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Thread: Invasion of the Spambots

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen

    Invasion of the Spambots

    Alright, it's been going on for quite some time already, and while it doesn't really bother me too much, I got to ask out of curiosity, just in case someone has a good explanation, what's the point of these random spammers?

    I mean, why bother registering on a forum just to post something random that makes no sense to anyone at all? I don't know how the registration process works here nowadays, but I'm assuming that there's some captcha thingy or something similar to make automated registration more difficult.

    I would understand if their posts actually contained links or if they were trying to advertise something, but no, the posts of the recent batch of spammers are just totally random nonsense:
    - Fantomaz from Algeria says: "hi from fan, at now I'm your fan )"
    - BusiSussie says: "like +++, I'm like this!"

    New spambots like that seem to pop up pretty much every day at the moment, so I could probably dig up a lot more examples (but I know that you've all seen these posts already), but most of these posts are deleted rather quickly. There's no further information or anything in their profiles either, so I wonder what exactly are they trying to achieve? At least they can occasionally be quite funny in all their randomness and hilariously bad English, I give them that.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    I think they try to fit in, and later they edit their posts with spam links.

    Here's the movie version of TTLG spambots.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: not anymore :(
    i miss Ichbinladen

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Sadly, IchBinLaden wasn't a spambot.

    Personally, I'd have taken more care not to post with the same IP address as my proper account if I suddenly felt the need to play homophobic tourette's

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
    I would understand if their posts actually contained links or if they were trying to advertise something, but no, the posts of the recent batch of spammers are just totally random nonsense:
    - Fantomaz from Algeria says: "hi from fan, at now I'm your fan )"
    - BusiSussie says: "like +++, I'm like this!"
    They come back later and ninja-edit in links, if we don't delete them. This then promotes whatever godawful website they're pimping in search engine rankings. It's probably more complicated than that, but that's the gist.

  6. #6
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Quote Originally Posted by Ulukai View Post
    Sadly, IchBinLaden wasn't a spambot.

    Personally, I'd have taken more care not to post with the same IP address as my proper account if I suddenly felt the need to play homophobic tourette's
    lmao so who was he

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Well, I'd say spam bots are quite rare here, at least comparing to Darkfate where they had become normal thing. Recently dozen of bots advertised themselves quite originally, through the calendar, having chosen the same birth date, so you could see all of them in birthday list at once.

  8. #8
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Have you ever checked just how lucky we are that so many members have their Birthday on the 1st January?

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Ulukai View Post
    Sadly, IchBinLaden wasn't a spambot.
    Personally, I'd have taken more care not to post with the same IP address as my proper account if I suddenly felt the need to play homophobic tourette's
    I had read on other forums that a lot of spammers and trolls are probably just admins and regular members who are bored and have nothing to do, so they create other accounts to fuck around - there's also on some forums unpopular members who create other accounts, so they can use them to agree with themselves in forum discussions and gain credibility. But the IP address, man that's the first thing you think of...

  10. #10
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Is there any way to tell on here whether a profile is banned or not? It would helpful to know, so we don't have to waste both our and the admins' time reporting posters that have already been dealt with.

  11. #11
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Wouldn't implementing ReCaptcha into the forum account sign-up process go a long way?

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    Damn, Messerdoryday's on fire. I've never seen such a persistent spammer....

  13. #13
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    He's persistent because he's been allowed to persist.

    Come on guys, clean this mess up already.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    Part of the problem is that there's no deterrent. Would someone post spam if there was a risk that his ISP could terminate his contract? It would require admins from lots of forums to go to the trouble of getting the required info, it it's even possible, but if a few spammers were made examples of, others might start to think twice.

    I have another idea. If a member has less than, say, 10 posts, and one of them is reported, that post could immediately be hidden, but not deleted, pending the attention of one of the admins.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: LTSI
    There are ISPs who won't care and there's selfhosting.

    It would be useful if people read up on existing spam fighting techniques (in vBulletin) before coming up with new ideas frequently. I know you mean well, but for several reasons it's highly unlikely that anyone will write new software based on these ideas.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Simple thing is to check the IP's, I do that on Black Cat. It works and helps to cut down on the spammers. I catch a lot of them. Its not perfect all the time, but it sure as hell beats letting everyone in. I don't know what their procedures are here for the newbies.

    Project Honey Pot, and Stop Forum Spam are the method of choice.

  17. #17
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    Okay this is getting ridiculous. Spam posts are being left to rot where they stand -- I report just about every spam post there is and then I come back to find they're still there. Come on guys, if you're busy, just bring someone on as a janitor or something.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Oct 1999
    Location: Australia
    I believe dethtoll is the last great hope for mankind

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    It is difficult not to start thinking that the forums have been abandoned by admins and the bot zombie apocalypse is upon us...

    ... it'd be great to have an admin come and make a clear statement: is anyone still taking care of TTLG, or is this place slowly winding down? Between the spambots and the slowness, I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks there are entirely too many tumbleweeds rolling down TTLG.

  20. #20
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: 4 doors down, bad side of town
    At this point I'm tempted to pay the entry fee and just switch to SomethingAwful.

  21. #21
    Moderator
    Registered: Feb 2001
    I am on strike; none of the remaining moderators have been informed what's going on with ttlg, and I don't have the power to transfer moderation rights to anyone else.

    As whoever owns the site (Dan? The Boogeyman? Dethtoll? Who knows?) doesn't seem to care either way, I'm not cleaning up their shit any more.

    Cue laconic post by Kolya. Last one out, turn off the lights please.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Sad but understandable. There's a definite sense of TTLG coming to an end, not with a bang but with a whimper...

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: not anymore :(
    This sucks. MsLedd hasn't posted in months (besides the KTHXBYE thread) and neither has David, GBM is gone and Digi's understandably busy working on Dishonored. We need at least one new admin to take over server and domain management. Speed and hosting issues are most important, followed by renewing and refocusing the moderator team for all forums and banishing spammers.

  24. #24
    This situation is messed up. I completely understand that people move on and do new things and lose interest in old hobbies. But if that's the case, pass the reins on to the people who still show some interest. If someone like Dan or David just wants to abandon the place, what is the possible harm in appointing some new admins and giving them a shot? What could possibly go wrong that isn't slowly happening now (or will happen) anyway?

    It isn't as if TTLG is some moneymaking juggernaut and they're risking giving up some valuable commodity. Even worse though is the lack of information or announcement - at least have the decency to let everyone know what's going on in respect for what this place used to be or what is used to mean to them personally.

    Edit: Also, it's pretty convenient that after string of posts on the front page last year, lo and behold the last one happens to be about Dishonored, and there it sits, the first thing anyone sees who comes here. Not to mention that the link from the main board index that goes directly to Arkane's Dishonored own board. Maybe TTLG has just become a big, cheap advertisement for Arkane's new game.
    Last edited by Brethren; 4th May 2012 at 16:51. Reason: spelling

  25. #25
    Moderator
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Even worse though is the lack of information or announcement - at least have the decency to let everyone know what's going on in respect for what this place used to be or what is used to mean to them personally.
    Exactly. We're all insanely busy at work sometimes but I think TTLG deserves a 5 minute update at the least.

    In fact, I'm at work

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