Purging Spambots

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Jason Toddman
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Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:12 pm

Because of a large, growing and persistent problem with spambots that somehow manage to get past bans, I have just purged every lurker that had 0 posts. This probably took out a few legitimate members and if so i am sorry for that, but there was no other effective and efficient way to deal with the problem in a timely manner. It got to the point where we had at least three spambots for every legitimate member and it was just getting ridiculous. I apologize to those honest souls who lurked just to read stories and such, but of course every legitimate member who was deleted is free to rejoin. At least now it will be easier for us to deal with any new spambots that crop up. Some may have still slipped by me, but at least they won't be found in such overwhelming numbers anymore.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby AlexUSA » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:34 pm

Yes, most folks lost a dozen or two dozen contacts. If they really like the site, hopefully they'll rejoin and POST a few times so we know they're real.

And if you don't want to make those 1-2 posts to prove you're real, then you get what you deserve when your account gets deleted. It's not that hard to just say "I liked this" a couple of times on a story.

If you just want an online chat room, then join Fetlife or mibbit.
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Jason Toddman
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:35 pm

And yet the spammers keep trying. Actually i think it's just a small handful of spammers at most who have managed to game the system and get around bans by various means (I don't how that's done but i know it's quite possible to use dummy email and ip addresses. But whoever they are, they are damned persistent, and I'm going to keep my eye out for them. Afaik I can delete them far faster and more easily than they can create their junk accounts. Hopefully they will eventually find another hobby that doesn't keep me so busy!
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby zetastrophenow » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:49 pm

Changing subjects, is there any way for Alexis, from AlexisBoundandGagged, to return? Her account was hacked by someone who changed her username and signature to all d's.

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby AlexUSA » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:04 pm

AshleyBoundAndGagged? I see nothing, really. I wish there was, but someone needs to give Jason her email for that to be possible.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby zetastrophenow » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:15 pm

Sorry, badly stated, her username's AshleyBound&Gagged. I have her on her kik, I think. Her name's AshleyBound.

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:32 pm

TiedDancer wrote:If you're in contact with her, then she should be contacting the admins so she can explain what happened.

We contacted her about a week ago by email after someone gave me her email address. I have no idea why she has not responded yet.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby mikeybound » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:37 pm

Another casualty. A Mr. Oddfox was returning to the site after deleting his old account name. Hope he comes back.

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:02 pm

Yes, I think he was one of the accidental casualties. If so I regret that one. I do hope he realizes his purge was an accident and that he comes back.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Revanto » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:11 pm

My account was removed, I assume as part of this purge--even though I have made several posts. :P
I recognize spam accounts are always a hassle. Might I suggest using a honeypot? Hopefully there is a relevant plugin for that, something sophisticated enough to be effective. A "honeypot" is a trap that catches spambots by making them do things a human doesn't do. Most commonly, providing a registration field that is hidden in a web browser. Users don't see it and leave it blank; spambots mindlessly fill in every field, revealing themselves for what they are.

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Northstar » Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:30 pm

Solsagan wrote:I created my Account just a week ago and wondered why I couldn't login anymore, so thats why^^ I see the problem and understand the way you dealt with it, so let this be my confirmation that I am no spambot :) No further deletion needed

Same here - only that my account was deleted twice. Hopefully this will stop now after this post.

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby zetastrophenow » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:04 pm

Yeah, maybe.

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby xtc » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:26 am

Northstar wrote:Same here - only that my account was deleted twice. Hopefully this will stop now after this post.


Suggest you make an appreciative comment on a story you read. That will serve two purposes:
1) It will show the appreciation that is due for the author's efforts
2) It will give you the two posts that you need to avoid any further posts needing to be approved by a mod.
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Jason Toddman
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:09 am

It will also provide me proof that you are indeed a human being that actually reads stuff and create posts rather than spam the site. Lately it has been so bad I did some widespread purging to delete everyone with a post count of 0. They should not have affected anyone else. In hindsight though I remember that for some reason some users' post count never increased from 0 even when they posted. in such rare instances they'd have been purged too. Otherwise, I'm at a loss to explain how I screwed it up, and I apologize for the inconvenience.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby zeon001 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:21 pm

Ah so that explains my failed log in attempts

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby bondagefreak » Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:06 am

A spam-bot filter would definitely do the trick.

ycgkxttc39 and lklpanpf39 are both spam-bots.
Nearly identical profiles, created at the same time and both logging on/off.

