gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?


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gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby olorin » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:09 am

In the last few months we are witnessing a continues cyber attacks on this site in the image of new topics that promise us a cheap Viagra nude picture of various people, saving costs and so on. While usually I have nothing against these topics it is (surprise surprise) not the reason why I visit this forum.

In order to stop this cyber attack I suggest that gh will establish a status of a golden member. Only golden members will be allowed to post new topics whereas regular members will only be allow to post replies on existing topics.

All users that joined the community before the cyber attacks begun will automatically become golden members. New members will have to wait two months and post at least 10 posts (T&F related) before they receive their golden status. By then gh can weed out most of the trolls.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby 26mi235 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:19 am

Even putting on a 10-post minimum (or two) before starting a thread would help. However, there is also a string of comments with links as well. This actually creates the problem that I do not know if a topic with new posts includes real or ad postings, even if I look at the most recent poster.

Maybe a broader group of posters could be given authority to suspend a topic into a waiting bin where the true mods can ax them, but that might not be feasible on this kind of software.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby odelltrclan » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:39 am

How about a waiting period to be able to comment on posts. And a longer one to be able to create your own threads. And, since the software is not likely to be real smart, passing some sort of track and field exam before doing so.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby 26mi235 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:45 am

LetsRun uses a question such as "which one of the is not an American runner?" There are about ten choices; while this might seem a little American-centric, the right answer is Haile Geb.

If you paired this with: ask another question instead, then 1 in 10 is a pretty good filter. A two-layer test drops this to 1 in 100.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby polevaultpower » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:58 pm

Please keep in mind that the message board software is just a standard phpBB package and most of those ideas are not possible within the software. It's always hard to find the right balance between things that will keep bots away, versus driving the existing users crazy.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Dave » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:40 pm

Per the phpbb website, captcha is probably the best bet https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtop ... &t=2122696

Of course, this is a pain in the neck for everyone....
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby shivfan » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:40 am

polevaultpower wrote:Please keep in mind that the message board software is just a standard phpBB package and most of those ideas are not possible within the software. It's always hard to find the right balance between things that will keep bots away, versus driving the existing users crazy.

I'm currently involved in a cricket messageboard which is a phpBB package, and we had a two-post or three-post pre-moderation facility for new posters. It just meant that mods and admins would busily trawl through new posts to either approve them or disapprove and ban spammers. But it does make the messageboard much cleaner for its users....

It still does not keep bots away....

I'm an admin for both of these sites:

http://www.cricket-match-special.com/

http://www.windiesfans.com/forums/index ... 34af1511a9

The first has changed its policy so that all new posters have to be approved by admins before they can start posting. The second has an automatic registration, but the first two posts have to be approved by admins before they appear on the board. Both strategies have effectively prevented spam from appearing on the board.

I can offer further advice if needed, because this is my favourite athletics messageboard....
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:04 am

CAPTCHAs do next to nothing against bots. We have one in place at registration. They just annoy humans. Adding custom programs is risky because they often don't work when you upgrade the bb software.

Requiring admins to approve new members is a LOT of work when there are probably over 100 bots attempting to join the board daily, the result is that there would often be a big delay for new members, and frankly it's not always easy to tell human from bot, it's not a foolproof system.

It's not _my_ message board, it's up to gh how he wants to deal with things. I just help delete the spam and the bots. Just trying to give you all some insight as to why it's not always as simple as do this or that.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Cooter Brown » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:35 am

A variety of Captcha I've seen that is simple but works is an image that has the question "Are you human?" The user has to type "yes" and then you can post.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby gh » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:37 pm

as pvp notes, it's a multi-layered problem with no easy way out. One company we have been working with on other things on the site steadfastly refuses to have anything to do with phpBB because they say it can consume far too much of their time.

So we muddle on. Stricter signups coming into play; hopefully not without alienating people.

The sad reality, of course, is that so relatively few people avail themselves of chatting here, it's not worth throwing a fortune in the way of our meager resources at the problem.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby meatball » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:56 pm

just ignore the pests and maybe they'll go away
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Marlow » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:00 pm

meatball wrote:just ignore the pests and maybe they'll go away

Yeah, that works so well for coackroaches and termites!
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby gh » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:01 pm

"they" won't ever go away because it's not humans; it's bots, which constantly troll the entire e-verse finding places to lay their eggs.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Fortius19 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:27 pm

At another board I am on, the administrators made a few people moderators that had the power to delete posts. These guys were trusted to delete objectionable material and it works very well.

