Forum Xamarin.Forms

Spam is getting out of hand

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Posts

  • ethanwjonesethanwjones Member ✭✭

    I don't even understand what they're actually spamming us with... anyway it's a lot better now, thanks guys!

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2019

    Looks like they're at it again.
    I do no understand why it is so hard to configure the site to block this stuff. You don't see this on StackOverflow or 1,000 other sites. It should be a complete embarrassment to Microsoft that their site for the promotion and support of their Xamarin product suffers from this and apparently they are helpless to do anything about it.

    Mountains of it every 3 minutes like robotic clockwork. At the very least how hard is it to block posts that aren't in English character sets - or at least hold them for moderation?

    CC; @AlanClark @NMackay @JohnHardman @JoeManke @JohnMiller @Jingleton

  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity admin
    edited April 2019

    @ClintStLaurent said:
    I do no understand why it is so hard to configure the site to block this stuff. You don't see this on StackOverflow or 1,000 other sites. It should be a complete embarrassment to Microsoft that their site for the promotion and support of their Xamarin product suffers from this and apparently they are helpless to do anything about it.

    It does seem odd. Even adding multi-factor authentication when signing up, or adding a Captcha for the first N messages posted by a user, should make a difference. I raised both of these options previously, but have never heard back why they could not be implemented, or why it was thought they would not help.

    @ClintStLaurent said:
    Mountains of it every 3 minutes like robotic clockwork. At the very least how hard is it to block posts that aren't in English character sets - or at least hold them for moderation?

    There has been some spam that has been in western character sets recently, although it is only a small percentage.

    Oh, is also seems that somebody has Sunk the discussion so it doesn't appear in the forum :-(

    CC; @AlanClark @NMackay @JoeManke @JohnMiller @Jingleton

  • AlanClarkAlanClark USMember ✭✭✭

    Thanks guys!
    We do use reCaptcha for registration. We strongly suspect that these are not bots, and are actual spam farms - people posting manually, so captcha doesn't help much there. If I remember we limit the number of posts in a particular timeframe. Blocking / queuing posts in non-basic-Latin alphabet was problematic (not possible/very difficult) for reasons I don't remember.
    I'm actually a PM on VS for Mac (not Xamarin) so I have limited influence here these days, but I'll bring it up with the Xamarin team and see if they have any plans moving forward.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JohnHardman said:
    Oh, is also seems that somebody has Sunk the discussion so it doesn't appear in the forum :-(

    Revisionist history. If nobody sees discussion of a problem, then the problem doesn't exist.

    @AlanClark said:
    , but I'll bring it up with the Xamarin team and see if they have any plans moving forward.

    Thank you - that is very much appreciated.

    So many of the core mentors from 1-2 years ago have already fled the site for reasons I won't go into again. Leaving it in a state where it gets flooded by spam might just be the final straw for those that remain. That would be sad.

    CC; @AlanClark @NMackay @JoeManke @JohnMiller @Jingleton

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin

    I deleted 9 users this morning, I just don't have the time these days to monitor this place.

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin

    I tried 'unsinking' this discussion but it seems to have been hidden.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @NMackay said:
    I deleted 9 users this morning, I just don't have the time these days to monitor this place.

    @NMackay said:
    I tried 'unsinking' this discussion but it seems to have been hidden.

    THANKS

    for the effort and the time you put in as a volunteer to manage the site/forum. Its very much appreciated!

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's a thought... If the blame for all the spam not being able to be blocked is because of the third party forum software... Stop using it! Get something that you have some control over. You're frelling Microsoft: One of the largest companies on the planet. Shouldn't you maybe be leading by example?

    Why should anyone consider the advice and technology you peddle when you clearly can't do anything for your own outlets? I mean really... How good can your own tech be if you don't use and choose to use a third party? How good can the decision making be at the top or even middle of the food chain if you can't stop spam in foreign languages on a site that specifies all posts should be in English: Isn't that pretty simple algorithm to block?

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    03jun2019
    CC @DavidOrtinau, @JGoldberger, @Jingleton, @AlanClark, @AdamMeaney @JoeManke

    This again? Still no way to filter out non-English spam on a site stated as English?
    Every 90 seconds is going to a ton of [email protected] to slog through. Or result in select all from start to end / delete including any valid posts that get caught up in the middle.

  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity admin

    That was the most I've had to clear in a while...

