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Spam Reporting Contest Results! (Page 5)
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Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Golden Valley, AZ
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May 12, 2012, 12:59 PM
 
Try using either code or pre. Pre usually works better, but would need to be added to the bbc code options.

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I'm sorry to say that there are no dancing girls, and unfortunately, the "worth the wait" part fell through too. I had thought that there had been some really good "we crushed a spam ring" events to report, but unfortunately we seem to have only scared off a few of them instead. They aren't bothering us, but they're probably bothering others... Oh well, there's always May.
Code:
Results: Spheric Harlot 3 Ω 3 Subego 2 Eug 1 SierraDragon 1 Waragainstsleep 1 Total 11
Great work, folks!

P.S.: I've given up on trying to format the results neatly. Between the differences in how the edit box and vBulletin handle spaces and tabs, and my (currently) caffeine deprived brain, I'm just going to let it go.
     
Ω
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May 12, 2012, 09:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Omega Man has the most dots.
Does that mean he wins?
Good on him!
w00t! I would like to thank the Lucky Fighter spambot. Without its help I wouldn't be where I am today.
"angels bleed from the tainted touch of my caress"
     
Administrator
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Jun 2, 2012, 09:18 AM
 
May results are in!

We're getting better at stopping the spammers at the gates, but a few still slip in through the windows and such. Our wonderfully Public Spirited membership, however, is ever ready to step up and stop these villains. Well done!

Results: Our first tie in a long time!

Spheric Harlot... 4
Subego............. 4
auto_immune..... 1
Big Mac............. 1
BLAZE_MkIV....... 1
Person Man.......... 1
The Final Dakar... 1
turtle777............ 1
Total................... 14

23 reports (several repeat offenders reported - see below), 14 different spammers evaded our nets.

Cherguevara x2
fakess x4
ffhope x4
jayG87 x2
JeremySVilla x2

They're using a combination of brute force and what they think are "sophisticated" approaches. And they're still not able to pollute our forums for very long. Spammers fakess and ffhope got multiple posts up before being stopped, but these looked pretty automated; it was the only way they could get ahead of us, if only for a short time. They were each reported 4 times and fairly quickly zapped into oblivion. Again, good work!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jul 1, 2012, 12:14 PM
 
Wow! I was able to get this done on the first day of the month!

It was a brief month, and the spammers, though they tried, seem to have just not been very clever this time around. There were only 12 member-reported spammers and they were (with one exception) dealt with after only one post. Here's the rundown:

Spheric Harlot ..........7
Subego ..................2
Big Mac ..................1
BLAZE_MkIV ...........1
Rjenkinson ............1
Total .....................12

Way to go folks!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Aug 4, 2012, 03:46 PM
 
Folks, with the transition to Huddler, I'm still trying to work out how to collect data on spam reports so I can figure out who reported what and when. It ain't as easy as it used to be, so I apologize for not having the contest stats ready-and probably won't have them ready this weekend.

Sorry again...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
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Aug 4, 2012, 04:36 PM
 
No apologies necessary, sir!
     
Eug
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Oct 1, 2012, 04:15 AM
 
Some of the subforums are becoming difficult to navigate, because they are being overrun with spam threads, which don't get removed even days later.

eg. There are a bazillion spam threads in the Desktop subforum.
     
Moderator
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Oct 1, 2012, 07:36 AM
 
@Eug
Most of the staff have stopped modding, so spam posts and threads are no longer deleted. This is a form of protest on our part. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 1, 2012, 08:40 AM
 
Some are getting cleaned up and some aren't.

Is there a rationale?
     
P
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Oct 1, 2012, 10:09 AM
 
There doesn't seem to have been any deletions in a while. I did delete the most annoying ones and more recently removed some links but left the posts, but I haven't done either recently.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Oct 1, 2012, 11:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Some are getting cleaned up and some aren't.
Is there a rationale?
Sometimes the urge to clean-up cannot be overcome...
     
