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AppleInsider forums are becoming a garbage dump for spam :(

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm a regular at the future hardware section because I find it the only Apple related forum that I can easily post about future stuff.

Now, it's becoming a dumping ground for all kinds of spam garbage imaginable. Why is this happening? And it is a recent occurance. Is there any kind of special software or something that can block these kind of posts from spammers? Some of them are not only irrelevant to Apple subjects but also sometimes pretty offensive.

Any ideas? Because I'm getting tired of "reporting this post as spam". It's almost like a second job!
post #2 of 8
I would like to add my voice to this as well. Where the hell are the mods! What is going on, here? There does not seem to be any policing of any of the forums. What happened to the locks? Where are the jack booted thugs that used to run off the riff-raff? Why do spam threads just hang around taking up valuable screen real estate? Are there any rules left on the board? Can a person even be banned anymore? What gives? This once nice community is quickly turning into a slum.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #3 of 8
We've been over this before.

The Future Hardware section is targeted because it's the first forum in the database. Some bots will target based on forum id and pick the first.

The only way to prevent the spam is to content filter posts from new members. This requires a vbulletin plugin or modification and only the site admins can install this.

In the mean time, all spam is removed every day. None of it is left so until there is a filter in place, it will have to do.

As for the general policing of the forum, I don't really see what problems people are having. Personal attacks are dealt with and threads rarely go out of hand to the point of needing closure or banning of members.
post #4 of 8
Understood. So what is the status of the site admins installing this plug-in/modification? Is there an ETA?
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Understood. So what is the status of the site admins installing this plug-in/modification? Is there an ETA?

Don't know. I keep meaning to download vbulletin and check if I can write a plugin or something. It should just need a regular expression matching function but you don't want to bog down the forum checking every post so it would limit it to new members.

Plus, it would be more effective to have an interface somewhere that mods can add new filters such as common spam URLs but this could mean modification of the main database or setting up a separate one. You also have to be careful the filter doesn't remove legitimate posts and still doesn't bog down the server.

It could take a good full week of development time and I imagine most of us just don't have the time to dedicate to putting a solution in place. When a solution is found, we will do what we can to implement it. Suffice to say, the spam issue annoys everyone and the concerns aren't being dismissed or ignored.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Don't know. I keep meaning to download vbulletin and check if I can write a plugin or something. It should just need a regular expression matching function but you don't want to bog down the forum checking every post so it would limit it to new members.

Plus, it would be more effective to have an interface somewhere that mods can add new filters such as common spam URLs but this could mean modification of the main database or setting up a separate one. You also have to be careful the filter doesn't remove legitimate posts and still doesn't bog down the server.

It could take a good full week of development time and I imagine most of us just don't have the time to dedicate to putting a solution in place. When a solution is found, we will do what we can to implement it. Suffice to say, the spam issue annoys everyone and the concerns aren't being dismissed or ignored.

Interesting.

Well, keep us up to date on your or should I say admin's plans on installing a solution. appleinsider is still my favorite place to post and talk about apple stuff and tech in general.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Interesting.

Well, keep us up to date on your or should I say admin's plans on installing a solution. appleinsider is still my favorite place to post and talk about apple stuff and tech in general.

I had a look yesterday at the options available. There is a built-in solution in vBulletin but it's a service with a monthly charge depending on the site. We might have gotten away with a free Akismet API key but it may have cost $5/month - without paying, they lower the priority of their checking. The problem is they send away every single post regardless of post count to a remote server for checking and let us know if it's spam and we can't adjust their rulesets.

The other solution was to install a plugin (it's actually a few plugins as they hook into various parts of the forum code) that filter posts and threads as they are made and acts immediately with a list of regular expressions. This solution is quite good as it means that we have control over false positives and any posts that we know are spam and it's free.

I modified an existing spam filter to work better for us and sent it to the admins. Out of the box, it was pretty ineffective. It needs the highest up permissions to install so it's up to whoever has those permissions to install it. And it may need to be modified to work differently. There is the option of the akismet key if it doesn't work out.

It works the way I described above by matching certain terms and then immediately hiding the post and banning the user. It just hides the posts because you have to be careful with regular expressions - if there is a filter that would get rid of the word anal and someone uses the word banal, it will ban them too so you have to write the filter properly and by default a lot of the filters weren't. The regular expression filters will need to be updated for new spam, which again may be only accessible to the highest up admins but even if some spam gets through, it should block the most offensive spam from the start and it should hopefully catch the ones that post 10-20 threads at the first post.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

I would like to add my voice to this as well. Where the hell are the mods! What is going on, here? There does not seem to be any policing of any of the forums. What happened to the locks? Where are the jack booted thugs that used to run off the riff-raff? Why do spam threads just hang around taking up valuable screen real estate? Are there any rules left on the board? Can a person even be banned anymore? What gives? This once nice community is quickly turning into a slum.

I agree. All I want is a decent place to find out news and views about the Mac. Getting into arguments is one thing, but I have reported one member four times now, and nothing. If I could find another site, I'd be so out of here. One bad apple (pun not intended) is ruining this whole forum. Add to that the spam and AppleInsider is becoming a joke.
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AppleInsider › Forums › Other Discussion › Feedback › AppleInsider forums are becoming a garbage dump for spam :(