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin

    I blocked about 10 spammers last week (all in the space of 30 mins or so), felt like only myself and John were cleaning stuff up though. Don't visit that often but I'll remove anything I see but really, there's been a few minor tweaks but no real investment in this resource by Microsoft.

  • JamesMontemagnoJamesMontemagno USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team, Developer Group Leader Xamurai

    So, we currently have the rate limiting set to:

    A few thoughts are change it to...
    1 every 120 seconds or 3 every 240 seconds...

    Thoughts here?

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jamesmontemagno
    Is that truly global, or to new users under a given age of existence on the site?
    Making life hard on established users is never the goal.

  • JamesMontemagnoJamesMontemagno USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team, Developer Group Leader Xamurai

    This is a global for all users, that is why I wanted some input. That is current setting.

    I am working with vanilla to see if we can get some captcha support on new threads.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JamesMontemagno said:
    This is a global for all users,

    That's what I was worried about. Anything that would dissuade a spammer from hitting the site will also stop real users as well.

    I am working with vanilla to see if we can get some captcha support on new threads.

    That would be ideal for the circumstances. I doubt any real user would be upset about needing to validate.
    As long as you're talking with them... Having a per-user setting that requires the captcha would be nice. Then when someone has met some criteria... like... posted 20 threads... they've proven to be a real person and don't have to any more.

  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity admin

    @JamesMontemagno said:
    1 every 120 seconds or 3 every 240 seconds...

    Thoughts here?

    I regularly post more than that, although usually when I realise that I have mistyped something and edit a post.

    A captcha for new threads would be ideal, if and only if it applies to users with less than a certain number of points (not that I know the algorithm for calculating points).

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    TO POST

    That's the real issue.
    Is there a setting for "Create new thread"?
    There's a big difference between creating a post on a thread: IE: Helping with answers... And creating new threads/discussions/questions

  • JoeMankeJoeManke USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JohnHardman said:
    A captcha for new threads would be ideal, if and only if it applies to users with less than a certain number of points (not that I know the algorithm for calculating points).

    +1 for basing it on overall forum points, not number of threads posted. Not that it would be a huge hassle for me, but I very rarely post a new thread so I would probably get hit by any reasonable-sounding number if it was based only on thread count.

  • AtanasAngelovAtanasAngelov Member ✭✭✭

    yeah these spams are really getting out of hand, why would anyone do those kind of things, usually i just assume that some kids just like to troll as they think they are the best, but that just ruins the forum where we help each with our programs and such. I usually hate those kind of acts or in general childish acts

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin

    The flood control clearly doesn't work.

  • ClintStLaurentClintStLaurent USUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2019

    @NMackay
    Even with your efforts (very much appreciated) I saw 90-ish spams that fell into two categories.

    • Chinese text
    • Numeric titles: 01, 02, 03 {...}

    So I see your point about simple rules handling it. For example a title needs to have at least 5 words. Which would also help the quality of posts. Because honestly these posts where the kiddies are only entering "ListView" or "needz help" as the title to their question just get trashed anyway.

    I'm guessing the posts of 01, 02, 03... are tests of someone's code. Seeing if their techniques are working.

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin

    This is a bloody mess

  • AtanasAngelovAtanasAngelov Member ✭✭✭

    Everytime that i come to work in the mornings, i just see pages of pages of spam ATLEAST 2 maybe 3 pages of random people just spamming stuff that is not relevant to the forum, i am still wondering what are they gaining from this? and when are they going to stop this childish behavior.

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University admin

    @AtanasAngelov said:
    Everytime that i come to work in the mornings, i just see pages of pages of spam ATLEAST 2 maybe 3 pages of random people just spamming stuff that is not relevant to the forum, i am still wondering what are they gaining from this? and when are they going to stop this childish behavior.

    Report posts you believe are spam.

  • VovaKamishnikovVovaKamishnikov USMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019

    .

  • DirkWilhelmDirkWilhelm USMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JamesMontemagno @DavidOrtinau any news on this issue? The spam is really getting out of hand in the last couple of days now.

    There really needs to be a solution on this. Personally i think the forum is the best source if i have questions and i really want to help other users if i can, but with this spam its kind of pointless to even look at the forum.

  • igorkr_10igorkr_10 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Today I have reported spam several times and get this:

    So we have report filter but don't have spam filter? :smiley:

  • McC1oudMcC1oud Member ✭✭

    Limit new threads to 1 an hour until accounts can be recognised as legitimate.

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