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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As we are sure a lot of you have noticed, spam threads have been a huge problem for us for a while. While we're waiting for steve to come up with a plan that I guess they will feel good about and also somehow effective, or for the anti-spam software to finally smart up enough to know that Chinese-charactered thread titles = no good, we decided to take a page from MTF's book - all new threads will require approval before they are visible to everyone. With the state quo, we believe the traffic is low enough that such a measure is better than us, the mod team reactively closing all the spam threads since we can't predict when they appear.and we know it must be annoying to see them un-dealt with and taking up the whole page.

Please note that the measure is carried out, at the moment, for GM / NT sections only.

(Below is pretty much a copy-and-paste from the same thread on MTF)

We may adjust this option on or off depending on the amount of spam the forum seems to be getting.

The disadvantage is that if you post a new thread, it won't be publically viewable immediately and will need to wait for a moderator to approve it (it will appear in an Approval Queue, similar to an Alert for a regular user, for any mod of the section the thread is in). At certain times of the day there might not be any moderator online so it could be a little while before new threads are approved. However, hopefully the times when few moderators are online coincide with when fewer regular users are online and wanting to post threads.

The advantage is that you should no longer come to the site and find most sections of the forum an unviewable mess thanks to spam. Discussion can go on ahead at all times in existing threads, and we hope that new threads are rarely delayed for long.

This is quite an extreme step, and not one we'd consider except for the persistent high levels of spam on the forum. We've decided to try enabling this option on GM to try to make the forum more useful for discussion. I understand it's an inconvenience to have to wait for a new thread to be viewable - the trade-off is that the forum should always be filled with legitimate discussion threads, rather than them being buried by spam threads at certain times of the day. We're going to try it out for at least a short time, and we want to go with the option that's best for the community. Is it worthwhile to block these spam threads at the cost of all new threads waiting for mod approval? Please feel free to give your opinion on this.
 

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All I want for Christmas is EU
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At this point in time this makes 100% sense. I can't think of any thread in which there is any urgency that it gets opened super fast at the moment. When we have actual....you know....tennis matches going on it is nice to see threads for them occurring once the matches end. But as things stand, well.... there aren't exactly a lot of tennis matches going on at the moment... are there?

I'd say this is a pretty excellent approach to solve the spam issue, at least for the moment. When we eventually get tennis matches happening again, it would be good if we could still see match threads turning up reasonably soon after the match so at that point a different approach might then be called for. But who knows when that will be anyway.
 

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I know nothing about the computer programs TF uses, but it should be very easy to spot the massive Chinese spam and quickly remove it. But, since it takes hours to remove the Chinese spam, does that mean it will be hours before a new thread is approved?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I know nothing about the computer programs TF uses, but it should be very easy to spot the massive Chinese spam and quickly remove it. But, since it takes hours to remove the Chinese spam, does that mean it will be hours before a new thread is approved?
It doesn't take 'hours' to remove the Chinese spam, it's just that sometimes none of us are around so they stay up for a bit longer. A lot of threads are taken care of quite swiftly, within 30 mins~ of them being created.






I can post more - again, you only see what you are able to see, and for that I don't blame you, but what you don't see is that also a lot of spam threads are quickly taken care of already and you don't know because you don't even see them.

It's indeed very easy to spot the massive chain of spam threads, but I am sure you don't actually expect us to monitor the forum 24/7, right? We're doing as best as we can, believe it or not, and I personally don't think it's fair to ask 'does that mean it will be hours before a new thread is approved' when you don't know how much more often our team now frequent the forum just to deal with the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We also decided to follow suit because we saw that there had been too many new threads created in both the GM / NT section. In fact there were like, fewer than 5 over the past week I believe? Which was why we believed it's now the best time to implement the measure.

We hadn't (and still haven't) heard anything from @steve which also led to the decision, and I understand it may become inconvenient when there's a #bombshell someone wants to share or discuss immediately, but eventually we decided that the spam is getting way too much out of control and it's not fair for the few team members to deal with it (mainly because the threads seem to pop up within the working hours of one living in Asia), and given the depleting number of new threads the pros of the measure outweigh the cons.
 

