View Full Version : Influx of spam

3-Jul-2013, 03:31
I think you might have to implement some kind of CAPTCHA system as the recent influx of spam and spammers can't be much fun for moderators to deal with. The ReCAPTCHA doesn't seem to work very well but a Q&A (ie. what is 25 + 25 or similar basic question) seems to work very well.

3-Jul-2013, 04:28
I hardly think we need to inconvenience every member on every post just because of a few spams.

- Leigh

3-Jul-2013, 05:59
... 50

3-Jul-2013, 06:15
Inconveniencing us for 2 seconds to answer a simple math problem is nothing I'd have issue with if the mod's time is being wasted eliminating many spams on our behalf.

3-Jul-2013, 08:02

I've only seen half a dozen instance of spam per day on the days I see spam. Am I not seeing the rest? I'd be interested in hearing some stats from the mods/admin on the amount of spam the site actually sees that the mods have to manually resolve.

Jim Noel
3-Jul-2013, 08:36
It is rare that I see any spam on this forum. I doubt I would go through the hassle of "Captcha" every time I wanted do view the forum.

3-Jul-2013, 08:56

For all of us old guys with less than perfect eyesight, those Captcha things are pain in the arse.

I've reported a few spam posts, but I don't think there are enough of them to warrant the added complexity of "captcha", or some such.


3-Jul-2013, 10:19
Agree with Preston, even if I'm a younger person I still have problem with captcha =/

Peter York
3-Jul-2013, 12:35
PErhaps we can implement a literacy test:


Randy Moe
3-Jul-2013, 12:38
I often fail to 'captcha' and am unable to use many sites.

I have seen the spam, but the mods must be removing it quickly.

Thank you MODS!

btw, I am a Rocker, not a Mod :)


For all of us old guys with less than perfect eyesight, those Captcha things are pain in the arse.

I've reported a few spam posts, but I don't think there are enough of them to warrant the added complexity of "captcha", or some such.


Robert Hall
3-Jul-2013, 12:50
Captcha: sunny 16 rule to determine shutter speed for 400ASA film? ;)

3-Jul-2013, 12:55
While we appreciate the support, the best way to help us fight spam is to report it when you see it.

Though, I have to say, that I'll be driving home from work (which takes nearly two hours), or in the middle of teaching a workshop in some distant city, and my cell phone will buzz 15 times in as many minutes because of all the reporting, particularly if the spamogram is in a popular thread. Invariably, by the time I get home or to a break and can take a look, one of the other mods will have dealt with it.

But other times, I'll have iPhone in hand and I've gotten pretty good at deleting the posts as spam, banning the spammers, removing all their posts, and reporting them to StopForumSpam, which we subscribe to. I can do that in about two minutes.

The amount of spam we get comes in waves. We'll have days when we get bombarded, and other periods of many days when we'll get nothing at all.

Rick "not the hardest part of the job" Denney

3-Jul-2013, 13:15
I've reported many of the spams.

I'm frequently on the board early in the morning, which is when the Asian spam gets posted.

- Leigh

Steve Goldstein
3-Jul-2013, 14:44
Like Leigh, I'm often on early in the morning (east coast US) and report it when I see it. If the mods aren't buckling under the spamload, as seems the case from Rick's post, then so be it.

One thought I had was to implement a short delay, say 48 hours, between forum registration and the ability to post in any subforum. I suspect a lot of these are drivebys taking advantage of our relatively open board, and so might not bother to come back if they couldn't leave their garbage immediately. Genuine new members could use the time to browse the archives, and existing members would be unaffected. It's just an idea...

3-Jul-2013, 14:50
Another anti-bot technique is to send an email that requires clicking a link before activating the account.

- Leigh

3-Jul-2013, 14:56
Spam can be handled by all moderators, while the frequent Captcha software updates and support for users unable to read them would fall back on the server admin - that would probably be a redistribution of load into the wrong direction.

Ralph Barker
4-Jul-2013, 04:20
FWIW, I don't think any of the mods like CAPTCHA, either. If spammers get past the fairly high bar our registration system poses, the users report, mods delete approach seems to work the best.

Lachlan 717
4-Jul-2013, 13:39
Why not add a response (such as "reported") to the thread once you've reported it? This would stop the mass messaging that Rick referred to.

Brian C. Miller
4-Jul-2013, 16:14
IIRC, the current system does have a CAPTCHA for new members. This only differentiates between bots and humans. However, if a human is doing the posting, then CAPTCHA is ineffective. The forum has had plenty of human spammers. I'm guessing that the current system is good at stopping robot scripts, but nothing that is supposed to be easily usable by humans will stop human spammers.

The only thing that would slow down someone is to compare forum posts, but that would require installation of a script, which is something the mods are loathe to do.