Stopping spammers on GDO

saitanay's picture

It is very obvious that GDO is receiving as much spam as real content. Especially by certain people believe that SEO is all about posting links on irrelevant sites.

Causing many issues created on GDO just for spam removal
http://drupal.org/project/issues/groupsdrupalorg?text=spam&status=Open&p...

For example the last 5 replies in a thread that I have subscribed to, are all spam, with a comment where the author tries to make it look like a relevant post, with no real content and a link to an irrelevant site

Ex:
http://groups.drupal.org/node/17958#comment-816158
http://groups.drupal.org/node/17958#comment-819438
http://groups.drupal.org/node/17958#comment-819568
http://groups.drupal.org/node/17958#comment-819588
http://groups.drupal.org/node/17958#comment-825033

Most of these users create accounts just for the purpose of posting these links on GDO.

I would not mind someone trying to do some promotion in the name of commenting , with "Templatic" replies like "Congratulation for the great post"..but many users will have no option but to unsubscribe to their posts.

A proposed solution for this could be one or a combination of one or more of the below:
1) Allowing a user to post replies or create topics only after a certain period after registration
2) Restricting the new users to use a "Plain Text" Input format which does not turn Web page addresses and e-mail addresses into links automatically. The ability to use "Filtered HTML" Input format will be automatically granted to the user only after certain period after registration.
3) A more easier way to report (A "flag as spam" link below each comment). There could be some rule like "If a comment is marked as spam by more than 5 users, it is unpublished automatically."

Spammers have less patience and hardly mind to read forum/group rules to be aware of the above restrictions (or any) in place. If a spammer fails to post a link in a site, he hardly returns to the site for another attempt. For the more intelligent ones, there is always the issue queue at http://drupal.org/project/issues/groupsdrupalorg

Comments

Allowing a user to post

greggles's picture
  1. Allowing a user to post replies or create topics only after a certain period after registration

Many people who sign up have a question "right now" and this would annoy our legitimate users. I don't think we can do that.

2) Restricting the new users to use a "Plain Text" Input format which does not turn Web page addresses and e-mail addresses into links automatically. The ability to use "Filtered HTML" Input format will be automatically granted to the user only after certain period after redgistration.

Seems like an interesting idea. If we want to get this into place we need the code to get it done. Do you know of a module that does this? We actuall do have site-specific spam (and spammers) so this idea may not work in the long run. I am willing to try it out if you can create an issue in the queue with a recipe toward getting it done (i.e. an existing module that meets the criteria for inclusion listed under make drupal.org awesome).

3) A more easier way to report (A "flag as spam" link below each comment).

I believe this will come with the 7.x upgrade to Commons (though I'm not sure, hopefully ezra can comment on that).

Oh, and I blocked the 3 users

greggles's picture

Oh, and I blocked the 3 users who had created those 5 spam posts. I don't share the same perspective that the site has as much spam as good content, but I can see how the act of subscribing to a spam-heavy thread would make you feel that way.

We probably could actually test if we have more spam or real content based on missing unique ids in the sequence of ids on the site. If you write a php script to do that I'd totally run it.

had another user spamming

saitanay's picture

had another user spamming India and related groups today

reported at
http://drupal.org/node/1808490

@greggles
//I don't share the same perspective that the site has as much spam as good content
yeah, that would be an exaggaration, but there is quite a bit of annoying spam

//Seems like an interesting idea. If we want to get this into place we need the code to get it done. Do you know of a module that does this?
will make time to post a recipe for the proposes solution soon

--
Tanay Sai
Bangalore
skype: tanay.co.in

The best part is: Check out

--
Tanay Sai
Bangalore
skype: tanay.co.in

It is so sad to see some

Rajeevkr's picture

It is so sad to see some person are using this community site for their advertisement.

A long time ago same happened with this same post and I reported to the community with the link User profile link.

Those comments got deleted and user blocked after some time and I was responded.

Admin of the group should be allowed to delete comments and block user for such activity...isn't it ?

Thanks,

RajeevK,
+91-9650361380,
http://drupalconnect.in

Spammer is still

--
Tanay Sai
Bangalore
skype: tanay.co.in

If you want to report

yoroy's picture

If you want to report spammers it's probably best to start an issue here:
http://drupal.org/node/add/project-issue/groupsdrupalorg

It's been pretty bad lately, lots of spam group submissions, too.

@yoroy Been there, done

saitanay's picture

@yoroy

Been there, done that!
Check out how the spammer is editing the issue queue where the spam was reported.
http://drupal.org/node/1808490/revisions/view/2391106/2391114

Anyways will create another issue,.
as Greggles suggested in email, issues are editable by all! So gotta keep the issue description blank and describe the issue in a comment below the issue (comments cant be edited by others)

All of today's spam could be avoided by #1 of what was suggested
"1) Allowing a user to post replies or create topics only after a certain period after registration"

--
Tanay Sai
Bangalore
skype: tanay.co.in

That was the exception, not the norm

sreynen's picture

I think it's a little premature to change how we use the issue queue based on that one incident. That was easy enough to address once you pointed out what had happened. If that starts happening more, we could look into turning off revisions or something, but moving the relevant info to comments is just going to make those issues more difficult to deal with, slowing down our spam fighting.

How would you deal with my

greggles's picture

How would you deal with my critique of your #1 suggested?

Many people who sign up have a question "right now" and this would annoy our legitimate users. I don't think we can do that.

Also, as we've seen in this case the spammers are very creative and devious (editing the issue on d.o). So, if we make a time limit that people have to wait then spammers will do that too.

The result of your suggestion #1 is that dumb spammers are blocked, smart spammers are not blocked, and legitimate users are annoyed. I hardly see it as a viable solution.

Yeah,. I agree that blocking

saitanay's picture

Yeah,. I agree that blocking a new legitimate user is not appropriate.

Even #2, can only stop the spammer who wants to do it right away! The patient and strategic one will always have many dummy account created long back.

"#2) Restricting the new users to use a "Plain Text" Input format which does not turn Web page addresses and e-mail addresses into links automatically. The ability to use "Filtered HTML" Input format will be automatically granted to the user only after certain period after registration."

Also we saw some smart moves by spammers today!
1) Editing the issue in the issue queue
2) Editing the spam post/comment and saving it again and again with no changes, as this would send out repeated emails to all group members! (We are talking of 1000s of emails here!)

--
Tanay Sai
Bangalore
skype: tanay.co.in

Groups.drupal.org

Group notifications

This group offers an RSS feed. Or subscribe to these personalized, sitewide feeds:

Hot content this week