FAITHLIFE please let's do something about the spammers

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This post has 25 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 1021
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Mar 23 2018 12:49 PM

They are constantly coming up each day it seems like now. There has to be a way to stop this

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 2123
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 12:56 PM

Keith Pang:

They are constantly coming up each day it seems like now. There has to be a way to stop this

Keith, What type of solution are you suggesting? FL clears the spam ASAP. I think this is all we can expect. But, maybe I'm wrong.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 1021
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 12:59 PM
Beloved:

Keith Pang:

They are constantly coming up each day it seems like now. There has to be a way to stop this

Keith, What type of solution are you suggesting? FL clears the spam ASAP. I think this is all we can expect. But, maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe have new users have to confirm an email address and then be approved by forum moderators and also have to be approved for their first couple of posts.

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 84
David Staveley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 1:17 PM

Beloved:

Keith Pang:

They are constantly coming up each day it seems like now. There has to be a way to stop this

Keith, What type of solution are you suggesting? FL clears the spam ASAP. I think this is all we can expect. But, maybe I'm wrong.

FL could switch to a more secure forum software like vBulletin, or alternatively Simple Machines. I ran a vBullitin forum for 10 years, and it keeps the spammers out. Period!

This forum runs on PHPBB forum software, which is notoriously insecure. It has minimal protection against spammers. The only really secure way to use PHPBB and keep the spammers out is to set it to require each and every user signup to go through a moderation process. And even then it isn't infallible. The spam bots used today have AI, and can imitate a real person quite easily. 

Dr David Staveley Professor of New Testament. Specializing in the Pauline Epistles, Apocalyptic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 1:39 PM

This has been company policy ever since FL moved to this forum software, and maybe earlier - nothing is to get in the way of a possible new customer stumbling into the forums and getting engaged or asking a question easily and quickly, ESPECIALLY if they are someone considering a FL purchase. Given that, they do a pretty good job of reacting to spam when it hits. When the automated bots drop dozens of messages a minute in, that's when we are likely to see them. It is the reason I no longer receive posts via email, which has cut back my awareness of activity and participation on the forums, because unfortunately FL's process of manually deleting many of the spam leaves the email notification of all these spam messages untouched - many a time I woke up in the morning to find my inbox completely filled with pages of spam. FL knows about that problem and won't do anything about it, because they can't given the policy restrictions.

We all know there are many ways this could be stopped. I am sure I am not alone in frequenting other forums, and none have the spam problem that FL has, even though they work hard to minimize it. But as long as the quest for a potential new customer is priority over existing user forum experience, this will really never change. Short of a revolution like the protest the change in Logos Now precipitated, FL won't change their philosophy - at least they haven't over the last 5 years or so.

Posts 27017
Forum MVP
JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 1:49 PM
Keith Pang:
Maybe have new users have to confirm an email address and then be approved by forum moderators and also have to be approved for their first couple of posts.
A number of us have suggested various schemes. I do wish there were some sort of verification system, but I also understand the need for new users to participate.

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Posts 366
James Chandler | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 1:53 PM

I say we find out who they are and spam em back.Smile

Running on ASUS Windows 10 I7 24 gig of ram, 1 Terabyte drive.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Posts 84
David Staveley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 2:00 PM

Don Awalt:

This has been company policy ever since FL moved to this forum software, and maybe earlier - nothing is to get in the way of a possible new customer stumbling into the forums and getting engaged or asking a question easily and quickly, ESPECIALLY if they are someone considering a FL purchase. Given that, they do a pretty good job of reacting to spam when it hits. When the automated bots drop dozens of messages a minute in, that's when we are likely to see them. It is the reason I no longer receive posts via email, which has cut back my awareness of activity and participation on the forums, because unfortunately FL's process of manually deleting many of the spam leaves the email notification of all these spam messages untouched - many a time I woke up in the morning to find my inbox completely filled with pages of spam. FL knows about that problem and won't do anything about it, because they can't given the policy restrictions.

We all know there are many ways this could be stopped. I am sure I am not alone in frequenting other forums, and none have the spam problem that FL has, even though they work hard to minimize it. But as long as the quest for a potential new customer is priority over existing user forum experience, this will really never change. Short of a revolution like the protest the change in Logos Now precipitated, FL won't change their philosophy - at least they haven't over the last 5 years or so.

vBullitin requires no moderation on new signups. Hence, FL's policy of not inconveniencing the new user to the site would be satisfied. vBullitin menages to keep out the spammers because it has superior security coding than PHPBB. Now, I can understand them not wanting to switch to vBullitin. It is expensive, whereas PHPBB is Open Source, and therefore free.

