Why do my posts have to be approved by a moderator?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Syne, Sep 15, 2012.

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  1. quant Registered Member

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    49
    Thanks RealityCheck,

    That does indeed seem to be the key. Maybe a lot of spam is making its way into the forum via posted links. Thanks once again I was wondering what could be wrong.

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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Please consider utilising new generation cloud based DNS node "edge" systems such as CloudFlare. [ for future benefit ]

    I'll try and post a link: https://www.cloudflare.com/index
    Do you see the link above?

    The service offers significant free protection from hackers and spammers and may be worth a look.
    There are other competitor cloud systems to check out as well.
    They are supposed to filter all incoming traffic using a self-learning anti Hack/spam system that compiles attack data from all domain members to the system and adjusts accordingly.


    I am currently trialing this service for a couple of my own sites and so far the results have been excellent.
    For admiin. you get full access data and real time statistics, plus all attack documentation and results etc.
    The process to submit a domain is simple and efficient...and requires no domain transfer, just DNS changes.

    example screen shot of webspammer blocking, apparently posting comments to blogs etc....
    View attachment 5855
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    a snippet from the VB Bulletin forum:

    src: https://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php/377906-How-to-prevent-spammers-from-registering-on-your-forum?highlight=custom+fields
    I think it woud be far easier to moderate new members registration than to deal with the spamming that is going on....
    and if going for human verification Q & A make it a simple cryptic question.
    One site I tried to register had such a diffcult Q & A cryptic I had to give up on registration.
    Example: if apples are RED what colour are strawberries?
    answer must be RED or registration fails.....
     
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Am I imagining things or is the problem of spamming increasing here..... the sheer numbers of banned viewers seems to be increasing daily...
     
  8. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    2,801
    Sorry, I did not notice this thread.

    The same "Your post will show when a moderator has approved it".

    The thread:
    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?118842-Comments-on-physics-and-maths-content-and-moderation

    The post:
    Is there any chance that this post appear after a moderator it will approve?
     
  9. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,102
    What to do:
    For members that currently find themselves getting stuck in the moderation queue, could you please PM (Private Message) that you have that problem to me, I'll put a list together of users, then an Admin will be able to look through the group settings for each user to see what the differences are. (I'm thinking that it will likely require a fix on a member-by-member basis)
     
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    this is an absurd situation for a mod to be placed in... member by member is like wow! no way man!
    the membership has been already been seeded no doubt with spammer usernames... and I notice that registration protocols are still lacking any way to prevent further infiltration.

    This forum is currently wide open to flooding....the need to sort out the registration process is a massive priority even if stopping registrations for the moment completely.
    If the registration of new members was temporarilly stopped [1 click on the cp panel] a better registration process could be designed with out running the risk of flooding as time is then avaiable for the dev. team to sort it out.

    Moving some of my own domains [x9 including numerous subdomains] to be under the security of Cloudflare type service has stopped all spamming entirely at the moment... a total of 328 spammer bot threats so far blocked in 4 days... and it only takes one bot to flood a fora...
     
  11. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    QQ,
    I can't say what the problem is until it's been debugged in regards to the moderation queue issue.
    There is another potential that usergroups though, and that is that one or two of the subforums have moderation-queue set as a default, which means anyone posting to that subforum will be placed into the queue. So knowing the subforums that it occurs in would likely identify where the issue is.

    As for the anti-spam measures, well I can't say how much has been done by the DEVs. I'm pretty sure that reCaptcha hasn't been applied (since the signup still only asks a simple mathematics question which any bot can be programmed to answer), there is Askimet but that costs for non-personal sites. One of the main points though is that registration should not be blocked or stopped, the reason for this is that every signup is potentially a way to build decent forensics fingerprints of spammers vs legitimate members.

    What doesn't help to my knowledge is that the Dev's aren't English and might find it tough to understand what it is we suggest from time to time.
     
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
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    As you know Stryder, it all comes down to priorities.
    If the forum gets flooded and the data base virtually destroyed then all other measures are useless.
    The number one priority is to stop the potential for flooding and if that means temporarilly blocking ALL registrations then so be it...
    The work load for the data base clean up is increasing by the minute as well. [from what I can see] and a decision will eventually need to be made as to when the situation becomes unworkable and unsalvageable due to costs involved in the clean up.
    It appears that about 30% of poster activity at this forum is from spammers. This is a horrendous percentage! I sincerely hope that the developers seriously consider their options. One of which is to block any new registrations effective immediately and call a time out so that they can think about it all with out the pressure of exponential increases in the problem of spamming.

    The spam bots do talk to each other and this forum will no doubt be considered an easy target by many...

    It is painful watching the fora get this way especially when in the main it is unecessary for this to be happening.
     
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    20,650
    It is also worth considering that it is really very easy for disaffected members, who feel they have been unjustly treated here at sciforums to promote the fora to various malicious parties who would welcome such information. As there will always be disaffected members for various reasons the forum has to be as "bullet proof" as possible.
     
  14. RealityCheck Banned Banned

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    800
    Just as well I for one am not one to bear a grudge!

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    I always think positive and trust the constructive message will eventually get through.

    One can only hope and trust that the admin/mods feel the site is worth the effort of trying to improve it from within; and not alienating the positive well wishing members as well as those more grudge-bearing types.

