Any headway being made on the spam issue?

I understand the site probably doesn't have the resources or funding anymore for advanced security, but on the other hand it seems like it's often drowning in spam and it's only a matter of time before we few diehards hear its death gurgle.

Or is that an overreaction? Just wondering if there are any further plans or will things continue as they are indefinitely.

Not a mod, but I think I've heard them say that they don't have the privileges/access to do anything more about it than simply banning them and remove their threads.

It will most likely go on as it is, until Yahtzee leaves and they shut down the servers, or the mods give up and everyone takes shelter in the WW.
(I wonder if that last scenario wouldn't have some side benefits..or do bots not "view" ads?)

Correct me if I'm wrong here mods. Thanks!

Do you see a full 20 pages of spam in Gaming Discussion? No, only half a page. That is headway, keep up the good job mods!

To be mildly blunt, SPAM is never going to be fixed.

If anything, you see it getting worse because DEFY has made it far harder for us to deal with it. I am unable to dump threads when I'm on my phone (I am able to kill the bots so if you're wondering why you might see a bunch of dead spambots but the threads still sitting there, that's why). We have no way to deal with it except smush it when they appear.

Also, I'm going to move this into Off-Topic. I will let it stick around for now but to be honest, I'm not sure if this has enough discussion value to go anywhere and I'm slightly worried it'll just be people complaining about things we can't do anything about but I'll let it stay unless people force my hand to shut it down.

To go off of what Tippy said, normally myself or another mod goes in behind and gets rid of them. Which normally takes a while for the system to catch up to the fact that we are deleting a shit ton of spam bot threads, and spam bots.

I try to make it a habit to make it a happen to going to the highly prone threads, liking Gaming, and clear out any spam bots I see. The only reason I do that is because I had to clean out Gaming forum that have 15 pages worth of spam and that took me forever to clear. Never again.

So yeah, we smash them when we see them, or if it's in the queue.

There is one solution to the problem that we'd be able to implement, but I doubt it'd be a very popular solution.

The Wild West is completely spam-free due to the fact that it's Pub Club only. So, we could make every subforum completely free of spam by making every subforum Pub Club only.
The bots can't spam the forum if they can't even post on it in the first place.

Our limited access does allow us to edit subforum permissions, but like I said, I doubt this solution would be very popular with the users who are left. That said, feel free to reply to this and offer your thoughts on this idea, good or bad.

TopazFusion:
There is one solution to the problem that we'd be able to implement, but I doubt it'd be a very popular solution.

The Wild West is completely spam-free due to the fact that it's Pub Club only. So, we could make every subforum completely free of spam by making every subforum Pub Club only.
The bots can't spam the forum if they can't even post on it in the first place.

Our limited access does allow us to edit subforum permissions, but like I said, I doubt this solution would be very popular with the users who are left. That said, feel free to reply to this and offer your thoughts on this idea, good or bad.

Wouldn't this piss off all the users who are left who didn't get free Pub Club when the tech team got fired? Unless you have the power to grant Pub Club to genuine users.

Catfood220:
Wouldn't this piss off all the users who are left who didn't get free Pub Club when the tech team got fired? Unless you have the power to grant Pub Club to genuine users.

We have the ability to add and remove Pub Club from users, yep.

TopazFusion:
There is one solution to the problem that we'd be able to implement, but I doubt it'd be a very popular solution.

There is another solution, which would be more of a compromise, but feasible. I've checked on the system and it is possible to change sub-forum settings so that any user can view and post, but only Pub Club members can create new threads. That would stop black magic spam in its tracks, though bots that only post in threads would still get through.

JoJo:

TopazFusion:
There is one solution to the problem that we'd be able to implement, but I doubt it'd be a very popular solution.

There is another solution, which would be more of a compromise, but feasible. I've checked on the system and it is possible to change sub-forum settings so that any user can view and post, but only Pub Club members can create new threads. That would stop black magic spam in its tracks, though bots that only post in threads would still get through.

