Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

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Azrael
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Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Azrael » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

For all newly registered users and users with fewer than 5 posts, a reminder:

1) Your first post will require moderator approval.
  • Until it is approved, all subsequent posts will also fall into the approval queue.
  • Be patient, this is not an automatic process.
  • If you feel that your post was incorrectly denied, please re-read the forum rules. Double check that you don't sound like a spammer and do not include any links.
  • DO NOT PM A MODERATOR. The disapproved post is not retrievable. Accidents happen, and it's gone. You may repost after you are sure that you have complied with the forum rules.

2) You will not be able to create a signature or add a website to your profile until you have 5 posts.

3) You will not be able to post links. This is probably why you're here.

... and now:

4) Your posts will not be accepted if they contain certain spam-like words.
  • The list of prohibited words is fairly short, is controlled by the xkcd forum staff and will rotate as trends in spam fashion change.
  • You will know that you have encountered this function if you receive a "This message was flagged as spam and has been denied" message after hitting the submit button.
  • For obvious reasons, we will not post the list. But as an example, you will not be able to name a certain popular brand/style of sheepskin boots originally from New Zealand/Australia, nor a French fashion house / handbag manufacturer with a famous two-letter monogram. Get the picture?
  • There is limited recourse if you feel you have encountered a false positive as you won't be able to post the denied text here, nor send it in a PM. The issue will resolve itself after you have more than 2 posts.


This post will remain a sticky until 12/12/12 at which point it will be merged into the FAQ.
Last edited by Azrael on Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:18 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Masonot » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:43 pm UTC

I just hit 4) while trying to send a fairly lengthy pm to Hammer about something related to the board "Dear SB", I tried to clear it up of any possible spam triggers but no dice, meh (and yes this is an anon account made on purpose for that board)

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Hammer » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

I just told it to not apply the spam rules to PMs. Try again.
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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Masonot » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:09 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:I just told it to not apply the spam rules to PMs. Try again.

Worked, thanks :)

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby turkbaris13 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:09 pm UTC

i can't upload pictures

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Azrael
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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Azrael » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:23 pm UTC

As in you can't attach pictures to posts or can't use [img] tags?

Either way, that's to be expected as you have <5 posts.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby turkbaris13 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:34 pm UTC

Yeah but it works now when I post the commnet thanks anyway it works now

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby themperor17 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:19 pm UTC

i cant upload pictures

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:29 pm UTC

themperor17 wrote:i cant upload pictures

Of course not. The system is working. Please re-read the rules as well as Azrael's post.
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heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby FTBC » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:08 pm UTC

I just wanted to post a simple physics question with a paint drawing and it won't let me. The drawing is sort of crucial to explaining the question :(

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Azrael » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:37 pm UTC

If this isn't just a way to get us to do your homework, I would expect you can find three relevant, meaningful things to say somewhere on this rather large forum, and get back to your physics question in a timely fashion.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:11 pm UTC

Here, I'll even make it easy for you. Tell us something you learned today, Rant about something, say anything, literally anything, tell us about your dreams last night, and describe the latest meal you cooked. Even if it was just a turkey sandwich.

There. Five posts that are so incredibly easy most bots can do them.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Cloud » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:24 am UTC

I was attempting to post a wildly creative answer in the puzzle forum when I got hit with the spam warning.

Can a moderator please review it or at least let me know if I answered the puzzle correctly?

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:34 am UTC

Cloud wrote:I was attempting to post a wildly creative answer in the puzzle forum when I got hit with the spam warning.

Can a moderator please review it or at least let me know if I answered the puzzle correctly?


You should be able to post unhindered now, but there's no record kept of stuff that hits the spam filters, sorry.
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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Klear » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:53 pm UTC

I'm mostly reading the Individual XKCD Comic Threads and I just wanted to point out that there is quite a lot of posts from people who can't post a link, at least one in each thread, and at least half of the people are clueless why that is. I try to ignore it, but it's quite tiresome.

Though I don't expect you'll want to get rid of this rule (as annoying as these posts are, they are much preferable to spam - which I yet have to encounter on this board BTW, good job), maybe the rule could be made more visible during registration, including a suggestion to post short replies to some general threads and not to whine about it in the first five posts?

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Azrael » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:13 pm UTC

Klear wrote:I'm mostly reading the Individual XKCD Comic Threads and I just wanted to point out that there is quite a lot of posts from people who can't post a link, at least one in each thread, and at least half of the people are clueless why that is. I try to ignore it, but it's quite tiresome.

It's listed just about everywhere we can list it: the rules thread stuck to the top of every forum, and in the FAQ here.

