Reporting Spam on Groups.Drupal.org

You are viewing a wiki page. You are welcome to join the group and then edit it. Be bold!

While g.d.o is headed towards a Drupal 7 launch on commons there is still some room for improvement of the Drupal 6 version of the site. As of November 7th, a new feature exists for fighting spam.

All "Editors" and "Spam fighters" on the site can now flag nodes and comments as spam. All Editors will see a block in the sidebar that shows any nodes or comments that has been flagged. They are encouraged to confirm the content is spam and then block the spammers.

These flags are not available to all users of the site as they look a bit ugly. That is blocked by a bluecheese theme issue. If anyone can work on that it would be great.

If you would like to help identify spam, please ask for the spam fighter role in #drupal-groups on irc or a comment here.

If you do not need to be granted the spam fighter role, but instead need only to report spam, please refer to Fighting spam in Drupal groups.

Comments

This is a great step forward.

christefano's picture

This is a great step forward. I'd be happy to help as a spam fighter.

dougsap's picture

Background:
I previously identified more than 4000 cases of profile spam (I am unaware of any cases where I identified any users in error). I have been on a spam fighting hiatus partially because there was outstanding clean-up:
New PS Milestone (and clean-up)

Also, the mostly manual process which I use to identify spam is somewhat time consuming and painful. I believe that I could easily identify thousands more profile spammers with the relatively simple reports described in:
Report for review and clean-up of d.o. profiles
and
Report for the review and clean-up of g.d.o. profiles
Note: the format of the reports is flexible but examples are included.

Again, my interest has primarily been Profile Spam, which is less obvious but still has resource costs. I have shared a background document with some people previously – message me if you want a pointer to it.

It appears to me that the Spam Fighter role is focused on deleting comments and nodes (rather than blocking or deleting users). I therefore assume it would not really provide any benefits for dealing with profile spammers (e.g., I would still need to always create an issue in the Webmaster's Queue).

Question:
Are there any new tools or roles which could give me the ability to Block or Delete profile spammers?

Thanks! Dougsap

Spammy user profiles

sreynen's picture

I just added a flag and view for spammy user profiles to go along with comments and nodes. dougsap, I gave you the spam fighter role, assuming you will want it with this new functionality, but let me know if you decide you don't want it.

The GDO profile 'Mark as Spam' button is great!

dougsap's picture

Thanks Scott! That button will really streamline my process for dealing with g.d.o. profile spam. I am testing the process - I have flagged the following users as spammers. I am showing the related d.o. user because I want to be sure that the maintenance process deletes both users.

http://groups.drupal.org/user/873254 shadesshbinbi
http://drupal.org/user/1369642

http://groups.drupal.org/user/1091229 des7yignertjo4s
http://drupal.org/user/1504488

http://groups.drupal.org/user/1107714 des8okzigner3qe
http://drupal.org/user/1514794

http://groups.drupal.org/user/1215444 khayalzx
http://drupal.org/user/1584054

http://groups.drupal.org/user/1775658 LeanAllen
http://drupal.org/user/1951122

Once I confirm the process works, I will go back a use some of my proven selection criteria for identifying the abusers.
Thanks again!

Blocked

sreynen's picture

Seems to be working. Those all showed up in the list and I blocked them all. I was surprised how much it streamlined the blocking process simply having them all in a list of links. To clarify, the spammer accounts aren't deleted, just blocked (across all drupal.org subdomains), which prevents them from re-registering with the same email address.

I flagged a bunch (estimate 400) more GDO spammers

dougsap's picture

I flagged a bunch more. Using tab browsing I can review users fairly quickly, and can see patterns of behavior (or templates). I ignore users which have even a small chance of being legitimate. I realize that some of the ~dentist related~ users look at first glance like they might be legitimate, but when you look at wording and linked sites it becomes obvious that they are not.

It seems that at some point, users which have been blocked should be deleted - otherwise the backlinks would continues to potentially benefit the spammers. It also makes it more difficult to identify spammers (because of false positives). For example, use either of these Google searchs:
site:groups.drupal.org/user/ “www.vapornine.com” -page
site:groups.drupal.org/user/ “www.wordswithfriendscheat.co” -page

Thanks again!

