Removing spam from esoTalk Support Forum

  1. 4 years ago

    Is there any possible way for the moderators to clean up this support forum to remove the spam, it's slightly annoying now since it's almost a new post every day that is just adding into the spam pile. Not only does it make it harder to keep track of posts (since there are tons of new posts lined up at the top) but it makes it harder to scroll down to find legit posts or answers to any questions I have that aren't hit by the search feature.

  2. @KnownSyntax Is there any possible way for the moderators to clean up this support forum to remove the spam, it's slightly annoying now since it's almost a new post every day that is just adding into the spam pile. Not only does it make it harder to keep track of posts (since there are tons of new posts lined up at the top) but it makes it harder to scroll down to find legit posts or answers to any questions I have that aren't hit by the search feature.

    I would love to but I'm not a mod, and @jsonnull is busy working on Fireside as well as other things.

  3. There are various moderators, such as @19eighties @Henry @ram @Thirtysixway and lastly @Tears. It's just annoying seeing so much spam regardless of the state of the software.

  4. I think a lot of those mods mentioned are not even on here anymore

  5. Edited 4 years ago by Felli

    @KnownSyntax There are various moderators, such as @19eighties @Henry @ram @Thirtysixway and lastly @Tears. It's just annoying seeing so much spam regardless of the state of the software.

    Most have either gone into the shadows, switched their priorities to Flarum, or just gave up on esoTalk.
    And what's sad is most of the same that esoTalk is getting isn't bot spam, but people spam.

  6. @KnownSyntax Thanks for bringing up the topic.

    I have noticed the amount of spam has increased considerably in the last few weeks. I try to check in and remove it every few days when possible. @Felli, there seems to be a pattern to the posts, so I was thinking it was a bot. Most of the offenders have their about/location profile filled out with more spam text and a link (that are not no-follow). One thing that is made more apparent is the need for mass-delete and suspend to make these actions easier to perform. On a related note, in the Google Analytics for my own forum, I often notice there are keywords being used to identify esoTalk forums.

    Any thoughts on automated methods to reduce the spam?

  7. @19eighties @KnownSyntax Thanks for bringing up the topic.

    I have noticed the amount of spam has increased considerably in the last few weeks. I try to check in and remove it every few days when possible. @Felli, there seems to be a pattern to the posts, so I was thinking it was a bot. Most of the offenders have their about/location profile filled out with more spam text and a link (that are not no-follow). One thing that is made more apparent is the need for mass-delete and suspend to make these actions easier to perform. On a related note, in the Google Analytics for my own forum, I often notice there are keywords being used to identify esoTalk forums.

    Any thoughts on automated methods to reduce the spam?

    Other than restricting users a possible checking IP against a DNS blackhole list such as phpBB has done could help somewhat, as well as other options that can be easily thought of. At the moment I'm only somewhat able to get by with the Akismet that's on Github.

  8. [deleted]

    6 Jan 2016

    I have noticed it all too. Wasn't there a moderator who said all we had to do was post in those spam topics linking him and he would remove the topic?

    I can't remember exactly who it was.

    As far as reducing spam, I've got no idea how that could be implemented into esoTalk. Surely there is a way of mitigating these spam bots from registering with IP blocks as @Felli suggested.

  9. [deleted]

    6 Jan 2016

    Hey folks, sorry I haven't been keeping up with this, I've been incredibly busy with work this week and have been slacking off on keeping the spam down here.

    I get email notifications on every new thread that gets posted here, so I really have no excuse for not getting over here and eliminating them. I'll try to do better. ;)

    Really, though, I think a more permanent solution is needed for restricting spam accounts from getting added. It's kind of atrocious.

  10. Edited 4 years ago by 19eighties

    @Gary Wasn't there a moderator who said all we had to do was post in those spam topics linking him and he would remove the topic? I can't remember exactly who it was.

    Yeah, that was me... since @jsonnull mentioned he gets notifications for all new topics, I didn't think of this, and have subscribed to all the channels. However, I agree, there does need to be a better automated solution that will make it less of a re-occurring nuisance.

    It is not clear which plugins (if any) this forum uses. So far I have seen these esoTalk spam plugins mentioned here: http://esotalk.org/forum/1619-website-spam

    Spam Plugins

    - Honeypot - Signup form plugin
    https://github.com/tvb/Honeypot

    - StopForumSpam - checks email / ip upon registration
    https://github.com/joshuaruesweg/esoTalk-SFS

    - Akismet
    https://github.com/3dg/esotalk-akismet

    I don't know the status of these / if they work with the latest stable release of esoTalk.

