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14 replies
Preventing Spam
swill
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Because of the explosion of spam recently I have instituted some new rules. Here is an explanation…

Now everyone who makes a comment must correctly answer a CAPTCHA challenge.

Because this is somewhat annoying, I have made exceptions.

  • Editors and Moderators will not have to enter a CAPTCHA challenge.
  • I have added a new role called Trusted Members. People with this role do not have to enter a CAPTCHA challenge. I am using the Eurotrip Points to determine if you should have this role or not. I have made a rule (which can be changed) that promotes a user to the role of Trusted Member once they get 200 Eurotrip Points. Likewise, if you drop below 200 Eurotrip Points, you then must enter a CAPTCHA challenge each time you comment.

I hope everyone considers this to be an acceptable solution to help reduce the amount of spam we are getting in the forums.

If you have comments or suggestions, please let me know. We can change the number of Eurotrip Points required for the Trusted Member role if we feel that is to many.

Let me know what you think…

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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mim
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Thanks, Will.

I think this is a good solution. What do you guys think?

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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oldlady
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Sounds good to me. 200 seems like overkill for the typical member, but that seems to be almost exactly the number of posts AAAAA and BBBBB managed to get in.

swill
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I agree that 200 is probably too many. The CAPTCHA will slow it down for sure, so we should probably drop that number.

What do you think? Maybe 50?

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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Don
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200 does seem to be about the most I’ve ever removed from 1 spammer. It’s a hassle for a new user, but Capcha is so commonplace now, that a simple explanation somewhere—maybe pinned @ top of forums, or included in new user signup—I think will get the point across that it’s necessary to prevent a lot of spamming that we’ve been getting recently. 50 will slow them down, and 200 does seem high … I’ll go along with anything in that range.

How about a lower Capcha threshold, see how it helps, and if needed, add a “Penalty Box” of some sort where an “untrusted” or new user has to have their posts approved by a mod or admin. before they publish? I think that was maybe Mim’s idea(???) a while back?

swill
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Alright, I have dropped it to 50 Eurotrip Points.

The Penalty Box idea came from RedFlagDeals member signup process. I was initially planned to do it, but I have not had time to. I had everything in place for this to essentially be ‘turned on’, so I figured we would start with this and see if extra development is needed.

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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mim
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Didn’t work. Now there were two “users” who spammed almost 500 posts. Watches and CCCCC. I cleaned it up, but it seems to be getting worse. We are going to have to have mods and editors verify a user after 1 post. Can we create a new class of user for those with < 1 post that only gain full access after first post is verified? This is the only solution I can think of…

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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Bigfoot
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I would say, use captcha until a user is verified. No problem?

These captcha is really annoying, hopefully you can get rid of it for everybody who is either:

-verified – member since a year – has done more than 25 posts which haven’t been flagged

swill
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When a user is spamming us you need to make sure to DELETE the post, not modify it. If you delete the post, they will loose the points they got. If you just modify they keep their points. Both CCCCC and Watches are considered Trusted Members (but they are banned) because they have about 270 ET Points…

Were their posts deleted???

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

Eurotrip Developer

swill
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Let me think about this and see if I can come up with a solution…

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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mim
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Yes — posts were deleted. They got around the captcha somehow. They posted as new members this morning. I deleted all of their posts and banned them.

Let’s get a verification function in.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

swill
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They still have ET points even though all of their posts have been deleted, so something is amiss. I am looking into it…

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

Eurotrip Developer

mim
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I don’t think that matters since they joined after you instated the trusted member program. That means they had to break through the cactha anyway.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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Cil
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FWIW
I just deleted an obvious spam from the Pending queue.

mim
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Thanks Cil.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor