The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Message for our Community Members: Help keep our site spam-free

dstroy's picture

Message for our Community Members: Help keep our site spam-free

Hey everybody!

I just wanted to drop in and remind everyone about a feature we have here on The Fresh Loaf to help keep the site running smoothly.

Since our site has become so active with so many members, it's also a prime target for folks wanting to make a buck who drop in to put their links and advertisemens disguised as posts. A lot of these get caught by various spam-protection measures that Floyd installed to keep the boards focused on community concerns, but every day we get a bunch of clever spammers who create accounts and make fakey looking posts with links to their business websites sneaked in (probably to get their page rankings to show up higher in Google). These posts have been increasing in number as our site gets more popular.

I spend each day scouring the message boards to clear these out and ban those accounts, but wanted to remind folks that you can help with this too, particularly with our star spam-reporting member going abroad for a while.  Sometimes these posts are obvious like a whole blog post about something random like golfing, with some words being links to whatever website they are pushing, and sometimes the posts are comments like "wow great" and then there's some totally unrelated link that has nothing to do with bread baking at all.

Sometimes when I find the posts they have comments with people asking what the spammer was doing on our site - you guys can help us out a lot if you run across these things by getting them into our spam-cue. You can do this by clicking the link at the bottom of the offending post or comment that says "Flag as offensive" (It turns out changing the wording of this link is far more complicated than we have time to deal with right now - I do wish it said something more obvious like "report to admin" or something!)

Also, I wanted to let you know that Floyd has been working on some behind-the-scenes fixes, in addition to the regular  performance code and keeping things updated and such, he has also been trying to figure out the email notification issues we've been having (the code of that module appears to have been written by someone whose primary language is not English, so it's been particularly tough to troubleshoot that one). He's also been working on getting our most active members some benefits like not having as much spam filtering blocks to deal with. Oh, and I think he's found a better module for those email notification functions which will work a bit nicer than having to manage so many "subscriptions", and that will hopefully clear up some of the weird timing issues we've been seeing on those notifications as well. Hopefully we'll find some time to get that installed for you guys soon, and I'm sure Floyd will make an announcement when things are ready to launch for you here.

And with that, I return you to your kitchens, and wish you all happy baking!

dstroy's picture

I'm bumping this once so it hits the radar again... Last week was a busy one and this may have been missed by some of you.

This morning when I did my login to clean the forums of junk, I found a few examples of folks replying to forum posts which were all made by brand new users who'd joined just to make a sales pitch or post links to bump their search-engine ratings (having nothing to do with bread, and not coming from members who have otherwise contributed in any way) which had several comments about how the posts were "spam".

We want our community members to feel like they can come here to share ideas, but this isn't an ebay or craigslist for non-members, and folks that joined just to post sales-pitches are regarded as spammers..

Remember that if you see posts like those, you can throw them into the cue for us with that "Flag as offensive" link at the bottom. That makes it easy for us to delete and ban those accounts. We're working on getting it so that our especially active and long-time members will be able to clear those out from view with just a single report too.

Thanks everyone.


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

My email notifications are already coming more like they're supposed to, and I've noticed the change in spam filtering hurdles too. Thank you both for your vigilance, and all the time you put into this wonderful site. It's the nicest online community I know.

Best to you,