Spambots constantly on this forum

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You know what I love seeing when I click into Gaming Discussion?

image

See if you can count how many times "baba" shows up!

(It's all of them. It shows up all of the times.)

The mods seem to have rounded up a posse to stamp the bots out. So far so good... well for the last couple of days at least.

Yeahhh, so...

image

This sort of thing should really be ringing alarm bells. Big massive alarm bells.
There's no way a bot should be getting anywhere close to a hundred posts, nevermind a hundred different threads cluttering up the forum.

You can throw even more mods at the problem, but it's still not stopping the problem at its source. Either reinstate captchas on the forums, or implement some other solution, such as:

theSovietConnection:
Given they seem to exclusively create new threads, maybe have a post limit before you can create new threads? Or a time limit between created threads?

I rather like this second idea. If a new user joins the forum, they're never going to need to make more than 2 or 3 new threads at the most. Put a restriction like that on all new accounts, at least until the account is 14 or 30 days old, or whatever.

Bang, the lion's share of the spam gone, just like that.

IceForce:
You can throw even more mods at the problem, but it's still not stopping the problem at its source.

It is, however, a solution the Escapist can implement without its tech team.

I had spam on my old forum. And I got rid of it pretty effectively by asking a question relevant to the site. In this case, I would ask who runs/owns The Escapist. Spambots are rarely, if ever, tailored to a specific site.

I'll send more, it seems you like it.

Moo!

Wrex Brogan:
Personally I'm just confused as to who they're even targeted at - it's not like the Escapist has the most robust of membership or foot-traffic these days, and the threads aren't around long enough to really contribute to any google search metrics.

Just seems like a wasted effort, really. Unless it's a troll/disgruntled ex-member/someone just taking advantage of the lack of tech team.

Most bots are essentially set it and forget it.
Whether they're mining for data, spreading malware, or promoting some random shitty scam they're just set up initially and just continually run until someone turns them off. It's a shotgun approach to get what they desire.
Hell I have an email account that was compromised 15 years ago, I basically abandoned it shortly thereafter but once or twice I've logged in just to see. And without fail 15 years later it still gets a dozen or so failed login attempts from various places.

Throwing more mods and hiring coders to create a capture for non pub club memebers worked in the past, why not do it again?

Dr.Susse:

Redlin5:

shrekfan246:

Tech team? What's that?

Adam Jensen:
This site is also in dire need of maintenance. It's so slow to load compared to pretty much every other website in history of websites.

Something that existed in the Escapist of yore.

No reminiscing about the past!
Now eat your Gruel.

Are we in the mad max universe? I've not been away that long for society to fade from this dark land?

Can someone explain WHY the captcha was removed? I don't think anyone has yet explained the reasoning for its removal.

SolidState:
Can someone explain WHY the captcha was removed? I don't think anyone has yet explained the reasoning for its removal.

Possibly for convenience? Something intended to keep regular and new posters around that backfired hard? I unno.

Evil Smurf:
Throwing more mods and hiring coders to create a capture for non pub club memebers worked in the past, why not do it again?

>hiring coders

Well there's your problem. That costs money, and they Escapist doesn't have any.

SolidState:
Can someone explain WHY the captcha was removed? I don't think anyone has yet explained the reasoning for its removal.

After the tech team was fired, slowly but surely certain things on the site started breaking and/or stopped working correctly. I mean, hell, that's to be expected when you fire literally the only people who can actually fix the things that break.

Fast-forward to today, and this site is now plagued with a fucking laundry list of bugs and glitches and things not working correctly.

I know this doesn't really have any other value other than being a complaint, but I want to bring up that this is kind of getting out of hand with the spam. There are literally dozens of pages covered with crap right now on the Gaming Discussion forum. There needs to be a solution to this :/

17 Pages! we're gonna need some industrial strength disinfectant for this mess.

I've been away for a while, and I've returned to... this.

Did the mods/staff just give up and abandon the place or what?

An idea at this point might be to just rename the gaming board to "spam board" or something, and just make a new gaming board. It's weird that 99% of their effort seems to target just one subforum.

