Spam signatures

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by tadad1, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. tadad1 macrumors 6502a

    tadad1

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #1
    I have noticed an increase in the number of "macrumors newbie" members who seem to be setting up accounts just to spam off site links in their signatures, usually they are easy to spot as most of the posts are off topic, make little sense or are complete jibberish.


    Perhaps this could be remedied by making the signature feature only usable once the member has graduated from "macrumors newbie" status.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Good idea, like with the avatar limit I guess.

    You can always use the [​IMG] button to report it, it works quite well, but limiting it to a post count would take some load off the moderators I guess.
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #3
    I really like the idea. It'll certainly fix the issue. Otoh, perhaps having any links in your sig when new is good. You still get a sig but no spam link.
     
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #4
    This issue does seem more common these days.

    The idea of a minimal post count before allowing a signature or signature w/links seems reasonable.

    Agree. This solution works well. :)
     
  5. My name is Alex macrumors regular

    My name is Alex

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #5
    I guess you could take it away so I have to earn it, but I like having my Jacob and Man in Black quote there...
     
  6. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #6
    I am not sure we need additional limits and restrictions. The majority of new posters abide by the rules and are not abusing the system. We always notice the offenders more than those who are not causing trouble. It would seem a little unfortunate to penalize all of the ones who are complying with the rules just because a few spammers do not. We all hate situations where we are caught in a blanket discipline because a few people spoil it for the rest of us.

    I think reporting the posts/users and dealing with the offenders individually is sufficient until is gets completely unmanageable. While there has been an increase, I think for the most part these issues are dealt with fairly quickly and efficiently when reported.
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #7
    What about approval of signatures by moderators? Say someone has less than 50 posts and wants to have a signature, the moderator has to first look at it and approve it. Might be impossible with the current software though.
     
  8. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    Oh my god, that would be a lot of moderator work. Hell of a lot easier to just restrict signatures until 20 posts or something.

    Personally I just report sigvertising and it tends to get dealt with quickly.
     
  9. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #9
    I personally think approving all of the signatures for new members would create an even greater burden on the moderators than dealing with the spammers
     
  10. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #10
    I agree, but not many have signatures anyway. Was just an idea.

    iBlue, 20 posts sounds good.
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #11
    Funny thing is, in about six years here at MR, but not counting the time spent moderating, I've probably checked out links in people's signatures maybe a handful of times at most.

    Apologies if I'm missing a world of entertainment, splendour, pleasure and riches by not checking out links in everyone's sigs. Although I like a well-crafted pithy statement, following links is just not something I feel personally compelled to do, so am left wondering how effective a spamming tool it actually is.
     
  12. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #12
    Probably not very effective at all, but since overt spamming gets squashed pretty quickly, this is at least a subtle and subversive way to try to get your link out there a little longer and maybe escape the ever searching eye of Sauron. Sorry... watched the Lord of the Rings again. :eek:
     
  13. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #13
    If somebody spams, I prefer the link to be in their signature. This way if I delete all their posts and ban them, I know their spam link wasn't quoted by anybody. Just don't tell the spammers that.
     
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #14
    I think that would result in more work for the limited moderator staff.

    IMHO, something automatic would be better. To be a member, you must have 30 posts. So maybe set that as the level. That is assuming the forum software supports such a setup.

    Then again, maybe it's not really that much of an issue to begin with.
     
  15. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #15
  16. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #16
  17. DylanLikesPorn macrumors 6502

    DylanLikesPorn

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
  18. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #18
    I've suggested this in the past. Nothing came of it...
     
  19. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #19
    Amusingly I just reported a sigvertiser. It's always the same. Bumping old threads with boring, contextless drivel and a suspiciously related signature link to the topic.
     
  20. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #20
    Me too. I suspect it was the same thread/spam sig.
     
  21. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #21
    I wouldn't say nothing came of it. It just wasn't implemented. I know most if not all of the mods on up read this forum. A bunch of good ideas come through here. Some are used, some are not, some are refined and operate in a way different than originally suggested.

    It's also good to have these things brought back up once in a while. What wasn't an idea we would've done last year might be one we'd do this year. Also as new people come to the forum and older members have traversed other forums, they might have a new idea for implementing it.

    In the case of signature spam we have to think, "Well what would spammers do instead?", "What is the impact to normal users?", and "How often do we have to cleanup this mess and how troublesome is it?". We've even read through documentation on spam bots that you can purchase to see what the software's reaction typically is to this.

    Overall I think it was found that the spammers would adjust (so little to no impact to them), new users might get frustrated, and if they didn't put spam links in their signatures, they'd put them in their posts. I actually get more frustrated cleaning up people that quote spam than I do cleaning up the actual spam although it's fairly rare.

    I know sushi's post a bit up there quoting Blue Velvet's fake spam was in jest, but if Blue Velvet had been a spammer and then sushi quoted it 2 pages later in the thread saying something like "OMG Spam!", the odds of us finding the quote of it is fairly slim. Now if BV had had the link in the signature area, sushi wouldn't have quoted it and while the quote might remain, the link would not.

    PS. Please don't read this spammers.
    PSS. Please don't quote spam.
     
  22. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #22
    SilentPanda, many thanks for that. I should have said, "Nothing visible changed because of it". Clearly you and the other moderators, admins and gods discuss this things.

    Instead of blocking signatures for new users of even visibly blocking the adding of links could the forum software just silently remove them (in the same way that a small number of domains are silently blocked)? That way the spambot would not know that anything was amiss and react...
     
  23. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #23
    :D :p


    I've occasionally replied when it's particularly amusing but I don't quote it because I know that's got to be a bigger pain to clean up. (Whereas I know a thread can just go "poof"... um, in a manner of speaking.)

    I didn't think of it in such a way that if it weren't signatures that it would just be in posts. Sigs are probably the less imposing of the two options. Bloody spammers.
     
  24. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #24
    I wasn't really getting on you. I knew you knew that, I just didn't want other people to think this forum goes unnoticed. It's probably the one forum I make a point to read pretty much everything in. I'd guess other mods do too!

    If we started silently removing signatures of every single newbie (even via software instead of manually) then we'd get a lot of legitimate newbies asking "why does my signature keep disappearing?" :(

    Amended! Sometimes even responded to a thread a spammer has posted in can cause cleanup. I think the iPhone factory girl is currently our most "spammable" thread due to the amount of outside links to MacRumors to it. So a spammer spams it, then a bunch of people start carrying on a completely random conversation in the thread, we remove the spam, now we have your post seemingly bumping a few year old thread with just an amusing comment... now people are confused why iBlue brought this thread back from the grave... :p

    Of course, I'm not picking on you specifically, but usually responses to thread necros are removed too lest old topics become newly popular in the forum spy.
     
  25. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #25
    Ah, people think I'm a bit weird anyway (it's a fair assumption). :D Although I'm sure I've done the existing thread reply thing, I more meant the fresh threads started by a spammer where they've gone and advertised something so stupid I can't help but call it what it is. As a general rule I just report spam, sometimes with content intended to amuse the mod(s) who finds it.
     

Share This Page