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Fowler's War On Spam


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#1 Admin MattF

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:15 pm

Hello Forum - Diamond Joinee Fowler here, on his emergency-access Admin account.

Although the forum is still officially under the care of Neil, we've had a very brief chat and he's given me the go-ahead to take action against the flood of spam that has gotten in here as of late.

I've made some changes to the user sign-up process to lock things down a bit, have removed some of the most-easily-resolved spam accounts and posts, and further improvements will be on the way.

For now I would request everyone stop using the Report system for informing on spam activity - I'll be checking in fairly regularly to get rid of any new spam accounts which manage to get in.

Thanks to those of you who have "kept the faith" even when most of us have largely run away to Facebook. I'd really love to get the Forum all nice and tidy and awesome again, but it will take some time.

#2 joinee_doug

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 08:19 pm

Thanks, Matt! :)  It's appreciated!
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#3 Diamond Joinee Matt F

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 11:58 pm

View Postjoinee_doug, on 17 October 2017 - 08:19 pm, said:

Thanks, Matt! :)  It's appreciated!

And I very much appreciate your having kept the faith all this time!

It looks, on current evidence, like the current set of changes may have successfully stemmed the tide. There may be some collateral damage in terms of difficulty for new (legit) users to sign up, but I'm handling that by having an email address displayed on the new sign-up "test" question.

That new sign-up question is not impossible, just designed to be a bit resilient against "quickly googling for the answer". Given I received two very short emails begging to be told the answer, from "people" whose email addresses are CLEARLY implicated with spamming elsewhere (literally, I googled each address and found it showing up on spam elsewhere very similar to what we've been getting here), the filter seems to be working so far!

It's quite interesting that forum-spam now seems to be at least part-performed by real live humans sitting at keyboards. Also slightly sad, that either these people are so desperate for work that they'll take money to do that sort of thing, or that their ethical standards are so low that they'll do it willingly.

I've switched back to my Normal Person Account, as that other one (which has the Mod-Admin powers) is only really there for Emergency Backup Admin reasons, after I handed main admin-stuff responsibilities over to Neil (and downgraded this account to a Normal User). Now the initial emergency seems to be solved for the present, I can just be normal-me - and I think I should keep that discipline up, to try to obey the spirit of the "one account per person" rule (which I wrote!).

#4 Rebel Rose

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 06:12 pm

It looks a lot better in here now, Matt. Thank you.
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