I would be happy to volunteer, but I don't know that I have established the kind of trust required. I haven't really posted much even though I was on the board back when it was blue. I have had to create new idenities twice on this color as my name vanished/stopped working (losing about total of 200 post count for Pentathlete and Pentathlete2). I'm usually on in the evening PST. I see at least one good post that needs deleting right now.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Marlow » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:02 am

speaking of these boards, why does my left margin ad (a city street) take up 1/3 of the monitor now?! :shock:
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:32 am

Marlow wrote:speaking of these boards, why does my left margin ad (a city street) take up 1/3 of the monitor now?! :shock:


Yes, it is annoying. Far more than those silly bots. You have to keep centering it each time you change a page.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby aaronk » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:35 am

It's the Invasion of the BOTS Snatchers!!

Do NOT go to sleep!! :shock:
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby gh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:07 am

Conor Dary wrote:
Marlow wrote:speaking of these boards, why does my left margin ad (a city street) take up 1/3 of the monitor now?! :shock:


Yes, it is annoying. Far more than those silly bots. You have to keep centering it each time you change a page.


are you saying that the Ad doesn't appear on both sides of the forum? If so, it's obviously platform dependent. No problem on my Mac in either Firefox or Safari.

It we're talking IE on a PC, which I think is still the largest single group, then we def. have a problem.

Specifics plz.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby aaronk » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:30 am

GH.....I use IE....and I have about one inch on the right side....street images.....and about 4 or 5 inches on the left...of street images.

I have no problem seeing all of the T&FN page!!

Hope this helps.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby batonless relay » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:36 am

I'm using Chrome...and it has about 3" of street on the left side with 1" on the right. And...internet explorer has an identical look (3" on left, 1" on right)
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Pego » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:58 am

I use Chrome. I am at my desktop right now and the board is exactly in the middle, the runner on the right.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:16 pm

gh wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:
Marlow wrote:speaking of these boards, why does my left margin ad (a city street) take up 1/3 of the monitor now?! :shock:


Yes, it is annoying. Far more than those silly bots. You have to keep centering it each time you change a page.


are you saying that the Ad doesn't appear on both sides of the forum? If so, it's obviously platform dependent. No problem on my Mac in either Firefox or Safari.

It we're talking IE on a PC, which I think is still the largest single group, then we def. have a problem.

Specifics plz.


gh I am on a Mac with Safari and the ad is taking up 1/3 of the left of my screen, making the board off-center. It does appear on the right as well, but smaller, and I have to scroll to see it. This is new since this morning and pretty annoying.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby gh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:42 pm

well that's certainly not answer I wanted to hear; if it's not platform-specific, what is it? (mine remains just fine)

OS 10.7.5
Safari 6.0.2?
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby lonewolf » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:48 pm

Using IE, 4" street scene on left, 1" runner on right, have to scroll down and center every click.
Enlarging to 125% helped but did not eliminate annoying problem.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:53 pm

lonewolf wrote:Using IE, 4" street scene on left, 1" runner on right, have to scroll down and center every click.
Enlarging to 125% helped but did not eliminate annoying problem.


The same and on Firefox.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby gh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:01 pm

d'oh! now i see why I'm not having problems. I've got my monster 27-inch screen flowing in all its glory, so I have all the width on the planet.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:05 pm

Latest Firefox; centered but if I make the size larger it gets asymmetric; narrow on the right. Maybe the people might try doing Control -, to zoom out. [or View/Zoom....]. I do have a large screen [it would list as a 23" but is 19" wide, 1680 x 1050 for the Display, Default Size (Small)]
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:07 pm

gh wrote:well that's certainly not answer I wanted to hear; if it's not platform-specific, what is it? (mine remains just fine)

OS 10.7.5
Safari 6.0.2?


I have OS 10.6.8
Safari 5.1.7

So that could explain the difference between us.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:34 pm

gh wrote:d'oh! now i see why I'm not having problems. I've got my monster 27-inch screen flowing in all its glory, so I have all the width on the planet.


I also have a 27 inch screen and it is crazy. Every time you click on something it shifts it all right. I find it so annoying that the only ones left here will be the bots.
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:37 pm

26mi235 wrote:Latest Firefox; centered but if I make the size larger it gets asymmetric; narrow on the right. Maybe the people might try doing Control -, to zoom out. [or View/Zoom....]. I do have a large screen [it would list as a 23" but is 19" wide, 1680 x 1050 for the Display, Default Size (Small)]


Sorry but that doesn't work at all. Yes, it is centered at a screen font that is so small I can barely see it. Zoom in and it all shifts right. This only started a few hours ago. Is it this ad doing it?
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Re: gh - how to fight the on line onslaught on this site?

Postby Pego » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:45 pm

Pego wrote:I use Chrome. I am at my desktop right now and the board is exactly in the middle, the runner on the right. Screen size 21 in


On my laptop, also Chrome, screen size 17 in, the board is off-center, quite a way to right.
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