Spam Spotting

stevepurkiss's picture

I tend to spot spam as opposed to going hunting for it but happy to have the role added as would help in making more time.

I see the theming issue is marked as fixed now btw

Happy to flag when I run

MacRonin's picture

Happy to flag when I run across SPAM.
And this definitely sounds easier than the create an issue method required before.

1. Flags should be available to all group members by default

Sahin's picture

since the bluecheese theme issue seems fixed. (Sitewide "spam-fighters" who can see this flag for all nodes and comments are still required.)
2. "Group organizers" should have permission
- to confirm the content is spam and then
- block the spammers
for a more effective spam-fight.
Group organizers are assumed to be keeping a keen eye on their group's posts and also they can comprehend and judge the communication better if it is not in English (as it happens in my group, Turkey).
3. And lastly, until the above arrangements are realized, please take this comment also as an application of me for the spam fighter role.

Site-wide

sreynen's picture

1 and 2 aren't possible with the current tools we're using. Spam flags are site-wide, not group-specific. If anyone wants to find or create modules to do group-specific flagging and deleting, that might be worth exploring, but my initial impression is the current site-wide reporting process works rather well.

For 3, you're a spam fighter now. In general, anyone who asks here will get the role pretty quickly, so I'm not replying to everyone individually.

Enlisting as a spam fighter

pembeci's picture

+1 for Sahin's suggestions as well. What is the current module used for the flags btw? I may check the code and see if it can be extended to OG in an easy way.

modules and limitations

sreynen's picture

We're currently using the Flag module only. When we move to Drupal 7 Commons, we'll be using Flag Abuse.

Responding to spam means deleting nodes and comments. There is currently no restriction on who can maintain a group, so opening that up to all group maintainers would effectively mean allowing everyone on the site to delete content. That won't work.

Allowing everyone to report spam might be more practical. But before we could do that, we'd need a way to remove false positives. Here's an issue related to that:

http://drupal.org/node/1074242

Even with that issue resolved, though, I'm not sure there's much benefit to opening the spam flag to everyone. We're already opening it to anyone who asks for it, and the issue queue is still available to everyone. Most people will never use the flag, and it will just add clutter to their interface.

reporting and responding spam -- role permissions

Sahin's picture

sreynen, thanks for the respond.
For reporting spam, I think it is quite a work for an average user even to find out what to do against spam and then reach this page to ask for the spam-fighter role. Considering usability it is better to remind this action via their user interface, like the "reply" link which most people never use.
For responding spam, I cannot see the point why group maintainers (the terminology for g.d.o roles are a little bit vague but I read it as group organizers) can remove membership of the users but cannot delete content. Also I still think the group members and organizers are much more advantageous to report and judge the spam content in their group. (And, also as suggested down below, it would be better to "mark&empty" rather than "delete" but that is an other issue.)

Needs code

sreynen's picture

For reporting spam, I think it is quite a work for an average user even to find out what to do against spam and then reach this page to ask for the spam-fighter role.

I agree. I just don't think we have so much spam that the average user needs to do this. I would guess we have less than 25 people helping fight spam right now, and that seems to be enough to keep on top of the problem. I look at every spam report, and probably delete 90% of it myself, so I think I have a pretty good idea of how much we have, but I'm certainly open to hearing that I'm underestimating the problem.

From my perspective, the difference between "mark as spam" and "reply" is that "reply" is in line with why groups.drupal.org exists, to facilitate communication in the Drupal community. Seeing spam is a distraction from that, and flagging spam is another distraction. It's great to have volunteers to see those distractions, but I'd like to avoid non-voluntary distractions as much as possible.

I'm sure you can point to other distractions in the UI, and please do! I'd love to see issues about what we might remove from the UI to make it easier to focus on the important stuff.

For responding spam, I cannot see the point why group maintainers (the terminology for g.d.o. roles are a little bit vague but I read it as group organizers) can remove membership of the users but cannot delete content.

