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#1 2022-01-14 08:56:02

Mathegocart
Member
Registered: 2012-04-29
Posts: 2,199

Possible to report spam members?

Hello MIF friends,

There has been a recent influx of members that only post once and have promotional or advertisement links in their bio or signature.

Would it be possible to report and extirpate these spammers?


The integral of hope is reality.
May bobbym have a wonderful time in the pearly gates of heaven.
He will be sorely missed.

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#2 2022-01-14 12:17:37

pi_cubed
Member
From: A rhombicosidodecahedron
Registered: 2020-06-22
Posts: 79

Re: Possible to report spam members?

Maybe try reporting the spam posts?

Last edited by pi_cubed (2022-01-15 06:47:53)


pi³

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#3 2022-01-14 12:48:38

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 35,501

Re: Possible to report spam members?

All efforts are being taken.


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#4 2022-01-14 12:50:21

zetafunc
Moderator
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: Possible to report spam members?

It is unfortunately not just a recent phenomenon: it has been happening daily since I became a mod here and probably before then too (based on the lengthy ban list). In most cases the decision to delete/ban is straightforward since many of the posters you mention have often already been reported multiple times on places like 'Stop Forum Spam' or otherwise have an e-mail address which a simple google search reveals that they've done the same thing on half a dozen other forums. In other cases it can be much more difficult because some new members will deliberately post something harmless and then edit in a link a few days later, or they might pose as an ordinary member only to start eventually posting ads. These (particularly the former) are generally harder to spot and are less easy to deal with: I generally avoid banning posters unless I have good reason to and prefer to have some evidence of wrongdoing if at all possible but these types are admittedly (somewhat) rarer.

New users have to click on an activation link sent to an e-mail address to register which cuts down the number of spam registrations significantly: without this we would easily have a hundred different spammers a day (this is no exaggeration). As I understand there are also restrictions which prevent most new members (with < x posts) from posting links, which is why we have lots of new daily registrations from spam accounts but of those only a small proportion end up posting ads, and there are also word censors which filter out a few too. Consequently the spam that does make it through is, IMO, annoying but not unreasonably so, given (a) the nature and number of spam posts, (b) the overall forum activity susceptible to clicking on said posts and (c) the administrative resource available. At the moment (a), (b) and (c) are reasonably balanced and therefore the level of spam is, in my view, manageable. Regrettably we have in the past had the occasional new member post some particularly awful content on here -- and I can't be certain that some of the people who visit this forum (members or not) didn't fall victim to it where we may not have been able to deal with the issue immediately -- but fundamentally the most determined spammers/advertisers will find a way around any precautionary measure and so we tend to operate on a best endeavours basis given the tools we have.

In the meantime please continue to report any posts you see like this as it helps us deal with them more quickly: we often check the forum a few times a day but there will always be the odd one or two that get through when none of the mods/admins are active.

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#5 2022-01-14 19:57:14

Bob
Administrator
Registered: 2010-06-20
Posts: 9,353

Re: Possible to report spam members?

hi

I used to ban the spammer, then search through for all their posts and remove these too.  Then I discovered that I have a delete member option which takes out the member and all their posts in one click.  So this has become my preferred option.

Mostly these posts are complete rubbish or blatant adverts but a new type is political posts.  These posters are putting links to propaganda and/or stories the poster thinks need to be in the public domain.  As we don't want to get embroiled in such arguments I delete these too.

A recent new member had put a website link to an essay writing service.  I'm wondering if it's really worth having such links as an option to make it less easy to create such advertising.

Bob


Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz
You cannot teach a man anything;  you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei
Sometimes I deliberately make mistakes, just to test you!  …………….Bob smile

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#6 2022-01-14 21:35:41

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 35,501

Re: Possible to report spam members?

Hi,

The links are to be edited by Administrators/Moderators. The forum rules are paramount.


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#7 2022-01-15 11:48:25

Mathegocart
Member
Registered: 2012-04-29
Posts: 2,199

Re: Possible to report spam members?

zetafunc wrote:

It is unfortunately not just a recent phenomenon: it has been happening daily since I became a mod here and probably before then too (based on the lengthy ban list). In most cases the decision to delete/ban is straightforward since many of the posters you mention have often already been reported multiple times on places like 'Stop Forum Spam' or otherwise have an e-mail address which a simple google search reveals that they've done the same thing on half a dozen other forums. In other cases it can be much more difficult because some new members will deliberately post something harmless and then edit in a link a few days later, or they might pose as an ordinary member only to start eventually posting ads. These (particularly the former) are generally harder to spot and are less easy to deal with: I generally avoid banning posters unless I have good reason to and prefer to have some evidence of wrongdoing if at all possible but these types are admittedly (somewhat) rarer.

