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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you may have noticed, we have become inundated with spam lately. I would like to take this moment to request that everyone refrain from responding to any thread that has spam in it, whether it's a brand new thread opening with spam or a spammer "responding" to an existing thread.

See, what happens is this: one method that spammers make money by is selling info to other spammers concerning what locales are active. In other words, if a spammer posts his spam and gets a hit or two, he knows he has found an active site and sells this info to other spammers. Result? More spam from other spammers.

If at anytime you come across this stuff, just leave it be and one of us will be along to take care of it. You can even report it if you like, you'll see a yellow octagonal symbol with an exclamation point at the lower left corner of every post, click on that to report any post that is spam. But do not respond to it.

Why shouldn't I reply to spam?

Because every account that posts spam clicks that little "subscribe to this thread" toggle. As soon as something is posted in it, the spamming begins in earnest. While we moderators delete a lot of spam, there's an interesting trend:

When I check the ISP of a spammer, I find that there are thousands of different ISPs, and after a good night's spamming, we might get ten to thirty posts from ten to thirty different ISPs. After just ONE thread is replied to, we get double or more, over half of which are from the same ISP. Guess which one?

If you said "whatever ISP is the same as the one in the thread that was replied to," you are correct. Not only does replying to a spam post or spammed thread increase our workload, it rewards you with more spam.

Aren't you guys using CAPTCHA?

Yes we are. I don't like it, there are better methods to stop spamming but sadly they entail limitations to legitimate new members --- such as a minimum post count before attachments/pics/links can be posted. People tend to be pretty demanding about this on any board, more so in this day and age of instant social gratification. Unfortunately what they really want, unbeknownst to them, is a crappy defense and a board full of spam. We have what other boards have: CAPTCHA

Why do you dislike CAPTCHA?

I'm only speaking on my behalf and nobody else here at HRF. Apart from the extremely obvious, it doesn't work against live spammers. Yep, that's what we get hit by: live spammers. No, no one in the west would do this for a living, but in places where three bucks a week will keep a roof over your head, you had better believe this has become something of a cottage industry: use robots to find forums and shoot links to live people to get past the CAPTCHA. Subscribe to the threads and turn it back over to the bots who wait ever so electronically & patiently for a hit.

You don't even have to speak the same language: "e-mail address" looks pretty much the same in all languages, and simply match the CAPTCHA characters to the little shapes on your keyboard, and boom-- you're an instant spamming machine.

What can we do to help?

Don't reply to any thread with spam in it. Report it instead.



Thank you for your cooperation in this matter,

SS
 
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On some of of the other Motorcycle.com forums, they have certain requirements for new members to meet before proceeding to post.

For instance, they may require posting in the "New Member Intro" section, having a certain number of posts, and / or being a member for a certain amount of time.

I don't know if this would help on the Rebel side...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I mod another PHP board and the grace period was far more successful than CAPTCHA. Sadly we had to cave to the constant complaints about not being able to post links & pics right away, and got bullied into using CAPTCHA instead. I'm all for the grace period, it took a long time to get the spam situation under control at the other board and it drove a lot of traffic away. And it all started the same way: one response to spam. Hopefully it doesn't grow out of control here as we currently have fewer mods on this site.
 

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I can understand... Thanks for the detailed response.
 
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