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[SMF 2.0.6] Moderator Permissions for Spam Removal

Started by flamefox777, January 29, 2014, 05:53:22 PM

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flamefox777

Greetings!

I'm Sharpe from the Twinery.org forums. We're having issues with spam. Early in the morning, we'll get bombed with 20+ pages of spam posts.

Right now, the admin is dealing with it. He deletes the spammer and checks "delete all posts." Unfortunately, I don't have those permissions. I can delete users, but I can't find where to delete all their posts. So, I would have to go through and delete them by hand by using the check marks beside the posts. However, that's dangerous because I might accidentally delete a good post buried in all those pages of spam. Plus, it takes a lot of time.

Can someone give me detailed instructions to forward to him on how to set my permissions to delete all posts by user? Or, am I missing the check box somewhere?

Also, will we have to go to the extreme of moderating all first posts by new users? We really don't want to go that route if we don't have to do so.

Any additional advice for dealing with spammers?

Thanks a lot!


— Sharpe

TheListener

QuoteAny additional advice for dealing with spammers?

Security questions and antispam mods.

;)

flamefox777

He's probably open to mods. If you were to recommend just one, which one would that be?

As for Anti-Spam Verification Questions for SMF, I'm Google'ing how to set those up now. I'm just a moderator, not the admin, so I'm acting a bit as a go-between for him. He doesn't know me personally and is understandably wary of giving a volunteer too much authority on his forum.

I found wiki.simplemachines.org/smf/SMF2.0:Security_and_Moderation

I'll pass that link to him. Any others?

PhuriousGeorge

http://wiki.simplemachines.org/smf/Spam_-_my_forum_is_flooded_with_spam,_what_can_I_do

This article seems like a great start and recommends mods at the bottom. Though I've never had to go to this extent myself.


flamefox777

Re: Anti-Spam Verification Questions

We have one set up, so perhaps the spammers are humans rather than bots?

We get all our spam from about three new accounts at once. Happens about twice a week early in the morning. They set up three accounts, then post 20+ pages of the same type of spam, mainly.

TheListener

Quote from: flamefox777 on January 29, 2014, 06:36:52 PM
Re: Anti-Spam Verification Questions

We have one set up, so perhaps the spammers are humans rather than bots?

We get all our spam from about three new accounts at once. Happens about twice a week early in the morning. They set up three accounts, then post 20+ pages of the same type of spam, mainly.

Make sure the question is relevant to the forum.

Ones with simple questions such as the colour of the sky or math questions are a no go IMO.

PhuriousGeorge

Quote from: Old Fossil on January 29, 2014, 06:38:54 PM
Ones with simple questions such as the colour of the sky or math questions are a no go IMO.

Not just your opinion. I've seen the coding of some spambots and some of them are programed to identify such questions and are able to answer (math, site titles, topic, color stuff, etc)

On another note @Old Fossil: even as a human, I could never sign up for your site because I don't know ANYTHING about the topics in your questions and even Googling is more than half guessing ;) (but makes sense since yours is a community-based forum :))

flamefox777

I'll suggest that a more secure question be asked. They are simple, though not quite 2+2 simple. I wouldn't think a stupid robot would be able to answer them but . . .

Can anyone help me with the permissions question?

QuoteRight now, the admin is dealing with it. He deletes the spammer and checks "delete all posts." Unfortunately, I don't have those permissions. I can delete users, but I can't find where to delete all their posts at the same time. So, I would have to go through and delete them by hand by using the check marks beside the posts. However, that's dangerous because I might accidentally delete a good post buried in all those pages of spam. Plus, it takes a lot of time.

Thanks again!


— Sharpe

Illori

currently in order to delete posts along with deleting the account you need the moderate forum members permission

Arantor

Yeah, I'm not sure that question is going to help you either :/
No good deed goes unpunished
All helpful urges should be circumvented

flamefox777

Quote from: Illori on January 29, 2014, 07:42:19 PM
currently in order to delete posts along with deleting the account you need the moderate forum members permission

Thank you! :)

That seems like a pretty broad authority, though. That allows mods to register users and track IP addresses, doesn't it?

Is there any way just to make the check box to delete posts when mods delete users available?

Honestly, I'd rather not even delete users. I'd rather they be added to a ban list instead so we can keep all the spammer's information, but I digress.

Quote from: Sir Cumber-Patcher on January 29, 2014, 08:24:54 PM
Yeah, I'm not sure that question is going to help you either :/

Sorry, what question?

Illori

using the ban list for this will really not help much in the long run and end up slowing down the forum.

enabling the warning system and muting the users would be slightly better. but the other anti-spam mods would be even better.

Arantor

The anti-spam question currently on your site isn't actually that good, is what I'm getting at. I've seen bots able to beat that kind of thing.
No good deed goes unpunished
All helpful urges should be circumvented

flamefox777

Quote from: Illori on January 29, 2014, 09:02:28 PM
using the ban list for this will really not help much in the long run and end up slowing down the forum.

enabling the warning system and muting the users would be slightly better. but the other anti-spam mods would be even better.

Check. Is there a specific mod you'd recommend?

Thanks again!

Quote from: Sir Cumber-Patcher on January 29, 2014, 09:05:24 PM
The anti-spam question currently on your site isn't actually that good, is what I'm getting at. I've seen bots able to beat that kind of thing.

Really? Wow. The robots are really on the way to taking over the world, aren't they? ;)

Like I say, I've passed along recommendations to strengthen the verification question(s). We'll get some brain teasers in there.  8)

Arantor

Not really, since that question is actually surprisingly easy to write a routine to bypass and do it on a generic scale.

As far as anti spam mods go, we normally recommend picking a couple - the trick, ultimately, to spam defence is to uniquify your site. If it's standardised it can be automated. A good Q&A works so well because it makes it unique. Though as general rules, Misc Anti Spam is always a good one to have regardless of anything else (because it trips up a number of bots even before you get to the harder tests) followed by something like Stop Forum Spam or the httpBL one (which are great but they require calls to external services, and if you can block them before that with Q&A and other methods, even better)
No good deed goes unpunished
All helpful urges should be circumvented

flamefox777

Right. I'm picking up what you're putting down. We'll seriously upgrade our questions. Thanks. :)

We'll take a look at these two mods as well:

http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=3685

http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=1519

Thanks again!


— Sharpe

Arantor

I know mod 3685 works ;) I should hope so, anyway ;D It's not a magic bullet but every layer of protection helps and that one is basically free to add anyway in terms of performance (and it works great with questions)
No good deed goes unpunished
All helpful urges should be circumvented

flamefox777

Yeah, I noticed a certain Oscar the Grouch made that one. ;)

Thanks again, all. After we upgrade our questions (and maybe impose first-post moderation) and get a mod or two installed, I hope that will bring an end to multiple spam bombs every week.

Spammers. Gah.  ::)

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