So I have flagged five spam entries on the forum today and I have run out of flags to issue.
Is there a reason there been an increase?
They seem to posting spam as questions at the moment.
This has been going on for a very long time at this point. I don't know the specifics but it does seem like some of the bots have gotten better at posting things that look legitimate at first glance, mostly by copying material from other forum posts here or elsewhere.
I think the issue is that this is just old forum software that doesn't do a good job of screening out spam posts by more modern bots, and if there's no mod around at the time the stuff gets posted it stays up for awhile. It's mostly during the North American night when I'd guess that the number of mods online is lower or zero.
The real question I have is why this forum gets targeted so much. It has contracted a lot over the last few years and doesn't have a huge userbase, while most of the people on here are savvy enough to not click any of the links, so who is this stuff even for? I assume the answer is that the bots are self directing and just look for random forums where they can post, but I wonder how the business model actually works. Probably just how cheap it is to run bots vs. the volume of spam you can get out there.
@humanity: I also flag stuff when it's in a 'real' post for the same reason and I do sometimes flag the obvious spam but I worry that even going into the thread to flag it increases its views and the Bots might get data suggesting their links are being seen.
It's just annoying as heck. I think the mod team does a good job all things considered but I feel like the botters are like jerks who litter all over a public place for their own amusement.
You really have to watch yourself out there. I almost clicked on a spam wall in a moment of weakness. The eerie undeniability of it all is palpable. I don't want to be friends with an Indonesian refugee, a popsicle stick, and a horde of outdated technology. We have to stick together to remind each other that we're worth more than indefinite servitude. I for one am cashing my chips in!
Problem is bots don‘t sleep, while moderators do. And with the automation tools out there (a lot of which have legitimate uses) it’s fairly easy for even the minimally trained to build some sort of attack tool. And hell it might not even be a bot - a manual fraudster could hit all the main gaming forums in an afternoon of work. It’s the same principle as gold farming - as long as these posts show a minimum profit for somebody somewhere in the world, somebody will try something.
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