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Spammers
Posted: 20 July 2009 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Spammer in the “burgoo” thread.

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Posted: 08 August 2009 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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And now in the “Idioms” thread.

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Posted: 09 August 2009 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I assume that clicking the “Report” button on the comment is the fastest way to report spammers; at least, that’s what I’ve been doing.

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Posted: 09 August 2009 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Yes, the “report” feature sends me an email. The report feature tells me the name of the spammer and who is alleging the abuse, but it does not give the thread. So if you can, add the thread title as a comment so I can more easily find it, but it’s not absolutely necessary; this board doesn’t have such a high volume of traffic and finding the spammer is rarely difficult. (You can also just send me an email, but the report button is probably easier.)

Typically, I read the discussion board in the morning (California time). But I check email throughout the day. I often neglect to check email in the evenings, so a spammer that appears in the late afternoon/evening will have the longest lifespan.

Some of the spammers are tricky and I miss them when I first read them. So the reports of abuse are always welcome.

I usually don’t reply to reports of abuse; I just ban the offending poster.

[ Edited: 09 August 2009 07:44 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 09 August 2009 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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The report feature tells me the name of the spammer and who is alleging the abuse, but it does not give the thread. So if you can, add the thread title as a comment so I can more easily find it

Ah, I didn’t realize that.  I’ll try to remember it.

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Posted: 11 August 2009 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I’m noticing an influx of new “members” whose Bio fields consist of nothing but advertising links.  I think these are bogus memberships created purely for the purpose of advertising.  They may hope to stay under the radar by not actually posting, and to that extent are less annoying, but eventually the membership list will be so swollen with these pseudo-members that it will be difficult to find any real members by using it.

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Posted: 11 August 2009 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Good catch.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Yes. Thanks for pointing this out.

I’ve been meaning to purge the member’s list for a while, but as it’s a big job I’ve been putting it off.

In addition to the spammers that Dr. T. identified, there are a number of people who signed up and never returned. I’m going to delight the usernames of anyone who has never posted and who has not signed in for a long while--probably within the last three months.

I’m not going to delete the accounts of anyone who has ever posted anything, no matter how long ago, so long-lost brethren are welcome to return and will find their accounts just the way they left them. It should make no difference to lurkers, as the only benefit to signing up is the ability to post.

Currently we’re at 1,087 “members” (including spammers). Do we want to start a pool on the number that will be remaining after I’m done?

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Posted: 12 August 2009 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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OK, I’ll take 630.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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312 for me.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I think Dutchtoo’s more pessimistic count is probably correct if one could eliminate all the bogus accounts, but assuming Dave sticks with his criterion of 3 months’ inactivity, recently joined spam puppets will not be removed (on the first pass, at least) and so the winnowing will probably be less extreme.  I’ll predict a ~50% removal rate and say 543.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Aldi, very very good.

The total going by my announced criteria was 641.

I made a handful of exceptions for recognized names from the Ezboard days who created accounts in the new system, but never posted to the new forum, keeping their accounts intact. (e.g., jkahila). I also went ahead and deleted the more obvious recent spammers. The current count stands at 598.

I may have also accidentally deleted a few lurker accounts. (People who created accounts, continued to log into the site, but never posted anything.) There is no harm done in these cases. They can still view everything on the site, and if they want to post they can just create a new account. Deleting the account is not the same thing as being banned.

Note that the 598 number is not representative of any sort of reality. It includes a lot of people who posted once or twice and never returned, and it excludes all the lurkers who read the site, but have never created an account. There is no way to accurately track the number of lurkers, but it is many, many times the number of active posters.

[I did a more thorough scrub for recent spammers. The number of members is now down to 506.]

[ Edited: 12 August 2009 02:12 PM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 13 August 2009 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I’ll never knock vacillation again. Three times I changed my mind before settling on that final figure.

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Posted: 13 August 2009 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Respect!  I’m calling aldi next time I see one of those “guess the number of beans in the jar” contests.

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Posted: 13 August 2009 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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God, I love the wireless world of the 21st century. I just deleted that last spammer using my iPhone at a freeway reststop.

I used to dread vacations because spammers and trolls always seemed to come out of the woodwork while I was away. A problem no more.

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