Spam is getting out of hand

SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

Title basically says everything. The spam from whoever these guys are is getting seriously out of hand. It is nearly impossible to use the forum with the amount of "shitposting" going on. Can't the admins do anything against that. It's really grinding my gears....

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  • AndreiMisiukevich_AndreiMisiukevich_ USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    agreed ++

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2018

    Agreed, I would suggest they grant limited rights to a number of trusted long timers that can either delete the spam users or at least hide all posts from them until an MS person can handle it. I would volunteer for that, as Im sure would plenty of others. @Jingleton any options available to you for that?

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

    @JohnHair said:
    Agreed, I would suggest they grant limited rights to a number of trusted long timers that can either delete the spam users or at least hide all posts from them until an MS person can handle it. I would volunteer for that, as Im sure would plenty of others. @Jingleton any options available to you for that?

    Same here i would love to delete the s*** out of these spammers :D

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    See existing thread...
    https://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/comment/341025#Comment_341025

    I suggest the Outlook filter I explain there.
    Basically set Outlook to delete all emails from Xamarin.Forum except those that have some common words that should appear in every 'real' post like "the" "this" or "is"

    End result for me was hundreds of spams tossed in the trash and about 25-ish genuine messages that I give two-hoots about.

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

    @ClintStLaurent I overlooked that post, because guess what the spam.... :D

  • JingletonJingleton DEForum Administrator, Xamarin Team, Insider, University, Developer Group Leader Xamurai

    Spam is an ongoing issue for all of us as it continues to evolve outside the scope of our forum host regulations/limitations.

    That said, we are currently in the process of adding more Forum Moderators to help assist with these outbreaks during off hours of standard support.

    Please stay tuned for updates and thank you for your patience while we work through this together!

  • SlinkyRaptorSlinkyRaptor Member ✭✭

    Is there no way to add a captcha to the sign up process? It's very easy to automate at this point in time.

  • BushbertBushbert Member ✭✭✭

    @Jingleton Let the users moderate. Automatically mark entries for moderation after they’ve been flagged for spam x times by unique users. If you need some coding changes, there’s plenty of people here to help.

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018

    WOW now its really getting out of hand.... This needs to be dealt with fast...

  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity mod

    I'm not sure about letting users moderate. If it becomes a case of can people manually delete spam faster than the spam arrives, the spammers will just continue doing what they are doing. They're messing with people and user moderation would just be playing their game. More important is stopping the spammers, which is where a Captcha on new questions & discussions should help. If the spammers progress to creating spam answers then the Captcha would then go onto those too (although probably only after the Nth response from the same account each day). Similarly, making account creation more rigorous (e.g. sending a code to a mobile number using SMS that then has to be entered back in the account creation page to complete creation) should deter spammers. If Microsoft has their mobile number, that would be a deterrent. Even if the spammers used burner phones, the cost would mount up as they replaced them or replaced the Sims.

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

    Rant Alert
    I generally dont get why you would spam a forum full of posts. What do you get out of it except being a total jerk and having people being pissed off at you...
    I mean if you get your satisfaction from it good for you...
    End of Rant

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NMackay said:
    Yeah,

    It's trashing a valuable technical resource, Fed up asking MS for help on this though.

    You should be able to flag an individual user rather than a thread.

    Problem there is the spammers are generating email addresses programmatically as well.
    User "456", thread title "456", body "456" - pointless. It looks like it is someone's way of either deliberatly attacking the site or just confirming their 'bot code works. Here's a statistical look at last night's spam: 220-ish spams for 23 valid messages.

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018

    That is so ridiculous. Why not spam another forum... But nooo its much more fun getting in the way of people trying to actually get things done and discuss their problems and ideas....
    God i really am furious about this...

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @ClintStLaurent said:

    @NMackay said:
    Yeah,

    It's trashing a valuable technical resource, Fed up asking MS for help on this though.

    You should be able to flag an individual user rather than a thread.

    Problem there is the spammers are generating email addresses programmatically as well.
    User "456", thread title "456", body "456" - pointless. It looks like it is someone's way of either deliberatly attacking the site or just confirming their 'bot code works. Here's a statistical look at last night's spam: 220-ish spams for 23 valid messages.

    Does seem deliberate.

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

    That makes me wonder even more... WHY? Why would several human beings sit down to spam a forum... What do they get out of it. Its not like anybody would tell these people hey spam the s*** out of these forums and I'll give you 100$ per 100 posts....

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AlanClark said:
    I'm thinking they're spam farms - not bots. They're circumventing our spam gubbins (technical term) by creating "legitimate" posts and threads (sometimes to the extent of copying other posts) and then when they're whitelisted they're spamming.
    Captcha is something we've tried before but because they're not bots it only slows them - doesn't stop them. That said, we're discussing this alongside other options.
    Again, in the meantime please continue to report posts - it does make a huge difference!

    Can I ask if it makes a difference if I flag 1 post for a spammer or 20 for the same spammer? I actually feel like I'm wasting my time. I would much rather have limited mod access as mentioned above. I could have cleared all of the spam users earlier this morning and I pop in throughout the day.

