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Forum spammers

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:25 am

Through the last month (quite a few actually) the forum has been swamped with eastern European spammers.
Lazzah and I have been really busy banning and deleting the idiots and I, for one, is getting a little tired of spending my time deleting them.
So I have decided to reinstall the anti spam thingy onto the forum. But I need a couple of good choices (questions) that has something to do with IF, but which are not too hard to figure out.

Pls. send suggestions to my pm.

Thanks
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby Lumin » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:12 pm

Is it possible (with this forum software) to just make it so newbies need mod approval to start posting?

The 'type in the exact answer I'm thinking of with the exact capitalization' is one of the most annoying forms of anti spam there is, and I know personally of a a couple of people who were genuinely interested and got locked out while trying to make an account before.

I realize of course that you're limited to whatever the forum settings will allow, but the Captcha with the weird letters or the where you click the pictures is standard for most sites, and it's just sad having ADRIFT be lagging behind everywhere else even in that.

But if nothing else I'd really, really recommend removing that during the IFComp voting period if nothing else. I haven't been around here often enough to see how everyone else's projects are going, but I've been testing Skybreak and I already know this is a game that will bring in interest from a lot of people and some potential new blood. (Although it continues to be disheartening how much of a struggle it is to find people who can even run an ADRIFT game without dropping a few hundred dollars they don't have on a Windows laptop first and going through the not especially intuitive installation process while their computer screams at them that it's a virus....ugh, online play when....)
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby P/o Prune » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:22 pm

Lumin wrote:Is it possible (with this forum software) to just make it so newbies need mod approval to start posting?

The 'type in the exact answer I'm thinking of with the exact capitalization' is one of the most annoying forms of anti spam there is, and I know personally of a a couple of people who were genuinely interested and got locked out while trying to make an account before.

I realize of course that you're limited to whatever the forum settings will allow, but the Captcha with the weird letters or the where you click the pictures is standard for most sites, and it's just sad having ADRIFT be lagging behind everywhere else even in that.

But if nothing else I'd really, really recommend removing that during the IFComp voting period if nothing else. I haven't been around here often enough to see how everyone else's projects are going, but I've been testing Skybreak and I already know this is a game that will bring in interest from a lot of people and some potential new blood. (Although it continues to be disheartening how much of a struggle it is to find people who can even run an ADRIFT game without dropping a few hundred dollars they don't have on a Windows laptop first and going through the not especially intuitive installation process while their computer screams at them that it's a virus....ugh, online play when....)


Newbies already need approval to start posting.
They write a post and then me or a Mod will have to approve it before it goes public. The problem is that a spammer can write quite a few "innocent" looking posts with hidden links to various gambling / porn sites etc.

It is possible to add all types of answers. Just like in the parser where you try to cover whatever the player may write.

I have considered Captcha but I find it extremely cumbersome and sometimes, even though I'm sure I have typed the right words, it still tells me that I am wrong.

I don't know what else I can do, Lumin. I have written Campbell numerous times asking him (politely) to get his finger out and come back and do a little magic on Adrift. He apologizes and says that he knows that he needs to work on the developer etc. but nothing much happens.
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby Lumin » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:06 pm

Okay well anyway re: my last grumpy paragraph, it sounds like Theo and a guy from my Discord might be working on a potential solution there. Don't want to get any hopes up yet but damn if it can done that would reignite all my interest in ADRIFT in an instant.

I was feeling extra bummed out for a bit there when Fabularium started just throwing its hands up and saying it didn't support Android 8 anymore.

Not sure what the best solution would be for the forum, it sucks you have to be trying to figure out a solution for this in the first place. Never understood the point of spammers targeting small communities like this.

My concern with the questions is just the same as when they were up before; no matter how straightforward they seem to us, the whole point of ADRIFT is that it's easy to pick up for people who know nothing about IF at all.

Captcha is ugly but it's the standard and effective for keeping bots away, and it's not going to give any newbie who's ever signed up for anything anywhere else any reason to be annoyed.
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby David Whyld » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:53 pm

I have to admit, I always find Captcha a real pain in the ass. A few times over the years, I'd had to type the word in a dozen or more times before it's finally accepted and sometimes I just give up. Either I'm really bad at that kind of thing or the word displayed isn't the word that Captcha's expecting.
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby Lumin » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:27 am

David Whyld wrote:Either I'm really bad at that kind of thing or the word displayed isn't the word that Captcha's expecting.


I suspect it is the former, but there's always a thing to click to load up a different one if you get a particularly troublesome one.

But for whatever reason the ones with the pictures to click seem more common now.
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby saabie » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:31 am

I have not seen any word-based ones lately, all the sites I visit either use the "click on all of the pictures of buses" type of Captcha, or one where you just click on a circle once and it magically can tell that you are using a real mouse so must be a real person.
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby Lazzah » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:26 am

Whatever P/o has done has certainly stopped the spammers, I haven't had to disapprove any spam posts for the last few days. I am feeling a bit redundant now! :(
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby P/o Prune » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:42 am

Lazzah wrote:Whatever P/o has done has certainly stopped the spammers, I haven't had to disapprove any spam posts for the last few days. I am feeling a bit redundant now! :(

Ok, I'll remove it during the weekend so you have something to do rofl
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby ralphmerridew » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:31 am

Lumin wrote:Never understood the point of spammers targeting small communities like this.


The number of links to a site influences its ranking on search engines.
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Re: Forum spammers

Postby P/o Prune » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:58 am

ralphmerridew wrote:
Lumin wrote:Never understood the point of spammers targeting small communities like this.


The number of links to a site influences its ranking on search engines.

So what happens when we delete the posts. Are the spammers still getting paid?
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