Subject: Spam and how we fry it

Posted on: April 11 2012 @ 04:08 PM
By: Count+Sessine

Content:

The Enquirer gets three flavours of robotic spam.

First, we get a daily flood of spambot user signups, a couple of hundred a day. It takes me a minute or so several times a day to delete them. And no, I've looked into it, there's no automated spam protection that actually works. Luckily, 99.9% of these are instantly identifiable by inspection as spam user ids. If I am in any doubt about one, I leave it alone until I can check to see if we have a matching username in the game. (This is a manual process, and sometimes I am doing it late at night when I am sleepy, so once in a long while I may slip up and delete a legitimate new signup. I'm getting better at it -- this hasn't happened in quite a while. Still, if this befalls you, dear reader, all you have to do is tell me by Petition, or by Distraction to either Sessine or Junebug. Once I know, you can sign up again quite safely with the same email address, and I will know to leave it alone.)

Occasionally, one of those spam ids manages in its brief lifespan to post one or several forum comments. The message content is usually a weird word salad, and depending on what the bot used as its source text, it can be evocative, and even kind of likeable. Nonetheless, I will be ruthless. The userid that was used to post such spam is not deleted but kept and banned, and then everything posted by that id is deleted. If you reply to such a message, well, I will feel a pang of regret, but your reply will have to go, too.

Even more rarely, one of the spam ids posts a comment in the center-page blog portion of the Enquirer, the section where, every few months, CMJ gives us a regular Monday update on what he's been doing. Mr. Green The treatment for the userid is the same -- keep it around, banned -- but I can't delete those comments. I can only edit the content to prevent a search engine from finding the search terms the spammer wants it to find. I'd like to see commenting there turned off entirely. Nobody posts but spammers, and nobody reads those spam comments but me and the search engines. The Enquirer would lose nothing; it's in the forums where our players read and interact.

Anyway. There you have it. In case you were curious... that's how we deal with spam 'round here.



Replies:

Re: Spam and how we fry it

Posted on: April 11 2012 @ 10:23 PM
By: Full+Metal+Lion

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine


Occasionally, one of those spam ids manages in its brief lifespan to post one or several forum comments. The message content is usually a weird word salad, and depending on what the bot used as its source text, it can be evocative, and even kind of likeable. Nonetheless, I will be ruthless. The userid that was used to post such spam is not deleted but kept and banned, and then everything posted by that id is deleted. If you reply to such a message, well, I will feel a pang of regret, but your reply will have to go, too.

Aw man! Every lone likes word salad! It makes me tickled pink as thwack with obligation!

Even more rarely, one of the spam ids posts a comment in the center-page blog portion of the Enquirer, the section where, every few months, CMJ gives us a regular Monday update on what he's been doing. Mr. Green The treatment for the userid is the same -- keep it around, banned -- but I can't delete those comments. I can only edit the content to prevent a search engine from finding the search terms the spammer wants it to find. I'd like to see commenting there turned off entirely. Nobody posts but spammers, and nobody reads those spam comments but me and the search engines. The Enquirer would lose nothing; it's in the forums where our players read and interact.[/p]
Ah, the question is, would more people comment if it were updated more? And why do we have the column separate from the MoTD? And... what about Naomi?


Re: Spam and how we fry it

Posted on: April 12 2012 @ 12:51 AM
By: Twosocks+Monkey

Content:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Nobody posts but spammers, and nobody reads those spam comments but me and the search engines.


Actually, I read those too. And I hate them as well.

PS: I've always wondered (like FML) why we have both the monday update AND the MoTD. It's a little confusing. Can't they be melded and put in one place?

-Rose


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