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    Cheers QQ, everyone.
     
  15. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    2,801
    Does not accept links only if the function "Link" is operated, otherwise ""Your post will show when a moderator has approved it".
     
  16. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Posts with links still requiring moderator approval. Aside from overloading moderators who, I assume, have better things to do, like remove spam, this is very annoying.
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,918
    General Note

    General Note

    I had occasion last night to discuss with some members why it sometimes takes us so long to dig member posts out of the moderation queue.

    And to that, it occurs to me that we should at least explain to members why we're using the moderation queue as an anti-spam tool.

    As we've noted before, with the new software update (vBulletin 3.x updated to 4.x) all of our anti-spam tools collapsed; they were incompatible with the new software. We do have integrated anti-spam tools that work through third-party groups; despite them both being respectable firms, the tools are, presently, useless. We're not sure why, but these tools are simply not stopping spam.

    Shoving the spam into the queue brings two primary benefits. The spam is isolated from search engines, which is how spammers get paid; and the spam is reserved to a manner that only the staff can see. This latter actually makes it easier for us to find and kill the spam while keeping it out of the membership's view.

    Last night I noted that there were eighty-five spam threads in one subforum, pushing the displayed threads of the default two-week view from one page to four.

    I finished the general spamkill at midnight; checking in eleven hours later, this is what moderators would have seen in Science & Society before I performed a quick purge:

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    And that's what why we use the queue; it would make navigating the site just a little silly if members had to wade through that. (I have threads in Religion, Comparative Religion, EM&J, CS&C, and B&E left to destroy; there will likely be new spam threads before I finish the general cleanup.)

    Additionally, there are spam posts:

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    Following a discussion can get rather difficult if enough of those posts make their way into the thread.

    Until either the spam tools included with the software start working, or we find third-party add-ons and plugins that will actually do what they're supposed to, the moderation queue is our best tool for keeping discussions afloat. You know, it's kind of like a "smart" or "stupid" disease that kills its host either slowly or quickly. Spammers would qualify as a stupid disease in drowning a site. Left to their own devices, the spammers would rather chase off the audience than actually reach it.

    Which, naturally, brings us to this bizarre phenomenon of member posts being shoved into the queue. Stryder's advice above is important in this context. We don't know exactly why the problem is occurring, and the more data we can collect about who is getting shoved into the queue, the more likely we might be able to identify a pattern and devise a proper solution.

    Your Action Team is on the case, but right now, to be honest, it looks like vBulletin 4.x is not actually intended to run a discussion board but, rather, facilitate spam. To the other, longtime users will notice that the URL format has changed; VBulletin Solutions, Inc. calls this "SEO friendly", and now we see why. Considering that this spam has more to do with being recognized in a search engine than actually reaching potential customers—note the lorem ipsum style of the posts—"SEO friendly" makes much more sense. It may be that I just called VBulletin Solutions, Inc. a stupid disease, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why else they would build their software in such a manner as to open the spamgates like this.

    We thank you for your patience. We thank you for your assistance.

    Some have suggested reverting to the prior version of the software; I've had the same thought, but that would also require gathering and installing the old spam guards anew, and I have no idea what the current status of that software is. Some have noted the uselessness of the captcha; if the spammer is a human posting lorem ipsum by hand—

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    —then no, the captcha will not stop them.

    (I mean, just look at that. It's not even intended for consumers; it's simply an attempt to get a web address and advert code—the redacted thread title—into search engine results. Two notes on the above: That's not the whole of that one post, as I couldn't shrink the text enough to get it all on the screen; and it was taken from "New software questions and complaints"—I should have done a screengrab of the spam ironically posted in this thread last night.)

    Meanwhile, yes, we're still trying to figure solutions. Your patience and endurance is very much appreciated. We will get this figured out; I just don't have a schedule to offer at this time. And yes, please do consider following Stryder's advice. If we can identify a pattern in the data, the Company software developers can devise a solution of their own or find and install an effective one that already exists.

    And, yes, we do love you all, even when we're annoying you and you're annoying us. We will get through this. Eventually. I won't stop you from praying on our behalf, but I would specifically advise that if you're ever, say, out having a drink, and the guy on the next barstool says he's in search engine optimization, don't punch him in the teeth, no matter how strong the temptation.

    I mean, to the one, I don't want you to go to jail; to the other, it's futile, as there are far too many people working in SEO—you'll eventually hurt your hand. So, yeah, if someone says they work in SEO, just nod, smile, and say, "Wow. I have nothing nice to say about that." And then walk away. Although if you can stick him with your tab ....

    Yeah. Right. Anyway, chins up. We will get through this.
     
  18. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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  19. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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  20. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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  21. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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  22. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry for the multiple posts. Just trying to narrow the causes for this issue.

    It appears that certain links are flagged, maybe by domain or IP address, including any to sciforums. I can successfully post a link as I have above, with or without using the "Link" button. I can even edit such posts to change this to a link that gets the post thrown in the mod queue without a problem.

    So for now, I will be posting and then editing my posts to add links. This seems to be the only way to make sure they do not get held up in the queue.

    Hopefully some of this helps the troubleshooting. I imagine this is not a per user case, but a per link case.
     
  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Some person with a grudge is responsible, I think.
     
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