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Thread: New Members/Spammers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Default New Members/Spammers

    I'm seeing lots of new member names that are suspicious for spammers or worse. I assume admin is aware but wanted to see if others have noticed as well.
    We are here to add what we can to life, not get what we can from life. -Sir William Osler

    We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    Quote Originally Posted by jackmd View Post
    I'm seeing lots of new member names that are suspicious for spammers or worse. I assume admin is aware but wanted to see if others have noticed as well.
    I wonder because they seem odd names to me but never see them post ever, so I am sure either spammer or shy guy.

  3. #3

    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    Is this a new Member or Spam

    lissasverdlova

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    Quote Originally Posted by goon View Post
    I wonder because they seem odd names to me but never see them post ever, so I am sure either spammer or shy guy.
    If the name seems odd, its almost certainly a spammer.
    We are here to add what we can to life, not get what we can from life. -Sir William Osler

    We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    Quote Originally Posted by jackmd View Post
    If the name seems odd, its almost certainly a spammer.
    What about my name?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    Interesting you've noted the increase in spammers trying to get on the board. The moderators have noticed a spike in signups from obvious spammers.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    Here's what's going on behind the scenes and some of the safeguards built into the software to try to discourage spammers:

    The software requires the applicant to type in a combination of letters and numbers that are in odd and uneven typefaces -- you've seen that before. That's the first line of defense against computers mechanically signing up for sites. So, if a human is signing up (some kid in a poor country getting paid $0.10 per hour to try to get on websites in America), they can get past that page. The next hurdle is all applications have to be approved by a moderator. Moderators have access to a special page which lists the applicants who made it past the first hurdle. We look for several things and decide whether to approve or block the application.

    I first check the IP address used by the applicant. If it's from Latvia, Russia, China, Thailand, etc., I make a decision that its unlikely the applicant is a Jackrabbit fan and I block the applicant. I also look at the applicant's name but the IP address is usually quite conclusive. Sometimes I go to a second site where I can check not only the location of the IP address but I can also search the frequency the applicant's IP address, name and e-mail address are being used to apply to other message boards.

    Other moderators may do something a little different but we get at the same point: blocking spammers and suspicious applicants.

    For a couple of days over Christmas, the applications were way down. In the past few days, however, the applications have jumped considerably. I spent more than an hour late last night (one eye on the TV) going through 27 applications -- most I've seen as a moderator in one day -- and all but a few were the bad guys. The site I use (its free) to check IP addresses only permits one to check 20 IP addresses and then it "times-out" for a day so I had to go to an alternative site.

    Usually its a 5-10 minute job every day. Yesterday (and today) were unusual but there does seem to be a trend of more spammers attempting to get on the board to sell cheap drugs, tennis shoes and financial services.

    The software permits the moderators to block an IP address and e-mail address and we do that. For example, if the following IP address is used by the applicant: 60.28.216.14, that will lead to a specific city in China. When we block the IP address, we'll typically use a wildcard to expand the block. So, 60.28.* may be listed in an attempt to block an entire region. We're trying to stop the applicant, his 10 friends and 21 cousins.

    What happens if an IP address is blocked but there is a legitimate applicant who is affected? That's happened. One nasty who got on the board for a short while, got the boot and the IP address from which he applied, was blocked. It later turned out the IP address was for a hotel in Sioux Falls and a moderator who's name shall go unmentioned (but his initials are "filbert") was blocked from accessing the board while staying at the hotel for the Summit League Tourney! If my memory is accurate, filbert when to a different site, signed on and unblocked the IP address at his hotel.

    One guy who was booted from the board was posting from multiple IP addresses over in Minnesota and elsewhere. His signup IP address was blocked. Weeks later the moderators received a message from what we suspect is the bum's co-worker or his supervisor at work, a legitimate guy who wanted to join the board. We unblocked the IP address and just decided to let that one play out -- we didn't rat out the employee but we haven't forgotten him, either (just in case he decides to assault the board, we'll see what his employer thinks of some of the crud he's sent to us from their computer).

    If a person applies and is blocked, then can send e-mail and protest which would cause the moderators to investigate further and decide if the person should be waived in. That has RARELY happened.

    So, you may see new applicant's names appear but they are not getting through.

    Darned spammers are a real pain in the butt.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    Quote Originally Posted by slosho View Post
    What about my name?
    Chad is not that odd of a name, butta bing.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    the active members list is growing at a good pace, still guessing its spammers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    DFW Rabbit now, Look for me on disc golf courses, or nearby flood disaster
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    Default Re: New Members/Spammers

    I've not seen a spam attack (multiple threads of ads) in over a year. Apparently the mods required approval prior to being able to post is working well at keeping spam off the board.

    Silent members can be very normal.

    Active, passionate members who are "reasonable" are always welcome, whether a Jacks fan, or a reasonable "other" school (opponent) fan.

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