Inactive user names will be pruned

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Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Husse on Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:50 am

We have large numbers of user names that have been inactive since they first were registered
//Edit - these potential forum members have not even clicked the activation link in the mail you get when you register//
Most of them are of a kind where you suspect it is a spam bot but can't be sure
I'll remove such inactive names after some two weeks
Edit
Also inappropriate user names will be deleted - some are of a kind I don't want to write in a forum post....
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby stringjunky on Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:27 pm

Hello Husse

Yes, I think this is a good idea. I think it may help you to recognise better, in time, what is spam and what is not. The only downside is that you will probably delete new members who are not actively posting but are browsing the forum topics to learn and get a feel for it first before posting.... which may take some time. At the end of the day though, it is no problem to re-register and this is a real problem which needs to be dealt with. :evil:

To help you, would it be a good idea for new members ,on registration, to insist that they send you a private message just to say 'hello'...you would then know they were real people. Create a list of those people who joined and notified you in the last month and cross reference this list against the names with just 1 post on the boards and delete those not listed....most likely to be the work of spam bots. Alternatively, create a new area for people to do this, that you can check on periodically, if you don't want your PM box flooding!

The general idea I'm getting at is to get REAL people to do something that spam bots can't do thus isolating there work for easier identification.

May be it would be an idea to have a prominent and permanent discussion thread on this subject, after all, there are a lot of highly intelligent, creative and resouceful people who frequent this forum and this subject may trigger their interest and desire to contribute if it passed in front of them whilst browsing. If anything it would help to raise the level of awareness and responsibility amongst members about spam, instead of struggling on the subject by yourself.
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Thierry on Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:09 pm

Hello,

So I have to post a message. I'm a Mint user since Bea. I have no special or interesting informations to give to the others, that's why I never sent a message to this forum.
I learned a lot in this forum ( and other too !)
Now I run Felicia x64, and it's great.
I tested a lot of distros and Mint is the best.

Pleas ! Don't prune me !! :mrgreen: I'm not a bot ! :D
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Husse on Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:15 pm

@ Thierry
You were not - I pruned a whole bunch of users yesterday - and I must point out that this is users that have never been active in the forum apart from registering and most with user names like samarapspsadtwo which smells spam bot - sorry if this is a real person
And In case a real person got pruned that wanted to use the forum I do apologise and you are most welcome to register again
I constantly prune the user names from names like viagraonlinewea which is a partial explanation to the current low level of spam - how much easier it would be without that abuse (to use a mild word)
Edit - right after I wrote this I found a user name " paris hilton nude " :)
Edit two - between March 6 and 29 there are about 600 inactive users - odd I think....
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby papabearak on Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:15 am

Husse, on the Klikit forums, we instituted the use of capchas during registration, as well as requiring a valid email address, to which a validation email is sent. The newly registered member must then click a link in the email to activate their account. Since we put those measures in place a month or two ago, the spam bot problem is virtually nil. It's been a long time since I signed up here on the Mint forums, so I don't know what security measures you already have in place here. Just thought I'd let you know what steps solved the problem for us. I'm a global moderator on Klikit, so dealing with spam and spam bots is my bailiwick, and lately, it's a non-issue. Ben
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby wereistheanykey on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:22 am

This id is new but I have been using Mint and have a login to mintinstall area since 06. Do you have to post to be counted as active or just visit this forum?
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Husse on Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:42 am

Not absolutely sure but I think it's enough to log in
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby LinnetLegs on Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:39 am

Husse wrote:Not absolutely sure but I think it's enough to log in



I hope it is enough to log in to remain a member. I find this forum so useful.
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Husse on Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:39 am

I've given it some more thought - it's enough to log in
Edit by Husse
In the first go clicking the activation link in the activation mail you get after registration is enough
I doubt I've seen any other than "Newly registered account" listed as inactive (and some that have changed their account details)
End edit
It's sad that spammers destroy the beauty of internet so much...
I go through the inactive new users every day and always find some "buyonline" or "pharmacy" or the like.....
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby stringjunky on Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:09 am

Husse

I've looked into this subject a bit and have found that is possible to contact the producers of some of these spambots and ask them to put this II forum on its database blacklist so that it will not be infected with spam.

The most sophisticated and desired spambot amongst spammers is called Xrumer. Its capabilities for breeching forum security measures are awesome...fortunately it is a copyrighted device and I think it is bound by American and European laws regarding unsolicited advertising.

Reading an interview with the owner, regarding threats and abuse from disgruntled forum administrators, he states that, if asked, he will put the forum on its database blacklist. Users of this device pay a 3 or 6 month licence fee to use it and are given the updated software on payment of their subscription.... there will probably be a delay in a blaclklist request taking effect.

If you would like to pursue this route and try it out, here is the Contact Us webpage for Xrumer..the owner is called Botmaster:

http://www.botmasternet.com/contacts/
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Husse on Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:19 am

This goes against everything I know about spam(mers) - never ever contact them, because then they'll know it works and try even harder to bombard you with their crap
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby stringjunky on Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:45 am

Ok. Point taken...I am likely being naive. You have been around a lot longer on this subject than I have.

If you don't know already. Be wary for extraordinarily large numbers of previously inactive members makiing a post for the first time with links attached....this is the spammers harvesting time. The payoff for them is improved search engine rankings.

I will be vigilant when browsing the forums and inform you if I see any suspicios posts.
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby nitehawk on Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:41 pm

I don't post very often,....
but I usually like to check the forum every day or so (I find very useful info). Besides,...it just seems like a very friendly place to drop into now-and-then (and I really like my Linux Mint)...... :)
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby bob on Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:17 pm

The spam problem's been rampant at FedoraForum.org, even with the 'standard' CAPTCHA. Frankly, the normal one is broken very quickly by the bots, since it's in such wide usage. However, if you've modified it, bots will likely bypass your site since they're interested in posting, not breaking individual code. We went from banning approx. 100/day down to single digits within 48 hours. You may contact leigh123@linux at FedoraForum if you'd like details, or Schwim (Json) at http://www.infosprite.com/ who has some excellent techniques.
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby minty spice on Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:34 pm

this is a good forum.......
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Husse on Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:08 pm

minty spice wrote:this is a good forum.......

Yes - but I expected a link to something in that post
This is exactly how lots of spam posts looks, only no spam link here :)
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Craig on Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:00 pm

As long as you do not delete (real) people mistakenly who need this forum because it is a valuable resource I cannot foresee any real problems with your decision.
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Husse on Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:36 pm

Just register again :)
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Craig on Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:05 am

Well either that or you could always change to a forum software that actually handles spam a lot better than that of phpBB. ;)
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Re: Inactive user names will be pruned

Postby Husse on Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:30 am

I have seen reports that the next version of phpBB will have better spam protection
The problem is that it seems that the spambots seem to overcome the protection after a while all the time
Right now we have close to no spam - knock on wood :)
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