Yes, group organizers is the correct terminology. The reason group organizers can't delete content within their group is simply that this permission does not exist in the modules we are running. If someone finds or writes the code for this, then we can look at deploying it.

confused and giving in

Sahin's picture

Permissions and Content flow for Groups.Drupal.org page lists the roles as Anonymous user, Authenticated user, Group admin, Group manager [where have all the Group organizers gone?], Site editor, Site Admin, and tells that group admins and group managers can edit and delete content in their group.
There seems some misinformation and misguidance about the structure of g.d.o, its modules, roles and user permissions. For example, Site admins, moderators, and editors list does not mention admins or organizers, but introduces a brand-new role, the moderators. Furthermore, the role filter on that view has admin, admin locale, admin users, calendar helper, editor options!?
The confusion and lack of information on roles is valid also for the module and code limitations.
IMHO we have to implement what we declare and document what we implement. Clear and correct terminology and documentation is the necessary condition for such discussions and it seems that we do not have it yet. So the only option left to us seems to accept the excuses against our suggestions.

Don't give up!

sreynen's picture

That page does indeed contradict what I've said, which isn't surprising, as I've never looked at that page before. I don't know if I'm wrong or if that page is wrong. Since I'm an admin, I can't see what a group organizer sees. If group organizers have some way to delete content that I'm not aware of, great. If not, that page is a wiki, so anyone can correct it.

I also hadn't looked at that "Site admins, moderators, and editors" view, but I see where it's pulling those lists from. That shows several (not all) site-wide roles, which is how Drupal core does permissions. But at the group level, permissions are handled by the Organic Groups module, which isn't shown on that page at all.

While I agree it would be better if we had more complete and accurate documentation, I disagree that this leaves you without options. Nearly all of the documentation is wikis, so anyone can improve it. And if there's anything you need help improving, just ask and I'll do my best to help you. We're all volunteers here, so changes may not be as fast as you'd like to see, but it can still happen with your help.

did not gave up, just waiting

Sahin's picture

So we turned back to the point we started: I do not have more to add to the previous suggestions 1&2, and mark-it-rather-than-deleting.
About improving documentation, I have already spent some hours and reached the limits of my knowledge on g.d.o site structure (if not of my patience) and want to pass the flag to more authorized members of the group.

trying to clear up 1&2 above

Sahin's picture

1 is about reporting (=flags being available) and at the moment only the spam-fighters can report. Making this site-wide is ok, let's do it. (I'd suggested group-wide reporting to limit the excessive traffic but we can forget it if it is too expensive.)

2 is about taking measures (deleting the nodes, blocking the spammers etc.) considering the reports. It seems that "spam-report views" can easily be made available for group organizers and we can work on permissions if there is a limitation with the module used. (pembeci has already volunteered for that).

In this connection, I can add a further request: Comments referring the spams becomes absurd after the spams are deleted. Isn't it better to keep the node with the user and date data but delete the node content and mark the note by changing the title to something like [this spam is deleted]?

Don't reply

sreynen's picture

I replied to some of this above (which made the discussion a little confusing, lesson learned), but on the issue of replies to spam, the preferred solution to this is simply to not reply to spam. Replies to spam are just as distracting as the original spam.

Similarly, editing spam and replacing the text with a "[this is spam]" message would leave a lot of useless noise in discussions. It would also take more time than simply deleting.

better to mark than delete

Sahin's picture

The question is not answering vs ignoring spams but how to handle the already referred spams. Also, in some cases even spammer tries to defend the original spamy-comment and there may be a short discussion. So, to keep the spam-content by reducing it to a title and a info line does no harm imo. And it is good to keep log of our history, even the distracting activities.
About usability or practical disadvantage, the block in the sidebar showing nodes or comments that has been flagged as spam may have "hide_spam" links for each and the operation gets simpler. If we do not have so much spam as you mentioned before, this code modification may not be vital even. Worths discussing.

General Comments (and I think I have flagged ~1K)

dougsap's picture

The flagging and process works great. I am believe that I have flagged more than 1000 Profile Spammers in the last couple of weeks (I no longer need to batch and track my clean-up with this process so I don't have a detailed count). I am fairly certain that there are at least 3 to 5,000 more, and I have seen some new spam users which were created in the last 6 weeks.

The previously mentioned report would help identify the spammers and speed the clean-up.Report for the review and clean-up of g.d.o. profiles Note: the format of the report is flexible but an example is included. I would be happy to answer any questions, be involved in testing, etc. But, I also understand this is not the highest priority in the Drupal world.