However, there are plenty of free forum software solutions that have superior security coding than PHPBB. I mentioned one above - Simple Machines. That has a reputation for working almost as effectively as vBullitin, but remains Open Source and free. 

The only "real" obstacle to FL switching to a new forum software that I can see is the amount of effort it would take to port the existing database to the new software. And then designing a new template which FL are happy with. Those are not inconsequential things. However, the up-side is that the user experience is greatly improved when the bots are kept out.

Ultimately, it comes down to a trade-off: inconvenience over increased user satisfaction. 

Dr David Staveley Professor of New Testament. Specializing in the Pauline Epistles, Apocalyptic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Posts 2123
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 2:44 PM

David Staveley:
vBullitin requires no moderation on new signups. Hence, FL's policy of not inconveniencing the new user to the site would be satisfied. vBullitin menages to keep out the spammers because it has superior security coding than PHPBB. Now, I can understand them not wanting to switch to vBullitin. It is expensive, whereas PHPBB is Open Source, and therefore free.

How expensive is expensive? Perhaps, FL could comment on the pros and cons of improving its response to the spammer quandary.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 2123
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 3:03 PM

Perhaps, forum users would be willing to pay a nominal subscription rate to see improved experience Stick out tongue

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 4823
doc | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 4:29 PM

Beloved:

Perhaps, forum users would be willing to pay a nominal subscription rate to see improved experience Stick out tongue

The forums are a free benefit of Logos Now/FL Connect so some of us are already paying a subscription  Stick out tongue

Posts 602
Dave Thawley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 4:59 PM

How about users being given enough privilege to delete spam ourselves. Not sure if this would be possible but giving limited ability to long term uses could nip the problem in the bud as it were ?

Posts 2123
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 5:18 PM

On the real, FL should really explain itself.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 84
David Staveley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 5:23 PM

Dave Thawley:

How about users being given enough privilege to delete spam ourselves. Not sure if this would be possible but giving limited ability to long term uses could nip the problem in the bud as it were ?

That's the next logical step: engage volunteer forum moderators. It's what every large forum does. Loyal and trusted users are not hard to find. The only thing that surprises me about that is why it hasn't happened before now.

Dr David Staveley Professor of New Testament. Specializing in the Pauline Epistles, Apocalyptic Judaism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Posts 215
Joshua Tan | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 8:57 PM

Beloved:

Keith Pang:

They are constantly coming up each day it seems like now. There has to be a way to stop this

Keith, What type of solution are you suggesting? FL clears the spam ASAP. I think this is all we can expect. But, maybe I'm wrong.

The spam is cleared but the indexed version isn't. Try searching for one of those stainless steel flat bars or composite filter etc. That's not a problem if people don't search for those terms. However, some terms are common enough to be searched (e.g. filter, automatic, speed, gold). Because of these posts, the search results get cluttered with spam; this can prove to be quite a frustrating experience.

Posts 2755
Erwin Stull, Sr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 9:01 PM

Beloved:

Perhaps, forum users would be willing to pay a nominal subscription rate to see improved experience Stick out tongue

Stop cussing at your brothers and sisters. Smile Smile Smile

Logos NOW/Connect, Okay, we have accepted that as being a paid for benefit. Paying for a forum or blog, ohhh nooooo. Smile

I would have said "cursing", but that would be a little extreme.

Posts 3623
Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 9:36 PM

Be sure to use the "Report Abuse" selection under the "More" tab - you won't see your report on the forum, but you will receive an automated reply from FaithLife indicating that they received your report. 

Blessings,
Floyd

Pastor-Patrick.blogspot.com

Posts 215
Joshua Tan | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 23 2018 9:54 PM

Floyd Johnson:

Be sure to use the "Report Abuse" selection under the "More" tab - you won't see your report on the forum, but you will receive an automated reply from FaithLife indicating that they received your report. 

In fact, this possibly also needs improvement.

Current steps to report abuse:

  1. Click on "More"
  2. Click on "Report Abuse"
  3. Fill in subject
  4. Fill in body
  5. Post
  6. Receive an email for every single report Indifferent

Surely this workflow can be refined to require, say, just one click?

(PS: Just think about it - it requires significantly more time for me to report a post than it is for a spammer to post spam [at a rate of >10/min])

Posts 6072
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 25 2018 9:35 AM

Could it be a new forum user that just likes to be annoying? It’s strange that all of the sudden we get too many spams every day.

I just hope only the forums are this vulnerable and not the actual website where all our information is stored

DAL

Posts 27017
Forum MVP
JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 25 2018 10:39 AM

These have to be some of my favorites: 

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