Author Topic: A Note on the Spam.  (Read 27212 times)

Heradel

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on: November 25, 2008, 03:11:06 AM
Hey folks,

You've all probably noticed the spam that's hit the forums recently. We're taking it down as quickly as possible, but if you see something up that shouldn't be please hit the report link instead of replying to the topic — it sends out an email to the moderators and we'll get it gone a lot faster. We've been killing the threads instead of killing the text in the post because some of the spam accounts include links in the signatures that aren't editable by the moderators, so any replies you post will end up being taken out as collateral damage.

Thanks,
—Heradel (Bill)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 03:17:21 AM by Bdoomed »

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Bdoomed

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Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 03:17:07 AM
and only hit the "report to moderator" button ONCE!
Sometimes I get 3 of the same reports all at once, but I don't know if its a messup or if it really is the reporter pressing it 3 times...
:P

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


stePH

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Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 05:31:34 AM
Sorry ... I just happened to enjoy posting
Quote
DB ALERT!
to the last one I saw.  Obviously somebody else caught and deleted it.

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising


Heradel

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Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 08:43:10 AM
Let me just be clear, I'm not indicting anyone (I took care of that one StePH, and also one tonight that Thaur replied to with a plea for people not to click on the links). It's an annoyance that you guys can't really do anything about except reply or hit the report button. Now, there are times when none of the moderators will be awake — though I and Bdoomed are college students and usually up late on the East Coast, and Russell apparently keeps pretty normal waking hours for someone with kids in Berlin (as opposed to me) so for the most part someone's awake and will have an email program that'll ding them when you report a post (and there are other moderators like Alasdair in GB or Rachel in CA, but we three do the brunt of moderation).
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 08:44:48 AM by Heradel »

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Zathras

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Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 01:34:21 PM
I think there is an error with the report button.  I always only click once, but get an error that says I've posted within the last 5 seconds.



Corydon

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Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 03:50:16 PM
My understanding is that replying to spambots will draw their attention: it's like naming Hastur... oh shi-

Anyway, the thing to do, therefore, is to report spam, but NOT reply to it.



Zathras

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Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 10:38:11 PM
Oh great and powerful N-sh, hast thou forsaken us?  What transgressions have we done upon this world that You graciously provide?  Why dost thou enemies assault us?  Yea, verily your Angels smite the smut peddlers and drug pushers before most of your flock can be exposed to their vile ways.  Yet our enemies redouble their efforts.  What sacrifice dost thou require of us?  Shall we burn incense and peppermint upon Your altar?  Is this a test of our faith?  Please, Mighty One, tell us of our follies so that we can redeem ourselves in Your sight.



Thaurismunths

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Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 04:30:37 AM
Oh great and powerful N-sh, hast thou forsaken us?  What transgressions have we done upon this world that You graciously provide?  Why dost thou enemies assault us?  Yea, verily your Angels smite the smut peddlers and drug pushers before most of your flock can be exposed to their vile ways.  Yet our enemies redouble their efforts.  What sacrifice dost thou require of us?  Shall we burn incense and peppermint upon Your altar?  Is this a test of our faith?  Please, Mighty One, tell us of our follies so that we can redeem ourselves in Your sight.
Why do you doubt Him, Zathras?
What void in your faith leads you to believe that this is not part of N-sh's plan?
You think they who pamphlet our forums are enemies of Him. Could they not be friends of His sent to test the faith of His flock?

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


Zathras

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Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 04:05:06 PM
Forgive me, I am but a poor Nuub.  I would ask for a sign, such as a burning bush, but the ones that assault us promise that.



Bdoomed

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Reply #9 on: December 11, 2008, 05:11:34 AM
and i dont think it would make such a great story for a man's bush to be on fire.
not hot at all.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 04:31:56 PM by Bdoomed »

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Talia

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Reply #10 on: December 11, 2008, 10:31:06 AM
I imagine it would be quite hot, actually.



Talia

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Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 09:46:21 PM
I think this was addressed somewhere but I can't remember, Im sorry..

every single time I've gone to report a spam thread, after hitting "send" (or whatever) after typing my comment it ALWAYS says, "page is unavailable try again later."

Is it actually going through anyway? or does the page just hate me for some reason



Bdoomed

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Reply #12 on: January 26, 2009, 10:04:22 PM
mostly not going through i assume, seeing as how i dont get many reports, but some that DO send i get like 5-8 copies of the same report.

i think its just better to not report spam threads.  leave reporting threads to reporting offensive comments or something like that.  We see spam threads and delete them as we see them, so there is no need to report them.  I always check every new thread so i'll see any spam threads left unnoticed, so dont worry :)

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


FamilyGuy

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Reply #13 on: January 27, 2009, 01:10:32 AM
I had the same problem as Talia did regarding the "page unavailable" message.  I will stop reporting spam.

When will all the rhetorical questions end?


Bdoomed

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Reply #14 on: January 27, 2009, 05:13:18 PM
but remember, dont hesitate to report a comment you feel is overtly offensive/ etc.!

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Talia

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Reply #15 on: January 27, 2009, 09:34:53 PM
Doesn't seem like there's much of a problem with that here. Everyone's pretty civil except me, I'm a big fat jerk.



