Anime Lights

General => The Lounge => Topic started by: Maki-chan on November 24, 2010, 02:05:01 pm



Title: Member's List
Post by: Maki-chan on November 24, 2010, 02:05:01 pm
The botters have found you Kami!! Run for the hills! XD


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on November 25, 2010, 12:45:11 am
It was only a matter of time I guess.  Now that I have a break before continuing college, I'll start clearing out the bots from the list and, maybe, figure out a way to prevent them from even registering.  I find it a bit odd that there aren't any spam posts yet, but I'm not complaining.

Can anyone tell me why these things exist?  XD


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Maki-chan on November 25, 2010, 04:53:33 pm
Can anyone tell me why these things exist?

It's the same reason that most of the world's misery exists - money. People are paid to use SEO (search engine optimizer) software to harvest links from search engine databases and then use those links to spam forums with ads.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on November 25, 2010, 06:56:47 pm
The required email activation seems to foil some of them, but not all.  Should have figured that people were getting paid for this.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on December 04, 2010, 09:22:34 am
Cleared out most of the bots and inactive "members".  I had been giving inactive accounts (as in no posts ever) a month before deleting them, but you really don't need that much time to make one post, and the bots kept piling up.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Galaxia on December 04, 2010, 07:00:45 pm
You shouldn't delete people just because they haven't posted in a month, it may turn people off coming back.
Are you sure that new members are able to post, I've noticed on who's online a lot of people activating their account, but never doing anything else.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on December 04, 2010, 09:09:28 pm
Any new user would have the same permissions that you have, once they've activated the account.  Many of the inactive accounts looked like bots, with links to poker, facial cream or other odd stuff in the signatures.  If the bots can get around the email activation anyway, I'll just change it back to make things easier for actual people.

You're right about not deleting accounts simply because someone hasn't posted within a certain time.  I'll leave inactive accounts alone if they don't look like bots, from this point on. Sometimes it's hard to tell, and I'd rather not end up with hundreds of names and only a few real people, like on the last board.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on February 06, 2011, 10:28:38 pm
I've been checking the list periodically for accounts that look like bots.  It's still just us three here, it seems, though the member ID numbers are getting up around 580 thanks to the bots.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on March 21, 2011, 02:32:04 pm
Galaxia and I both spotted a bot that made a post recently.  There have been other cases, though, where a newly registered member makes a single post and it looks like a bot due to a text ad in it's signature.  Generally, the post appears to respond to the discussion, so I let earlier ones slide, just in case I was wrong.  Today, the bot stood out because the "person" wasn't specific about which show it liked.

It's still my impression that we haven't had any real people register since early last fall.  Any thoughts on how to improve the situation?  Would it be beneficial to switch to something like Yuku, or try a different community format?  It seems that an online community's success is heavily dependent on it's location.  Ever since I started hosting boards at my own domains, traffic has been low.  Though since I just have Tenchi stuff (for now) that's not very surprising.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Maki-chan on March 22, 2011, 09:13:44 am
If you have friends from other places, see if they are interested in coming here, otherwise it might be best to leave things as they are. The three of us seem to have some common interests and inviting random strangers is doesn't seem like a good idea to me.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on March 23, 2011, 12:49:46 am
Inviting friends is a good idea, there may be a few I could ask.  The only other forums I've been hanging out at are the virtual classrooms of my college.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Galaxia on March 23, 2011, 01:46:00 pm
I've plugged it on twitter a few times, but no one seemed interested. I don't know many people who are into anime any more.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on March 23, 2011, 09:08:45 pm
This place does have limited appeal for those who don't already like anime.  I had gone with a general anime theme because I thought Tenchi alone was too limited.  Could broaden the theme further, or maybe just put the focus on gaming, like my old red board?  The gaming forum does already have a lot more posts than anime...


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Galaxia on March 26, 2011, 08:57:14 am
I'd assume anyone who has an ad for something non-anime/gaming related as their signature and lists their home address in their profile is a bot or a spammer.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on March 26, 2011, 03:37:21 pm
The ones with random ads are easy to spot, though most bots don't make any posts.  I've noticed over time that a lot of bots create accounts with blank personal information, then the bot, or someone, returns days later to add an ad to the profile and signature.

Administrator approval for accounts is a pain, but e-mail activation didn't stop a bot from posting today.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Maki-chan on March 28, 2011, 09:19:11 am
Admin approval doesn't work very well because a legitimate user would get swamped in a sea of bot applications. There is more sophisticated recaptcha software available than what the BBS devs supply with the forum originally.

http://www.google.com/recaptcha

It's funny though that Recaptcha is now owned by Google, probably the biggest spam factory on Earth ... ^_^;;


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on March 28, 2011, 09:49:12 pm
Thanks, I'll try that soon, it looks useful.  I suspect that some bots are designed to come back later to add text ads just to get around admin approval.  ^_^;;

I've learned a bit more about bots and spam in a college class lately.  I still find it hard to believe that profits made through this kind of advertising outweigh the resentment generated.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Galaxia on May 13, 2011, 06:49:27 am
The more links push their site to the top of google results for the keywords they spam with them.

Speaking of which, maybe you need to turn approval back on after what happened yesterday.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on May 13, 2011, 12:20:53 pm
Approval stops the few that start spamming, though it can be hard to tell the quiet bots from actual people.  School work kept me very busy for the last several weeks, I'm looking into recaptcha now.  Not quite sure how to implement it here, despite instructions for PHP, but I can probably figure it out.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Galaxia on May 14, 2011, 05:01:23 am
Ah, the recapcha is a better idea.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on May 17, 2011, 01:07:50 am
First I was looking at how to install it for PHP, then phpBB, but what I really needed was instructions for SMF.  I'll have to study the steps and back this board up before installing the mod, it's a tad more complicated than I was expecting.  This page has helped:

http://www.animeneko.net/projects/smf/recaptcha-for-smf/


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Maki-chan on May 17, 2011, 09:16:24 am
SMF has some captcha mods available on their site although I've never tried to use any of these myself -

http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?action=search;basic_search=captcha


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on June 30, 2011, 12:06:18 am
The board is now using reCAPTCHA.  It seems to work just fine when a user is registering, though bots are still making accounts.  I'll wait and see if reCAPTCHA makes a difference over a long period.


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on June 30, 2011, 02:06:36 am
Hasn't stopped the porn link bot.  ^_^;;


Title: Re: Member's List
Post by: Webmaster_Kami on July 03, 2011, 11:15:52 pm
Seems that there's little change in the pace at which bots are registering.  I'm going to look into forum alternatives.