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Suggestion for eliminating spammers?

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,815
8
looking for classic NE singletrack
Can we prohibit new users (either a timeframe or post count) from posting links either in their posts or signatures? Something like "users with less than 20 posts can't posts links or have a signature file"? Might cut down on some of the spammers in here.

Just a thought.
 

bean

Turbo Monkey
Feb 16, 2004
1,338
0
Boulder
Another idea - a challenge question. We added one to registration on a forum that I ran and it completely ended spammers, even when CAPTCHA didn't do anything. This was a few years ago, so it's possible they've figured out a way around it. But it could be worth checking out.
 
I mod on another website and we have new users wait to have their accounts individually validated by an admin or mod. we have ZERO spam now that we instituted this.

granted, we probably don't get the volume this site gets, but it still dropped the spam to 0%
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
10,157
6,157
Canaderp
No system admin should have to (or want to) validate each and every new user haha. The question is probably a good one.

Something generic like, "How many wheels does a bike have?"
 

bean

Turbo Monkey
Feb 16, 2004
1,338
0
Boulder
No system admin should have to (or want to) validate each and every new user haha. The question is probably a good one.

Something generic like, "How many wheels does a bike have?"
It doesn't take much. Ours was something like what does 1 plus 1 equal. Or what is the first letter in the word "challenge?"
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,670
433
NC
We already have a challenge question and we modify it; it helps, but it doesn't solve the problem because spammers often have people manually solving challenge questions in batches.

Also, prohibiting links wouldn't fix the problem, it would just mean that the spammer wouldn't be discovered in their first or second post. We already end up with a lot of garbage posts that have no links in them, only to have a real spam post show up later.

Open to other suggestions, though. We're giving a spam service a try but it's only been marginally successful (clearly).
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,670
433
NC
The implication that one person is capable of writing an effective server-wiping virus for even a tiny minority of the population of spammers is either a massive overstatement or an outright falsehood, so given that your buddy appears to be a habitual liar, I think we're good on that front ;).
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,663
385
Warsaw :/
We already have a challenge question and we modify it; it helps, but it doesn't solve the problem because spammers often have people manually solving challenge questions in batches.

Also, prohibiting links wouldn't fix the problem, it would just mean that the spammer wouldn't be discovered in their first or second post. We already end up with a lot of garbage posts that have no links in them, only to have a real spam post show up later.

Open to other suggestions, though. We're giving a spam service a try but it's only been marginally successful (clearly).

Is there a honeypot on ridemonkey?

To sum it up

The Honeypot Trap

Bots malicious find open fields delicious, so set up a “honeypot” field with hidden CSS that is invisible to users. You can set your validation to fail when there’s anything entered into the honeypot field.

This method completely removes the friction of the CAPTCHA method — unless the user has CSS disabled, or uses a browser that auto-fills common fields. The latter may be a high percentage, so consider using a field that is rarely asked for by other sites, such as time zone, but something bots might recognize.

Also timing block? Bots usually fill up register info very fast. People don't. Set up a minimal time and anyone under is blocked?


Third idea - image recognition. Which image is a cat or something like that? Bots usually don't have image recognition.
 
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binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,670
433
NC
The honeypot idea is a good one. I'll look into that - thanks for the suggestion.

Image recognition and CAPTCHA and human recognition questions all fall under a category that's easily solvable by human intervention with the bots, which is what's going on now. I can change the human recognition question right now, and still end up with spammers this afternoon.

I may go back to having a field that asks for the user's favorite bike manufacturer, since at least I can run searches in the admin control panel for recent registrations and pick out the ones that don't have real bike manufacturers in them. That was a manual process but it was pretty effective at removing spam accounts that didn't crop up until a while after registration.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,663
385
Warsaw :/
The honeypot idea is a good one. I'll look into that - thanks for the suggestion.

Image recognition and CAPTCHA and human recognition questions all fall under a category that's easily solvable by human intervention with the bots, which is what's going on now. I can change the human recognition question right now, and still end up with spammers this afternoon.

I may go back to having a field that asks for the user's favorite bike manufacturer, since at least I can run searches in the admin control panel for recent registrations and pick out the ones that don't have real bike manufacturers in them. That was a manual process but it was pretty effective at removing spam accounts that didn't crop up until a while after registration.
Have in mind that some mac users might get angry since I think safari has an autofil option which may also fill the trap field. I still think it's worth it though.
 

eric strt6

Resident Curmudgeon
Sep 8, 2001
15,001
4,250
directly above the center of the earth
The implication that one person is capable of writing an effective server-wiping virus for even a tiny minority of the population of spammers is either a massive overstatement or an outright falsehood, so given that your buddy appears to be a habitual liar, I think we're good on that front ;).
he was on the UC team that was one of the groups that broke the military Knapsack incription problem and was the programmer for an AI program that was part of the International AI Symposium Keynote speech a few years back plus some other weird crap for the military. I learned a long time ago never to piss Pete off
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
28,610
4,430
Riding the baggage carousel.
Daily computer activity inevitably leads to accumulating identical files on your computer, especially if you are an active PC user. You may download gigabytes of music and video files, documents and applications from the Internet or local network, share these files with your friends and not even realize how many same files may be collected on your hard disk from such activity.
:rofl: :rofl: This is contextually awesome.
 
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