The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Floyd - An Idea

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Floyd - An Idea

We seem to have these automatic robots posting spam a lot these days.

How about when signing up we have a question one has to answer to make sure it's a person at the other end? Like you see on many websites. Or an identify the image type question?

If possible. 

Portus's picture
Portus

... fully endorse the suggestion.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

There already is a captcha on the registration -- though it doesn't always show up if you appear to be trusted (have passed captchas on other sites) -- and a secret word. And you have to verify your email address. At least creating the accounts, these are humans, not bots. We'd have hundreds of spam posts a day without the existing security measures.

I've recently constrained it so brand new users can only make two posts in their first 24 hours, which has helped stop the overnight spam floods. But then they do what they did last night: create 5 accounts with different email addresses so they can make 10 posts).

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

And I made the assumption that human can't be this sad spending their time spamming baking forums. I stand corrected.

I'll get my thinking cap back on.

Must be maddening having to clear up the site from these spammers.

Much appreciated!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

When someone pays an SEO "expert" to get their site up the ranking in Google, they outsource the dirty work -- spamming on sites like TFL -- to workers in developing countries like India or Belarus where internet connectivity is decent and wages low. I can see this by tracing the IPs they come from. This also explains why the spamming almost always happens in the middle of the night in North America.

suave's picture
suave

Just do let new users to post and comment without preapproval at all.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I assume you mean "do not" and, yeah, I've considered it (and actually done it a few times during heavy spam storms). It's a pain, for me, to have to prescreen every account or post. How to even do that in a meaningful way? Ask folks to fill out an application? Prove that they really like to bake? It would be difficult and take a lot of the spontaneity out of the site. Everyday we get new community members who bring interesting questions and insights to the site. Were I to make it too difficult to join, I'm sure many folks would give up rather than join (I probably would). The way things are now isn't ideal but I haven't come up with a better solution.

tptak's picture
tptak

Would it be possible in Drupal to apply some sort of filtering based on spam detection systems? Something like this: https://www.drupal.org/project/antispam

Floydm's picture
Floydm

The site is running Mollom at the moment, which does the same type of thing. Mollom is being discontinued in early 2018, so I will look for a replacement.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Floyd,

Is there a way to program a delay of, let's say, 72 hours prior to a new sign-up's ability to post for the first time.  Using the time stamp of a new user's registration, disallow a first posting for three days.  With an explanation as to why on the sign-up page.  This may discourage these spammers from returning if they know that they cannot leave their garbage at that time.

BTW, the girls are cute, but too young for me...

Floydm's picture
Floydm

It would also drive away a large percentage of the legitimate posters who come here with a question in a time of need. I've considered it and would prefer not to go that route.

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

A lot of first time posters are coming looking for answers in frustration. If you make it at all difficult in any way with a barrier to entry, the site loses much of its essence as a community of help and support.

This is something all web developers have to deal with and even the fanciest sites with limitless funds struggle on that spectrum of usability and SPAM prevention.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

"There already is a captcha on the registration"

I get captcha for every post I make. Am I the only one? Often I decide it's not worth it.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

New users get the captcha. Once I notice someone making legit posts I disable the captcha for them and enable private messages. You slipped through the cracks. Sorry about that.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Awesome, thank you. It's like removing a pebble from my shoe. :-)

Portus's picture
Portus

... many years' ago who used to suggest "cast your bread upon the waters and the buns will come bouncing back".  Seems these human bots live by the same code regards TFL!

bigcrusty's picture
bigcrusty

Floyd,

I think the picture or letters to eliminate the bots would be great!  Let's go for it.

Thanks for the great blog.

Big Crusty

Floydm's picture
Floydm

It already exists.

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

....they're at it again tonight :-(.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But could we set up a system of a code word and if it doesn't appear in the post or comment it doesn't appear at all. Or at least flags it up. 

Thaichef's picture
Thaichef

Good evening Floyd. I tried to read a lesson in sourdough starter on the site of "Sourdolady" but I can not . Three separate days of information was blocked by a large "Logo" /Photobucket.com/P500. It instructed me to go to that site to update my account. When I went there, it is nothing but a company selling a photo website for a huge amount of money. I am aggravated because I sincerely want to learn how to make another strong sourdough starter but the information was blocked by the Photobucket and I can not read it. I can not delete the Photobucket that blocked the information either. Please help. Thaichef.  

wayne r's picture
wayne r

Hello,

New member here. Like your forum but am spending way too much time playing with the captcha on login. I am not a robot but my wife has accused me of acting stiff and robotic at times.

I've seen and selected for verification enough roadsigns and storefronts to last me for quite awhile. Is there a way to shorten the number of images presented?

Please advise,

even more captchas just to ask this question?

Wayne