So many new posters

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Jorpho
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So many new posters

Postby Jorpho » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:05 am UTC

Everywhere I look, there seem to be posts by people with extremely small postcounts. I keep itching to report them, except so much of the time they don't quite look like robo-spam, which suggests that there's actually been a sudden influx of new blood. What's up with that?

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Re: So many new posters

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:57 am UTC

This happens on most forums I frequent during the summer months. Summer break, probably.
I edit my posts a lot and sometimes the words wrong order words appear in sentences get messed up.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Lazar » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:04 am UTC

I still think a lot of them are spammers though. The m.o. seems to be: make your first post in a specialized topic (bonus points if it's a necro), consisting of one or two lines with very bad punctuation and grammar, vacuously agreeing with what someone else has written.
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Re: So many new posters

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:56 am UTC

Lazar wrote:I still think a lot of them are spammers though. The m.o. seems to be: make your first post in a specialized topic (bonus points if it's a necro), consisting of one or two lines with very bad punctuation and grammar, vacuously agreeing with what someone else has written.


Newbies that have yet to learn the merit in lurking before posting tend to do that too.
I edit my posts a lot and sometimes the words wrong order words appear in sentences get messed up.

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orinjuse
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Re: So many new posters

Postby orinjuse » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:23 am UTC

I'm new and I'm not a bot or on summer break, if that helps : ).

I've seen a few low-post count users who just copy and paste a sentence or two from a previous post. Some kind of bot, I assume?
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Re: So many new posters

Postby poxic » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:40 am UTC

I think the OP was opining about the apparent-newbies who put in no effort, just making vapid/nonsensical/otherwise non-contributing posts. Usually just one, or up to five-ish, then they vanish -- for a week or few before they come back and add a spammy sig to their posts. I've even seen one recently that had an avatar pic, too. Clever bastids.

We had a short break from the spamkiddies after davean fixed the vanishing avatar problem a few months back. I'm guessing that he made changes to other parts of the forum code that confused the poor widdle evilbots. They've adapted, though. Damn them, damn them to HEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
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Re: So many new posters

Postby ^_^ » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:53 am UTC

As a relatively new poster on the board, I would just like to defend our honour by saying:

u goize r all rite, da nu postas wit bad grama n punchuation r reli annoyin, lyk, i dno y we botha wit all da spam. dey shud just lern propa inglish or gtfo

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Re: So many new posters

Postby poxic » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:23 am UTC

The subject is specifically newbies who appear to be spammers, smileyface. Not newbies in general, or grammar/spelling in general.
A man who is 'ill-adjusted' to the world is always on the verge of finding himself. One who is adjusted to the world never finds himself, but gets to be a cabinet minister.
- Hermann Hesse, novelist, poet, Nobel laureate (2 Jul 1877-1962)

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Re: So many new posters

Postby hintss » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:30 am UTC

how did the profile pic problem happen anyway?

I think it was fixed shortly before I joined if I remember right...

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Re: So many new posters

Postby poxic » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:39 am UTC

No idea, something to do with permissions or summat.
A man who is 'ill-adjusted' to the world is always on the verge of finding himself. One who is adjusted to the world never finds himself, but gets to be a cabinet minister.
- Hermann Hesse, novelist, poet, Nobel laureate (2 Jul 1877-1962)

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Re: So many new posters

Postby tastelikecoke » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:10 am UTC

I dont get it, some spammers look like genuine opinions, except for the auto generated spam signature below it.
kinda similar to:
Some thing about Car
Call something something typo
Mortgage something eat something

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Bobber » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:32 am UTC

Some of these spammers extract information from earlier posts, rephrase it and repost the same information. I don't know if it's automated: some posts are fine syntactically, while others leave much to be desired and can frankly barely be understood. I never ever got why people use bots with imperfect grammar to advertize for their products, since it seems to me that the lack of professionalism in their spelling would be taken as a sign of poor product quality by pretty much every person.
I don't twist the truth, I just make it complex.
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Re: So many new posters

Postby Adacore » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:37 am UTC

Some of the stuff generated by the spambots can be really quite impressive. It can take a minute to figure out that it was automatically generated, if it happens to have randomly created something that kinda makes sense and is vaguely on-topic. The auto-post and link magically appearing in signature trick is certainly more insidious than the older spambots, but I don't imagine it gets anywhere near as many hits as people won't even notice it most of the time.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Felstaff » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:18 am UTC

