Forum Spam: Apology and Fixes

An update on how we'll be improving the forum

41 to 60 of 369 messages
Dark Vader    pirate
13/06/2012 at 15:57

Well..  I agree that a user mod power could be abused, but lets perhaps have an element of trust here for the selected few who could be given the power.   There is an obvious need for an 'out of hours' spam removal facility and a user mod would solve that problem...

And if it gets abused then that person can be suitably dealt with.....

I also like BOTF's idea about the use of technology, if that were actually feasible...

 

kittenkat    pirate
13/06/2012 at 16:02
Dark Vader wrote (see)

Well..  I agree that a user mod power could be abused, but lets perhaps have an element of trust here for the selected few who could be given the power.   There is an obvious need for an 'out of hours' spam removal facility and a user mod would solve that problem...

And if it gets abused then that person can be suitably dealt with.....

I also like BOTF's idea about the use of technology, if that were actually feasible...

 

It's not just about whether they abuse or don't abuse the power (lol at power on the internet, always a geeky concept). It just creates a two tiered system. People resent it, I've seen it happen again and again. Just keep objectivity and hire someone unconnected with the forum to swipe the spam, it's not a huge deal is it?

13/06/2012 at 16:09

KK - I think it's about economics though as well? The reality is that hiring someone to operate an out of hours spam-cleansing service costs money, and I don't see why RW would spend that money if there are committed users of the forum who would be willing to provide the same service at either a lower or zero cost?

I haven't got experience of it leading to things going "tits up" like you have, but I'm not a big user of other forums (fora??)..

YP

 

13/06/2012 at 16:14

Please no-one design and implement any solutions until there is a really clear definition of what the problem is.

As far as I can tell, user moderation (manual effort/ highly customised/ value judgements) is a really bad way of attempting to fix the issue of software spambots (highly automated/ following rules). User Moderation is a tiny step away from dominating individual preferences and cronyism in the forums. It seems to me the community does a pretty good job of taking care of itself and the occasionally determined bad person gets yanked out by the Rodale team.

I would think that a small software update to the Web Server to be able to detect and block software spambots is the way to go. This is a common problem and Forum Moderators are a misapplied sledgehammer when all that is needed is a fine tweak with a screwdriver....IMO.

 

kittenkat    pirate
13/06/2012 at 16:16
YoungPup wrote (see)

KK - I think it's about economics though as well? The reality is that hiring someone to operate an out of hours spam-cleansing service costs money, and I don't see why RW would spend that money if there are committed users of the forum who would be willing to provide the same service at either a lower or zero cost?

I haven't got experience of it leading to things going "tits up" like you have, but I'm not a big user of other forums (fora??)..

YP

 

I have a bit of a jaded view of user moderation I must admit. And on the economics front, if the forum is an important part of RW, they will sort it out, and by they I mean the big bosses. If it is not then they won't. I fully agree in community spirit, putting something back into a community etc... But I'm not talking about the black and white of it but the grey. On the face it seems like a simple economical solution but it isn't.

The other thing that happened on RWUSA is that a 'user mod' pressed the wrong button and deleted a whole forum by mistake. Not really a professional high point, although amusing.

kittenkat    pirate
13/06/2012 at 16:17

Oh and well said TD!

seren nos    pirate
13/06/2012 at 16:23

I really can't see the problem with anyone having powers to deal with spam........we are not talking about full moderator powers and any reports on normal threads would go through the normal mods.........I imagine this is just the power to clear the spam out of hours......How on earth is that big brother.....I agree it doesn't deal with the core problem.but if it reduces the problem then whats the problem

13/06/2012 at 16:24

on a couple of "technical" websites I have been required to answer a question which required some slight degree of knowledge of the subject matter of the site before being granted access as a spam prevention filter.

For this site something  like - "identify a very popular race distance from this list - 2K, 4K, 5K, 7K  - or would that be too hard for a complete novice who one wouldn't wish to discourage from joining ?

kittenkat    pirate
13/06/2012 at 16:32
seren nos wrote (see)

I really can't see the problem with anyone having powers to deal with spam........we are not talking about full moderator powers and any reports on normal threads would go through the normal mods.........I imagine this is just the power to clear the spam out of hours......How on earth is that big brother.....I agree it doesn't deal with the core problem.but if it reduces the problem then whats the problem

You are assuming that the software has levels of moderation powers...

13/06/2012 at 17:20
kittenkat wrote (see)
seren nos wrote (see)

I really can't see the problem with anyone having powers to deal with spam........we are not talking about full moderator powers and any reports on normal threads would go through the normal mods.........I imagine this is just the power to clear the spam out of hours......How on earth is that big brother.....I agree it doesn't deal with the core problem.but if it reduces the problem then whats the problem

You are assuming that the software has levels of moderation powers...

If the software has the ability to decide which posts/thread are spam and that it can be moderated by a user then you might as well let the softwaret get on with it and remove it.

As long as it's down to the interpretation of a human that a post/thread is spam or libelous etc then it's open to abuse.

I would not want secret moderaters. If they want the job then they need to wear the badge as well.  If a user moderater starts abusing their position then in my view they've abused a position of trust and need to dealt with firmly i.e. banned from the site completely.

13/06/2012 at 17:22

They shouldn't name the mods anyway. Otherwise people will start to get uptight. I'm sure you'll all agree.

 

You better had or I'll delete your heineys.

seren nos    pirate
13/06/2012 at 17:27

Gertie.totally agree that any abuse should result in a total ban...it 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 assumption........no knowledge of these systems....

JB.you 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?

kittenkat    pirate
13/06/2012 at 18:23

What BDB said completely. We don't need user mods, it will change the dynamics of the forum.

People who want Internet geek power will question why they weren't chosen, the rest of us will just resent people that we've been posting with for years getting a continual hard on.

 

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.

kittenkat    pirate
13/06/2012 at 19:22
Muttley wrote (see)

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.

You have the crib sheet from the USA site They tried it in the same naivety but culled it for good reason.

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.

 

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