LumberJocks

What is wrong with this site's managers??????

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Blog entry by KnotCurser posted 702 days ago 17637 reads 0 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I simply can’t believe how many spammers are allowed to simply sign up scads of new “users” every day!

These accounts clog up our resources and slow our site down as well as screw up any metrics we keep as far as users and projects posted.

Don’t believe me? Do this simple experiment:

On the top of the Home Page for LJ’s, click on the “Jocks” tab and choose “most recent”.

Simply look at the most recent two pages of “users”.

There are 35 “users” displayed per page and I looked at two pages worth this morning. I only found SIX actual users out of 70! All the rest wanted to sell you coupons or enlarge your genitals. Only one in ten accounts belong to actual people – and I’m quite sure it’s even worse on different days.

What gives?

Can’t our site manager’s simply install a check to make sure you are a human before it allows you an account? It’s super easy to do!

As active members of this site, whom do we contact to request this?

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com



35 comments so far

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6176 posts in 1435 days


#1 posted 702 days ago

I don’t know what you expect them to do about it. They have a flag feature that we can use to get rid of spammers. Having an onerous signup process would be a turn off for a lot of guys who want to become members. I know a LOT of people who won’t even click the button to follow a Youtube channel or a blog site simply because it says “subscribe” on it. People want a simple, quick process that doesn’t ask too many questions.

I hate spammers as much as the next guy. But I can skip over their junk pretty easily when I read a thread. It’s a very small annoyance.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1814 posts in 1703 days


#2 posted 702 days ago

All I am asking for is a simple test to make sure that it isn’t an “auto-bot”.

It’s really simple to install – all it asks you to do when you sign up for your account is to enter two words embedded in a graphic on the screen. Not onerous or annoying at all. After that, nothing else would need be added – everyone’s current experience would stay the same. Only maybe a tad faster is all.

While it may be easy to skip over, all these accounts and added traffic are slowing this site down as well as skewing any metrics kept on users. Remember that a database must be kept for all the users/passwords/etc…. and must be searched every time anyone does anything on this site. Having 10 times the size means everyone suffers when they do anything!

Of course, having 50000 users instead of 5000 users makes the site look better to potiential customers, so I wonder if the site’s owners are somehow just overlooking this issue????

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2408 posts in 2162 days


#3 posted 702 days ago

I just checked the first page of new users on the sister Garden Tenders site. Out of 35 accounts, only one or two are real. And the first project on the home page is The kit is an effective Psoriasis Treatment.

By the way Bob, I noticed that today is your 1,000th day here!

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1814 posts in 1703 days


#4 posted 702 days ago

Wow! 1000 days on lj’s eh? Seems I should be granted a wish or somethin..

How about having one of the manager’s contact me and discuss this issue – that would be a great wish come true!

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View rance's profile

rance

4130 posts in 1795 days


#5 posted 702 days ago

Bob, unfortunately, I don’t think they really care anymore. It seems to be ‘All about the numbers’ these days. Maybe contact Martin, Debbie, or Nathan to join in here and address the question. It has been over 6 weeks since Nathan or Martin have even posted any comments.

And Happy Birthday dude.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2795 days


#6 posted 702 days ago

first, we do care
secondly, it is not about the numbers

Over the years we have added a few new features to help re: the issue of spammers and other posting issues.

The current system has an approval process in place—the first projects/blogs/forum discussions have to be approved before it goes “live” on the site. (This process is not set up at this time for HomeRefurbers and GardenTenders).

As for other steps that can be taken I have to leave that to the techies re: what can be done and where on the priority list it falls.

Thanks for the feedback. I’ll chat with the team about your concerns.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1814 posts in 1703 days


#7 posted 702 days ago

Thank you Ms. Debbie!

Of the three names that Rance mentions, I simply KNEW you would reply!

I kind of put that “numbers thing” in as a dig, but it does look a tad suspicious at times when you actually look at the real numbers instead of the numbers posted on this site’s home page. ;-)

I thank you for all the hard work you do to keep this site up and running smoothly – it’s just that I care about this site and want to see it continue SPAM FREE and operate smoothly.

Having a simple “are you human?” check when a person signs up for an account would go a large way to clear out the garbage, IMHO.

Thanks!

PS: By the way, in the last two hours there has been six new “user” accounts added – one of them is a real person. Think about that. Six more user account names that nobody else can use as well as six more entries in the ever increasing database that must be searched every time YOU do something in LJ’s.