EDIT: Same thing for owzlvycu40
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby bondagefreak » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:43 pm

tjlake wrote:I contributed 10 entries into my "College Years" thread, but my post count consistently remained at 0. Which might explain why my account was deleted, and why I haven't been able to log in to post "Home Alone - Part 8".

I've signed up again, but now my "College Years" thread is no longer associated with my tjlake username.


Something happened about two years ago, which resulted in a lot of new forum members always appearing as though having 0 posts, even though it wasn't the case. Unfortunately several of my regular reviewers also registered during that time period.
Hopefully, they'll create new accounts.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:59 pm

bondagefreak wrote:A spam-bot filter would definitely do the trick.

ycgkxttc39 and lklpanpf39 are both spam-bots.
Nearly identical profiles, created at the same time and both logging on/off.

EDIT: Same thing for owzlvycu40

I don't know how to set one up. All I can do is keep deleting accounts that are obviously phony, or at least seemed so to me at the time. That included all the ones you listed before I ever saw this post. I've had to delete dozens of such accounts each and every single day lately; that's how fast they crop up.
I guess though that i've been a bit too heavy handed with the deletions, and for that i apologize to every legitimate member who was inconvenienced in this way. I'll have to give more new accounts the benefit of the doubt, though there are some clues besides gibberish names i can rely on to tell me whether or not an account is fake.
Occasionally some new members still do not get their post-counts increased when they post. everyone who notices this problem should report such to me; I can easily fix the problem in seconds (if I know where ti is) so that I don't make the same mistake i evidently did with tjlake and most likely a number of others.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby bondagefreak » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:50 pm

Jason, I think it's safe to say everyone appreciates your work here and the time you're putting into keeping this place neat and orderly.
Those few legitimate users who lost their accounts will simply have to make new ones in order to resume their activities here.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:48 am

The problem is making sure I don't delete them again by mistake. It would help that anyone who returns that way immediately makes a post indicating such; just so i know who to leave alone. Especially over the long term when I'd be prone to purge accounts of inactive lurkers.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby TimothyX1 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:53 pm

Just saying that I'm not a spambot, just to be sure...

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:02 pm

TimothyX1 wrote:Just saying that I'm not a spambot, just to be sure...

Well, since you already had a post count of 3 (now 4), that wasn't likely to happen. It's those who have a post count of 0 - especially those who know they have posted something that did not show up in the post count - over a long period of time that need have concern from here on out.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Veracity » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:10 pm

I came here last night to discover that my account had been deleted. I am not a creator, but I have always been diligent about giving thanks and praise to the work I admire, and have never had a bad word to say about anyone. At least I know now just how valued I am as a member of this board- that is to say, not at all.

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:34 am

And who were you? If you really had any posts at all, your account should not have been affected. I went out of my way to delete only accounts that were long inactive or obvious spambots AND had 0 posts in them.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Veracity » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:33 pm

I "was" Veracity. I have never been inactive, and have posted within the last two weeks. But I can assure you that I was deleted.

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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:48 am

I don't doubt you, but I don't understand how it happened as i deliberately set the parameters to delete only accounts with 0 posts in them.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby chadmc90 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:35 am

Purged wrote:I came here last night to discover that my account had been deleted. I am not a creator, but I have always been diligent about giving thanks and praise to the work I admire, and have never had a bad word to say about anyone. At least I know now just how valued I am as a member of this board- that is to say, not at all.


......thats poor reasoning. You should know that it was merely an accident, and saying that the website doesnt value you because of an accident is wrong.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby AlexUSA » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:21 am

Jason Toddman wrote:I don't doubt you, but I don't understand how it happened as i deliberately set the parameters to delete only accounts with 0 posts in them.


Because, as has been pointed out multiple times, some accounts made around a certain time never had their posts count up for some reason, so their post count was 0 even though they had posted. I've seen it before with some people, and they've had several years (as that is how old their accounts were) to point it out and get it fixed. You snooze; you lose.
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Jason Toddman
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby Jason Toddman » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:54 am

AlexUSA wrote:
Jason Toddman wrote:I don't doubt you, but I don't understand how it happened as i deliberately set the parameters to delete only accounts with 0 posts in them.


Because, as has been pointed out multiple times, some accounts made around a certain time never had their posts count up for some reason, so their post count was 0 even though they had posted. I've seen it before with some people, and they've had several years (as that is how old their accounts were) to point it out and get it fixed. You snooze; you lose.

Yes i knew that; i'm just not certain that Veracity's was one of those. Though no other explanation comes readily to mind.
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Re: Purging Spambots

Postby zetastrophenow » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:09 pm

Mmm... yeah... it's strange...


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