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Author Topic: The Growing Number of Spam Accounts  (Read 5633 times)

Offline Irisado

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The Growing Number of Spam Accounts
« on: September 09, 2012, 02:16:23 pm »
I was just wondering if the moderators had noticed that there seem to be quite a number of spam accounts which have registered lately.  Is there any reason why these are kept around, rather than just banned?
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Offline Narric

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Re: The Growing Number of Spam Accounts
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 10:21:47 pm »
From what I've seen, the Moderator staff is understaffed. I've only seen the Admins and a couple of G-mods/Mods actually do anything.

The best we can do as members is simply flag the posts/accounts, and a G-mods or Mod will do what they can.

Offline Cammerz

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Re: The Growing Number of Spam Accounts
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 10:24:26 pm »
If they're just accounts which sign up and then don't do anything at all then it isn't really a problem (and if you look through the list of members you'll see that there are a lot of them). They're only an issue if they start posting spam threads everywhere and being a general nuisance.

Offline Narric

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Re: The Growing Number of Spam Accounts
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 10:31:09 pm »
But simply allowing the account to exist can be a problem.

I've seen a few which essentially had been turned into product specific billboards, heck, I think they even had the same name as the product they advertised.

So getting rid of these extra accounts would clean up that.

Offline Naser Al-Istikhara Cyrus

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Re: The Growing Number of Spam Accounts
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 10:58:35 pm »
From what I've seen, the Moderator staff is understaffed. I've only seen the Admins and a couple of G-mods/Mods actually do anything.

IIRC, 2S went under a Heirachial change which saw regular moderators be replaced with Board Leaders. However I am not sure whether board leader tags are showing up perfectly atm. That's why the Moderator staff may seem understaffed :P

Also Admins and G-Mods are pretty much the only ones with the ability to edit, move or delete threads in the Introduction board. (Even I don't have any authority as the Board Coordinator :P)

But simply allowing the account to exist can be a problem.

I've seen a few which essentially had been turned into product specific billboards, heck, I think they even had the same name as the product they advertised.

So getting rid of these extra accounts would clean up that.

It is in 2S's best interests to try and reduce the spambots that sign up here, but with "allowing the account to exist" do you mean if someone signs up with a name exactly the same as a product? If that were the case, we would be in trouble if someone designed a number of Spheres called the Narric Series :P

Perhaps Sorck can weave his code magic and work out some ways to mitigate these occurances?
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Offline InsaneTD

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Re: The Growing Number of Spam Accounts
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 11:13:44 pm »
Sites always have 'idle/unused' accounts. And it depends one what you consider unused.  Zero posts? Might be a lurker. Time logged on would be a better indication.

It's not like they take up massive amounts of data or bandwidth. Even if they have the same name as a product and pictures as the avatar/sig of said product, if they don't post they won't be seen. Pretty sure Sorck has  the site set so you have to entera captcha for your first however many posts which stumps the bots anyway.

Offline Irisado

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Re: The Growing Number of Spam Accounts
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 03:42:02 pm »
I agree with Narric that it's never a good idea to allow spam bots to have accounts.

On other forums, I've seen various SMF mods used to prevent them from being able to register, let alone post.  Behaviour mod is one, but there are others available.  Only admins can install those though.

As for accounts, accounts which have never been activated serve no purpose in my view, and can be removed.
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Offline Sorck

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Re: The Growing Number of Spam Accounts
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 05:58:00 pm »
Sites always have 'idle/unused' accounts. And it depends one what you consider unused.  Zero posts? Might be a lurker. Time logged on would be a better indication.

It's not like they take up massive amounts of data or bandwidth. Even if they have the same name as a product and pictures as the avatar/sig of said product, if they don't post they won't be seen. Pretty sure Sorck has  the site set so you have to entera captcha for your first however many posts which stumps the bots anyway.


Right then. A few days ago I noticed this and installed one additional bot-prevention system... not that it worked very well... I think I forgot to put in my key... ah well. I'll go and get one.

I've set the CAPTCHA to a slightly higher level than before. I've also changed the security questions to not be very simple numerical tasks - for example there is now a question about the location of a certain major international sporting event. :P Should challenge the odd bot.

I will install another system to try and keep the bots away once I have access to the server again.