New users have to click on an activation link sent to an e-mail address to register which cuts down the number of spam registrations significantly: without this we would easily have a hundred different spammers a day (this is no exaggeration). As I understand there are also restrictions which prevent most new members (with < x posts) from posting links, which is why we have lots of new daily registrations from spam accounts but of those only a small proportion end up posting ads, and there are also word censors which filter out a few too. Consequently the spam that does make it through is, IMO, annoying but not unreasonably so, given (a) the nature and number of spam posts, (b) the overall forum activity susceptible to clicking on said posts and (c) the administrative resource available. At the moment (a), (b) and (c) are reasonably balanced and therefore the level of spam is, in my view, manageable. Regrettably we have in the past had the occasional new member post some particularly awful content on here -- and I can't be certain that some of the people who visit this forum (members or not) didn't fall victim to it where we may not have been able to deal with the issue immediately -- but fundamentally the most determined spammers/advertisers will find a way around any precautionary measure and so we tend to operate on a best endeavours basis given the tools we have.

In the meantime please continue to report any posts you see like this as it helps us deal with them more quickly: we often check the forum a few times a day but there will always be the odd one or two that get through when none of the mods/admins are active.

Thank you for the extensive and comprehensive response. I appreciate the tenacious efforts you guys pull.


The integral of hope is reality.
May bobbym have a wonderful time in the pearly gates of heaven.
He will be sorely missed.

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#8 2022-01-15 12:00:59

Mathegocart
Member
Registered: 2012-04-29
Posts: 2,199

Re: Possible to report spam members?

pi_cubed wrote:

Maybe try reporting the spam posts?

I've noticed some spammers who've attached *ssay promotional services, but never post. I was wondering if those could be reported somehow.


The integral of hope is reality.
May bobbym have a wonderful time in the pearly gates of heaven.
He will be sorely missed.

Offline

#9 Yesterday 01:46:47

Bob
Administrator
Registered: 2010-06-20
Posts: 9,353

Re: Possible to report spam members?

hi Mathegocart

Admin and Mods check the forum most days and deal with spammers and their posts. 

At the bottom of every post you should be seeing a 'Report' button that flags up any post of concern.  Admin and Mods get the report message when they log in and can jump to the post and do something about it.  Are you seeing that button?  Some forum features were lost when we moved to the new server and things that I can see are not necessarily visible to all. So please confirm if you have the report option and try it out by reporting this post for me. You should get a message space to give your reason, so please make it clear it's a test for me.

If you stumble on an edited post that isn't showing as a new post you should still be able to report it.

I've had a look through the options available to me on the forum.  I can switch off the information on the post side panel so that a members website doesn't show, but that would have apply to everyone, not just one member.  Similarly signatures can be turned off.  I'm very reluctant to do either of these as good members suffer along with the bad.

Bob


Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz
You cannot teach a man anything;  you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei
Sometimes I deliberately make mistakes, just to test you!  …………….Bob smile

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#10 Yesterday 04:09:36

Mathegocart
Member
Registered: 2012-04-29
Posts: 2,199

Re: Possible to report spam members?

Bob wrote:

hi Mathegocart

Admin and Mods check the forum most days and deal with spammers and their posts. 

At the bottom of every post you should be seeing a 'Report' button that flags up any post of concern.  Admin and Mods get the report message when they log in and can jump to the post and do something about it.  Are you seeing that button?  Some forum features were lost when we moved to the new server and things that I can see are not necessarily visible to all. So please confirm if you have the report option and try it out by reporting this post for me. You should get a message space to give your reason, so please make it clear it's a test for me.

If you stumble on an edited post that isn't showing as a new post you should still be able to report it.

I've had a look through the options available to me on the forum.  I can switch off the information on the post side panel so that a members website doesn't show, but that would have apply to everyone, not just one member.  Similarly signatures can be turned off.  I'm very reluctant to do either of these as good members suffer along with the bad.

Bob

Thanks for the clarification Bob. Appreciate the hard work y'all do.


The integral of hope is reality.
May bobbym have a wonderful time in the pearly gates of heaven.
He will be sorely missed.

Offline

#11 Yesterday 04:16:14

Bob
Administrator
Registered: 2010-06-20
Posts: 9,353

Re: Possible to report spam members?

hi,

Report message seen smile

Bob


Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz
You cannot teach a man anything;  you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei
Sometimes I deliberately make mistakes, just to test you!  …………….Bob smile

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