Crazy idea to fight spam

Hey all,

I know that lately (today) there have been an unbearably large amount of spam posts. I find that it would be somewhat easy to combat - although this would take a bit of work.

Is it possible and feasible to create a bot account that watches all the new threads looking for the following criteria:

-OP has less than 10 posts
-Entire body of the post is less than x words
-Post is edited
-etc, etc.

When a post meets the criteria, it is deleted or hidden.

Just an idea, wondering what you all think.

In addition to that it would detect if the post has a link of some sort because that seems to be present in all spam posts.

This seems like one of the more practical anti-spam solutions, so kudos!

I’m just worried about casting a net that’s too tightly-woven, and accidentally knocking out some legitimate threads along the way (thinking specifically of discussion threads started by anonymous accounts since they also tend to be relatively short and often include links) But hey, if you add specific enough criteria then that problem could probably be averted.

The post could be temporarily hidden until mods review it

Or just hide all posts containing the words “live stream” :slight_smile:

Like the idea… problem is this version of vBulletin is a bit… antiquated, and probably can’t do it without coding it as a custom mod. Brandon has also said publically (sorry I’m too lazy to find/link the thread) he’d like to move software once the software he wants to move to is out of beta.

So, I think we’re probably more like to see minor tweaks or things that vB can do out of the box, than custom coded solutions.

That won’t go over well with TBA users.

The other criteria won’t be met and so it wont be an issue. Unless they get a new poster.

Could do this by scraping the page returns externally and arrive at a viable list of junk.

Note. I recently just posted for the first time with a new account. It had this whole message that the post may not appear right away and that it could take up to 2 days to get approved but it was instantly there.

Why are you admitting to breaking site rules? Duplicate accounts are not permitted without mod approval.

Woah hold up there.

I was talking about the F4 Network account which got explicit approval from the webmaster. (Brandon)

So, as I see it, there has not been much opposition to this proposal. Would it be possible for some mods and people with more technical experience than I to chime in on the feasibility of the plan?

The problem that I see is when someone with a low count needs help. During the season new users ask for help with problems and this could delay responses with information that could help their team.

I’ve often been treated as though I speak for all of FRC11 even when I clearly note I do not always do so.

If you make an external system to scrape this forum, could put in a user registration system where a team can designate a user whom can vouch for the other users and avoid the delay by vetting the users before they need help in a pinch.

This seems like a big headache to integrate into this forum’s software. Probably easier to write it and test it as an external system then figure out a way to connect the systems together. In theory you’ll end up with a list of high probability spam to show that the system works.

What about a subforum for posts from users with under 5 posts which can only be posted in once a post is approved by any member with 50+ posts.

What about that but for every forum?

Edit: I mean members with a certain post count (+100?) review other users first posts.

It would have to approved by a mod.

This is a great idea. Pretty much every newer user (50+ posts as you said) can tell if it is spam or not. Plus it will allow me and many others like me who are on all the time to do a “mod-like” task when no mods are on.

Currently a lot of the spam seems to link to

As a temporary fix, could a ban on links be implemented? I don’t think anyone legitimately needs to link there.

Most of these links do lead to, but not all. Obviously as you stated, it would be a temporary fix, due to the fact that it would only filter those links.

It is possible. I don’t know if CD has it, but vBulletin has a plugin that blocks links stemming from one link.

I like this idea, and until a long term fix can be found, this would work.