Zombie members.

Anything R'n'D unrelated.

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bojster
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Zombie members.

Post by bojster » Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:38 pm

Recently many people joined the forum... or not? Just out of curiosity I looked through user's sites and I can guess that many of "people" who joined the forum in late august won't post anything here and their only purpose is to advertise some navel piercings, illegal drugs and "criminal-software" sites, mainly located on russian servers. Even their login names don't try to deny their being mere clones... Shan't we do something about it?

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RAP
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Post by RAP » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:49 am

bojster wrote:Recently many people joined the forum... or not? Just out of curiosity I looked through user's sites and I can guess that many of "people" who joined the forum in late august won't post anything here and their only purpose is to advertise some navel piercings, illegal drugs and "criminal-software" sites, mainly located on russian servers. Even their login names don't try to deny their being mere clones... Shan't we do something about it?
I am not Doing "Illegal Drugs or Crime Stuff", honset.
I have some ideas why members are not posting letters. :arrow:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Members got into jail.
2. Someone died and not posted anymore.
3. Want somewhere far.
Or 4. Maybe they are Thinking something in RnD on a long time.

:)

BTW: And why did you post "Zombie Members"? :?:

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Holger
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Post by Holger » Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:54 am

bojster:
> Shan't we do something about it?

bojster, I think you're right. Another member already pointed that out to me in a PM yesterday, and I had a look over those new "members". It indeed looks like some new kind of "forum spam".
:-(

Ryan Pineda:
> I am not Doing "Illegal Drugs or Crime Stuff"

We all know, Ryan! :-)
bojster did not mean you, of course. :-)

So, this is not an attempt to find out why some members are not posting or something like that -- there is always quite a number of "lurkers" in each forum who never post, which is perfectly OK, of course.

It's just about "fighting spam", one of the plagues of the internet in these days. :-(

In this case, it's some sort of "quiet spam", as I must admit (as nobody is directly bothered by it), but bojster is right that it's worth thinking about doing something about that.

After having a look about those new members, it seems obvious that some of them just found this forum by googling for "diamonds" (-> "jewelry"), and in fact I get quite some mails asking me to exchange links to their dubious "jewelry" sites, which I refuse to do, of course.

So what do others think about all that?
Quietly delete the "obvious" cases of those "cloned spam members"?
Trying to ask them by personal mail about that?
Simply ignoring them?

Please let me know what you think about it -- after all, it's _your_ forum, too! :-)

Flumminator
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Post by Flumminator » Mon Sep 27, 2004 2:24 pm

I don't know if this is possible, but I'd suggest to disable them and if no-one complains within a week or two delete them.
Flumminator->PostCounter += 1;

Zomis
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Post by Zomis » Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:43 pm

Flumminator wrote:I don't know if this is possible, but I'd suggest to disable them and if no-one complains within a week or two delete them.
Yes, it's possible to disable new members. However, my guess is that they aren't even activated. (Unless Holger has set the option to never confirm activations)
Indeed it is forum spam though, unfortunately.

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Post by Zomis » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:02 pm

Holger wrote:So what do others think about all that?
Quietly delete the "obvious" cases of those "cloned spam members"?
Trying to ask them by personal mail about that?
Simply ignoring them?
1. Read below
2. Yes
3. No use I think
4. Yes, after deleting them.

If there will come too many, so we simply don't have time to delete them, then it could be worth to consider ignoring.

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bojster
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Post by bojster » Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:08 pm

Another two joined the forum today... one jeweller and one drug dealer.

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Holger
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Post by Holger » Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:57 pm

OK. I have now deleted all those users which match a certain, obvious "spam pattern".
I think I will have to repeat this procedure every few days now, I'm afraid.

I can't express how much this sucks. I really hate such spam... :-(

Yoshi348
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Post by Yoshi348 » Tue Sep 28, 2004 4:42 am

Did you check to see if they had the same ip?

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Post by Zomis » Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:25 am

Yoshi348 wrote:Did you check to see if they had the same ip?
Admins & Mods can only see the ip on posts, not which ip the users register from.

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Martijn
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Post by Martijn » Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:25 pm

maybe this is possible: EVERY user (activated or not) gets a warning if he/she does not login for a month or so. If they don't login within the next month, they will be removed.
This would be to keep a rather tidy forum with only active members (and no members who only submit to ask 1 question --> they can also do that in 'guest mode').
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Post by Zomis » Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:08 pm

Martijn wrote:maybe this is possible: EVERY user (activated or not) gets a warning if he/she does not login for a month or so. If they don't login within the next month, they will be removed.
This would be to keep a rather tidy forum with only active members (and no members who only submit to ask 1 question --> they can also do that in 'guest mode').
Well, even though it's possible to check the lastvisit time, I don't prefer this mode either. Simply because there's a lot of serious users who don't post. If one register, one can always use the "View posts since last visit" function which is really excellent.

So in my opinion, only oubvious spammers should be deleted - if it doesn't take too much time.

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Holger
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Post by Holger » Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:25 pm

Just deleted a few more which registered today, and a few old spam members.

I found a good criteria which gives me a 100% safety that they are really spam members, but I won't tell it here, because "they" might read this thread, too. So if you can guess it, please don't post it here. ;-)

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bojster
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Post by bojster » Tue Sep 28, 2004 8:12 pm

Martijn wrote:maybe this is possible: EVERY user (activated or not) gets a warning if he/she does not login for a month or so. If they don't login within the next month, they will be removed. This would be to keep a rather tidy forum with only active members (and no members who only submit to ask 1 question --> they can also do that in 'guest mode').
I would oppose to *any* automated user-deletion. It will always cause some misunderstandings, like with spam-filters: they always filter out some no-spam mesages.
Also, sometimes a user goes to some computer-free place (like pacific paradise ;-]) and you would delete his account only because he doesn't login for two months? That's wrong.
I can think of at least one good method of (non-automatic) registration control, and I suppose Holger thought about it as well, or maybe something better :-)

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Holger
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Post by Holger » Tue Sep 28, 2004 8:44 pm

> I would oppose to *any* automated user-deletion. It will always cause some misunderstandings,
> like with spam-filters: they always filter out some no-spam mesages.

Right; any automated spam detection method allows for false positives, which is always the biggest problem... :-(

> Also, sometimes a user goes to some computer-free place (like pacific paradise ;-]) and you
> would delete his account only because he doesn't login for two months? That's wrong.

That's correct, of course, but I think Martijn meant only those "members" not logging in within one month *directly* after registering. Besides the question if this would be a good idea or not, I don't know of such functions in phpBB, and I won't build them in by myself (but there might exist such modifications for phpBB which add such functionality; don't know).

> I can think of at least one good method of (non-automatic) registration control, and I suppose
> Holger thought about it as well, or maybe something better :-)

Well, it's nothing too sophisticated, just something that gives a very good (practically perfect) indication that a new account is a spam account. It maybe only works for spam members from this certain Russian spammer (so don't be afraid that I delete all new members just because they come from Russia, which would in fact be a bit stupid ;-) ).

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