Bdoomed

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Reply #16 on: January 28, 2009, 12:15:15 AM
every once in a while we get some nasty comments.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Russell Nash

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Reply #17 on: January 28, 2009, 08:43:05 AM
But then I promise to be good and we're back to normal.



Heradel

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Reply #18 on: February 26, 2009, 06:15:19 AM
Just a quick note, there's some active work on the spam issue, so while it probably won't disappear it will hopefully be diminished. If something goes wonky for you, don't hesitate to email me or the other moderators.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


Russell Nash

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Reply #19 on: February 26, 2009, 08:52:48 AM
The observant among you may notice that Ben, bdoomed, Heradel, and I have all moved up to Autarch status.  This is all part of the spam annihilation effort. 

Steps have been taken and more will be taken to stop new bots from signing up.  We are also going to start a spamming death squad.  Our plan is to remove all of them from the membership list.  This, of course, will take a while.  We don't want to get any real people by accident. 

We probably will get a couple of real people by accident.  We're sorry.  If that happens to you, sign back up.  Then come here and bitch at us about it.  We'll apologize and give you a shiny present.  Not really, but we will apologize. 



Raving_Lunatic

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Reply #20 on: February 26, 2009, 04:52:02 PM
I am NOT a robot :)



Talia

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Reply #21 on: February 26, 2009, 05:02:38 PM
Methinks thou dost protest too much...



Raving_Lunatic

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Reply #22 on: February 26, 2009, 05:33:36 PM
You're just envious because I'm not a machine.

This machine can only swallow money



Russell Nash

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Reply #23 on: February 26, 2009, 05:50:42 PM
I am NOT a robot :)

You're already scheduled for accidental termination.



Zathras

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Reply #24 on: February 26, 2009, 05:58:47 PM
I am NOT a robot :)

You're already scheduled for accidental termination.

Hence my reluctance to hijack this thread. 

Besides the bots, are you guys working on the other forum issues?



Heradel

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Reply #25 on: February 26, 2009, 06:25:30 PM
I am NOT a robot :)

You're already scheduled for accidental termination.

Hence my reluctance to hijack this thread. 

Besides the bots, are you guys working on the other forum issues?

We've been told that they are being worked on, but not by us.

My Forums-not-liking-Safari problem seems entirely fixed, but I went to the 4.0 beta, so that might have solved it.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


izzardfan

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Reply #26 on: February 27, 2009, 03:04:24 AM
I've found that when I make a post, I click AND HOLD the post button a couple of seconds before releasing it, and the post goes through without a hitch.  Otherwise it's a 95% chance I'll get the "you've already submitted this post" result.  Of course, I go to the page and check, and the post IS already there.

Also, if I get "this page is not available" when I change pages, I click back on my browser and SLOWLY (as above) try again.  It usually works.

In this impatient internet society of ours, there are times when it's advisable to slow down.



Raving_Lunatic

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Reply #27 on: February 27, 2009, 04:39:56 PM
I am NOT a robot :)

You're already scheduled for accidental termination.

Hmm... the freedom of inevitable death means that i can do what I like! *spams Gallimaufry with threads about my secret crush on Zathras*



Talia

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Reply #28 on: February 27, 2009, 04:47:01 PM
Not so secret. We all know about the shrine in your bedroom.



Raving_Lunatic

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Reply #29 on: February 27, 2009, 04:57:27 PM
Hah. Didn't know about the picture of him I carry in my wallet OR the one stapled to my forehead. Heck, I bet you don't even know about the nightly stake-outs of his house, or the R_L Loves Zathras I had tattooed where it hurt.



Russell Nash

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Reply #30 on: February 27, 2009, 09:25:36 PM
R_L, I took out over 650 bot accounts and you're still here.



Raving_Lunatic

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Reply #31 on: February 27, 2009, 09:45:47 PM
Someone is looking down on me with joy!



Russell Nash

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Reply #32 on: February 27, 2009, 10:00:17 PM
It's called dramatic tension.  You'll never know when we're going to get you.  I'm done for today, but Heradel and bdoomed will be starting soon.



Raving_Lunatic

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Reply #33 on: February 27, 2009, 10:02:47 PM
I can't keep an all night vigil just to work on American time >:(



Russell Nash

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Reply #34 on: February 27, 2009, 10:10:31 PM
Will you be able to sleep not knowing what will happen?  Will you still be here in the morning?  What is really after death?  Oh, wait, that was a little far.



Raving_Lunatic

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Reply #35 on: February 27, 2009, 10:17:00 PM
Angelene. says (21:44):
i'm not afraid of the truth
Thomas says (21:44):
I'm a forty-eight year old female plumber from brixton and i'm outside your house now 
Angelene. says (21:46):
 :lol:
Angelene. says (21:46):
just knock man
Thomas says (21:46):
you mean woman
Angelene. says (21:46):
hot
Angelene. says (21:46):
man is just an expression from americaland
Thomas says (21:46):
fine
Thomas says (21:47):
anyway I can't knock
Thomas says (21:47):
I lost my arms in a plumbing accident
Angelene. says (21:47):
 :lol:

Edit: I hit copy and paste to some quote I found from somewhere but evidently it didn't work and this is still on the Ctrl + V. But ah well, it's vaguely amusing.

