Forum Side Spam Issues

Hello all. Apologies for the state of the forums at the moment; basically the forum host is crap and deals with spam really badly. I stripped out about 200 spam posts last night, and literally thousands of spam tags, and I’ve had to do the same again today. Basically somebody’s got a bot spamming tags and posts faster than I can deal with them, so the forum is essentially unusable until whoever it is gets bored and stops. I can’t even ban the bots as fast as new ones sign up, and I can’t set the forum side to require new commenters to be pre-approved.

Basically the forum host sucks.

That is all.

  • Nox

    Just wanted to say I really appreciate all the work you put into dealing with this. I know at this point it’s gotta feel like fighting the tide.

    Not sure what the solution is. Would hate to see us having to pre-approve new commenters (it would reduce the chance of new people commenting) but maybe that is what is needed.

    I know these things can just happen and maybe this is just paranoia, but does this current wave seem like a DDoS to anyone else? This current wave of bots aren’t even advertising real products. They’re just creating hundreds of spam threads. Almost as if someone is targeting this site specifically with the intent of drowning it in spam.

    • kessy_athena

      Hear hear! Three cheers for Custy.

      I don’t know much about hacking, but I was under the impression that if someone with access to a botnet wanted to DDoS a site, it’s not that hard to bring the target down completely. Am I wrong? And it seems like the bots have been spewing random stuff that’s not advertising anything in particular for quite a while…

  • Custador

    It’s more to do with keyword stuffing so Google trawlers think a particular phrase is popular and up-rank pages which heavily feature that phrase. It’ll stop when it stops, I guess. I sure wish the forums had the same spam filter as the blog, though :-/

    • Elemenope

      Yep. The tag spam in particular has been driving me crazy; I’ll spend an hour picking them out and destroying them one at a time, come back in ten minutes and it’s all gunked up again.


      • Elemenope

        Damn it. Twelve seconds has got to be a new record for an entire page of spam threads to appear.

        And why can’t we have nice things, like a console for tag management? :-/

        • UrsaMinor

          Can you simply shut down the forums for a while until a means can be found to deal with it? It’s not like we can use them in their current state anyway, and if they’re left open for posting, the crud is just going to pile up endlessly and be that much harder to clean out.

          • Elemenope

            I’m pretty sure only Daniel can lock it up completely. For a few weeks it wasn’t so bad, but the torrent truly started maybe about four days ago and it has gotten to unhandleable levels.

            • Custador

              Agreed. It’s beyond ridiculous. The tag-spam has been that way for a while, though; it was just less noticeable because the comment spam died down. At the moment it’s just a complete piss-take. I honestly think we need a new forum host or at least better forum management software. Nothing should handle such obvious spam this badly, and nothing should give us so few options for dealing with it!

  • UrsaMinor

    If you look closely, some of the spam posts on the forum are themselves being spammed. It’s actually kind of funny watching it parasitize itself.

    Are any other blog forums on Patheos getting hit like this?

    • Dutchhobbit

      I’ll one up you. Spam posts about reducing spam.

  • John

    You need to use a captcha, or something that requires human intervention. That will stop 95% of the spam.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox have put a new twist on their status as legends – by becoming fashion trendsetters.
    Despite his status as a fashion leader, some still question the historical existence of Paul Bunyan. Go figure.

  • vorjack

    Just looked at the Akismet stats – 70,000+ spam messages caught. Dear sweet FSM, did we just sign up for a spammers convention? The few thousand that slip through suddenly make more sense.

    • Custador

      I honestly think we need to move it or close it.

    • Custador

      Okay, what in the feck is this Disqus thing junking up my interface?! I have to sign up to the forums again to post comments from the forums?! This thing is horrible! Why do we have this horrible thing?

    • Custador

      Oh this is just a piss take! Comments I post from the dashboard don’t post because they’re not from “Disqus”, so I have to sign up to it here to post comments?! What the actual FUCK?! What is this piece of shit “Disqus” thing, and what the fuck is it doing junking up my interface?!

  • Noelle

    As much as I enjoy the forum, there’s not much point in keeping a spam graveyard up and running. How about saving yourself some grief and closing it until it’s manageable?

  • Noelle

    I miss the forums.