Forum Spam: Apology and Fixes

An update on how we'll be improving the forum

41 to 60 of 298 messages
seren nos    pirate
13/06/2012 at 17:27

Gertie.totally agree that any abuse should result in a total is not hard to identify real spam.      any doubt and it should be left.............I assume that there would be a report produced each day of the threads that had been zapped so that iot can be verified.but that is just my knowledge of these systems.... have been warned.....anymore and your wig will be removed

13/06/2012 at 17:32

13/06/2012 at 17:46

I wish to be considered as a (DEEP VOICE) MODERATOR !

13/06/2012 at 18:11

*Slowfoot put on list marked "Do not under any circumstance, any ever ever, give mod rights to"

Seren, Gertie has it - if the system can tell the difference, then it should deal with it.  The individual will be able to see a spam thread, however, they can also see a contentious thread and think it beyond the pale and delete, or be under pressure from other users to delete it.  That, no matter how well intentioned, is an abuse.  And that is what I don't want.  It will happen; always does.

The problem needs to be sorted at the root cause - ease of setting up a new account and posting crap etc. That requires a technical solution.

*Warning - crap analogy coming* I build a car, but I forget to put brakes in.  I sell thousands of the things and they crash all over the shop.  I ask the general public to start cleaning up the dead bodies, because they are starting to smell and make the place look untidy.  Reasonable request or should I just recall all the cars I've sold and put brakes on them?

13/06/2012 at 19:18

Another forum I visit has a user mod. He pulls the odd thread for spam or abuse and gets a few snippy retorts for it, but the system seems to work well. It's not a particularly high-traffic site though.

Who'd want to be an RW user mod? Even before they start they're accused of being megalomaniacs who delete threads to get a hard on.

I don't see any harm in trying it out. Can always go back if it doesn't work.

13/06/2012 at 19:35

a few people seem amusingly worried about the idea of a user mod! Surely some of you guys with 20,000+ posts would be ideal for it, as you've been around for years, posts a shedload, and therefore are constantly floating round the forums!

What could be better?

Edited: 13/06/2012 at 19:36
13/06/2012 at 19:47

On the mod topic, in RW's defence, there's been more than a few people suggest over the time that we should have user mods over the time so they must be thinking WTF.  However RW are bringing it a time when it's fairly obvious there's a lot of issues behind the scene that should have been fixed and never have been.

However being able to post without a verified email address is not the sole or main cause of this spam. That function has been live for weeks, the trolls came out in force and nothing else happened.  Immediate Media also removed that function on Monday or Tuesday at the latest and we've been spammed since then. Weak excuse IMO.


13/06/2012 at 19:52

Stevie - you can't pull that one out of the bag this time squire.  You have previously had a dig at large volume posters for doing what you see as acting like they own the place, yet when the same large volume posters say they are against anyone actually being able to act like they own the place you find it funny they don't like the idea.  Unless of course, I don't get your brand or irony, in which case, I apologise

13/06/2012 at 20:30
Beware Of The Fish wrote (see)

Stick a 'report as spam' button on each post/thread, then if enough people click it within a certain timescale the system automatically puts the thread into invisible limbo until such time as an official Mod can look at it and either delete or reinstate.

The main issue with forum moderation by users is that it needs to be consistant, and it needs committed people who know and care about the forum and who are prepared to give it their time. They also need to be able to step back and be impartial when decisions need to be made, and that's a difficult task sometimes. And it needs Users to understand that a forum is not a democracy but a benevolent dictatorship. If you want to start flame wars or absue people go start your own forum and do it on your own Dollar.

Personally I think RW missed the boat a few years ago by seemingly writing bespoke forum software rather than incorporating commercial forum software into their website. Buying a commercial product potentially used by thousands of other sites means that you've got a manufacturer (and those thousands of users) constantly working on it to protect it and upgrade it, and even if you have to pay a licencing fee it's still going to be cheaper than having to employ your own people to reinvent the wheel. The forum really should be a pretty small spend in relation to the cost of the site in general.