I can understand that there might be more challenges with cleaning up (e.g., deleting the user) in the case of comment spam. Profile Spam is probably much easier, as Profile Spammers virtually never have any activity other than creating the user and profile. I realize it is not practical to have two different processes. For people who have not been involved in the clean-up, see this user as an example of a Profile Spammer: http://groups.drupal.org/user/1338783 - The majority are not this verbose, but a fairly good number are similar.

It would be great if we had similar capabilities on the main D.O. Site! Thanks again!

Volunteering for spam catch

pcambra's picture

I'm reporting spam in the issue queue both for D.O. and G.D.O, it'd be great to flag them instead, thanks!

Spam fighter role

ar-jan's picture

I'd like to help identify spam via flagging.

I'm coming across a lot of

jerryitt's picture

I'm coming across a lot of spam on d.o and g.d.o, I would like to flag them as I come across them if possible ?

I would like to be able to

DSquaredB's picture

I would like to be able to flag spam as I come across it.

DSquaredB
Danita Bowman

I could help in flagging

Shyamala's picture

I could help in flagging spam.

I would like to voluntter to

saitanay's picture

I would like to voluntter to mark spam ,esp on Indian Groups

http://drupal.org/node/1808490

.

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

I can help flagging spam in

RajeevK's picture

I can help flagging spam in the groups which I have joined and spend some time on browsing some others too..

Thanks,

RajeevK,
+91-9430232234,
http://rajeevk.me

Spam Profiles

webtomme's picture

In our local user group we have a lot of manual spammers who sometimes participate in discussion with very generic comments, sort of "great idea ... I really like it" but it's obvious spam as they do include a lot of links into body, signature.

Some group admins request changing the group back to be moderated, which means all content will have to be approved by one of the admins, which isn't an optimal solution imo.

Instead, let me try out the spam reporting. Once flagged a very obvious case, we would need them profile getting "blocked" and their comments to be deleted. This will make clear to anyone to never spam.

If it works well, I can ask people in the community to keep an eye on unwanted activities and I'll report the spam profile.

Notification for spam flaggers

webtomme's picture

So far it's pretty convenient to flag spam content and in repeated cases report the user as spam. I reported few very obvious off-topic comments, as well as repeated spam profiles. My question is now, do I get notified about consequences in any form or how can reporters check that action have been taken?

A bit overkill for now, but for convenience, maybe add a counter for repeated spams and spam admins can decide to block repeated users permanently once it hits a certain amount. Or even auto-block users easily.

Notifications

sreynen's picture

There's currently no notification with flags. The idea with flags is you can flag it and forget about it. If notification is important, you can still report spam in the issue queue and be notified when issues are closed. But I'd encourage you to not waste your time thinking about spammers any more than you need to.

Admins already see a list of reported spam and can quickly block anyone who has been reported. Everyone you reported has been blocked, as it all looked like definite spam. Sometimes it's harder to confirm something is spam and not just a confused user and we send a warning first.

Spam

oliviacis's picture

Even here, drupal.org, spammers don't let it go. They do spam. I noticed many threads where spammers just wrote "I agree" and they managed to sustain. Huh!

Interested in volunteering as spam fighter.

worldlinemine's picture

Interested in volunteering as spam fighter. Especially to help clean up spam to a group I belong to when its posted. Please let me know if any additional actions are necessary. Thanks!

I'm here to confront SPAM

Orkut Murat Yılmaz's picture

I'd like to join the fight against SPAM as a Janissary.

"spam fighter" role please

steve65140's picture

Could I have the "spam fighter" role added to my account?
Many thanks.

Can I please get "spam

elblufer's picture

Can I please get "spam fighter" privileges? We're seeing to see spam in Ventura County Drupal.

Please add Spam Fighter Privs

wkern's picture

thanks

I could help

JSCSJSCS's picture

fight Spam.

James Sinkiewicz
Drupal Site Builder and Generalist
http://MyDrupalJourney.com

dialectric's picture

Is the only way to flag spam to apply for the the "spam fighter" role? Is there a place for registered users who only occasionally use the site to report spam?

I came across spam comments on http://drupal.org/contribute/development, but am unclear on where, if anywhere, I can report them.