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Oct 2, 2012, 06:23 PM
 
I vote leave it all.

Let this place turn into a spam-infested cesspool where the only person posting anymore is Abe. The powers that be at MacNN HQ have made it clear that they are uninterested in supporting the community that made this place what it is.

Screw 'em.
     
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Oct 4, 2012, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
Sometimes the urge to clean-up cannot be overcome...
I'll let you know when I reach that point.
     
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Oct 4, 2012, 09:30 AM
 
Trying to read threads in here now is similar to trying to walk through a disreputable bar bathroom at closing time without getting your shoes dirty. It can be done, but carefully, and it smells bad.
     
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Oct 4, 2012, 11:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Trying to read threads in here now is similar to trying to walk through a disreputable bar bathroom at closing time without getting your shoes dirty. It can be done, but carefully, and it smells bad.
Wow, you're classy. The 'ladies' that I meet at closing time can hardly speak let alone walk.
     
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Oct 7, 2012, 05:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
Sometimes the urge to clean-up cannot be overcome...
I'm with Sean on this. Unfortunately, it's been a real challenge for me to wade in and squish the spam I find because our current tools are hard to use and not as sophisticated as what we used to have. On a related note, we're working on going back to vBulletin as we speak, so those tools will be back in our hands soon. I do not know HOW soon, but they'll be there. And with that return, we'll be able to return to the reporting contest! (Yes, I'm stoked about this.)

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 7, 2012, 12:37 PM
 
I think I speak for the whole forum when I say you are never, ever allowed to leave us again like that without saying goodbye.
     
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Oct 19, 2012, 02:36 AM
 
I didn't "leave," I just found it "challenging" to wade in and do moderation and administration tasks... It's still difficult to use this particular interface, but I'm working on staying in touch so I can be back in the swing of things when it isn't a challenge to moderate.

With that, I hope we'll also have the tools to mass-whack our recent spamomatic visitors; this interface makes it both more difficult and more time consuming to get rid of them. REPORTING has been working very well. It's just that once we know about them, we have to ferret them out in all the forums instead of just telling vBulletin to "nuke this user and all of this user's posts." That was sure handy!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Oct 27, 2012, 10:05 PM
 
I'm just amazed some of you mods are still here. You guys sound so terribly frustrated, I probably would have quit being a mod altogether.

-t
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 10:38 AM
 
It's baaaaack! Welcome back to the Spam Reporting Contest! Here are January's results. We got back to vBulletin on Jan 5, and the first spam report was on Jan 6. Here's what happened:
Spheric Harlot-5
rjenkinson----3
subego------2
angelmb-----1
CharlesS-----1
Dork.------1
FireWire-----1
Gankdawg---1
iMOTOR-----1
Shaddim-----1
Uncle Skeleton--1
Waragainstsleep--1
Ω------1

33 spam reports, 20 different spammer handles, 10 of which were apparently exactly the same spammer. Persistent cuss, wasn't he?

Thanks for helping out! Expect February's results shortly.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 09:05 PM
 
And now...February. For a short month, we had only a very few spam reports. See below:

Spheric Harlot---5
subego-------3
shifuimam-----2
CharlesS-------1
Snow-i-------1
The Final Dakar-1

16 spam reports, 13 different spammer handles (bababangg was reported 4 times).

Great work, as usual, folks! March seems to be kind of slow so far, but that may only be a lull. January was rough on the spammer population, considering how easy December had been for them under Hudler. They may just be honing their "I'm not really a bot written by someone who does not speak English at all" skills.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
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Mar 17, 2013, 09:08 PM
 
So, is this place just not as on-the-rader, now that it's no longer running Huddler's software, or is it just a lot harder to script for than Huddler, or is it just a matter of diminishing returns, and it's a lot more lucrative to script tools for Huddler, because of their one-size-fits-all backend to a whole bunch of forums?
     