Lazar wrote:I still think a lot of them are spammers though. The m.o. seems to be: make your first post in a specialized topic (bonus points if it's a necro), consisting of one or two lines with very bad punctuation and grammar, vacuously agreeing with what someone else has written.

ha ha,yes i know!
Those are some nice sites, im a webmaster in training. I dont have much knowledge. The looks of your sites are great and i hope someday I can design my site like that. Thanks

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Charlemagne_ » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:28 am UTC

I haven't really noticed, and I lurk quite often. Apparently not enough...I ensure you I am not a spam-bot though.

Or am I? *eerie music plays*

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Re: So many new posters

Postby TaintedDeity » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:30 am UTC

That was a missed opportunity, Felstaff. Those links could have been anything.
Ⓞⓞ◯

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Re: So many new posters

Postby olubunmi » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:34 am UTC

Charlemagne_ wrote:I haven't really noticed, and I lurk quite often. Apparently not enough...I ensure you I am not a spam-bot though.

Or am I? *eerie music plays*


Nah, you put too much effort in your posts. Original content and all.

Bonus point for the spambot who actually posts in this thread.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:21 am UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:I dont get it, some spammers look like genuine opinions, except for the auto generated spam signature below it.


The one with fake signatures are really odd. On -most- forums, they would be perfectly free to put links in their real signature and post away. But they don't. They just put them in the end of their posts instead, making sure they're banned on sight.
I edit my posts a lot and sometimes the words wrong order words appear in sentences get messed up.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby tastelikecoke » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:55 am UTC

This is why I sincerely believe that spambots are the future Skynet. Social engineering wasted in advertisement efficiency.

About the links under the posts, It has to do with comment spamming, and since comments have no signatures.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby broken_escalator » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:20 pm UTC

I for one welcome our future spambot overlords.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Lioness » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:24 pm UTC

I'm new. I joined because I was bored, and you guys seemed like a pretty cool bunch.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Charlemagne_ » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:38 pm UTC

olubunmi wrote:
Charlemagne_ wrote:I haven't really noticed, and I lurk quite often. Apparently not enough...I ensure you I am not a spam-bot though.

Or am I? *eerie music plays*


Nah, you put too much effort in your posts. Original content and all.

Bonus point for the spambot who actually posts in this thread.


Way to give the secret away.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Adacore » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:14 pm UTC

olubunmi wrote:Bonus point for the spambot who actually posts in this thread.

Especially if it auto-generates an agreement with the consensus of 'spambots are evil', while advertising websites.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:22 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:Some of these spammers extract information from earlier posts, rephrase it and repost the same information. I don't know if it's automated: some posts are fine syntactically, while others leave much to be desired and can frankly barely be understood. I never ever got why people use bots with imperfect grammar to advertize for their products, since it seems to me that the lack of professionalism in their spelling would be taken as a sign of poor product quality by pretty much every person.
Search Engine Optimization. Or, to put it another way - the spammers here don't give a fuck if anyone here clicks their links. If they do, great.. but that's not the point. The point is to be yet another page pointing at whatever. As a lot of search engines raise the relevance of a result based on how many independent pages link to that page, the wider a spammer can get their links (on forums, blog comments, etc) the higher the page appears on a search engine. They're all jockeyin' for that #1 spot. The forums here are the ammunition used, not the war itself.
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Re: So many new posters

Postby Adacore » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:28 pm UTC

Oh right, of course - and with the xkcd fora having a pretty decent pagerank, this is prime link-spamming ground, I guess.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:30 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Bobber wrote:Some of these spammers extract information from earlier posts, rephrase it and repost the same information. I don't know if it's automated: some posts are fine syntactically, while others leave much to be desired and can frankly barely be understood. I never ever got why people use bots with imperfect grammar to advertize for their products, since it seems to me that the lack of professionalism in their spelling would be taken as a sign of poor product quality by pretty much every person.
Search Engine Optimization. Or, to put it another way - the spammers here don't give a fuck if anyone here clicks their links. If they do, great.. but that's not the point. The point is to be yet another page pointing at whatever. As a lot of search engines raise the relevance of a result based on how many independent pages link to that page, the wider a spammer can get their links (on forums, blog comments, etc) the higher the page appears on a search engine. They're all jockeyin' for that #1 spot. The forums here are the ammunition used, not the war itself.


