Anti-Spam Questions

Forum organization and occasional community-building.
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Questions about Ren'Py should go in the Ren'Py Questions and Announcements forum.
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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#31 Post by Kailoto » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:40 pm

Tempus wrote:The person paid to solve captchas is going to be totally thwarted (not just slowed down) by a question that can be easily Googled but the newbie isn't going to be inconvenienced? How are we so certain of this asymmetry? That sounds like total nonsense, honestly.
Well, I never said that it's the most effective system... I'm mostly going off of what I've seen before and what I can infer. I can't argue with the fact that it still poses an inconvenience to registering users, but make the question easier and it's no longer anti-spam, and make the question harder and it becomes anti-everyone.
Tempus wrote:In my observation, most egregious spam (the stuff that links offsite, offers you various crap, etc) is made as a new topic. Spam elsewhere, such as posts in existing threads or profiles is relatively innocuous. In existing threads it's usually "wow I really like this! I'm totally a genuine human!" — harmless and short. Given those content-less posts few will visit their profiles. So, test the combination of a user's first post that starts a thread against their registered details and if they match the pattern prevent them from starting new threads (or from posting a new thread if that was their first post). Anyone who's restricted gets placed in a simple list for review by mods.
There are some forums out there that have limiters on posting new threads - something like requiring new users to post ten times before they can start threads on their own. This is a feature that I know for a fact phpBB can handle, although it might be too restrictive for a forum like this one; a lot of people will register so that they can ask a question related to the creative process or Ren'Py scripting, and requiring them to post ten times in other threads could turn away a lot of traffic.

If anti-spam questions and captchas are out of the question (I'd rather have a captcha than nothing), the best defense against spam would just be moderation. Spam isn't something that is fatal the moment it gets through your security measures; it's very easy to deal with it after the fact, which is why most forums have volunteer moderators to delete or move spam threads whenever they occur. Otherwise it comes to a point where preventing spam becomes too costly, either in time or implementation or loss of traffic.
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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#32 Post by fleet » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:46 pm

Kailoto wrote:There are some forums out there that have limiters on posting new threads - something like requiring new users to post ten times before they can start threads on their own. This is a feature that I know for a fact phpBB can handle, although it might be too restrictive for a forum like this one; a lot of people will register so that they can ask a question related to the creative process or Ren'Py scripting, and requiring them to post ten times in other threads could turn away a lot of traffic.
I belong to two forums that have requirements similar to this. One requires five posts to create a new topic, and the other requires 10 posts to download files. The first site also requires an introductory post before a new member may post in any other topic. Both sites are actively moderated; and neither seems to be suffering from lack of new member participation.
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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#33 Post by Amecha » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:39 am

I'm going to say that a lot of these questions would be hard for me to have answered upon joining and still leave me confused even now and I've been browsing for a week or so. (I didn't know the 'py in Ren'py stood for Python, it's not a broadcasted fact as far as I know and I do know what Python is, but it's not something that is painfully obvious but makes absolute sense, meaning I would have been stumped about that question unless someone told me specifically before hand.) Partially because it is confusing when you get in as VNs are not mainstream at all, and partially because I'm very mildly dyslexic meaning certain things just end up confusing the hell out of me. Some of the questions posed are extremely specific for this forum and it will confuse some people coming in. By putting up a barrier of this sort to ward off spammers you'll also ward off users. Forcing a google check isn't going to be newbie friendly at all. And forcing them to know things from the forum/website/Ren'py spicifically is kind of a closed loop. (Like needing experience to get a job but needing a job to get experience.) Obvious things like "what is the fourth word of this sentence?" should deter bots just fine. From there forcing a user to post in the welcome section before opening the other forums to them would probably be a relatively simple solution as far as I would think. Also if the issue is human spammers that take the time to do this stuff the only deterrence that works on them is making them wait. After 24 hours you can post/wait for a mod to approve you/etc.
Basically if the answer isn't obvious to anyone who has even a vague idea of VNs of any sub genre it's going to be exclusionary. Meaning a question about, say a dating sim/VN aimed at men would stump me because I come from the otome branch of VNs. The exact opposite would be true for other people. The only super basic question I can think of that shouldn't be too problematic would be something along the lines of "Visual novels are a type of interactive media that presents the story mainly by ____(text)" or "visual novels are a type of ___(game)" ect. At least that is truly the bare basics. Asking about engines, coding languages, what certain acronyms are, how old the engine is, etc. would probably drive a number of people away. The last thing you want someone to do is have to google what you've asked them to have contact with their peers.