  11. @19eighties Yeah, that was me... since @jsonnull mentioned he gets notifications for all new topics, I didn't think of this, and have subscribed to all the channels. However, I agree, there does need to be a better automated solution that will make it less of a re-occurring nuisance.

    It is not clear which plugins (if any) this forum uses. So far I have seen these mentioned here: http://esotalk.org/forum/1619-website-spam

    - Honeypot - Signup form plugin
    https://github.com/tvb/Honeypot

    - StopForumSpam - checks email / ip upon registration
    https://github.com/joshuaruesweg/esoTalk-SFS

    I don't know the status of these / if they work with the latest stable release of esoTalk.

    From what I remember, @Toby has had the StopForumSpam on this forum, I'm not really aware of all of the plugins, or which ones that are enabled, but I'm sure I remember hearing that some of them were installed.

  12. Thank you, top the both of you @jsonnull and @19eighties I just hated seeing this place getting trashed by bots when it could be removed or stopped somehow.

    I agree @Felli Toby did state that he did run two plugins for sure, the StopForumSpam and also the reCaptcha plugin (I'm unsure if he stated that he ran the Honeypot one or not). I'm just shocked that StopForumSpam isn't catching more of these bots who are signing up. I wish there was a way to have it so that the first post that anyone makes would have to be reviewed (accepted basically) since the first post for a spam bot is normally just spam. Similar to phpBB in a sense on the way that they have it, that or maybe make a new plugin that is of the Question and Answer form such that you ask a very specific question (where the question might even have the answer) and people need to type the answer correctly to get registered.

  13. You're welcome. :) That suggestion could be a good option in certain scenarios like this one. In others, I could see it would turn off new members that just move onto someplace else. There is also the option of administrative approval for new registrations, but it has the similar issue.

    If you look at the member activity log, the vast majority of recent members are now spammers that have been suspended. There are probably other dormant ones in there, but it's hard to tell without taking a lot of time to go through the list.

  14. @KnownSyntax Thank you, top the both of you @jsonnull and @19eighties I just hated seeing this place getting trashed by bots when it could be removed or stopped somehow.

    I agree @Felli Toby did state that he did run two plugins for sure, the StopForumSpam and also the reCaptcha plugin (I'm unsure if he stated that he ran the Honeypot one or not). I'm just shocked that StopForumSpam isn't catching more of these bots who are signing up. I wish there was a way to have it so that the first post that anyone makes would have to be reviewed (accepted basically) since the first post for a spam bot is normally just spam. Similar to phpBB in a sense on the way that they have it, that or maybe make a new plugin that is of the Question and Answer form such that you ask a very specific question (where the question might even have the answer) and people need to type the answer correctly to get registered.

    As of right now as I said I've been using the Akismet plugin, but sadly this only helps for so long, depending on which plan you're using, and even then if you're running a huge community then you're basically screwed on all of their plans.

  15. OK, I added it to the list above. I did a forum search but only see it mentioned in this thread. How does it work?

  16. @19eighties OK, I added it to the list above. I did a forum search but only see it mentioned in this thread. How does it work?

    Basically just like how it does with Wordpress, just as a Akismet plugin for esoTalk.

  17. There is also this option of doing things (But it's not recommended.) which @Dakoom has created a GitHub Gist for.

  18. @Felli There is also this option of doing things (But it's not recommended.) which @Dakoom has created a GitHub Gist for.

    I'm not sure banning emails is a good starting point, it would be the same thing as just banning countries outright (you might get a good portion of the spammers out of the way or blocked but you will also hit many people who wanted to register on here for help or so).

  19. [deleted]

    7 Jan 2016

    Pardon the French, but spam is such a pain in the arse. There's no full-proof way of mitigating it. Is there some sort of registration verification system available (I haven't used esoTalk in a little while so cannot get that answer myself)?

  20. [deleted]

    7 Jan 2016

    I still have it installed here: http://www.forumapicoltura.com/ but I get something like 500 new spammers registrations per day. I just leave them in the moderation queque, waiting for Flarum in order to migrate.

    Currently 9527 unapproved registrations. Might be also some real ones in the mass, but I can't get crazy on it to check them one by one.

 

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