How To Convert MP4 To MP3 In Windows 10

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Postby jimhenry » 04-16-18 11:44 am

Spam on this Forum is getting pretty bad. Nicholas, you need to beef up your anti-spam measures.
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Postby Nicholas » 04-16-18 2:03 pm

It's tricky because all of this audio conversion spam uses words that aren't far off from the kinds of things someone might legitimately post here. I don't want to block the word "convert" in case someone wants to talk about the Video Creator and its supported formats. I've been trying to knock down a few words here and there, but this particular strain is rather... aggressive.

(At least the spam plugin for the forum makes it only take two clicks to perform something like 20+ cleanup actions: delete all their posts, ban the account, wipe their profile fields, etc. It is certainly causing some havoc in my RSS reader, but the board itself is still nice and clean.)
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Postby cmplays » 04-16-18 3:42 pm

It's nice and clean after you're done with it, but I don't know if it's my luck or what, one out of two times I'm here, the forum is filled with spam and is basically unusable.

I think you should consider premoderating posts of new users (i.e. those with 0 posts). Once they make a legit post once, move them over to regular users.
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Postby jimhenry » 04-16-18 5:21 pm

Premoderating posts of new users, as suggested by cmplays, does work. But there are spammers who know how to get onto a phpBB board without looking like new members. So do it. But it isn't enough. I'd also suggest looking at the pattern of domains used by the spammers. I have blocked a number of the worst domains.

At this point, not only do I frequently come to this board to find that almost all the new messages are spam, but when I come back a few hours later I see that you have cleaned the previous round of spam but it has been replaced by more spam. At this very moment, it looks like the new messages are this one and 4 spam messages. So your perception that your board is "nice and clean" is rapidly dwindling to periods probably measured in minutes after you do a clean up. The spammers attacking your board are running more hours of the day and with greater output than Hormel. It seems like you may be relying only on software that tries to identify spam by a forbidden word list. Even if you have other counter-measures, we are telling you there are too many new holes in your lines of defense. The spammers are continually upping their game. Unless you regularly up your counter-measures, they will eventually destroy your board.

P.S. This might be worth looking at: cleantalk.org
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.VirtualOrgan.com/
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Postby Nicholas » 04-16-18 6:16 pm

The current spam plugin has an option to integrate with Stop Forum Spam. I was hesitant to enable it in the past. I didn't like the idea of false positives blocking a new user that happened to get assigned a spammer's previous IP. But, reluctantly, I just turned that feature on. We'll see if that helps.

The last thing I want to do is give myself another job of approving every new post to the forum. That replaces an infrequent task (erasing periodic spam) with a constant task (approving new posts).

The ultimate solution is to simply deny posts containing any link from users with fewer than 3 posts. That is a fairly big usability loss for new users, but it would solve the spam problem outright. All that would be left are the "clever" bots that do a few normal-looking posts over a few days first, but on a board with as low a volume as this one, those posts are trivial to pick out. All of that said, let's see how this Stop Forum Spam thing works before going all the way to this extreme.
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Postby jimhenry » 04-17-18 6:52 pm

The spam seems better. But I think I saw two that got through. Based on those, I would suggest going to the phpBB ACP General, Board Configuration, Signature Settings, and disallow the use of links in signatures, and probably everything else except for disallowing signatures altogether. (Yes, I know this will affect me too.)

Not allowing new users to include links in their first few posts doesn't seem too Draconian to me. But maybe there are use cases I'm not thinking of.
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Postby jimhenry » 04-24-18 12:39 pm

Thanks for the additional measures you have taken to stop spam. The board is much better now.
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Postby Nicholas » 04-24-18 3:43 pm

It has been very quiet! I keep wondering if real posts are still allowed through. :lol:
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