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Author Topic: Anti Spam Upgrades  (Read 4197 times)
Brad Fox
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« on: February 19, 2010, 01:22:19 PM »

I was asked to forward the following internal memo from some "IT Consultant" I've never heard of before to the bullboard (seriously we need to get the Toronto office renovated soon - the lack of a secretarial pool is a pain in the ass... did you know I had to go get my own coffee yesterday? What is this, Gitmo? And more importantly isn't a WRPS "IT Consultant" without a computer a little sketchy? Dollars to donuts he's one of the Walker's kids or something... they've got to be driving age by now, right?):

--

Thank you to everyone who has been using the "report to moderator" button(s) when they see form spam. We're trying to find a way to make this process easier (and more automatic) but in the meantime, your efforts are very much appreciated since it lets us respond much faster.

As part of the Bullboard's ongoing efforts to fight the insane increase in global forum-spam as of late, we've lowered the threshold on our (fairly heavy-duty) automatic anti-spam measures to the site. It's possible that in some (extremely rare) cases with dynamic IP addresses you may get a "you're not permitted to access this site" message by accident. If so, just read the warning message in full as it contains information about what to do to fix this issue (and an e-mail address to contact if all else fails).

 Also, if you're members of other forums/blogs please encourage the admins to use Askimet, Stop Forum Spam, Project Honey Pot or a similar automatic "spam database" - while many admins have ignored these services as "too complicated" in the past, most software now has modifications or plugins to support these services, and even a small % increase in adoption would make a huge difference. Plus we'd get the satisfaction when we ban spammers we're also saving even more forums that time and effort down the line.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 01:25:57 PM by Brad Fox » Logged

Head of Officiating WRPS
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 02:14:50 PM »

Former head ref, Grand Marshal, Commandant of the World RPS Society, now IT coordinator?  Is there any pie in which Brad Fox does not have a thumb firmly planted?

In any case, thanks for the update, Brad.  I know that I, for one, didn't use the "report to moderator" button for years, partly due to doubts as to its efficacy, partly due to concerns that I would end up having to file paperwork. 

Even with your assurance that it's okay to use it, I still hate to burden the World RPS IT staff with any additional work.  I know that most of them are volunteers, and those that aren't often work without pay (the last I heard, the 2008 request for funding was still on hold, pending completion of the 2004 request for funding.)

In short, thanks to Brad Fox for keeping us informed, and thanks to those who tirelessly work to keep our borders safe, our shores clean, and our beloved Board as spam-free as possible.

On a related note, there are rumors that a server upgrade is in the works, and that the Board could be "wonky" for a few weeks in the near future.  Is there any truth to these rumors?  It's about time to hold the 2010 MotBB tourney, but if there's going to be signal noise, it may be best to hold off for a bit...
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Brad Fox
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2010, 12:41:15 PM »

Former head ref, Grand Marshal, Commandant of the World RPS Society, now IT coordinator?  Is there any pie in which Brad Fox does not have a thumb firmly planted?

I prefer "the only guy too dumb to file a request to take vacation time when a renovation of unsepecified length started". Now there's no one around to actually file a vacation request *with* (although I suppose if I was less trustworthy, there's also no one here to verify I'm actually coming to the office anyway... there's a thought).


I have heard rumors of a forthcoming server move - but haven't heard specific plans as of yet. I would hope that lessons have been learned from previous "migrations" so that server downtime would be minimal. Then again, I would also hope that jackasses would stop throwing dynamite.

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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2010, 12:20:24 AM »

I'm curious how you came across those anti-spam sites.  I have forums on a couple of my sites and have had most of the problem alleviated by putting captcha in, but not all. 

I don't like banning by IP address, because so many people use proxies or dynamic IPs (including me) or even share IP addresses (many cable companies lump entire city blocks in one IP address). 
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2010, 10:08:53 AM »

You can get more information at the Stop Forum Spam database itself. They have a huge list of plugins for almost all current forum packages. Depending on the plugin you can sometimes just have these regsitrations flagged for future administrative review (if the ip, e-mail, AND username is in the database it's pretty likely it's a positive hit), if you're worried about false positives. The database does have some built in handling to recognize likely dynamic ip's, as well if that's a concern.

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