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A suggestion for the prevention of SPAM

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Some of you may have seen the particularly graphic pornographic spam that was posted to the future hardware section yesterday. I don't have a problem with pornography but only when it's where you expect to find it. Having graphic pornographic images posted to this site is not advisable given that parents would probably regard it as a "safe" venue for minors, not to mention that there are plenty of adults who do not wish to view pornography and don't expect to find it here.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how to prevent such an occurrence in the future.

Unsurprisingly, this spam was the first post of a newly registered user. It would therefore seem that the easiest way to deal with this is to implement some restrictions on members with, say, fewer than five posts. For example:

1.) Members with fewer than five posts should not be allowed to post links anywhere in their posts.

2.) Members with fewer than five posts should not be allowed to attach images to their posts.

One would hope that a SPAM bot or individual attempting to circumvent this measure by making five non-spam posts and then posting spam would be spotted and banned before they reach five posts (bots in particular as it would be challenging to program a bot that could make sensible on-topic posts).
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post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

1.) Members with fewer than five posts should not be allowed to post links anywhere in their posts.

2.) Members with fewer than five posts should not be allowed to attach images to their posts.

One would hope that a SPAM bot or individual attempting to circumvent this measure by making five non-spam posts and then posting spam would be spotted and banned before they reach five posts (bots in particular as it would be challenging to program a bot that could make sensible on-topic posts).

Trouble is they could post 5 posts within a very short time of each other so even off-topic posts might not get noticed very quickly. I would probably add a restriction that any new user is restricted to a single post per day for the first 2-3 posts. This at least holds back a flood of new spam at once.

I don't know if the site developers read the posts here though. A few posts appear with testing written on them and sometimes looks like it comes from the devs.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Trouble is they could post 5 posts within a very short time of each other so even off-topic posts might not get noticed very quickly. I would probably add a restriction that any new user is restricted to a single post per day for the first 2-3 posts. This at least holds back a flood of new spam at once.

Oh yeah, forgot that bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I don't know if the site developers read the posts here though. A few posts appear with testing written on them and sometimes looks like it comes from the devs.

Don't you have a way to contact them? Presumably we're talking about Kasper and his team?
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post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Don't you have a way to contact them? Presumably we're talking about Kasper and his team?

I was issued a bat-phone but it's always engaged.

Their PM is available to anyone. Jambo is an admin too.

I don't know which ones are the developers though. Plus they probably know of the problem. They've removed enough spam themselves.

Developing a solution is sometimes quite difficult when it's 3rd party software. Part of the problem would be determining where to install the code inside vbulletin.

The above check should be straightforward enough though:

hit reply ->

// new post page
$query = "SELECT UNIX_TIMESTAMP(datetime) as t FROM Posts WHERE user_id=$id ORDER BY date DESC LIMIT 1";
$result = mysql_query($query);
$row = mysql_fetch_assoc($result);
if($postcount<3 && (time()-$row['t']<24*60*60))
return "can't post until tomorrow"'

Question is how people might view the impact on legitimate new users who have restrictions placed on them and the effectiveness depends on the measures spammers use to circumvent them.

I think there has to be a preg_match tool to catch certain keywords (mainly names of spamming companies) too. This kind of thing might impact the server for every post made but limiting the check to people with under a certain postcount should work out ok.
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