New user spam detection

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goes211's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 1114
New user spam detection

The site show track the number of a (new) user's posts that have been flagged as spam.  If a large % of the first few posts are flagged as spam, all others should automatically be flagged and removed pending a moderator's approval, and that users posting rights should be suspended.  This should lower the work required by both users flagging posts and moderators approving the flagged posts.  Also if the posts were automatically removed, it would also greatly reduce the incentive to create accounts just for spam.

Moderator Jason's picture
Moderator Jason
Status: Moderator (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2008
Posts: 98
Re: New User Spam detection

Hi goes211,

Great idea.  Thanks to the fact that we have a dedicated community, we usually catch spammers quickly.  Whenever a new user makes a post that is flagged as spam, after deleting that post the standard procedure is to summarily suspend the user's account, check to see whether they have made any other posts, and delete all other posts by that user.  But none of this happens automatically.

We are currently looking into whether our software could be set up to immediately hide flagged spam pending moderator review, without waiting for a moderator to delete it manually.  If possible, that would be a great improvement over the current system. 

If the user's account could be automatically blocked, that would be even better.  Since it takes about 30 sec. for a moderator to delete each post, if a spammer hits the site with a lot of posts, it takes a little while to remove them.  Let's see what can be done.

Thank you to everybody who takes the time to flag spam and keep the forums clean.





Damnthematrix's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
New User Spam detection

I run a Yahoo list for australian followers of Peak Everything.  We had a lot of problems like this too, and in Yahoo at least, it is possible to automatically make every new member moderated.  If that new member posts something appropriate, we usually demoderate this new member immediately upon posting, until further notice.  Most new members don't post anyway (I'll bet there are thousands of "lurkers" on this site) and so it makes for very little work to stay on top of spammers this way. 



plato1965's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615
new user spam

 An open free forum is always vulnerable to abuse, especially from commercial spam.

  Currently there are 3 levels of visitor to CM.

i ) Guests - Free. limited reading, no registration, no posting

ii) Members - Free. ability to post.

iii) Subscribers - Full access.

 The spam abuse comes via group ii. Almost always on the first post.

 Possible solution.. a small fee for new members. $1 ? $5 ?


  * Spam should be eliminated. Simply not cost effective for a spammer..

  * Members have the satisfaction of helping support the site even if they can't afford a full subscription.


  * Might deter some genuine contributors.


 Could be trialled for a few months... if it deters NEW membership too severely, then rethink.


goes211's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 1114
Did this get semi-implemented?

I just logged on and saw a single new post, on a bunch of random threads, from from a user.  This is a sure sign of new users spam so I went about flagging a few of his posts as spam.  Suddenly I noticed his name changed to SPAM_XXX.

Did someone implement new user spam detection or did a moderator just happen to flag him while I was?

plato1965's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 18 2009
Posts: 615



 new user. (15 minutes old)..

 already filled up the recent comments with inane spam posting..

 there are tactical methods  - small fee.. almost *any* size fee..  1c !! to register.

 or algorithmic measures.. eg exponential trust..

 <10 valid posts.. allowed 1 new post per day..

 <100 posts..  allowed 3 .. up to a maximum of 10 per day..

 if you send me the php code for new posts and some info on the sql tables  (post count, and last post date) , I'll have a bash at  suggesting a fix..  Drupal based ? err hopefully it'll be intelligible.. ( I rolled my own forum in 2001.. - 2010. )

Tragedy of the commons.  Meh..

let's fix it.

[Thanks Plato, I'll bring your post to the attention of Ron, our site admin.  - Jason]


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