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  1. #1

    Default Spamming has been really getting out of hand for the past few days

    Over the past few days we've been getting a bazillion threads spamming about handbags in the Black Sabbath General section, and some in other sections of the board as well. It hasn't been like most of the times where someone will just spend an hour spamming the hell out of the board then go away, no, they keep coming back and posting more spam. It would be nice to see this be dealt with, Joe or Damian.
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  2. #2
    KiloDeltaCharlie's Avatar
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    I've reported a load over the last few days but no one seems to be monitoring the "report" posts at the moments.

    Also Joe hasn't updated the Survivor Poll since it expired on Monday, so I quess he is away/busy at work for the time being.
    Last edited by KiloDeltaCharlie; 12-06-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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  3. #3
    OzzyIsDio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icy Sun View Post
    Over the past few days we've been getting a bazillion threads spamming about handbags in the Black Sabbath General section, and some in other sections of the board as well. It hasn't been like most of the times where someone will just spend an hour spamming the hell out of the board then go away, no, they keep coming back and posting more spam. It would be nice to see this be dealt with, Joe or Damian.
    Agreed, I never see spamming over at the Zeppelin forum, why?
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
    Agreed, I never see spamming over at the Zeppelin forum, why?
    Well the first question is is the Zeppelin forum an OFFICIAL forum? Because you have to remember, black-sabbath.com is not the official band website. It's run by a fan.
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  5. #5
    OzzyIsDio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icy Sun View Post
    Well the first question is is the Zeppelin forum an OFFICIAL forum? Because you have to remember, black-sabbath.com is not the official band website. It's run by a fan.
    Hell man I don't even know. What does that have to do with it?
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
    "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
    Hell man I don't even know. What does that have to do with it?
    Because an official site would probably be run by a lot of admins and mods that could kill spammers on sight. This site, it's just 2 guys, Joe and Damian. And they got day jobs.
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail pic extravaganza! http://www.black-sabbath.com/vb/showthread.php?t=31523

  7. #7
    OzzyIsDio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icy Sun View Post
    Because an official site would probably be run by a lot of admins and mods that could kill spammers on sight. This site, it's just 2 guys, Joe and Damian. And they got day jobs.
    Oh, I see.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
    "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
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  8. #8
    Now in Darkness's Avatar
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    I think that sometimes there is wisdom in not deleting too soon, as that can be like swatting away mosquitoes; a new batch just moves right in. What I think might be worth considering is for Joe to appoint a few people some limited administrator privileges, so that certain forum members can delete some of the spam. This really is annoying, and I'm sure that there are people who would be glad to help. Whatya think Joe?
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  9. #9
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Now in Darkness View Post
    I think that sometimes there is wisdom in not deleting too soon, as that can be like swatting away mosquitoes; a new batch just moves right in. What I think might be worth considering is for Joe to appoint a few people some limited administrator privileges, so that certain forum members can delete some of the spam. This really is annoying, and I'm sure that there are people who would be glad to help. Whatya think Joe?
    It's not a problem usually. I've always been resistant to adding people as mods.

    If people reported them, that's a bigger help. As was pointed out, it's just three of us (not two as was posted above). Unless we live on the boards (which we do not), we wouldn't see it unless someone tells us. That's a much bigger assistance than just appointing new moderators. The tools here let us deal with them quite easily.

    Also, I need to update the forum software as well. When I do that, it will mean I have to change the skin (will get into that later when I actually do it), and I've found a new forum anti-spam tool I'll implement as well.
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  10. #10
    OzzyIsDio's Avatar
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    TJSwoboda, would be the third.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
    "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator Damian's Avatar
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    Thanks for your concern, safeguards have been put into place to crack down on the spam attacks. The recent spate of these posts is very unusual for us. Spam is nothing new, but this last organized attack had me removing upwards of 50 posts a day until we realized that more effective steps needed to be taken. Please continue to report what you encounter and hopefully things will be getting under control shortly.

    D.
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  12. #12
    OzzyIsDio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damian View Post
    Thanks for your concern, safeguards have been put into place to crack down on the spam attacks. The recent spate of these posts is very unusual for us. Spam is nothing new, but this last organized attack had me removing upwards of 50 posts a day until we realized that more effective steps needed to be taken. Please continue to report what you encounter and hopefully things will be getting under control shortly.

    D.
    Will do Damian, and thank you for keeping the forum clean and your hard work, it's greatly appreciated.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
    "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
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  13. #13
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damian View Post
    Thanks for your concern, safeguards have been put into place to crack down on the spam attacks. The recent spate of these posts is very unusual for us. Spam is nothing new, but this last organized attack had me removing upwards of 50 posts a day until we realized that more effective steps needed to be taken. Please continue to report what you encounter and hopefully things will be getting under control shortly.