Edit2: OK, could be seen as spam and I don't want any trigger-happy mods *cough, cough* gunning me down over it. So I'll type out the initial response, which was going to be


Russell, you have power of life or death now. Use the gift wisely. By which I mean preserve my sorry ass.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 10:22:34 PM by Raving_Lunatic »



Zathras

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Reply #36 on: February 27, 2009, 11:15:43 PM
Watch out for the Pod People!  If anyone starts acting strange, or in some of our cases, normal, STAKE THEM!



Talia

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Reply #37 on: February 28, 2009, 12:15:51 AM
aren't we all Pod people of a sort? :P



Zathras

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Reply #38 on: February 28, 2009, 05:32:48 AM
::drops a flying elbow on Talia::



Heradel

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Reply #39 on: March 03, 2009, 08:37:07 AM
Returning to seriousness (well, as much as this place ever does), we've done some things that seem to have cut down on the spam getting through.

First off, as you've probably seen at the top, we have an email address (eaforumadmins (at) gmail (dot) com) for the forum admins in case you need to contact us. I've got mine going through my Mail client, so you should get a pretty quick response from one or all of us.

Secondly, we've begun a long, slow process of deleting bot accounts. We've deleted a lot over the last two days, there are probably at least a thousand left to delete. There will probably be some unfortunate externs that haven't posted that get caught up in this and are deleted. We're sorry if we do, but if you're reading this and have register but not posted, well, post. We are mostly friendly and rarely bite, and posting is the easiest way for us to identify you as human. Or mostly human, as it usually turns out.

Thirdly, we've begun IP Bans for any account that posts spam. We'll ban the last octet if there are more than a few different IPs in that range spamming us. If you get caught up in this, please email us immediately with your email address or account name and we'll fix it. We try to check for real users in the range, but there's a lot of IP's to ban.

Fourthly, we've banned anyone with a .ru email address or anyone from a Russian ISP from creating an account. This shouldn't affect existing users who are traveling or live in Russia, and will hopefully prevent a range of spam we've been dealing with. If you're in Russia and want an account here, email us and we'll create one for you.

Fifthly, don't reply to spam threads, hit the report button. I know it's frustrating, but your response will be killed along with the thread and the spam will be gone all the quicker for hitting the report button (once). We all get the emails, and one of us will jump on it. We've even got a moderator in Berlin and college students on the East Coast, so one of us is usually up.

And I think that's about it. We're still working out the kinks, and it will be a while before the member list is purged to our satisfaction. We're working on some more preventative measures like the Russian ban, but we've got a limited set of triggers to do the fine detail work with. No one's emailed us complaining, so hopefully we haven't stepped on any toes yet. I'll answer any questions you have, and suggestions are welcome.

Your Sanguinary Moderator (an appropriate title for the non-PP moderator for once),
—Heradel
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 08:42:14 AM by Heradel »

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Zathras

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Reply #40 on: March 03, 2009, 12:38:26 PM
Thanks for the hard work.



eytanz

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Reply #41 on: March 03, 2009, 12:43:26 PM
Thanks for the hard work.

Seconded.



Talia

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Reply #42 on: March 03, 2009, 03:39:00 PM
rarely bite

Except for me. I bite all the time. *bites eytanz and Zathras*



Zathras

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Reply #43 on: March 03, 2009, 04:32:54 PM
Oh yeah?!?  Well, you just got tagged, Talia!  You're it!



Russell Nash

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Reply #44 on: March 03, 2009, 06:16:37 PM
rarely bite

Except for me. I bite all the time. *bites eytanz and Zathras*

When she does that, you need to slap her on the nose.



eytanz

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Reply #45 on: March 03, 2009, 06:35:26 PM
*Is curious as to whether he's now a werewolf*



MacArthurBug

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Reply #46 on: March 04, 2009, 01:58:56 AM
Oooh bite me bite me..

wait.. never mind.. I'd like it waaaay too much.

Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


Russell Nash

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Reply #47 on: March 04, 2009, 10:23:19 AM
R_L, I took out over 650 bot accounts and you're still here.

We're up to 1400 bots.



oddpod

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Reply #48 on: August 23, 2009, 08:44:07 PM
so when is judgment day?  :)

card carying dislexic and  gramatical revolushonery


Bdoomed

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Reply #49 on: August 23, 2009, 08:53:02 PM
when Vegeta crushes his scouter

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Zathras

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Reply #50 on: August 23, 2009, 08:56:36 PM
If you track any of the IPs to a physical location, let me know.  My 6lb hammer and I will pay them a little visit.



Heradel

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Reply #51 on: August 23, 2009, 11:03:48 PM
If you track any of the IPs to a physical location, let me know.  My 6lb hammer and I will pay them a little visit.

Tracking them down to states or even counties is pretty easy, but addresses usually require subpoenas, which I don't think anyone here is authorized to issue. Thankfully.

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