep!

slang
2010-Apr-23, 06:44 AM
Oh my, chrissy.. the spammers are retaliating! Oh the humanity! Oh teh bunnehs (http://www.thejump.net/humor/lazyfox.htm)!

mugaliens
2010-Apr-23, 09:05 AM
Oh my, chrissy.. the spammers are retaliating! Oh the humanity! Oh teh bunnehs (http://www.thejump.net/humor/lazyfox.htm)!

My goodness, slang, I serious hope you're not irreverently referring to me...

ToSeek
2010-Apr-23, 02:20 PM
I was watching the member count one night awhile back (last year maybe?) when the count number suddenly dropped by over 20,000. I suspect these members weren't just banned, but were victims of ToSeek's Tantalus Field!

I have gone in and deleted accounts of both banned spammers and those who registered but never confirmed their emails. So I would expect the member number to be significantly greater than the number of members. ;)

mahesh
2010-Apr-23, 03:13 PM
I was watching the member count one night awhile back (last year maybe?) when the count number suddenly dropped by over 20,000. I suspect these members weren't just banned, but were victims of ToSeek's Tantalus Field!
Yah, ABR., I noticed that drop too...it alarmed me to the extent that I had to ask, I think, our dear Antoniseb, if BAUT was bifurcating. I was pleasantly reassured by ToSeek of a 'spring (phew) clean'

mahesh
2010-Apr-23, 03:24 PM
... But I can't sit here all night with my British L96A1 sniper rifle poised. I have a back up member but he falls asleep all the time:
Helper (http://www.thejump.net/humor/sniper.jpg)

chrissy, first time ever I googled for a rifle! Yiiikes!
Hmm...weighs nearly as much as my 'scope!

I like the nice blue star on your assistant! Bless.

Blue staaars, shining on meeee
Nothing but blue stars, do I seeee!!....

'dja fix the star, slang?

HenrikOlsen
2010-Apr-23, 06:56 PM
So as I write this, the latest member, already banned, had member number 101175, yet member count is 78307. Does this mean that 22868 accounts have been banned (the majority I assume are spammers)??
Banned members are still counted in the member count, the 22868 missing ones are accounts ToSeek deleted, as mentioned mainly spammers and people who started registering but didn't respond to the email sent (90+% of those are likely also spammers).
This released the names for use by regular new members.

Torsten
2010-Apr-24, 05:23 PM
Okay, I understand now that the ~23000 difference is the result of an extraordinary culling by ToSeek. I notice that posts by members banned for reasons other than spamming or not replying to the email can be found (ie, by specifying their names in a search), but those members cannot be found in the membership list, nor can their profile be seen. Is this a toggled setting in the forum software?

ToSeek
2010-Apr-27, 06:18 PM
Okay, I understand now that the ~23000 difference is the result of an extraordinary culling by ToSeek. I notice that posts by members banned for reasons other than spamming or not replying to the email can be found (ie, by specifying their names in a search), but those members cannot be found in the membership list, nor can their profile be seen. Is this a toggled setting in the forum software?

Turns out it is (took some searching, though). That's annoyed me for a long time. Anyhow, banned and suspended members are now in the memberlist. I also modified the list to show when members signed up and when they were last active, both of which I thought might be of interest.

R.A.F.
2010-Apr-27, 06:55 PM
...banned and suspended members are now in the memberlist.

The heck you say!!

Well, post wise, I might not appear on the 1st page anymore, but now I'm the "king" of the 2nd. :)

ToSeek
2010-Apr-28, 08:58 PM
The heck you say!!

Well, post wise, I might not appear on the 1st page anymore, but now I'm the "king" of the 2nd. :)

Take your triumphs where you can.

macaw
2010-Apr-28, 11:02 PM
No unfortunately, but I am trying to kill them as they appear. :( But I can't sit here all night with my British L96A1 sniper rifle poised. I have a back up member but he falls asleep all the time:

Helper (http://www.thejump.net/humor/sniper.jpg)

Do you want an Ak-47? It will work much better :-)

Jim
2010-Apr-28, 11:11 PM
... This released the names for use by regular new members.

Much to the relief of all those new Members who wanted "viagra" or "cialis" in their screen names.

Tensor
2010-Apr-29, 03:30 AM
Much to the relief of all those new Members who wanted "viagra" or "cialis" in their screen names.

Me, me.....

ToSeek
2010-Apr-29, 03:03 PM
Me, me.....

Shall I change your name to TenViagraCialissor, then? ;)

slang
2010-Apr-29, 05:27 PM
Shall I change your name to TenViagraCialissor, then? ;)

I half expected a new user-category :)