That's something that could be considered, then. Have a sticky thread at the top of every subforum letting (non Pub Club) users know they need to message the mods before they can make threads, and we'd then give Pub Club status on request.

It'd basically be like having an 'approval' system for thread creation, which many forums already do.

TopazFusion:

JoJo:

TopazFusion:
There is one solution to the problem that we'd be able to implement, but I doubt it'd be a very popular solution.

There is another solution, which would be more of a compromise, but feasible. I've checked on the system and it is possible to change sub-forum settings so that any user can view and post, but only Pub Club members can create new threads. That would stop black magic spam in its tracks, though bots that only post in threads would still get through.

That's something that could be considered, then. Have a sticky thread at the top of every subforum letting (non Pub Club) users know they need to message the mods before they can make threads, and we'd then give Pub Club status on request.

It'd basically be like having an 'approval' system for thread creation, which many forums already do.

We would need a single sub left open as non-pubclub users get a 'you lack the permissions' splash screen if attempting to browse a subforum that is pub-club only. We could sticky the entire first page with notice threads to contact the necessary mods. The spam could be distracting otherwise and we should avoid creating a confusing page where there is one relevant sticky with all the spam floating about. That would make the site look like its truly ground zero of the spampocalypse, with no measures in place.

Redlin5:

TopazFusion:

JoJo:

There is another solution, which would be more of a compromise, but feasible. I've checked on the system and it is possible to change sub-forum settings so that any user can view and post, but only Pub Club members can create new threads. That would stop black magic spam in its tracks, though bots that only post in threads would still get through.

That's something that could be considered, then. Have a sticky thread at the top of every subforum letting (non Pub Club) users know they need to message the mods before they can make threads, and we'd then give Pub Club status on request.

It'd basically be like having an 'approval' system for thread creation, which many forums already do.

We would need a single sub left open as non-pubclub users get a 'you lack the permissions' splash screen if attempting to browse a subforum that is pub-club only. We could sticky the entire first page with notice threads to contact the necessary mods. The spam could be distracting otherwise and we should avoid creating a confusing page where there is one relevant sticky with all the spam floating about. That would make the site look like its truly ground zero of the spampocalypse, with no measures in place.

I myself had suggested in the past that we only allow Pub Club users to do things like make threads. I kinda figured it would heavily curtail the spam issue.

This system of manually verifying that users are actually people and not bots, then granting them Pub Club and allowing them to post new threads, would likely go a long way towards preventing new spam. I hope this gets adopted.

I'm doing my part! I've actually been pretty good at identifying not just spam bots, but cloaked(usually poorly) advertisement accounts.

I'd make a list of mods, sticky that list, then make all forums require pub club. So if a new user legitly wants to post here, they need only PM a member of staff to clear them.

I'm not sure how to articulate my thoughts and put them into words here..but I think this needs careful consideration.

On the one hand, we aren't likely to get many new posters (except for those seeking an old games name), and the spamming will most likely only continue or even increase.
In this case, having one forum open for the mod list sticky, remember old game name thread, etc, would be a balanced middle ground for letting new posters be heard and leaving only one forum to cleanup for the mods.

On the other hand... It could be considered ripe for abuse. Mods getting an even bigger hold on who gets to post and not, being able to give pubclub to selected individuals and take away from "undeserving" ones.
Although the mods already possess this ability, it has yet to be implemented on a large scale, where oversight from neutral parties is null and the in-group buddy-system is in full effect.

Us posters have little real sway in the matter, but I'm going to leave with a question that could be considered a sticking point for the decision, from a future consequence effect;
Just how onerous is the task of "handling" the spambots?
Is there a risk of burnout in the foreseeable future?
Can you surmount and overcome the self-sacrifice for the sake of the forums stability?

JoJo:

TopazFusion:
There is one solution to the problem that we'd be able to implement, but I doubt it'd be a very popular solution.

