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  Tuesday, 21 September 2021
  25 Replies
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Hi all, there seems to be a big increase in the amount of SPAM posters managing to sign up and post recently.

Please check the user account if you do not recognize the user name before replying. Most SPAM posters are signing up, immediately posting a single post, and then "disappearing". A few have posted multiple SPAM posts, all pretty much at the same time, with either very vague or basic questions about posts that the answers have already been given.

Many of these new posts are using a sophisticated bot of some sort which seems to be attempting to learn what types of replies will get a response. I've noticed lately most will have a (presumably malicious) link in a pile of nonsense in the "About" section of their profile. They will tend to make a post as a reply to an old/very old thread that often copies and rewords the contents of one of the previous replies to that post to make it seem like a new question.

Please keep an eye out, and do not reply to a message if it appears suspicious.

:)
2 months ago
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#10904
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You can delete these replies by pressing the "..." button next to the reply (not sure if everyone has that permission, but for some reason, I do, so you can also try).
Unfortunately, I cannot delete the first post in the thread, but I can ban the topic-starter.
2 months ago
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#10911
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Hi Jason,

From my perspective I'd say that the level of spam is about the same as it's been for many months.
I log on every morning and usually delete around a dozen or so spam messages. Usually a burst of messages from one or more new users.
I do my best to keep on top of them, but recently a few have decided to tag extra messages onto existing threads and I don't always catch them all.

I've been doing this most days for some considerable time ... years?
I think Ethan made me a moderator when the new forum first opened as I'd contributed quite a bit to the old forum.

I do try to keep them in check, but I suspect I'm not always 100% successful.

JohnG.
2 months ago
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#10926
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I'd say there seem to be fewer dud posts now (not all of them are actually 'spam') but that may be because by the time I connect JohnG has deleted a lot?

We've now got a 'Captcha' thing, but this does not seem to be much help.

I use a number of forums, most have some extra protection.

One method is that anyone signing up cannot post until a number of days have passed.

Others accept new members but send an email to the users address, this email must be replied to before the full membership is OK.

Other forums require that postings from new members are 'moderated' first, so they do not appear 'live' until they've been verified by a real person. Spam would not appear, and the users membership would be cancelled.

Does this forum software allow any of these?

Geoff
2 months ago
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#10932
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Hi Geoff,

I don't think this site's software has much in the way of the sophistication(?) of a PhBB forum, mostly because it's primarily a web site for the MMA.
The forum is an add on I think. I've come across a few sites like this.
It just means tht the moderators have to work harder to keep the spam under control. :( ;)

JohnG.
2 months ago
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#10936
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I have banning ability as well, and have been using it accordingly. Just trying to keep it clean and helpful around these parts. Maybe the increase I've noticed is times in between when you guys take care of the rest. ;)
Hi,

We are looking into ways to improve the spam protection while also allowing good interaction between people who are really interested in MIDI.

We changed a few settings this morning that should help.

We now have about 42,000 registered members and get over 50,000 unique visitors every month.

That is great, but it also means we are now big enough to be targets for malicious people.

Most of all we are posting now to thank the people who are voluntarily moderating the forum and also answer many questions.

It's these community leaders who should really be appreciated by everyone on the site. There is so much going on with new MIDI 2.0 technology that the MIDI Association Technical Standards Board and Executive Board (who are all volunteers themselves) are pretty busy moving MIDI 2.0 forward.

Again, we can't fully express how grateful we are to Eddie, JohnG, Geoff, Clemens, Sema, Jason and all the other people who help out.

We are looking at ways to improve our systems and welcome any suggestions.

In October, we'd like to to get the volunteer forum moderators together to discuss some possible options.

THE MIDI ASSOCIATION (TMA)
The community of people who work, play and create with MIDI

2 months ago
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#11019
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We now have about 42,000 registered members and get over 50,000 unique visitors every month.


How many of those are real? And there is a lot of spam in the profiles!

We must delete these users profiles, not just their posts.
1 month ago
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#11515
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Dear admins,
Spammers are plaguing this forum.
Please give me the right to delete topics and user accounts.
I promise not to abuse it!
Thank you!
1 month ago
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#11518
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Need to tag items like these from Vietnam, and then delete all tagged. Major hassle doing these one-by-one.

Better option to make delay of x days between registering and allowing first post. Easier to implement. When make post, system checks how long ago you registered, and if less than x days post is rejected. Warning at start?

Geoff
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make delay of x days between registering and allowing first post


Most new users just want to ask a question, not commit to a long relationship. Telling them that they will not get an answer for x days will scare them away.
1 month ago
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#11545
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Yes, that's a good point.

But a number of forums that I've used DO operate that way. Or there's a variation. They CAN post a message/question, but it does not SHOW on the forum until it's been moderated, whereupon it does show. Yes, then someone needs to clear it. BUT, in effect, that is happening now, except the spammer wins as the spam shows in the meantime.

Maybe this last could be 'cheated'? So could be implemented easily? A message posted by a new member could be assigned a date - say - 1 year ago. So it IS there, but pages down the list, so not 'visible', and useless for the spammer. Then, if the message is OK, the date can be changed, so it goes to the top of the list. If not, then it gets transferred to the BBS in the sky.

Geoff
1 month ago
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#11546
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useless for the spammer

Every page is useful for the spammer as long as Google can access it.
1 month ago
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#11547
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Hm, yes - but how many people are actually LOOKING for spam.

Our initial aim is to try to protect real users of the forum from this sort of thing.

Geoff
1 month ago
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#11548
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I wonder if there's some setting or plug-in that could make any links in posts have a "nofollow" attribute. That might make posting links here unattractive to spammers.
1 month ago
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#11568
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In the many, many years that I've been a moderator or administrator of several fora, I've never managed to discourage spammers.
You see you're trying to get through to people who are generally as thick as a brick.

All one can do, I've learned, is to be patient and just keep banning them and eliminating the spam.
I do it here and in one or two other places every day sometimes two or three times a day.
Above all I try not to let them wind me up. After all that's handing them the victory isn't it?

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. ;-)

JohnG.
1 month ago
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#11598
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Two comments:
- The current CAPTCHA is obviously not really helping, or is just being brute-forced to bypass
- They tend to post on "0" replied posts, which is digging up some interesting things I may have missed either from the abundance of SPAM at the time, or from before I joined. :p
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The current CAPTCHA is obviously not really helping


The CAPTCHA protects against bots. For all of the spam we're seeing, somebody is being paid to click through the CAPTCHA.
1 month ago
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#11606
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Clemens is quite right.
If you watch as closely as I do you'll see that the vast majority of the spam occurs Monday to Friday.

Just where it's directed varies over time.
Some while back (months(?) a year(?)) I logged in one morning to find three to four PAGES of new spam messages!
It took me a good half hour, or so, to clear it all up.
I wouldn't be surprised though if I missed a few.

JohnG.
1 month ago
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#11711
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Why is there an option to "ban the user" but no option to "delete the topic"?
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There usually is a "Delete" menu item just below the "Ban post owner" menu item.
Which thread did it not appear on?
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