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Mar 17, 2013, 10:47 PM
 
Huddler had only two spam defenses - the 'defensio' AI unit, and IP blocks of entire countries. It also had single-IP blocks, but those were useless against spammers.

Blocking entire countries was too coarse in most cases (we did block Vietnam), and 'defensio' worked by moderating (hiding) anything suspicious. So it soft-deleted posts (a power reserved to human mods in our opinion) and required manual sifting of everything it hid. We wouldn't do the sifting, and didn't like it deleting member posts. So we turned it off.

Under Huddler, the unhappy mod staff was the only spam defense. Now, we have our comprehensive blocks again. IP blocks of hot ranges, registration sifting against blacklists, and a few special tricks I've coded. The blacklist registration checks alone have blocked over 1,000 since we returned.

Both boards do have CAPTCHAs which I didn't count. That stops the dumbest of spammers, and force the rest to employ sub-minimum-wage people in the 3rd world. So technically, CAPTCHAs do help world unemployment, even if they don't do much else.
     
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Apr 5, 2013, 12:15 PM
 
It is that time again, and here are the March results for the Spam Reporting Contest.

It was, shall we say, a "slack" month for spammers here at MacNN. Only 12 valid spam reports this time, with a suspicious eye cast on a few posters who at the moment continue to be considered innocent until...

Spheric Harlot 6
Subego 3
The Final Dakar 2
Shaddim 1
Total Reports 12

Some of these spammers were pretty easy to spot, and others less so. Either way, thanks for all the attention paid to the content of the forums and for the help with keeping the spammers at bay.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Games Meister
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Apr 5, 2013, 12:20 PM
 
The beauty of leaving huddler.
     
Addicted to MacNN
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Apr 6, 2013, 05:18 PM
 
Would it be possible to add like a "reason" drop-down for reporting posts? I don't know if vbulletin has that capability... might make it faster to report spammers instead of making up some text for the "reason" box.

Although trying to come up with creative ways of saying "spam" can be pretty entertaining.
     
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May 11, 2013, 10:16 AM
 
Here are the results from April. I'm sort of disappointed...there were only 9 spammer reports. Of course there were fewer spammer attempts, too, and many of them were spam posts in the same thread. Our shields are repelling far more spammers than ever before, but they still get through now and then, so thanks to all for helping squish them as quickly as possible.

Shifuimam, I'm not certain if a drop-down would be as useful as you think. Click on the drop-down, scroll to the appropriate epithet, click on the epithet...that's 3 actions when typing "Spam" is only four (OK, 5 if you count the shift key ) keystrokes. It's probably doable, but I don't know if it's worth doing. Unless lots of people ask for it, of course. Then I'll leave it to reader50 to figure out if it is doable or "doable but a pain in the butt to do," which is possible, given the structure of vBulletin.

Now, the results...(drum roll....)
Spheric Harlot-- 6
Mattyb-- 1
Shaddim-- 1
Shifuimam-- 1
Total-- 9

I wonder if Spheric Harlot actually sleeps, or maybe it's because many of the spammers come from time zones closer to "normal waking hours" for Spheric, which are quite a bit different from North American hours. In any case, thanks to all for the vigilance and effort.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 1, 2013, 10:57 AM
 
Here we are, on the first day of the month, and I have the spam reporting results already!!!! (OK, so it's not such a huge feat this time, but anyway...)

There were a total of 12 reports of spammers this time, with one member reporting the same spammer twice for essentially identical posts.

Spheric Harlot - 7
Angelmb - 1
FireWire - 1
Subego - 1
Ω - 1
Total 11

Great work all. Again, I think Spheric Harlot's timezone gives him an advantage, as the spammers seem to be creeping in from closer to his part of the planet than mine and many other members'.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 1, 2013, 11:23 AM
 
IKEA headquarters are in my timezone, so it would make sense that I get all the sofa spammers during work hours.
     