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 3107 days


#8 posted 702 days ago

Hi Bob, most of those accounts are not created by some bots but by real human spammers so adding “human check” will not work.

Yes, they can join the site because it’s almost impossible to stop them but actual spammy posts are reduced to minimum thanks to first post approval system and some automated scripts are taking care of flagging suspicious commenters and private message senders.

BTW. I’m thinking about removing latest members page as it serves no purpose anymore.

Thanks.

-- Martin, http://lumberjocks.com | My Facebook: http://profile.to/msojka

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1814 posts in 1703 days


#9 posted 702 days ago

Martin,

First of all, I thank you for your comments.

I fail to see how you can know that these accounts are created by humans instead of bots without having some kind of method of checking installed?

I work in an environment that takes this kind of stuff very seriously – can you tell me how you can tell humans are doing this and not bots? It is my profession and I know many others that would be eager to know this.

I have to disagree with your statement about removing the “latest members page” as it serves no purpose. This page DOES serve a purpose – it lets us know how many fake users are gaining access instead of actual woodworkers like us. It also allows some of us an easy way to flag all the fake users in a quick method.

Please don’t remove this.

Is there any reason why you won’t implement a simple “human checker” at the point of adding an account?

Again, thanks for your comments and I am eager to hear your thoughts on my latest comments.

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7596 posts in 1554 days


#10 posted 702 days ago

I find that I get very few spam messages from this site. On the rare occasion there is one, it is removed very quickly. I think there are many people who may join, but not post for a while as they are checking the site out and learning their way around. Monitoring the first post is an excellent way to weed out the spammers, as most of them wouldn’t bother to take the time to make a good ‘fake’ first post. I think it is an effective solution and has worked very well.

In my opinion, the monitors do a great job. Considering the amount of members here, I haven’t seen this as in issue.

I just had to say.

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1814 posts in 1703 days


#11 posted 702 days ago

I just did a quick test to see if I could add a user with a quick program I wrote and it was super easy to do. With about an hour of work, it would be really simple to come up with a way of simply blasting LJ’s with continous new accounts advertising my latest homeopathy garbage or cream that enlarges certain body parts. By including just a couple of easy countermeasures that wouldn’t affect a real person’s attempt at joining, I believe the amount of spammers would be drastically dropped.

I would be happy to discuss this with anyone privately.

What is happening is that users are being added with their profiles containing messages (read SPAM) and links to their websites. This is what is helping to slow down our site. I’m not saying this is a massive issue, but it could become one really easily.

I DO agree with Sheila that I don’t remember ANY personal messages from spammers from this website – it the “hidden issues” that I am concerened about in this case.

I hope this blog is taken a being whiney – I care about this site and want to make it as good as it can possibly be for woodworkers like us. :-)

Cheers!

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1850 posts in 2196 days


#12 posted 702 days ago

I hardly ever get spammed on this sight, so I don’t understand why it’s such a big problem for others.

-- Joe

View Scott Rhoades's profile

Scott Rhoades

11 posts in 1287 days


#13 posted 702 days ago

I would trust Bob on this issue and I think what he says about having a simple captcha style device would be effective. He has spent most of his life working with ultra secure computer systems and is an expert on this. Being his brother I am also sure that he would help LJ do this rather quickly and pro bono since this site is so important to him.

-- Scott Rhoades

View KnotCurser's profile

KnotCurser

1814 posts in 1703 days


#14 posted 702 days ago

Joe,

Please read my comments above. I agree that nobody get’s outright “spammed” on this site. It’s the hidden issues that I am bringing to light here.

Having this amount of false users on this website causes problems that you might not be able to see on the surface, but it causes issues behind the scenes. Increasing this could even crash our site and NOBODY wants that!

Scott,

I appreciate the compliments, but I am sure a website like this already has it’s own professionals that can implement such a system. I am guessing the reason as to why this isn’t already in place is a matter of budget and priority.

Once this issue starts effecting mass amounts of users, then we will see systems get put in place really fast.

It’s a shame someone can’t be proactive though – this issue isn’t going away and is rapidly growing.

-bob

-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: rrww@rhoadesclan.com / www.rhoadesclan.com

View Roger's profile

Roger

14410 posts in 1439 days


#15 posted 702 days ago

This is just like those annoying phone calls we all receive, even tho we’re on the DO NOT CALL LIST, spammers are the same. Pain in the arse, yes, but, like others, just click over them. Don’t let em ruffle yer feathers.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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