BOTF - RW do outsource their site. The people RW used to refer to as the tech team aka previously Magicalia now Immediate Media are here. Have a look at some of their other sites. You'll recognise the template.

Also, I wanted to add another comment about the forumite mods.  Surely the forumites game enough to do this at least deserves the benefit of the doubt before being accused of being on a massive power trip and out to cause problems.



Dark Vader    pirate
13/06/2012 at 20:32

Sorry...  are we getting two totally different and unrelated conversations about user mods mixed up here..?

I am NOT talking about user having moderatorm powers over general threads and discussions and intervening...

I AM talking about being easily and quickly able to stop and delete the deluge of obvious spam threads that happen, and frequently happen on a Friday evening..

How can anyone possibly object to the simplicity of that...?


13/06/2012 at 20:35

DV - That is exactly what RW appear to be  suggesting but for some reason people have jumped to massive conclusions. This may be in part because of what happened on the US site but geez, would it be so bad to try it?

Edited: 13/06/2012 at 20:35
13/06/2012 at 20:37

I think the problem is that stopping a deluge of spam would have to be a software fix. No mod could have kept up with the rate of spam threads over the weekend.

But a user mod could, for example, weed out spam posts (as opposed to entire threads) that gets through, delete jerks who are being abusive, get rid of the one-post "hey look at my blog" wonders, and do basic patrolling out of office hours.

That would require discretion, which would inevitably lead to charges of power tripping. I still it's worth trying.

Edited: 13/06/2012 at 20:38
13/06/2012 at 20:37

BDB, might as well utilise the sheer hours spent on this site by high post forumites, into keeping it clean, it's the perfect solution!

13/06/2012 at 20:45

Also, surely if there are a couple of mods who can provide feedback to RW about issues or suggestions ie adding a fecking comment to the avatar upload box so people know the image needs to be approved, it's got to be worth a shot??



Hope    pirate
13/06/2012 at 20:47

I can't see any problem with trying it.


13/06/2012 at 21:27

I wouldn't have a problem with a user mod if its about spam. Agree its worth a try and if it causes problems them revert back. I woudn't need to know who the spam mods are so can't see the power trip thing being an issue for me. In any case I gain a lot from this forum, as I'm sure many others do, for nil cost as has been pointed out before.  Is it too much to ask that we help out a bit? 

13/06/2012 at 22:35

I forgot to ask if I'm successful in becoming a moderator Do I get a gun ? If a gun is too much can I have a Taser 50,000 volts should do.

I would also like the power to appoint my own deputies and print my own wanted posters.

Hope these requests can be granted.

Yours faithfully

Slowfoot Esq. (moderator in waiting)

seren nos    pirate
13/06/2012 at 22:44

I think there are enough non power hungry posters on this site that could do the job quietly and efficiently............

to compare brits in general with americans is a bit off....the general nature of the people in both countries is quite different in my opinion......

just cause somthing doesn't work in america is not a reason not to try it here............

who on earth woyuld get power hungry on removing spam posts.........I can't imagine anyone....seems a bit bizarre to me

13/06/2012 at 23:23
Can you define what a spam post is?

Would you call the threads telling people that aldi are having their running/cycling sale are spam? These seem appreciated by most people. What's the difference to a new poster telling me where i can get cheap gucci shoes?

Defining what is spam and what is a normal post is subjective. If you can define the rules so clearly that the software will only allow the mods to delete spam then you might as well let the software do it automatically

If you allow humans to start making those decisions then you have to accept their prejedices will have an impact. Let's be honest, a lot of replies on this site are based on who said it rather than what they said.
14/06/2012 at 00:12

Of course detecting spam is subjective, and we all seemed to able to do it last weekend or this debate wouldn't be happening. The technological solution would best be applied at the account creation stage rather than at the posting stage, but it seems that technology is not available.

Until it is available there's little to be gained by not trying other work-arounds. There are people willing and able to remove spam posts manually - give it a go.

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