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I know nothing about the computer programs TF uses, but it should be very easy to spot the massive Chinese spam and quickly remove it. But, since it takes hours to remove the Chinese spam, does that mean it will be hours before a new thread is approved?
Then, girl, become a moderator and help out.
 

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Funny how none of this Chinese spam was an issue on the old forum? I still have no idea why the change was made but it's obvious it was a very bad decision.
 

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The best way to do is to make it so that any user that has been a member for less than 3 months (90 days) will need to get their posts approved. If you set it to post count, they will just post garbage non stop to meet the count. But if its 3 months, they will forget the username and won't return. Most spammers, create new user name every day as they get banned. 90 day rule means heavy blatants spammers won't have the patience because by the time 90 days passes they would have went over 90 user names in variosu forums and would have forgetten about this one.
 

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The best way to do is to make it so that any user that has been a member for less than 3 months (90 days) will need to get their posts approved. If you set it to post count, they will just post garbage non stop to meet the count. But if its 3 months, they will forget the username and won't return. Most spammers, create new user name every day as they get banned. 90 day rule means heavy blatants spammers won't have the patience because by the time 90 days passes they would have went over 90 user names in variosu forums and would have forgetten about this one.
Agreed.

Isn't it easier and practical to temporarily ban new posters from starting GM threads for a while (rather than pre-approve everyone's new posts)?
 

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^^ We've repeatedly asked the developers (@steve ) that question and they kept saying they were working on the spam algorithm. Despite the fact that the algorithm was clearly not working as the spam was getting worse, they never directly addressed why they didn't put such a simple solution in place. Direct questions were simply ignored, many of us have ranted about it but it remains a mystery to this day.

The mods have had to put this pre-approval mechanism in place as a result. It works very well for now but when things return to normal the developers would have to implement a more sustainable and reliable solution.
 

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^^ We've repeatedly asked the developers (@steve ) that question and they kept saying they were working on the spam algorithm. Despite the fact that the algorithm was clearly not working as the spam was getting worse, they never directly addressed why they didn't put such a simple solution in place. Direct questions were simply ignored, many of us have ranted about it but it remains a mystery to this day.

The mods have had to put this pre-approval mechanism in place as a result. It works very well for now but when things return to normal the developers would have to implement a more sustainable and reliable solution.
Algorithm?

How about manually restricting new posters? That's not possible either?
 

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Algorithm?

How about manually restricting new posters? That's not possible either?
I and others have asked them to put in place the old rule where only senior members can create new threads but they kept banging on about refining their anti-spam software and that things will improve. Despite spam increasing, they haven't changed their stance nor have they given us a credible reason why they haven't implemented the simple rule.

Their answers were really non-answers. I'm not sure if they don't have the technical ability to do it (Huhu showed them how they could apply limits to new posters) or if they have some other agenda (more traffic despite it being spam). Either way, they are MIA and never gave a damn in the first place.
 

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I and others have asked them to put in place the old rule where only senior members can create new threads but they kept banging on about refining their anti-spam software and that things will improve. Despite spam increasing, they haven't changed their stance nor have they given us a credible reason why they haven't implemented the simple rule.

Their answers were really non-answers. I'm not sure if they don't have the technical ability to do it (Huhu showed them how they could apply limits to new posters) or if they have some other agenda (more traffic despite it being spam). Either way, they are MIA and never gave a damn in the first place.
Yeah it seems sensible anyway to require people become senior membres (or I suppose paying members if they really desire) before being able to start new threads. Even if they aren't spammers it's fairly typical for online forums to restrict access to new/non-paying users and I feel like it's better for everyone to make them participate a bit (becoming a senior member is not hard) first before launching new discussions.
 

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Have y'all noticed any improvements in the spam showing up? We're trying to make it harder for spammers to exist, because if they get on the site, they will still attempt to post their content through whatever means. Threads, comments, conversations... they'll attempt any means.

Better to keep the function y'all want instead of hurting the forum in the name of spam prevention.

Thanks for understanding,
Gerrit
 
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