Spam threads gone wild...


Hey moderators...There are exactly 20 spam threads right now. How about paying some attention to keeping these off the forums instead of censoring every harmless word that I say? 
B187ac10 5526 4e5e 8dc4 e2c49a0f7083roxy54
Indeed. I got censored for using too colorful language to describe the grip an amp has on speakers. Someone got their panties in a knot.
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They’re gone now, but early this morning someone posted several threads that were obviously spam. I clicked on one, offering a free full-length movie, "Bohemian Rhapsody." It had already been shut down by the moderator, as had many of the others. The rest appeared to be links to who knows what. They’re all gone now. Good riddance!
Late last nite I saw all the spam threads, about 5am Eastern. I'd guess there were 10 with subject matter of Bohemian Rhapsody. Plus a few others.

Maybe the hackers found a backdoor into Audiogon since they can't be stopped.


Forum spam is a pervasive issue on just about any forum, that can be very hard to deal with. In general there is no hacking or backdoor that is involved. The spammers simply register and do their deed. As a volunteer moderator at a computer-related forum I’ve even seen numerous cases in which the spammers use automated software to do that, frequently re-registering under different screen-names, using different email addresses.

In addition to advertising of bogus products or services, spamming is often done for purposes of SEO (search engine optimization, meaning elevation of the placement of a site in search engine results). That is often done not by anyone directly associated with the site for which placement is being optimized, but by third party spammers who probably receive a few cents for each link to that site which they place on other sites.

There are no easy answers, and I commend the moderators here for deleting the offending posts in a reasonably prompt manner.

An additional approach that can sometimes be appropriate, if used judiciously, is to block IP addresses from being able to access the site, using wildcards for the last few digits (e.g. 89.71.***.**). Perhaps the moderators are already doing that to some extent. The risk, of course, is that legitimate registrants may be blocked in the process.

Another possible approach is to have posts submitted by new registrants subjected to moderator approval before being made visible on the site.

Regards,
-- Al
Appreciate you reporting this. We became aware of the Spam this am, and removed them. We are adding steps in place to stop the Spam before they posts. 
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I saw it this morning. Just about every new thread was spam. There were about 20 of them.

 The moderators should ban links. They should also scan posts by new users. They use to do this. Other forums that I am on only allow new users to respond to posts and not create new posts. Only after they have established themselves can they start new posts.

But there are other concerns. My browser says that https is not secure. Further, there are over a dozen trackers on the website. I would be very hesitant to buy anything on a website that is not secure.


Very interesting, Al, thanks. And thank you, Audiogon.

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 I use the HTTPS Everywhere extension on my browser. If the website is secure then the https in the web address is green. If there is a problem it is red.  On Audiogon it is red, so there is an issue. Other sites like Ebay, yahoo and Amazon are green.


Spam all over the place ..... Nailed it!!!!

its time to put in posting limitations for all these brand new “members” and other deterrents (new member signup fee with a supporting credit card?) to stop this spam crap.

im guessing that it is the same dufus (defuses) repeatedly getting his (their) kicks by simply and repeatedly signing in as a brand new newbie to facilitate his/ their irritating and annoying internet spam trolling.

TO THE MODS-

stop it or face the continuing forum and website credibility spiral path downward and suffering harm to the forum.

 Spammers most likely use a VPN and change their ip and location often. Blocking IPs probably won't work. And it may affect real users. I am also against fees, a lot of regular users will just move to other audio sites. In my opinion restricting new users is a better way to go. Make it more difficult and the spammers will look for easier targets.


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I agree with Elizabeth’s post just above. And allowing members to create new threads only after some number of responses have been made to existing threads is unlikely to be very effective in controlling spam anyway. At the computer-related forum I referred to earlier I’ve seen numerous instances in which a spammer has registered, then within a matter of minutes submit irrelevant responses to 10 existing threads (usually very old threads, the spammer apparently believing that would cause the responses to escape notice), and then proceed to create the intended spam thread.

Regards,
-- Al

And there were 4 left this morning (@5:34AM EST) by user 'joytv' on the topic ...  'Thugs of Hindustan.'  

Every morning, same crap.


Rich 
Rar1....You nailed it 

they have now been flagged as offensive spam reported to the mods

It’s  now a daily occurrence......looks the internet troll ventured out from under his bridge again.