Time to add rel=nofollow to fora-links?
I edit my posts a lot and sometimes the words wrong order words appear in sentences get messed up.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:34 pm UTC

And how well has that worked for blogging comments? How much has it punished spammers while reducing work on comment moderators?
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:40 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:And how well has that worked for blogging comments? How much has it punished spammers while reducing work on comment moderators?


I don't really think it will actually reduce the amount of link-spam bots, but at least their effort will be in vain.
I edit my posts a lot and sometimes the words wrong order words appear in sentences get messed up.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:48 pm UTC

I suppose I'm looking at it as a grid or graph. One axis is Moderator Work while the other is Spam Success. Ideally, both are reduced. Adding a nofollow thingy to the links would require some adjustment on the administration side (likely a continual thing as phpbb versions increase and the plugin to add the nofollow needs to catch up or what have you) while the moderation staff notices zero reduction in the amount of spam cleanup. It stops working here, sure, but we're merely a drop in the bucket. The overall effect will be negligible.. unless, of course, you get the various forum softwares (or at least phpbb) to build nofollow in to the system, thus sending out a clear, unified message that phpbb is no longer useful to spammers... if you do that, THEN the overall effect will be noticeable and spammers will stop using it. If it's just a handful of forums, then... I don't think the effort the spammers would need to exclude ours and other nofollow forums would be worth the time.

End result - we're still getting spam at the same or similar rate, work is still the same for the moderating staff, work is increased for the administration (read:davean) and the effect to the spammer is barely noticeable.

I'm not saying it's not a good idea, but I am saying it's not a good idea unless it's something that's built in to the software and by default is enabled.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby tastelikecoke » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:38 pm UTC

I see what you did there Jorpho.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Veora » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:15 pm UTC

i, for one, welcome our cheap viagra spam-bot SEO overlords.


... Or something. im trying to be funny. :<
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Re: So many new posters

Postby Cecily » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:53 pm UTC

I only joined last night, so my post count is low (this will take it to double figures).

I thought it would look bad for a newbie to flood the boards with posts, but perhaps I'm wrong?
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Re: So many new posters

Postby Fat Zombie » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:00 pm UTC

I'm not a spam-bot, but I am barely a person. Does that count?
...And before you ask: yes, I do like to listen to myself talk!

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Re: So many new posters

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:04 pm UTC

Cecily wrote:I only joined last night, so my post count is low (this will take it to double figures).

I thought it would look bad for a newbie to flood the boards with posts, but perhaps I'm wrong?

It's content, not postcount. Posting "lol I agree" is suspicious as hell.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Outchanter » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

One day they'll learn how to use a thesaurus.

SecondTalon wrote:Posting "lol I agree" is suspicious as hell.


Wracked by paroxysms of mirth, I concur.


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Re: So many new posters

Postby Fat Zombie » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:07 pm UTC

I agree, most amusedly!

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Re: So many new posters

Postby Litof » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:27 pm UTC

Verily, my fellow spambots, I do heartily concur with what has previously been posted, and the opinions thereof.

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Re: So many new posters

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:43 pm UTC

Spambots are getting cleverer and more sophisticated all the time. This begs the question: When will they develop the concepts of September, 1993 and Eternity?
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Re: So many new posters

Postby Turtle_ » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:01 am UTC

Adacore wrote:Some of the stuff generated by the spambots can be really quite impressive. It can take a minute to figure out that it was automatically generated, if it happens to have randomly created something that kinda makes sense and is vaguely on-topic. The auto-post and link magically appearing in signature trick is certainly more insidious than the older spambots, but I don't imagine it gets anywhere near as many hits as people won't even notice it most of the time.


It's funny how much spam bots help advance CS research. Like the bots that can read the captchas. I wonder if we can trick the spammers into resolving whether P equals NP :D
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Re: So many new posters

Postby Magnanimous » Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:27 am UTC

I kind of want to make a spambot that lurks for a few months, finally decides to register, then nervously posts in the Introductions thread. It'd blend in seamlessly.


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