SPAM Problem on the LDS TECH forum

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togiles
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SPAM Problem on the LDS TECH forum

Postby togiles » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:51 am

I read posts to the LDS TECH forum through an rss aggregate reader (google reader to be precise). The unfortunate side affect that it has had lately is that it automatically caches posts for me that are new to the tech forum. The last few days I've had several posts show up from these forums that are obvious SPAM - and some that are not as obvious at first glance... until you click, and realize that you've been thrown into something that you did not want to see.

Could you look into adding some extra measure to block spammers from this site, or I'll likely not keep it in my list of rss feeds I follow any longer. I'd like to keep it, as I am interested in much of the activity that is on this site, but not if I have to be wary of any of the posts I read through google reader.

Regards,

-Todd

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:56 am

We are aware of the problem and have been fighting with it all night and morning. We sincerely apologize for letting some of these get through. Apparently this board is not the only one affected by this huge onslaught of spam. Please be patient as we try to tighten our security even more.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:56 am

togiles wrote:I read posts to the LDS TECH forum through an rss aggregate reader (google reader to be precise). The unfortunate side affect that it has had lately is that it automatically caches posts for me that are new to the tech forum. The last few days I've had several posts show up from these forums that are obvious SPAM - and some that are not as obvious at first glance... until you click, and realize that you've been thrown into something that you did not want to see.

Could you look into adding some extra measure to block spammers from this site, or I'll likely not keep it in my list of rss feeds I follow any longer. I'd like to keep it, as I am interested in much of the activity that is on this site, but not if I have to be wary of any of the posts I read through google reader.

Regards,

-Todd

We're working on it. This has been an ongoing discussion for over a month among us moderators. It's not as simple as you might think. We've had automated bots and even humans registering these spam accounts for quite a while. Never have we had an attack like today. We've banned nearly 50 accounts just today. This is like 6 months worth of spamming in one day.

As a result of today's attack, I'm positive something will be implemented to lessen the likelihood of this happening again. I apologize you had to see what you saw. We delete the posts off of the forums as soon as we can. In 90% of the cases, we delete the user before they can even get spam out on the forums.

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we try to sort this out.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:24 pm

mkmurray wrote:We're working on it. . . . Never have we had an attack like today.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we try to sort this out.


I can vouch for moderator attentiveness and efficiency in this matter. I stumbled across an obvious spam one morning not too long ago and just went on by. Then, I decided I should have reported it.

So I searched for the post again. It had only been a minute or two. The post was gone and the poster already had been banned.

Moderating is a thankless job. So, thanks. [grin]

kennethjorgensen
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RSS Link for forum posts?

Postby kennethjorgensen » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:45 pm

togiles wrote:I read posts to the LDS TECH forum through an rss aggregate reader (google reader to be precise). The unfortunate side affect that it has had lately is that it automatically caches posts for me that are new to the tech forum.


I wasnt aware that an RSS link exists for the Forum posts. Can anyone tell me what the link is?

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:00 pm

dkjorgi wrote:I wasnt aware that an RSS link exists for the Forum posts. Can anyone tell me what the link is?

Here is the link:

http://tech.lds.org/forum/external.php?type=RSS2

***Note: It is only for new threads, not all posts. You won't get updates to threads through this RSS feed. I think you can subscribe to all new posts in a single thread though...

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:35 pm

One last minor detail. While we've been able to remove spam from the form within minutes of it's posting, it's still doesn't prevent it from going out on the RSS feed. We're currently working on ways to prevent the spam from getting posted in the first place.

The reason we haven't done this before is that we hadn't had that serious of an attack and there was concern that by placing restriction on new users that it could hurt the ability of the forum to help people in a timely manner. But after this attack, we have no choice but to add some kind of restriction.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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marianomarini
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Postby marianomarini » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:56 am

I think you know how to distinguish between human and automatic posts. It takes only few seconds to the poster but spare much time to moderators.
This way you have to face only "human" SPAM.
But most of all. We all accepted to come to earth and face against bad. I don't think was intended in all fields but LDS Tech forum.
I don't think is a good idea put our responsabilities into moderator's shoulders.
They do a great work and what we can do is help them to do it (with suggestion possibly).
I apologize if my english is not woth to explain my apreciation to moderators and members of this forum.
When something goes wrong we realize how much work there is behind the scene.
So to togiles I want to say. Don't give up to fight!
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:40 am

Thanks for your encouragement. The recent wave of automatic registration and spam postings has been stopped by Tom, our forum administrator. Many thanks to him for finding something that (at least for now) works making the moderator's job not so frantic as it was.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:53 am

marianomarini_vi wrote:[Moderators]They do a great work and what we can do is help them to do it (with suggestion possibly).

I agree! This site would not be as good as it is without the dedicated and devoted service of our moderators! We have been pleasantly surprised how well these forums work and we are seeing a growth in their use with other departments. I attribute this to the excellent work of the moderators and our community who take so much time to help us answer questions, and to ensure that the forums maintain the dignity that this site deserves.

Thanks all!

Tom


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