I think we have a spam problem

I know it’s not a new problem, but as I’m writing this post, the top of the discussion forum looks like this:

  • Spam
  • Spam
  • Spam
  • Finally a proper post

I moderate a forum myself, so I know that it’s pretty unreasonable to expect moderators to find and delete spam posts the second they go up (mods have lives to ya’ know!), but none the less it’s a little off-putting to see so much spam.

I just tried to create a new account, and it strikes me that the problem isn’t the moderation of the boards, but rather that there’s no requirement to complete a CAPTCHA during the account completion process, which makes it very easy for the scum of this world to peddle their wares univited.

Perhaps some sort of human-checking process could be useful?

I second this - it’s getting a little bit out of hand!

lol…I manage a website for an organization (I’m on a Board of Directors and it was one of the stupid things I agreed to do) - I have been steadily fighting off more and more - intelligent - spammers over the last year. It’s interesting to see how they’re evolving their strategies to get access into our system. And I can see where they’re connecting from (unless they ping) and while we all knew Amsterdam and the former Czech Republic were hubs for this crap, I was surprised to also see a good number coming from Hamburg as well.

I’d love to see a documentary on “a day in the life of a spammer.”

We try to catch them as we can, guys. And, believe me, there’s 10x more that gets screened than makes it through.

If this were my full time job…

it has gotten crazy lately. Thank your friendly neighborhood volunteer moderator team! We try to keep it clean but sometimes they just move too fast.

Yeah Chris I can only imagine what the pile of deleted posts that normal users never see must look like! I’m just thinking that your job might be a bit easier if it wasn’t so easy for spammers to create new accounts in the first place - I could be wrong, but it feels like most of the spam accounts are bots.

Alternatively there’s the tried and tested method of forcing new accounts to introduce themselves in a dedicated thread before they can post on the rest of the site…

That’s not a bad idea, actually…

I think we have some kind of automated system to screen out likely spammers, but it’s an arms race. The spammers are always building more resilient bots to get around our defence.

Maybe we should just hire a moderator intern to delete posts?

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