Thanks,

Spam-reporting options

sreynen's picture

On groups.drupal.org (which this thread is about), you can report spam either by requesting the "spam fighter" role or by opening issues in the http://drupal.org/project/groupsdrupalorg issue queue. But the page you linked isn't on groups.drupal.org, so neither of those options are relevant. I suggest reporting that in the issue queue for http://drupal.org/project/webmasters

spam fighter role

ultimike's picture

I'd love to have the spam fighter role as well, more than happy to support the cause.

Thanks,
-mike

I would like the spam fighter

irk's picture

I would like the spam fighter role. That would be super great.

Volunteer for spam fighter

jcisio's picture

I'd like that role. A lot of spammers recently.

Volunteer for spam fighter

Jitesh Doshi's picture

I am the organizer of Jacksonville/Northeast Florida Drupal User Group. I'm seeing spam activity here (http://groups.drupal.org/node/287693#comment-927473) by this user (http://groups.drupal.org/user/2412578).

I'd like to request spam fighter role.

--Jitesh
SpinSpire - Enterprise Drupal!

Volunteer for spam fighter

zyxware's picture

I would like to volunteer for fighting spam on g.d.o.

some spam here

adcillc's picture

Hello, Fighters!

there are some spam posts here
https://groups.drupal.org/omsk

i've made some editions to the titles and etc. but i'm not able to delete the posts.
is there anyone who can help me?

thanx

@adcillc: I've marked all the

ar-jan's picture

@adcillc: I've marked all the spam nodes and commments there as spam. An admin should remove them soon.

hello again

adcillc's picture

spammers are still posting much content to my group.
i can't delete anything
https://groups.drupal.org/omsk
HELP!

Spamer post events to my group

CKIDOW's picture

I still deleted the user and disabled open mebership but I can't delete the event nodes from out group start page... http://groups.drupal.org/schwerin

MfG

CKIDOW

I would like to have a spam

EnjoyLife's picture

I would like to have a spam fighter role. Immediate problem in https://groups.drupal.org/open-drupal-apprenticeships.

good idea. I would like the

Erdem Alkan's picture

good idea.

I would like the spam fighter.
https://groups.drupal.org/turkey

Request for Spam Fighter role...

dahacouk's picture

Hello,

I am one of the admins for https://groups.drupal.org/social-initiative and we seem to be getting a lot of spam recently. Please can you grant me (dahacouk) with the Spam Fighter role?

Cheers Daniel

Can I have the spam fighter role?

dsnopek's picture

We just got some spam posts on the Panopoly group:

https://groups.drupal.org/panopoly

As one of the admins there, I'd love to mark those posts as spam!

Thanks!
David.

Spam in the China group

DYdave's picture

Hi guys,

I would like to be able to report some spam content in the China DUG.
Could you please grant me the spam fighter role to be able to report on any potential spam content items?

Please let me know if I would need to apply somewhere else, I would be glad to do so.
Thanks in advance.

Request for SPam Fighter Role

cgalli's picture

Our group (TMGMT) is almost unusable due to spam.

Please provide me with teh means to keep it clean. Thanks

Added spam reporter role.

tvn's picture

Added spam reporter role.

Spam Fighter Role Request

pythagory's picture

Got bombarded with streaming links over the weekend, Behat group is getting overrun. Would love to be able to help clean it up.

Please block this user

mkmagu's picture

giyomea12 has been spamming the Panology group all day.

Mary M.

Spam Fighter Role Request

caschbre's picture

While I'm sure some folks in our Panopoly group enjoy watching the Kardashians and Walking Dead, we don't need posts letting us know when new episodes are out.

I'd like to make a request for the spam fighter super powers.

Request spam fighter role

paych's picture

Hi guys,

I would like to have a spam fighter role.
https://groups.drupal.org/omsk.

Recently in our group there was a lot of spam.

TIA!

Is a role still needed?

ianthomas_uk's picture

If the styling is fixed, is there any reason that this still needs a separate role? Why not give it to everyone?

Distraction and misuse

sreynen's picture

The "spam reporter" role (formerly "spam fighter" adds "mark as spam" links on every node, comment, and user on the site, which is a lot of links. That makes the interface much less focused, reducing usability. That doesn't seem to me worth doing for anyone who hasn't opted-in.

We also get the occasional incorrect spam flagging even with the relatively small group of spam reporters we already have. People sometimes mark things as spam because they disagree with what was posted, or it's in a language they don't know. That slows down the process of deleting actual spam, and opening up spam reporting to everyone seems likely to make that problem much worse.

