1. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Keeping Out the Barbarians

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by EdFromNY, Jun 19, 2011.

    In case anyone hasn't noticed, some a$$hole is plastering porn all over the general discussion thread. I know Cogito will deal with this quickly, but I also suspect that once may not be enough for this clown. Maybe it's time Daniel considered making this a subscription site, even if at a nominal amount.

    One other possibility is to require approval by a mod before someone becomes a member. If that had been the case, given this a$$hole's screen name, I doubt he would have slipped through.

    There's enough of this garbage all over the internet. We shouldn't have to put up with it here.
     
  2. Laura Mae.
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    Laura Mae. Member

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    I noticed this a few days ago, it's silly. Before, it used to just be text posts, but now it's full on screenshots of videos... I didn't even know you could do that on this site!

    A few moments ago, there was at least 10 posts like this in the General Writing forum alone, but they seem to have all been removed.
     
  3. Ubrechor
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    Ubrechor Active Member

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    Yes, I did notice this.

    ^ This one.

    I'm sure there are quite a few people here on the forums that are enthusiastic and enjoy being on here, but cannot afford to subscribe to it, even if it were at a nominal amount. Besides, it is unnecessary when simply getting a moderator to approve a new account would do the job you stated. I agree that we should not have to put up with this kind of behaviour here.
     
  4. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Ubrechor. No matter how low the subscription is, some of us have more than enough expenses as there is. I think it would be better if a moderator has to approve you. I've seen that on other forums, and it seems to be working.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm not sure how well mod approval will work. In the past, there have been spammers with seemingly ordinary usernames. So it'll be difficult to identify a spammer from a normal member.

    I think the mods are doing a good job of getting rid of spam as soon as it pops up. But at the moment there seem to be only two active mods (Cog and Banzai), so we may need to add another mod if spamming becomes more of a problem.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    This wasn't just ordinary spamming. This was jamming up one of the forums with 9 or 10 posts of pornography. Maybe it's a one-off. But if it isn't, I think something will have to be done. I agree that mod approval is useless against a "user" who doesn't have an obvious screen name like this one did. I also don't see a few dollars a month as a problem. Maybe we can use the supporters' funds as a scholarship fund for student members.

    I just think that unless there is a change, we're going to see more of this kind of thing.
     
  7. Omega14
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    Omega14 Member

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    I belong to an astronomy forum and that required mod approval. Not just that, but in order to register, you had to answer an astronomy-related question and provide a justification for wanting to join. Approval took up to 24 hours to be granted. No, it won't stop someone who is really determined, but it just provides a couple of extra steps that make registration a bit of a pain if all someone wants to do is cause trouble.
    I would favour a one-off registration fee over a monthly charge as I could do without extra expenditure.

    Rachel
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    There has been a sudden influx of spam lately. Porn spam is rare, and the fact that it got to ten posts was only due to the fact that no moderators were online for a period. I removed it as soon as I came online. Such an arrangement of circumstances is rare.

    I think charging a subscription fee is out of the question. This site was conceived as a free resource, and I can't see that changing. And moderator approval, whilst it sounds nice and shiny for ordinary members, would be a pain in the arse for the mod staff. It probably works well with small forums, but this site has long since passed that mark. It would mean that mod staff's time would largely be taken up by approving new members, rather than other forum duties.

    When Daniel next comes online, hopefully he'll be able to introduce an IP ban for the IP set of the latest surge of spammers, and beef up the security. Ironically, I think the upgrade that we're currently fundraising for includes greater spam protection.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i also feel charging any fee at all should be out of the question... aside from the fact that the beauty of the best writing sites is their non-elite quality that allows anyone who loves writing to belong, those of you who think 'a few dollars a month' is no hardship don't seem to be among our many way-too-young-to-have-a-credit-card members, or the elderly ones like myself, who struggle to get along on way-below-poverty-level ss incomes...

    it's also asking too much of our two main mods to expect them to devote their lives to screening the many newcomers to the site, when vetting them would be an exercise in futility anyway, given the ease of camouflage this medium provides...

    if you don't like the intrusion of such creeps, all you have to do to help the situation [and our already over-taxed mods] is what i do... simply never respond to any questionable post and just hit the 'report post' button instead...
     
  10. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Yeah, please never respond to spam. It just makes it more difficult to clear up.
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It's reassuring to know that the upgrade will provide better security. Maybe that is the answer. I hope everyone understands that my suggestions were meant to improve the quality of the site. Judging by the tone of some of the responses, it doesn't look like it.
     
  12. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you angered them with this thread. Hella loads of spammers this morning. :/
     
  13. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The bots probably have some function that rapidly scans the interwebs for postings about them and when they find a site they gather their friends and have one big orgy.
     
  14. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nah, they probably just discovered that this site was relatively easy to get an account on, and spam attacks are a result of that. Or the site just happened to get on a spammer's list at this point in time.

    I wouldn't mind a low subscription fee, but I'm afraid it'd scare off new members. A lot of people want to try out a site and see if it's worth their money before they pay even a small amount. Plus, as someone mentioned, even a small fee is too much for many kids, poor writers and those without a credit card.
     
  15. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Well I'm against a subscription fee. It'd prevent me going on this site and this is without a doubt the most helpful writing forum I've come across. The others are all very slow moving. I think a mod approval system would work. And maybe disable screenshots.
     
  16. _Lulu_
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    _Lulu_ Member

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    This.


    ----

    I've just reported one now.


    Also, I'm unaware of any other mod's apart from Cogito and Banzai. Couldn't there be more assigned mod's who could delete these posts?
     
  17. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Oh lord, when will they stop?

    Also, why do they flock to Publishing?
     
  18. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Exactly what I was wondering.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They are mostly automated scripts, several of which have been coded to dump their crap in the Publishing forum. Simple as that.

    The number of independent spammers is relatively small. Mostly it's a small group of determined vandals with a lot of time and processing power on their hands.
     
  20. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    I would require a moderator to approve member status when registering to the site. It'd solve situations where peeps do this as they generally use a stupid name OR they just won't put in the effort to follow-up.
     
  21. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Something would be nice. The names do you usually give them away... right now there's one registering called herbalaffiliatehyt, they're pretty obvious most of the time, and this one hasn't even finished registering yet, lol.

    Haha... 2 mins later he's done. Now there's herbal spam. I'm shocked :eek:
     
  22. Cain
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    Cain Member

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    Upgrading the vBulletin site to version 4 would make all the difference. Isn't this running on software that's two years old? Spammer's scripts tend to keep up with the latest security flaws...

    I assume that's what the request for donations is for on the front page?
     
  23. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    In my stupidity I believed the spammers for a bit and responded to them if we could sticky a notice saying not to reply would be useful.

    I'm aware we have one but it is in the site announcements column which I doubt many people read.
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    where would you have it put?... at the top of every single section?...

    i'm not sure that would be feasible, though i have to agree that a flashing sign in neon red at the top of each pages seems to be needed, at times...
     
  25. thesims
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    thesims Member

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    Weirdest kind of spam... the spammer actually offered criticism: http://www.writingforums.org/showpost.php?p=786540&postcount=41

    Be careful, for some reason my antivirus deactivated itself after reading the post, it may be a coincidence though. The user is not posting referral links or anything but the links are attached to all three messages posted.

    As for solutions for this problem, I think Maia has the right idea (hiring a spam-eraser).
     

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