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Annoying influx of Spam etc


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Firstly -

Thank you to all those Members who 'report' spam in any guise - single images, members albums, comments and forum posts.

On 4/23/2024 at 6:18 PM, Tony Parsons said:

I'm chopping them as I find them - does reporting them actually assist the Mods at all, does anyone know, please ?

Reporting spam triggers a few very useful functions, one of which is alerting Moderators to suspicious activity.

Being alerted by a member's report makes it so much easier for a Moderator to effect a 'permanent' remedy to the Spammer's Account.   

On 4/20/2024 at 9:18 PM, Niels - NHSN said:

I am not sure if the spammers have found a new "hole" in the defences of the forum software or if some preventive setting have been changed.

That seems to be the situation.

On 4/20/2024 at 9:18 PM, Niels - NHSN said:

It seems that we don't have the ears of the owners, and only rarely do we hear from system admins, so any remedial action is possibly in the hands of our volunteer moderators and the timezone they operate in.

I understand the owners are now aware of the situation.

It seems plausible that a system modification is required. Access to effect such a modification is two levels above Moderator Traits and also requires expertise (and possibly access beyond (general) Administrator Traits. 

Having Moderators who operate in 12 hour "opposite" time zones, has been a strength of Photo.net since the "early days" and you all can thank Josh Root for that policy implementation.

Without appearing to blow trumpets - I reckon that it's good we have that situation now, too. 

Having said that - please note that Sandy has been taking on the bulk of the front line 'removal' activities.

For clarity, my activities lean more to cleaning up the debris.

WW

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****

MODERATION COMMENT

 

2 hours ago, arthur_mcculloch2 said:
2 hours ago, hjoseph7 said:

It seems that the xxx pictures masquarading as art are back again ?

Yes. I find them quite artless, and offensive. An irruption of misogyny.

It is reasonably obvious to which images hjoseph7 and arthur_mccullock2 refer.

Note the images posted contravene neither the Site's Terms and Conditions nor User Guidelines.

Note also that opinions such as "xxx pictures masquarading as art" and "quite artless, and offensive. An irruption of misogyny" are valid opinions, and as valid opinions equally should not be removed.

Please note that the above is a Moderation Comment constructed for Members' information and as such it may not be further commented upon, in this thread or the Forums   

William

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Update -

A friend who accesses 'Social Media' (which I do not) has mentioned that by calling some of the numbers given in SPAM posts can result in funds being diverted to terrorist organisations. No idea of the truth of this, but it is another reason to be careful, in my view. Ploughing through an inordinate amount of these posts at the moment - really should be illegal on a religious holiday.

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Posted (edited)

Today I experienced the spammer "GameGeek" creating 19 posts in a timespan of 5 minutes.

The time it took to report one spam post - as quickly as the system allowed me - was seemingly enough time for this spammer to create 2 or 3 new posts - talk about fustration😭.

I think the only way out of this is to enable moderator approval of new member posts, until they have posted maybe 4-5 sensible posts over a period of time.
The Invision Community software seems to support something like that out of the box: https://invisioncommunity.com/4guides/security-and-rules/spam-prevention-r9/

Pre-moderation for new members is annoying for the new member, as well as yet another task for volunteer moderators, but I fear this will not disappear by itself.

It is essential to catch the spam before it goes public.

As long as the posts appears for even a little while, the spammers have achieved their "spray and pray" purpose and will continue to see this site as a potential source of revenue.

This is organised crime - after all -  with potentially serious consequences for those who call the telephone numbers, and therefore important that Photo.net don't even indirectly support the activity by taking it lightly. 

Edited by Niels - NHSN
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Niels
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Once anyone has reported the first GameGeek post, the individual can be removed with all other posts quickly and easily.  No need to race. Have no idea what changed, but we had a similar / worse invasion a year or so ago.   I am spending more time on the computer than I care to, first thing in the morning, occasionally in the course of the day and last thing at night.  Doing the best we can, but some of these spammers are very tricky.

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22 hours ago, Niels - NHSN said:

<snip>

I think the only way out of this is to enable moderator approval of new member posts, until they have posted maybe 4-5 sensible posts over a period of time.
The Invision Community software seems to support something like that out of the box: https://invisioncommunity.com/4guides/security-and-rules/spam-prevention-r9/

Pre-moderation for new members is annoying for the new member, as well as yet another task for volunteer moderators, but I fear this will not disappear by itself.

It is essential to catch the spam before it goes public.

<snip>

Just prior to reading this, I was thinking along the same lines - if this is not a valid approach, given the volunteer nature of the Moderation team, would it be possible to prevent new registrations for a period (maybe a week ?). An automatic message explaining the situation would assure potential legitimate members that this was a temporary measure, and they were in no way to blame - and hopefully would defeat the bots responsible, as I doubt they are designed to cope with this kind of mass rejection.

Just a thought. BTW, is all this SPAM emanating from a single ISP ? If so, contacting them might be another line of defence.

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13 hours ago, Sandy Vongries said:

Once anyone has reported the first GameGeek post, the individual can be removed with all other posts quickly and easily.  No need to race. 

Great to know Sandy. Going forward I will only report a given spammer's post once. 

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22 hours ago, Sandy Vongries said:

Thanks, but more hands are involved than mine alone.

Well then Sandy, thanks to all those that worked on getting the spam out. Today is another day that I've seen no spam.............yay!!!

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Little bit today. My current approach is to get the profile of the offender, then open up a post and report that, as I gather from previous advice that it is only necessary to report each perpetrator once. We'll see how that goes. As ever, thanks and kudos to the Mods for all their hard work in dealing with this menace.

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There seems to be a whole lot of spam this morning, with the violator described as a "guest".  I know almost nothing about how to filter spam out of a website such as this, but it seems to me that the moderators need help from the site owners and their programmers in order to mitigate the current attack on PN.  Of course we know that our current owners aren't making any money on PN and could just shut it down if we rock the boat too much.

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