Spam fighter

TallDavid's picture

1) Please add me to the Spam Fighter role
2) New user: dolaangle768 https://groups.drupal.org/user/2757293 appears to be a spammer.
3) Spam post: https://groups.drupal.org/node/258143#comment-1041113

Spam Fighter

acabouet's picture

Please add me to the Spam Fighter role.
Headless Drupal is being spammed relentlessly by user herxll: https://groups.drupal.org/headless-drupal
Sample spam post: https://groups.drupal.org/node/430233

spammer: ahmet1122334455

Sahin's picture

Although marked as a spammer a few days ago, https://groups.drupal.org/user/2820908 is continuously spamming https://groups.drupal.org/turkey

Btw, is there any chance to add "Non-members cannot post to this group" setting as a checkbox into the "edit group" page (https://groups.drupal.org/node/...../edit)?

.

Michelle's picture

Looks like the user is already blocked. There was one comment missed so I deleted that.

Found this post looking for how to report spam

mlncn's picture

Please add me to the Report Spam role.

drupal [04:58] G.D.O spam: https://groups.drupal.org/user/2864148 / https://groups.drupal.org/node/446198 / https://groups.drupal.org/adgeco-group — i've blocked the account on D.O https://www.drupal.org/u/garcicamo36 — however, some forward-thinking busybody removed my moderation privileges on G.D.O some time ago.

Note that it is a much less important problem than the lack of clear policies and procedures for how one gains and exercises privileges, but i have no idea what, if any, policy or procedure was followed in removing my privileges on g.d.o. I had been able to help moderate groups as well as spam, help configure any group, etc.

benjamin, agaric

Added

sreynen's picture

You have the spam reporter role now and the spam is deleted. I emailed you when your moderator role was removed, and you replied confirming you weren't using the role. So I'm not sure that's really a policy documentation issue, but it never hurts to have more documentation, so I added some here: https://www.drupal.org/node/2358757

Nice, glad to see the new

christefano's picture

Nice, glad to see the new Becoming a Group Moderator page. Thanks, sreynen.

This post seems now to be used for spamming

simohell's picture

This thread below seems to be used for spamming
https://groups.drupal.org/node/350808

(tried to pos an example, but it was blocked...)

The following comment is a

hgoto's picture

The following comment is a spam. It's completely unrelated with the topic and just promotes a fashion brand in Japanese.

https://groups.drupal.org/node/456523#comment-1086623

The user is:

https://groups.drupal.org/user/2935413

Please mark this as spam or give me the spam reporter role. Thank you in advance.

How to report spam

Steven Jones's picture

So this is spam:

https://groups.drupal.org/node/449338

I'm really unsure how to mark this as spam, or remove it from my group etc.
Is there some documentation somewhere that tells me how to do this?

Can I get the spam-reporter

welly's picture

Can I get the spam-reporter role and can this: https://groups.drupal.org/node/469078#comment-1104953 be flagged as spam.

Thanks

Is it possible to get the

dokumori's picture

Is it possible to get the spam fighter role on g.d.o? We've had some spams If so, please give the role to the Japan group admins setvik, qchan and dokumori.

I would like the spam fighter role

frederickjh's picture

Hi I am seeing spam on groups.drupal.org in the Radio group and would like to be able to more easily report this in the future.

Thanks!

Frederick

texas-bronius's picture

Hi -
I'm a bit late to the game, but under the pressure of losing 50% of our subscribers, I think I need to start moderating spam in g.d.o/brazos-valley. Moderators should be @texas-bronius (and @jmoughon if possible).

Thanks! Keep up the community work
-Bronius

I am reporting this spam in

drupleg's picture

I am reporting this spam in the Chicago group:

https://groups.drupal.org/node/487878#comment-1135488

the post links to a shady pharmaceutical website. It would be great if someone can please remove it, or I'd be happy to flag and remove it myself if I am granted the spam fighter role.

Thanks,
--Tony

Marked as spam

dahacouk's picture

I marked it as spam. But good luck with getting spam fighter role. The more the merrier!

Spam fighter role

michaellenahan's picture

I would like to have the spam fighter role, please.
https://www.drupal.org/node/2638724