[08-Mar-2012] New SPAM mitigation scheme in place

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sb56637
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[08-Mar-2012] New SPAM mitigation scheme in place

Hi everyone,

As you are all painfully aware, we've been under attack by spammers recently. First of all, my apologies for not taking measures sooner. For one thing, I was traveling for a few days and couldn't quickly intervene to delete the spammers and their posts. And secondly, I have been researching the available options for fighting spam.

I have implemented a new SPAM mitigation system. I'm not going to mention the details of how it works in public so as to not tip off the spammers or other deviant people, but if anybody is really interested, feel free to PM me for details. In short, the system still depends on the entire BLF community to socially moderate said community. Here, we don't have just 1 or 5 or 10 moderators, but rather we are all moderators. So please continue to do your part to flag SPAM, just as you have always done so helpfully in the past. If the system works as I expect, it will still allow some spam to be posted, but the spam user will be automatically blocked before he manages to post an excessive amount. The system is carefully designed to prevent the blocking of innocent, legitimate BLF users. Even so, in the worst case that you do get blocked, please just create another account and PM me for help.

 

As always, the following rules apply for marking posts as SPAM:

Please only mark posts as SPAM if they are at least one of the following:

  • Commercial in nature and completely irrelevant to the theme of flashlights
  • Posts by new users with a low post count in the wrong category or thread with the clear intent to post links or make favorable statements about shady companies

 

Please do NOT mark posts as SPAM if:

  • You don't agree with the post
  • You don't like the poster
  • A normal user creates a post to sell a legitimate flashlight item for profit
  • The poster politely introduces a relevant flashlight company or product in the "Commercial Sellers' Spot" category.

 

You might be wondering why we don't block IP ranges of spammers or use a 3rd party SPAM blocking system. First of all, most serious spammers use proxy servers, so blocking IP addresses is completely ineffective since their address changes all the time. As for 3rd party anti-spam systems like Mollom or Akismet, I have personally observed very bad results on other sites that I frequently visit that use such systems. Such systems tend to punish and annoy legitimate users instead of the spammers, and they would function even worse on a site like BLF that contains many brief posts that consist of links.

A small side point: Quite a few users have expressed concern about old threads getting dragged to the light when a spammer posts a comment in them, thereby burying newer threads. However, this is really a non-issue. As users mark SPAM posts and make them become un-published, or when I delete the entire spam user with all of his comments in one shot, the state of these old threads returns to normal, and they fall back into their original buried state. Confirmed issue, looking into it.

I can't promise that this new method will work perfectly from the beginning, as there may still be a few kinks to work out. Please carefully keep tabs on legitimate posts and SPAM posts and please notify me of any anomalies. I also can't promise that this will be the end-all solution to SPAM on BLF, since fighting SPAM is an ongoing battle here and across the entire internet. But I do hope that this new system will drastically mitigate the annoyances that all of our loyal BLF users have faced during the past few weeks.

Thanks again for your patience and support.
Best regards, and have fun!

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Edited by: sb56637 on 07/22/2016 - 00:08
fishinfool
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Thanks for all of your hard work Mr. Admin! 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

viktori
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What you wrote sounds very good. Hope it works.

Thanks!

This is my flashlight collection.

Rusty Joe
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My question is: Will this block - actually stop - aggressive spammers when x amount of posts are marked? Otherwise, we're back at nothing.

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edc
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Why I am asked to enter a Captcha code when I post? Did someone spam me

 

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Komichi
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Spam test #3 is gone.

I got captca tested too.

Foy
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I like it.

 

goodjobFoy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

                      &nbsp

Chicago X
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Thanks, as usual, for all of your efforts.

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ruffles
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My thanks for what is a thankless job... keep up the good work!


 

gcbryan
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Good work!

Don
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Thanks!

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

aoyue2702
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nice work thanks.  hope it works good.

_the_
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Even I don't like the captchas, I like the way you handled this spam issue: It will make our community even better! 

Edit: This message didn't require captcha. Is it only once / session? Or even better: Once / user?

=the=

Disclaimer: Above post might contain referral links, but only to items that I myself have bought, tested & approved. Or items that, based on my experience, can be considered as good deals & worth sharing.

raccoon city
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Thank you Mr. Admin!

Huny74
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agedbriar
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Each member should receive a free calculator.

Don
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agedbriar wrote:

Each member should receive a free calculator.

 

Smile

:bigsmile:

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

brted
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Whoo hoo! It is a never ending battle, but it sounds like we have a good approach in place.

Oxy Moron
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Cool. Thanks for your work. Smile

I suppose those text-based captchas should work for those with visual impairments as well, so that's good.

BetweenRides
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Thanks, sb!

Tecmo
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Looks like a good plan!

E1320
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Awesome, great work. Thanks again for keeping the best site on the net alive.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

atbglenn
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I'm glad the rash of spamming will finally be over Smile

MagPap
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It seems a good solution. Thanks

PierCC
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Thanks!

Langcjl
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Thanks!

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

newbie74
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Good job!

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I have seen that the internal search engine also has a captcha now... any special reason for that?

raccoon city
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Not only that, but the internal search engine CAPTCHA is way more complex and annoying than the "1st post after login" CAPTCHA.

Lensman
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Thanks sb. Much appreciated that you've chosen an approach that won't affect the BLF vibe.

sb56637
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Vectrex wrote:

I have seen that the internal search engine also has a captcha now... any special reason for that?

It's mainly to prevent a malicious robot from hammering the server with search requests, which are fairly heavy on resources. I guess I could probably change that one to a math CAPTCHA.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

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