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Jun 1, 2013, 06:20 PM
 
I kind of expected that IKEA spam would seem more modular and made from MDF... But I also understand how subcontractors cut corners, too.


Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 1, 2013, 06:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
So technically, CAPTCHAs do help world unemployment, even if they don't do much else.


-t
     
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Jul 4, 2013, 04:44 PM
 
So here we are with me having a day off, so here's the results from the spam reporting for June:

Spheric Harlot - 6
Angelmb - 2
And.reg - 1
Mattyb - 1
Mindwaves - 1
Ω - 1
Total - 12
There were 3 additional, duplicate reports for a total of 15 spam reports this time. It looks like, though our defenses are doing a good job, the bad guys are working hard at getting their stuff here anyway. Great work, folks!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Sep 8, 2013, 03:17 PM
 
OK, so it "looks like" I missed the July contest entirely. My story is that I did not; instead it was "no contest," because only one member reported actual spammers. There were plenty of reports, just not very many that turned out to be proven spammers... I won't admit to having been busy and not really gotten to the contest until, oh, about today.

In July, Spheric Harlot reported all 5 of the valid spammers. Great work.

Now for August! Here's the results:
Spheric Harlot ----- 5
subego ---------- 3
turtle777 --------- 1
Total ------------ 9

More reports this time, and no overlaps, multiples or "beat you by 4 seconds" drama. Just because we haven't been inundated by spam doesn't mean that your reports aren't important. On the contrary; some reported spammers recently have been "inventive" and managed to slip past our defenses. Of course there's always the horribly obvious clods who blunder in, but they're what my College Algebra teacher called "intuitively obvious to the most casual observer." Which sounds much fancier than "duh!"

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Sep 8, 2013, 05:03 PM
 
I reported a few...
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 9, 2013, 04:07 PM
 
LOL, I'm in the top 3, and I'm hardly around.

-t
     
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Sep 9, 2013, 09:00 PM
 
It's all about whether the post you report is determined to be an actual spammer. There were a lot in July and August who were "very suspicious," but who never actually posted spam, so they were not banned - and thus didn't qualify as "active spammers." I went through a LOT of reports for those months, and yes, a bunch were either very suspicious or very random, but the posters that were reported never came back and bothered us.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 10, 2013, 05:02 AM
 
I saw a spree on the "Who's Online?" Page where fifteen or so random accounts were signing up within about ten minutes and not posting.

Do I report those? Are you watching registrations/looking through those lists for IP ranges?

In the end, I just said, ah **** it and went to do something more productive.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 06:52 AM
 
Yes, we watch new registrations. For every spammer that is reported by the membership, we probably kill-off a couple dozen or more before they ever post or even complete their registration.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 10, 2013, 07:14 AM
 
Okay, so I won't bother.

Poor shenatitbu is stuck in a loop though, isn't he.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 02:10 PM
 
Our pre-registration filters are stopping 3,000 registration attempts per day. Not counting CAPTCHA failures, or those in blocked IP ranges. Assuming 3 registration attempts before they give up, that's 1,000 spammers per day trying to storm the gates.

The register-and-not-post spammers used to put spam in their biography and signature fields. So it would appear on their member pages. No posting equals no one reporting the spam. We hacked the board so extra profile fields are hidden until a member reaches 10 posts.

When spammers do post, they're rapidly reported. Even if it just looks suspicious. Glenn awards the kill only to the first reporter; the typical posted spammer draws 3-4 reports.
     
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Oct 4, 2013, 01:36 PM
 
Very interesting month, September. Only ONE spam report from a member... And since he's apparently never offline, it doesn't take a lot of thinking to guess who that member was.

Thanks, Spheric Harlot! You reported mkmalls35 WAY before anyone on staff noticed him/her/it.

The rest of the September posts (scant though they were) were about other regular users and their behavior. Not bad stuff that!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Nov 13, 2013, 04:48 PM
 
Only two weeks late for November... I've been busy. (Really, brand new job with different hours, etc.)
Anyway, November was busier for spam reporting than October, with 6 reports. But one of the reported spammers was reported by 4 different members for spam in 4 different threads, so it was really only 3 spammers that got in far enough to be reported. Not bad as far as I'm concerned. On to results!

