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New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 12. Mar 2019, 14:02
by gapan
We've been having lots of trouble with spam posts lately. They seem to have no problem passing the recaptcha. I don't know if it's bots or actual (malicious) users that register, but most of the newly registered users are actually spammers.

In order to try to combat spammers, we have added a rule for newly registered users: the first two posts of each user will have to be approved by a moderator. Since this is a manual process, it might take a while, maybe a day, or in extreme cases two. We're really sorry for this inconvenience, but it is necessary for us to keep our sanity. You can go and create a post in our Salix pub section, introducing yourself as soon as you register and it will increase your post count. Don't think of anything profound to write, just say hi. :)

For the same reasons, we'll be regularly deleting users that have been registered for a while (maybe a week) but have made no posts at all. I'm certain this will also include some actual users, but they can always recreate their account.

Again, sorry if this causes any trouble.

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 12. Mar 2019, 14:09
by mimosa
Thank you also to those users who have been reporting the spam posts, this does help us spot them sooner.

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 13. Mar 2019, 16:44
by Kingpin
There's now services you can pay for to bypass captchas, so that isn't a problem for them. But I haven't seen them really. ReCaptcha hurts actual users more than the spammers who will bypass it anyway. And if we're having the policy of moderator approval (which is better than captcha, really) then recaptcha should be deleted.

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 13. Mar 2019, 23:58
by gapan
I wrote a blog post with some more details: https://blog.salixos.org/post/spam-in-the-forums/

@Kingpin, actually, reCaptcha has helped a lot. We used to get much more spam in the past. It just didn't drop to zero as I would have expected.

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 14. Mar 2019, 21:02
by ChuangTzu
Thank you, seems like a good plan. ;)

PS: spammers might be Lennart followers. :lol:

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 15. Mar 2019, 14:38
by Kingpin
gapan wrote:
13. Mar 2019, 23:58
I wrote a blog post with some more details: https://blog.salixos.org/post/spam-in-the-forums/

@Kingpin, actually, reCaptcha has helped a lot. We used to get much more spam in the past. It just didn't drop to zero as I would have expected.
But if there is moderation approval anyway, why is captcha still there?

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 15. Mar 2019, 14:40
by gapan
Kingpin wrote:
15. Mar 2019, 14:38
But if there is moderation approval anyway, why is captcha still there?
Because moderator approval still requires moderator time and effort. If the capthca stops a significant amount of bots (which it does), it's still good to have.

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 16. Mar 2019, 10:13
by laprjns
How will we know when there is a post that needs to be approved? You guys seem to clear out all the junk before I wake up.

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 16. Mar 2019, 11:24
by gapan
laprjns wrote:
16. Mar 2019, 10:13
How will we know when there is a post that needs to be approved? You guys seem to clear out all the junk before I wake up.
There have been no spam posts since I made the changes. One bot registered, but didn't make any posts (I know because the username was very obvious). I'm guessing the bots have a way of detecting if posts are to be approved and don't even bother then. We'll have to wait and see how and if they adapt.

There have also been no new legitimate users since the changes, so there were no legitimate posts to approve either.

Once there is a post, you should find a notification on the top right of the forum, next to your Active and Unread topics and Private messages. If a moderator clears it, the notification will be removed from all other moderators.

Re: New registrations/Users with zero posts

Posted: 16. Mar 2019, 21:22
by Papasot
Nobody likes spammers. Well done, gapan.

ChuangTzu wrote:
14. Mar 2019, 21:02
PS: spammers might be Lennart followers. :lol:
He is so impotent to make any decent software so that even his bots would be obvious, like LennartBot01, LennartBot02, etc, or "systemd_rockz01", "systemd_rockz02", and so on :D