I'm sure rearranging the subforums like that could probably be done by the mods themselves, without even needing staff / tech team assistance, so it's a possible simple and quick solution.

How come the wild west doesn't have any spam? Is it a "hidden" subforum or something?

Wintermute:
How come the wild west doesn't have any spam? Is it a "hidden" subforum or something?

It's only accessible to Pub Club members. You either need to be a paid subscriber, or be one of the many who received a lifetime subscription for free. Aaaand the bots are neither of these things.

And they don't even take us to dinner or give us a good dicking before spraying their love all over the forums. Makes me feel cheap.

IceForce:
It's weird that 99% of their effort seems to target just one subforum.

I guess it's just because it gets the most views.

What do people who make these bots hope to gain?

Really taking these bots down will require *gasp* an actual tech team. Something Defy doesn't think is a worthy investment. So you better get used to this.

Marik2:
What do people who make these bots hope to gain?

They're looking for those one or two marks out of thousands of potential targets of their spam. If they reel those one or two in, the spam campaign turns a profit. Spam, whether in email or forum posts costs virtually nothing to make and distribute, so it doesn't take much for it to be worthwhile (email is more lucrative since a spammer can effortlessly send out millions of messages claiming to be Nigerian royalty or claiming to sell cheap dick pills or whatever).

Even if you "merely" trick 0.001% of those millions of recipients means for every million people you spam, you've successfully conned 10 of them out of some money, possibly hundreds of dollars apiece.

The spamming......the spamming...

Look like the op jinxed it as the off topic is now hit by the spambots!!

Scarim Coral:
Look like the op jinxed it as the off topic is now hit by the spambots now!!

They're... evolving...

Arnoxthe1:
Really taking these bots down will require *gasp* an actual tech team. Something Defy doesn't think is a worthy investment. So you better get used to this.

Yeah, pretty much this. Sad, but true.

Welcome everyone, to the all-new spammy Escapist forums.

Funny how the solution was just to get a shit ton of mods to just slap them down. It's like filling up and dumping buckets of water over the side of the boat instead of filling the hole. Maybe if Defy started paying for a tech team again we might be able to come up with a better fix. But... NAH

I don't want you guys to feel like we are ignoring it because we are not.

We have been pestering the staff pretty much non-stop about it. In my last PM, I even literally copy/pasted five of the suggestions that were in this thread in the hopes that something gets done about it because while you guys hate the spam, I guaran-freaking-tee that we hate it even more as we have to clean that crap up.

The staff has assured us that they are working on a permanent fix but as stated above, I guarantee that us Mods are more irked about how long this is taking than you guys are.

Spamposting on The Escapist like someone shitting on the floor of a Kmart.

Nobody gives a fuck because it's going bankrupt anyway.

Problem seems to be getting worse. It's not uncommon now to see all 20 pages of Gaming Discussion filled with spam, at certain times of the day.
At that point I have to wonder why the bots persist, because they've basically won. After they've filled all 20 pages with spam, they're no longer competing with the users, - they're competing with each other.

The Spam Wars.

I have to admit, if someone had asked me five years ago how the Escapist would end, drowned under a tide of Vashikaran Love Problem Babas would not even have been in my top ten guesses.

Seriously, guys. Add a time limit between posts.

I code all day long for my day job, and that's simple stuff.

tfw Yahtzee is behind the spambots because he wants everyone to leave so the site can't pay him so he can do a patreon style gig and not have to be on this mess.

Yoshi178:
not gaming related, but can whoever the admins are on this website PLEASE just add a captcha or something that's required to make posts or comments.

seems like literally every single day this place is being spammed like hell by bots, mods then have to delete all the threads. the spam threads disappear for a few hours, just so they can all come right back the next day.

it baffles me why something as simple as a captcha hasn't been added to forums to stop all the spambots like this yet.

Just to keep you guys up to date, we're discussing whether we should do captchas or another solution. Either one will require coding knowledge but we're going to fix this as soon as we're able to!

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