Spheric Harlot --- 2
subego ---------1

subego reported the multi-posting spammer first, a full minute before anyone else, and this was DAYS before Spheric's first solo catch. (Spin? Me? I don't know what you're talking about! )

I expect that as the year winds down and sales spin up, spam will increase. Thanks to all for participating and helping us keep this one of the least polluted forums there is.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Dec 11, 2013, 07:51 AM
 
So as I mentioned earlier when I reported the spam results from November...

What? Of course I did. The first weekend in December... Look it's... Ummmm... Hold that thought...

OK, so here are the results of spam reporting in the month of November! There were two reported spammers, one less than subtle, another kinda subtle.

turtle777 -- 1
Spheric Harlot -- 1

It was a tie. Both reported spammers were early in the month, on 5 November and 7 November respectively. It seems that, for the moment anyway, spamming our forums isn't entertaining or profitable. Awww.

So as I was saying, while they aren't flooding the forums yet, we can sort of expect the spam gates to be flung open any time now, with über spammage of the highest order being attempted everywhere. We all (staff and members) appreciate it when everyone chips in to help block/blunt/nuke the spammers, and we may see more attempts in the coming days. Thanks for the efforts so far, and let's see if we can keep being Scrooge for the spammers. Spam? Bah! Humbug!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Clinically Insane
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Dec 14, 2013, 10:04 PM
 
LOL

-t
     
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Jan 12, 2014, 03:26 PM
 
December results JUST IN!!! (Unanticipated delays delayed updates, just pedestrian stuff that isn't worth using as an excuse, but sorry for the wait...)

There were two (dos, dual, a pair of) valid spam reports in December, both by Spheric Harlot. Congratulations again, Spheric.

We had other issues that included database problems which could have been related to server issues, problems with hamstor vitamins being delayed by unexpectedly bad weather, phase of the moon, etc., as well. And we had a few "is this really spam?" situations, such as the person who posted that he'd "just returned from (sic) my deployment with the military" and that he had a great cell phone plan to share with all of us (and apparently everyone else in the worlds. But overall it seems that our buttresses are well buttressed, and that a number of layers of defense are fending off almost all attempts to spam us. This is very good, but I don't trust that it will hold them off forever, thus I'm still watching spam reports and still documenting all of our reports and their results.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Feb 4, 2014, 08:36 PM
 
Results for January will be up this coming weekend. I worked the last two weekends, and February 1st and 2nd were particularly (to put it mildly) long and difficult.

So despite my plans to have the data online on Sunday, I haven't had a chance to work on it yet. Now, instead of getting it posted mid-month because I forgot until then wanted to artificially enhance the anticipation, I'll get it compiled and posted a week earlier (and only a week late).

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Feb 8, 2014, 09:36 PM
 
January Results!!! (Calm yourselves, please!)

Spheric Harlot reported all three (tres, tre, san, drei) spammers that got through the gantlet and into our hallowed halls/forums. He was not alone, with two of those reported also reported by others, just slightly later.

Let's not minimize the contribution members make to this endevor. It is the oddball posts, the ones from unexpected sources and with sometimes interesting approaches that are our biggest threat, and that takes humans with watchful eyes. If spam posts match known patterns, the software catches them, but how do we learn what these "known patterns" are? By having humans detect them.

Thanks Spheric, and everyone else.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Feb 10, 2014, 01:14 PM
 
I think Spheric should get a spam related title for all his hard work (or his fortune to be on the forums when everyone but spammer aren't)

Edit: ...and stars that look like cans of spam
     
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Feb 10, 2014, 09:21 PM
 
That's an idea!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Feb 10, 2014, 09:44 PM
 
The Spaminator!
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
 
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