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#34 Post by Counter Arts » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:58 pm

I think what we could consider is that the "paid" person to evaluate the captchas might not even see any other part of the website at all. As in there would be an automated web-processor computer that would just show a person the captchas and not any other part of the website.

So try something more simpler that would thwart at least those kinds of spammers. It "might" work.

Like "what is the colour of hair in the Ren'py logo?"
Or "what is the animal associated with the ren'py logo?"
Or "what is the colour of the ribbon in the forum logo?"
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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#35 Post by renoa-heartilly » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:37 am

i agree with Counter Arts, i couldn't answer most of the questions either since i only learned about visual novels from renpy itself! (found it while searching for manga creation tools, idk how it led up to it lol) so even questions about visual novel games i wouldn't be able to answer because i didn't play any prior to finding renpy :lol:
also another important thing: recently the 'i'm not a robot' button in captcha keeps breaking, i've gone to some wordpress blogs that use it on their comments where you need to click the button to post your comment, and it keeps refreshing the page without actually posting the comment. i don't know why it keeps looping but i know after a few refreshes i just give up on adding a comment and close the page entirely. :evil:

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#36 Post by Bto3 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:51 am

This isn't really something that can just be filled in with a single correct answer, but if the spambots get bad enough and new user registration is reasonable enough (not TOO many people a day), maybe a question like "Why are you here?" would work? I'm a member of a couple of heavily moderated forums and that's one of the questions they ask. Another option for an open question might be "What's your favorite VN?"

Those would require manual approval though. :Tc

Maybe "Who can you contact if you can't activate your account?" would work? The answer's easy enough to find, with a few options as answers.

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#37 Post by Lesleigh63 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:42 am

Do we need to consider those who come to the site who aren't developers (i.e. those downloading and commenting on games only)? They may not be able to answer developer related questions.

Katawa Shoujo was the first VN I downloaded and played (is it well known enough to feature as the answer to a question?)
What is a VN?

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#38 Post by Samu-kun » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:55 am

As you know, the board's been pretty unusable for me the past couple of days because of massive amount of Korean spam, so here's a call to set this up asap.

I'd just go with something which should be obvious for anyone who's downloaded renpy, like what's the color of the animal in the renpy logo.

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#39 Post by SundownKid » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:56 am

Personally, I don't think manual approval is such a bad idea. Probably would take up less time than having to think up new questions and having to ban spambots all the time.

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#40 Post by Parataxis » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:51 am

I agree with Tempus that the new threads are the most egregious. Is it possible to put a limit on how many new threads can be posted in a given space of time? Like, put in a delay (or manual approval) if you try to post... I dunno 4 threads in an hour. I feel like that would head off much of the aggravation without inconveniencing some one's normal operation on the forum.

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#41 Post by firecat » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:09 pm

i agree lets limit to 10, no one needs 10 threads a day and most likely if they are a human being they would ask a question in the same thread.


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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#42 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:00 pm

I agree with the limit being creating 10 threads daily. I just checked the General Discussion thread and the spambot just...ate the entire section. You have to go back six entire pages just to find the normal threads again.

As for a question, "What does VN stand for" sounds good to me.

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#43 Post by Hisaonakai » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:46 pm

i'd say restricting it to 3 a day or 5 a day would be better and this restriction goes off after 100 posts

That way you can ban them before they spam relentlessly and if they really want to save accounts til they get to 100 it's pretty time consuming

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Re: Anti-Spam Questions

#44 Post by Alte » Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:35 am

Would it be possible to install CleanTalk, an anti-spam MOD?

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