There is another solution, which would be more of a compromise, but feasible. I've checked on the system and it is possible to change sub-forum settings so that any user can view and post, but only Pub Club members can create new threads. That would stop black magic spam in its tracks, though bots that only post in threads would still get through.

That sounds like a good idea! Why is your name gold now?

Vendor-Lazarus:
Just how onerous is the task of "handling" the spambots?

The speed at which the bots post means, for the forum to be kept spam-free, at least one mod needs to be monitoring it 24/7. Because even just a couple of hours unattended usually means 10+ pages of spam if not more.

Throwing more mods at the problem isn't really a solution either, because the mod tools (for whatever reason) suffer from extreme lag. So even if a mod catches a bot on its very first post and bans it, the bot is still able to completely fill a subforum page with spam threads before the ban/deletions take effect.

This means, from a user's perspective, there are going to be times when you open Gaming Discussion, and page 1 will be filled top-to-toe with spam, even when having mods on 24 hour spam duty. And it's something that's going to continue to happen, unless we do some sort of preventative measure (such as the PubClub-only idea).

If people are fine with how things are right now, then that's cool with me. But I would imagine out of the few regulars we have left, they probably wouldn't visit this site very often throughout the day. And if they come here and happen to open a forum board during one of our many daily spam attacks, then they're not going to bother clicking to page 2 or beyond; they're just going to close the tab and go someplace else. Forum traffic is pretty low as it is, without the bots driving even more people away like that.
With an already dying forum, the last thing you want is for the spam to kill it even quicker.

TopazFusion:

Vendor-Lazarus:
Just how onerous is the task of "handling" the spambots?

-snipped-

I see. Thank you.
I only wanted to head off any rushed decision and prevent future obstacles before they became walls.
To explore the parameters and avenues before coming to a head.

Maybe an open poll vote to decide? (non-sticky, since not many pay attention to stickies any more).
Time limit?

I would vote first priority to JoJo's compromise, as that seems to be the best solution for the most people.
People able to read & write (posts), just not to create (threads), before PM verification?
The other options would then be Pubclub restrictions (only pubclubs read,write & create?) or to continue as is until things ..change..?
How does new thread bots compare in numbers to new post bots?
If the bots learn or adapt, I would be okay with pubclub or not. Either way, the forum gets to live on. For now.

Sorry about being such a stickler for wanting to hash out things beforehand.

JoJo:

There is another solution, which would be more of a compromise, but feasible. I've checked on the system and it is possible to change sub-forum settings so that any user can view and post, but only Pub Club members can create new threads. That would stop black magic spam in its tracks, though bots that only post in threads would still get through.

This is a great idea. Add a sticky at the top, advising people that they need only message a Mod to acquire Pub Club membership, then make thread creation a Pub Club privilege.

Of course, we only need pursue these creative solutions because Defy have abandoned their bloody responsibilities.

JoJo:

There is another solution, which would be more of a compromise, but feasible. I've checked on the system and it is possible to change sub-forum settings so that any user can view and post, but only Pub Club members can create new threads. That would stop black magic spam in its tracks, though bots that only post in threads would still get through.

Silvanus:

This is a great idea. Add a sticky at the top, advising people that they need only message a Mod to acquire Pub Club membership, then make thread creation a Pub Club privilege.

Of course, we only need pursue these creative solutions because Defy have abandoned their bloody responsibilities.

Would indeed be a good idea I'd say. The question I ask when it comes to the spam issue is how much effort, time, energy and all else it requires from the entire team. If the answer is a lot, that's probably more than is necessary for a forum on its last legs. If that sort of time and energy can be put elsewhere on the site, then I'd say that's a strong benefit to consider

I'd be fine with making thread creating be pub club only.
I don't know what percentage of people still have it, but I'd like to believe that we're helping in some small part to let Yahtzee buy pretzels with it.

Though the spam bots can and do reply to messages.

Just posting to say that I think the Pub Club idea is a good idea.

Now it just needs to be implemented. Please don't let this turn into another case of "It'll be fixed within a week", and we wait months and months and months and it never gets fixed.

 

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