  • BushbertBushbert Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 2018

    Dare i ask how someone can spam who is flagged for spam 13 times and hasn’t contributed anything other than spam.
    Look at this profile. gfdshjhgdg01

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Bushbert said:
    Dare i ask how someone can spam who is flagged for spam 13 times and hasn’t contributed anything other than spam.
    Look at this profile. gfdshjhgdg01

    Because there are no rules coded in to prevent it.
    Here's what I saw as a ratio of good:spam from over the weekend, when I came in this morning.

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JohnHair said:

    @AlanClark said:
    I'm thinking they're spam farms - not bots. They're circumventing our spam gubbins (technical term) by creating "legitimate" posts and threads (sometimes to the extent of copying other posts) and then when they're whitelisted they're spamming.
    Captcha is something we've tried before but because they're not bots it only slows them - doesn't stop them. That said, we're discussing this alongside other options.
    Again, in the meantime please continue to report posts - it does make a huge difference!

    Can I ask if it makes a difference if I flag 1 post for a spammer or 20 for the same spammer? I actually feel like I'm wasting my time. I would much rather have limited mod access as mentioned above. I could have cleared all of the spam users earlier this morning and I pop in throughout the day.

    Hi Alan, I didn't get a response to my post. As of 17:30 today (BST) I have flagged something like 30+ posts this morning as spam and they are still there (they normally get cleared by 14:30 BST). So flaggins as spam doesn't appear to make any difference at all. If someone has been tasks with monitoring the spam flag count then they are doing a piss poor job. I won't bother any longer.

  • AlanClarkAlanClark USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team Xamurai

    @JohnHair The flagged posts are hidden when a particular number of users flag them - not just one user. This is to prevent users flagging other users' posts incorrectly.
    We're still considering our options here. Hopefully I'll have an update soon.

  • JohnHJohnH GBMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AlanClark said:
    @JohnHair The flagged posts are hidden when a particular number of users flag them - not just one user. This is to prevent users flagging other users' posts incorrectly.
    We're still considering our options here. Hopefully I'll have an update soon.

    Is that for each individual post? So only individual posts will hidden, not all for a high flagged user? Sorry, I'm not to keen going through 100s of posts flagging them in the hope that 2 (3? 4? 7?) others do the same. Hopefully those other options you chaps are considering will provide a better solution, and I would be happy to beta test any solutions you come up with.

  • AndreiMisiukevich_AndreiMisiukevich_ USMember ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018

    Probably, it would be OK idea to force attach your github/google account to your profile
    And if user doesn't have attached profile, forbid creating posts.
    Moderators will block both xamarin-forum profile and github account of the spammer.
    It's more difficult to create new github account 50 times per day.

    Any ideas?

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks like it was a busy overnight for spammers again:

  • GiampaoloGabbaGiampaoloGabba USMember ✭✭✭

    this is becoming ridiculous....

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

    Ikr you can't even browse the forums normally -.-

  • AndreiMisiukevich_AndreiMisiukevich_ USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey, what about my suggestion? Add binding to github account?

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

    That would be a great idea. Doesn't seem like the admins have taken notice

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    Over the weekend message:spam ratio:

    @Szbesta said:
    Ikr you can't even browse the forums normally -.-

    Who browses? Is that a big thing for others? I never do. I get a notice in email of new topic.

    CC: @AndreiMisiukevich_ @GiampaoloGabba @JohnHair @AlanClark @Bushbert @NMackay @DavidOrtinau @Jingleton

  • AdamMeaneyAdamMeaney USMember ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018

    I usually wait to browse until the mods get on and clean it up. Usually its around a good time in my work day to take a small break.

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

    I'm doing exactly the same as Adam

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    CC: @AndreiMisiukevich_ @GiampaoloGabba @JohnHair @AlanClark @Bushbert @NMackay @DavidOrtinau @Jingleton @JoeManke @AdamMeaney

    Just FYI: So much spam that our corporate email system started flagging everything from Xamarin Forums forums@xamarin.com as spam and not even letting it pass to users such as myself. I had to write our internal support department and request xamarin.com be re-white-listed because we need it as a development resource. I have no doubt that if we keep getting bombarded with emails triggering our anti-spam defenses that it will get blacklisted again, for good.

    Monitoring the new posts at the forum is untenable as mentioned because its 200 spams for every 2 good messages. If all the emails get blocked as well its going to throw a major kink in participation. I know I for one won't weed through 200 messages to see if there is something on the off chance I might be interested in responding to. I'm not going to spend more time filtering by hand than I do in actually writing a reply.

    I highly encourage whomever at MS/Xamarin responsible for this mess to get something (anything) in place (even on a fast but temporary basis) before other major spam mechanisms start blacklisting xamarin.com on a large, wide-spread scale.

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    Just FYI: So much spam that our corporate email system started flagging everything from Xamarin Forums [email protected] as spam and not even letting it pass to users such as myself

    Microsoft are not doing enough, linking the accounts to github may be the only solution.

  • BushbertBushbert Member ✭✭✭

    @ClintStLaurent That's going to be a real problem very soon. I just cant believe that MS has not got to grips with this yet? Maybe its not important enough. :*

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @Bushbert said:
    @ClintStLaurent That's going to be a real problem very soon. I just cant believe that MS has not got to grips with this yet? Maybe its not important enough. :*

    Yeah, that's my thoughts too.

  • SzbestaSzbesta Member ✭✭✭

    Seems to have gotten better over the last days.
    @ClintStLaurent How is the spamfilter statistic looking ?

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