    D.
    Also, it's not just here. It's across the board on all forums. Askimet crashed a week ago or so. It's an across the board forum spam attack everywhere. Not just here.
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  14. #14
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    Since I installed the new spam modification, it has blocked 860 users from creating spam accounts. Gotta love that.
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  15. #15
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    It must have been the first day of cricket season.
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  16. #16
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    Check this out. I knew this, but tonight I looked at the logs. If there's an approved account that posts what the new tool considers "spammy", it will flag it for review before posting it live. I looked in that queue tonight, found about a dozen msgs, and then deleted the posts from the queue - and then the accounts that made them.

    These were accounts created before the new tool went in, but that's cool this tool is helping out a lot. Even if someone would get through to post something, it seems to be stopping the actual posts, too.

    http://www.black-sabbath.com/images/moderation.png
    Joe Siegler, Webmaster - Black Sabbath Online
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  17. #17
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    I'm even happier with this spam stuff. Check this out. The posts that do get through and posted get put into a queue. Till this point I was just outright deleting the users who posted them. Now, there's a new option I didn't see before where I can tell "Spam-O-Matic" to delete them (and more). Check this out - it's from the admin control panel.

    When the tool does its thing it does all this to the user and their posts/threads..

    Spam-O-Matic has performed the following actions:
    Selected user was removed
    User details were submitted to StopForumSpam
    User details were submitted to Akismet
    1 thread was removed permanently
    Users who have used the same IP address:
    IPs used to register:
    dounnyZooni - Registered Users
    Prughencebugh - Registered Users

    So not only were they removed from here, but their info was sent to the central database of people that it blocks. I like that. This tool is free, but man, I'm thinking of donating because of that. Very useful.
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  18. #18
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    It's awesome how well this is working now!

    Only one spammer has gotten through!

    Let's hope this will work well for a long time!

  19. #19
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    Well, regarding "gotten through" - I suspect that account was already here before I started using this software.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Siegler View Post
    Well, regarding "gotten through" - I suspect that account was already here before I started using this software.
    Ah...yes. That would make sense.

  21. #21
    OzzyIsDio's Avatar
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    Unbelievable how many spammers have been blocked.

    There is another one, by the name HarveyMarshall.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
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  22. #22
    Now in Darkness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
    Unbelievable how many spammers have been blocked.

    There is another one, by the name HarveyMarshall.
    Yup. I identified several in one of the threads around here. CourtneySmith is another. It seems that any new account with the first and last name of a person has been a spammer (ie: CourtneySmith). Love the improvement Joe. That spam nonsense was way out of hand. Thanks.
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  23. #23
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    If you look at the number of blocked ones on the front page, the couple we've had to deal with is no big problem.

    I don't think any solution will be 100% effective, but so far this is good.
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  24. #24
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    There's another level I forgot to mention. If something gets through, and it's posted as spam, it goes into "pending", where you won't see it. I will. But you won't. Look at this screen dump. I set it up so you have to have "x" number of posts (I think i set it to 5) before it won't flag you. Most spammers post one or two posts and go away. This does mean if you're a new user and you post something with a link, it too will get sent to pending, but I think it's a small price to pay given the spam issues lately.

    http://www.black-sabbath.com/images/spam.png
    Joe Siegler, Webmaster - Black Sabbath Online
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  25. #25

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    Site looks great Joe. Thanks again for all you do for us Sabbath fans. With the new spam filter we have a lot less "members".

  26. #26
    Non Insect Overlord Joe Siegler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by led sabbath View Post
    Site looks great Joe. Thanks again for all you do for us Sabbath fans. With the new spam filter we have a lot less "members".
    Well, a month ago, I went back and did a purge, this was before we started getting really bad with spam here. Look at this email I sent to Damian the day I did this..

    I just went through the user base and deleted any user that matches these parameters:

    1) Has a user post count of zero

    2) Hasn't logged on in 90 days

    3) Is *NOT* a banned user - this way existing banned/spam accounts stay there and blocked

    I have been notified a few times over the last two months about some guy whose site was delisted by Google due to excessive spam. He's been sending me users who have their signatures have his site in them. He was sending them to me one or two at a time.

    So today, I got tired of piecemealing that, and searched the database for the string in question, which was "****************". That found like 150 or so users with that in their signature with a user post count of zero. One's profile page also shows the signature, so that's a spam loophole I need to close.

    Anyways, vB didn't allow me to delete them in bulk, I had to do one by one, so after about a dozen of them, I said "Screw that", and decided to purge ANYONE with a user account of zero that hasn't logged on in awhile. I also put that in the spam filter so that nobody new can do that again.

    I set the conditions as I listed above, and a search of the userbase found Fucking 18,152 users that met that criteria! Considering the ENTIRE user base no matter what the condition is totals 22,758? Holy shit that's a lot of inactive users. Either way I went ahead and did it. Some of these dead accounts go back to 2008! So it's high time, IMO. I'm hoping this purge dumps out a lot of these kind of fake spam accounts like I described above.

    Just wanted to explain the massive drop in users if you happened to notice it.
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