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What's up with the boards?

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What's up with the boards?

Postby Smythe » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:58 pm

The message boards are very, very slow to respond. No one seems to be posting. Anyone know what's up?
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby Hampie » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:43 pm

Smythe wrote:The message boards are very, very slow to respond. No one seems to be posting. Anyone know what's up?

I have noticed the same thing. Maybe no one is posting due the boards sluggishness? It takes too long to load the page for people to be bothered. Hopefully it’s just due to some server issue that soon be fixed :/...
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby Carolus Raeticus » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:39 pm

Salvete!

I am new to this forum and therefore fall under the "first-10-postings-have-to-be-approved" rule. This rule causes a delay for postings to be visible from up to 5 days. The rule itself is sensible in order to prevent spam. Just look at some of the unmoderated groups in the Internet (shudder!). Still, this delay may put off some people.

A side effect of this delay is that a posting may not be "visible" to others. Just have a look at my posting in the "Learning Latin"-board in the thread "In umeros imponit". I posted it after six previous messages. However, because of the delay it was not put online until several other postings had been made. And when it finally made it to the board, it could not be noticed because it was sorted into the heap of postings according to the date I mailed it. So, it never achieved "LAST POST"-status at the "front" of the forum. That way it could easily be overlooked.

Do not get my wrong. I am really thankful to everyone (thank you, Jeff!!!) who is willing to do the job of weeding out the spam. Still, there is the problem of the delay.

Valete,

Carolus Raeticus

PS: Dum spiro, spero.
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby Jeff Tirey » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:35 pm

I'm looking now to see why the forum is loading slow.
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby Jeff Tirey » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:33 pm

Ok, I have the problem fixed. The forum templates needed to be cleared from cache.
thanks and sorry for the problems.

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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby Jeff Tirey » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:36 pm

Carolus Raeticus wrote:Salvete!

I am new to this forum and therefore fall under the "first-10-postings-have-to-be-approved" rule. This rule causes a delay for postings to be visible from up to 5 days. The rule itself is sensible in order to prevent spam. Just look at some of the unmoderated groups in the Internet (shudder!). Still, this delay may put off some people...
.


I'm going to try to lighten up on that rule to prevent the delay. The spam was so out of control, that since February I have been manually approving all new posts from new members. I think it does help cut down on spam, but the delay problem is there. I'll make some adjustments...

Kindly,
Jeff
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby furrykef » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:18 pm

If the spam is coming from spambots, I can probably help with that.
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby Jeff Tirey » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:54 pm

furrykef wrote:If the spam is coming from spambots, I can probably help with that.


The vast majority of the spam is automated, but with the manual forum restrictions it's held at bay. However, I do wish I could go back to automated account approval but I don't have the time to investigate and execute really solid anti-spam registration features. All the phpbby catpcha mods eventually fail over time. So a custom solution is needed. I'm all ears for advice on this subject.

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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby furrykef » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:34 am

The first one I'd recommend is Advanced Visual Anti Bot. All it does is use the standard phpBB captcha, but allows you to choose a custom set of backgrounds. Even using the default backgrounds supplied with the plugin, as opposed to the ones that came with phpBB, did a ton to get rid of spam on my own forum. (Granted, my forum doesn't really have any users; maybe you're up against different bots.) Using custom ones could only yield better results, I think.
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby spiphany » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:19 am

Jeff Tirey wrote:I'm going to try to lighten up on that rule to prevent the delay. The spam was so out of control, that since February I have been manually approving all new posts from new members. I think it does help cut down on spam, but the delay problem is there. I'll make some adjustments...

Kindly,
Jeff


I've noticed some spam is still getting through -- "human spam", I think, where the user makes a vaguely coherent & somewhat on-topic post but puts a bunch of spammy links in their signature. I suppose these links don't show up in the screening process?
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby Jeff Tirey » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:27 pm

spiphany wrote:
Jeff Tirey wrote:I'm going to try to lighten up on that rule to prevent the delay. The spam was so out of control, that since February I have been manually approving all new posts from new members. I think it does help cut down on spam, but the delay problem is there. I'll make some adjustments...

Kindly,
Jeff


I've noticed some spam is still getting through -- "human spam", I think, where the user makes a vaguely coherent & somewhat on-topic post but puts a bunch of spammy links in their signature. I suppose these links don't show up in the screening process?


Yeah, I see that float in too. The human spam is a sad industry. Most likely there are low paid workers in foreign countries that are subcontracted to do spammy blackhat link development. The response is to just delete the account and all posts. Since the forum rules clearly state no outside links in posts or sigs, they get blasted when I see it. What's really sad about this is that I put no follow on all the outbound links of the forum, so the linking attempt does not pass any link juice - which is what they are after.

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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby Jeff Tirey » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:30 pm

furrykef wrote:The first one I'd recommend is Advanced Visual Anti Bot. All it does is use the standard phpBB captcha, but allows you to choose a custom set of backgrounds. Even using the default backgrounds supplied with the plugin, as opposed to the ones that came with phpBB, did a ton to get rid of spam on my own forum. (Granted, my forum doesn't really have any users; maybe you're up against different bots.) Using custom ones could only yield better results, I think.


Thanks for the suggestion - I will check out this mod and I like how it's solution is to skip over characters because of the OCR attempts. If *only* these guys could put their talents to work building an OCR engine for ancient greek - then I would find them useful!
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Re: What's up with the boards?

Postby furrykef » Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:58 am

Jeff Tirey wrote:I like how it's solution is to skip over characters because of the OCR attempts.

Huh?

The documentation on the mod you suggested asks users to identify an image rather than letters and numbers which can be compromised through a bot running OCR.
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