There are six or eight Thugs of Hindostan threads posted right now.
Before you all get into complaint submission, please keep in mind that Audiogon Forum here is a "free" service.  There have been several spam posts I have seen in the last several days, but we just "report them as spam" and it's generally taken care of pretty quickly.  If you want a non-spam forum, feel free to go over to Audioaficianado and pay for the forum service.
But pearl clutching is a way of life here, and mostly everywhere, now. 😄
@nonoise   "pearl clutching"??
Google "clutching one’s pearls".
It’s right up there with "Oh my, I’ve got the vapors!"
or, "I do declare."
But that condo deal in Malaysia is not real?
@grinnell   Condo is still available.  Trade for your speakers.
Bumping this as there is (easily preventable) spam every night. 
Now it’s hit the rediculous tipping point ..... this AM there was 100 💯 crap posts.

TO THE MODS 

FIX IT NOW via blocking them (....you’ve promised “to take steps” a long time ago since last year....but nada ....) or the exodus from the forum will surely start with the mocking of AGON on the other audio forums.

@admin
Spam started 9 hours ago and they are still posting as we speak. Is there no one at the helm?

I use to enjoy a few minutes on the forum every morning, but it has become more and more frustrating.

It has turn into Spamogon!!!

This doesn't fix the problem, but perhaps minimizes it.  Try changing your view.  

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/recent?time_range=12

I see all the SPAM posts listed at the top of the page.  Anything with 0 replies is under "New Discussions in the past 12 hours"

Any posts with replies are under "Forum contributions in the past 12 hours".  If you don't reply to the SPAM posts they won't end up there.  

Just scroll past all the SPAM and into the real discussions.
I just report every one I see as spam, the Agon team usually deal with them pretty swiftly.

It's a free site after all.......
Yes, it is a free site and we very much appreciate that. I think the issue folks may have is that freeloading scum are violating trust and exploiting it for their gain and we want to see them shut down and not merely tolerated.
Heres the thing, as someone with some experience in the backend admin of forums, it is exceptionally easy to do as many have suggested and it has been easily doable for years (decades in fact....).  The admin sets a "whitelist" which you get on after a set number of posts....say 5.  Before that, all posts go into quarantine waiting mod approval.  Given that most spam has a bunch of odd characters like brackets, parentheses, words (i.e. male enhancement pills, etc), it takes a very short time i.e. minutes to quickly approve/deny the post as one can simply scroll through and visually delete the offender.  It is simply script of a dozen or so lines of code. 

The frustration at the mods here I would suggest is fully justified since this is such an easy fix that they are unable (i.e. lack basic technical ability) or unwilling to correct.  I for one cant understand this since the backend folks here undeniably have the technical chops to run this website, so I'm baffled as everyone else. 

So yes, keep the pressure on....
It's cheesy that Agon moderators routinely delete controversial posts by audiophiles, but fail to filter spam detritus at ingress.  This has mostly ruined the site during nighttime hours.  
Not going out of my way to defend the Agon admin but posts usually only get deleted because someone reported them.
It’s not like they openly cruise the threads looking for trouble......

However yes they likely could do a better job on spam prevention. But please keep reporting them as spam as soon as you see them, it all helps.
And it’s starting again... looks like nothing has been done. I would be fired.
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I googled the phone # in a majority of the post headers. Results show that this spam is on scores of forums. #deathpenaltyforspammers

If Agon just blocked the text string "9145958860", 80% of this would be blocked. 
As of 9:30am ET, 96 of 98 Agon posts on new topics within the past 12 hours are spam! 
Yeah, there were a lot last night too- for a while, some seemed to 'borrowing' language from the site (or maybe I'm imagining things) but the bots were 'learning' to imitate the substance --not very well. Last night, much was about fixing bad relationships through charms and voodoo remedies- not to be confused with our regular patter here. 
You'd think there would be a software filter for this that doesn't require moderators (poor Tammy) to play 'wack a mole.'
It is a distraction, and detracts from the quality of forum page(s). 
@whart As those "learning" bots evolve the proper Venn diagram for the audio hobby, perhaps we'll begin to see Viagra spam... Though voodoo is certainly common as well around here. 
Ok I agree, it's getting stupid!
4 just popped up on the analog forums in under 2 minutes!
C'mon Agon, fix this as you said you would before you lose more members.
Never seen a single spam on Audio Asylum.  Who's crazy now?
Wait a minute! You mean these myriad of posts aren’t really standing by to solve my financial woes, solidify my marriage or enhance my love life while recommending a nice movie to take in?
Voodoo? Bots are emulating Geoff again....
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Appreciate the comments and feedback about the Spam.
Trust me, we are very aware of it and am looking at steps to stop it completely. This will not happen overnight, but we are getting closer to a solution. 
Getting rid of the spam would be great, but don't let it get in the way of deleting rozy54's harmless posts whenever possible.