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How to propose a user for elimination?

asked 2015-07-30 11:45:30 +0200

Lupp gravatar image

Within the last 24 hours this forum accepted at least a dozen new "users" obviously created for placing spam - and nothing else. Even the user profile sometimes is stating that clearly. See this profile e.g. Is there a way to help with stopping this trend?

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10  24  51 days later & that Profile is still showing the same spam. It seems that LibreOffice is fine with this site being spammed, no matter their public pronouncements. Damn shame.

30 Sep update: finally the Profile is cleared (though user remains).

Alex Kemp gravatar imageAlex Kemp ( 2015-08-09 17:31:42 +0200 )edit

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answered 2015-07-30 13:57:14 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

updated 2015-08-05 05:34:41 +0200

I've put to the developers & maintainers a suggestion to use SFS on this site & was told on 28 July by the Askbot chap that he would do so. I've not received any follow-up since then. I'll use this Q as a prompt & perhaps a suggestion that he add a "Report this Profile" button, or some such (mail now sent).

Later Update:

I got a mail back saying that "no, not yet", then another mail 5 hours after that, saying:

SFS is installed.

To make use of it, flag the offending posts, then in the 
moderation queue (link under the warning sign in the header)
user can be blocked by IP.

Unfortunately it's impossible to yet to directly ban this user
from the content page, something to implement later.

5 Aug update:

24 hours ago this site was subjected to a continuous spam attack from Korean users promoting gaming sites (they also seemed strong on parlours offering sexual favours, although all that was in Korean). I spent several hours removing spam links assisted by others closing Posts (I cannot do that - not enough Karma).

I sent a mail with links to the spammer Profile pages & eventually a Mod woke up, stepped in & in short order removed all the spammers + posts.

If folks like Lupp, or even Doug & myself, had had the ability to "Report a User" + that user being auto-moved into moderation after a certain number of reports, then we could have strangled those spammers at birth. Ah well.

The spammers + posts were all removed remarkably quickly. This is what the AskBot maintainer said:-

Alex, there is moderation queue, which is accessible to site moderators.

This queue allows to block by IP. Actually block by IP works in "extended" way:

we identify IP address of the user that made offending revision. finding all revisions made from the same IP address, identify users making those revisions. then find all revisions made by those users, find from which IP's those revisions were made. repeat the loop until list of IP addresses stops growing.

then we block those addresses, block all user accounts that we found and delete all posts made by those users.

This helps to stop some spam attacks.

One final thing:

Before the spam attack the home-page showed > 12,000 posts. Now, 24 hours later, it shows 9,800 posts. It seems that the spam purge has also removed 2 or 3,000 other posts. Extraordinary.

If this helps then please tick the answer (✔).

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@Alex Kemp : Did you understand that and are you able to do as suggested? I didn't get beyond the flagging.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2015-08-03 13:55:50 +0200 )edit

I'm NOT a Mod on AskLibre, and the Spammer is still using his Profile to spam. Apparently, they do not have enough Mods.

Alex Kemp gravatar imageAlex Kemp ( 2015-08-03 16:07:35 +0200 )edit

this is a good idea, but I do not see the way to do it in the UI.

doug gravatar imagedoug ( 2015-08-04 05:01:57 +0200 )edit

Mods only as I understand it. However, with the current flood of spam it may just make the point that it should be possible to easily ban users. There is several years worth of experience of this for SFS users, but that does not seem valuable here.

Alex Kemp gravatar imageAlex Kemp ( 2015-08-04 06:02:25 +0200 )edit
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answered 2015-08-04 05:00:32 +0200

doug gravatar image

One thing that would go far to providing the tools to address this is to have more flag offensive votes per day to folks with reasonable karma thresholds. Presently, if I try to use more than five of them in a day (karma > 300), I am met with:

image description

In addition, it is sort of obvious that if a user is reported frequently enough as offensive to have posts hidden, or if a post from the user is [closed] as spam, that user should have moderation enabled, or further posting should be throttled or delayed at an IP level if necessary. Spammers are focusing on particular time periods, so this also could be addressed by the simply expedient of moderating posts from new users that contain links or non-printable or non-english characters during particular times.

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One extra feature to this, Doug:-

Spammers try to post a large number of (often almost identical) posts. In addition, they may try to do so via spam-bots, which will post at extreme high speed. Both features can be filtered on and, at a minimum, such posts placed in a hidden-from-the-public moderation queue.

The spate earlier this morning of Korean spam for gaming sites was typical of this, with upto 60 virtually identical posts each from the same, recent users. Easy to stop!

Alex Kemp gravatar imageAlex Kemp ( 2015-08-04 08:28:54 +0200 )edit

I've put your points & suggestions in a post to the AskBot maintainer & LO Executive Director. The former told me that there is a moderation queue based on IP addresses available to site Mods. He did not say that it is active & in use.

Alex Kemp gravatar imageAlex Kemp ( 2015-08-05 03:59:37 +0200 )edit

I have just read this thread. May I make a comment?

I agree that such abuse should not be tolerated. I would caution, though, against a "cure" that is "too automatic" or too subject to the judgment or whims of just one person.

LinkedIn's Site Wide Auto Moderation (SWAM) policy is well-intentioned, poorly designed, and poorly executed. One person's actions can lead to "SWAM hell" for the recipient, even if undeserved.

Due process should always precede sentence and execution.

LKeithJordan gravatar imageLKeithJordan ( 2015-09-19 20:59:53 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-07-30 11:45:30 +0200

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Last updated: Aug 05 '15