People whining in-thread are either oblivious enough that no amount of additional notification is going to penetrate, or lazy enough that they prefer complaining over expending the tiny amount of effort it would require to understand the cause.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Azrael » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:14 pm UTC

Apropos of not much, I'm going to share a recent PM here:
[Redacted] wrote:Hello,
I have some trouble posting on the forum, since all my posts are flagged as spam, even if I use such crazy words like "I'm having the same troubles", can you please help me resolve this issue?
Best regards
[Redacted]


Azrael wrote:There are two possible solutions here, and they are entirely under your control. The difference is what you mean by "flagged as spam":

1) There is a list of words that people with less than two posts cannot use. Things like "Uggs" and "Louis Vitton". You will know that you have encountered this function if you receive a "This message was flagged as spam and has been denied" message in bright red test immediately after hitting the submit button.

- or -

2) People posting for the first time have to have their post approved by a moderator. The Spam Word function in #1 is merely a first pass automated filter meant to reduce the number of posts that end up in this queue. If you post something that is excessively mundane it is likely that you will have your posts "Disapproved" despite not being actively spam. You will know you have encountered this if you find a disapproval notice in your PM inbox.

So, depending on what's been happening you need to:

1) Make two posts somewhere on the forum that aren't filled with obvious advertisements.

- or -

2) Make to posts somewhere on the forum that don't make you sound like a spammer attempting to masquerade as a real person.


Good luck,
Azrael

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Half-Borg » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:42 pm UTC

Well that would've been me. However I want to share, that I did read the rules, in fact I PMed Azrael because he's the one who posted the rules.
I did actually try to post the text I send Azrael and got the "This message was flagged as spam and has been denied"-thing.
Sorry for using such crazy words as "I" or "the" ;)
So I'm guessing some technical issue!

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Azrael » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:08 pm UTC

Half-Borg wrote:So I'm guessing some technical issue!

Congrats, you now have two posts! Why don't you post the text here for a debug?

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Klear » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:43 pm UTC

To be fair, I don't remember what it looks like when you register for the first time and besides, I'm one of the (possibly rare) people who always read all the forum rules when registering anywhere and I didn't feel like creating a new account just to see if this particular rule is displayed visibly during registration.

It's just that the non-issue seems to pop up quite a bit. If you think it can't be helped, I'll defer to your judgement.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:00 pm UTC

Klear wrote:To be fair, I don't remember what it looks like when you register for the first time and besides, I'm one of the (possibly rare) people who always read all the forum rules when registering anywhere and I didn't feel like creating a new account just to see if this particular rule is displayed visibly during registration.

It's just that the non-issue seems to pop up quite a bit. If you think it can't be helped, I'll defer to your judgement.

We have people who misunderstand the "Check this box if you are over the age of 13" question and do the wrong thing.

There are absolutely no further steps we can take to make sure everyone reads the rules without getting offensive about it.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby davean » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:40 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:We have people who misunderstand the "Check this box if you are over the age of 13" question and do the wrong thing.



It is a page all to its self! And then they email, irate about it, demanding we not treat them like a child.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Half-Borg » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:38 am UTC

the text was "I'm having the same troubles"
I also tried posting several other things, including "I", or some longer stuff, like a tracert (which I can't reproduce right now, but I don't think that it contains any funny words.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Klear » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:11 am UTC

Hmmm... I should have known that the occasional "I can't post links!" post is nothing compared to what you guys have to deal with.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:28 pm UTC

Half-Borg wrote:the text was "I'm having the same troubles"
I also tried posting several other things, including "I", or some longer stuff, like a tracert (which I can't reproduce right now, but I don't think that it contains any funny words.

Were you quoting the original text? That's the only thing I can think of that would trigger it - if something in what you were quoting was triggering it.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Half-Borg » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:53 pm UTC

i was not

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby ConMan » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:00 pm UTC

If the entirety of the post was "I'm having the same troubles" there's a good chance a slightly over-zealous mod rejected it because it contains no content to suggest that it was written by a thinking human being. The latest spambot tactic seems to involve coming into long threads (i.e. most of ICT) and adding either a content-less post (e.g. "thanks for the info", "very helpful", "I'm having the same troubles") or copying a post from much earlier in the thread in some attempt to get past the mods, then once they're confirmed they then presumably either start posting spam or they change their signature/edit their earlier posts to include the spam links. If your post looked like one of those attempts, there's your answer.

EDIT: Actually, quoting the post in whole or part would probably drop the chances of being rejected, depending on the mod, since it would provide some context to your post and thus suggest that you might actually be trying to contribute to the discussion as opposed to slipping under the radar.
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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:30 pm UTC

ConMan wrote:If the entirety of the post was "I'm having the same troubles" there's a good chance a slightly over-zealous mod rejected it because it contains no content to suggest that it was written by a thinking human being. The latest spambot tactic seems to involve coming into long threads (i.e. most of ICT) and adding either a content-less post (e.g. "thanks for the info", "very helpful", "I'm having the same troubles") or copying a post from much earlier in the thread in some attempt to get past the mods, then once they're confirmed they then presumably either start posting spam or they change their signature/edit their earlier posts to include the spam links. If your post looked like one of those attempts, there's your answer.

EDIT: Actually, quoting the post in whole or part would probably drop the chances of being rejected, depending on the mod, since it would provide some context to your post and thus suggest that you might actually be trying to contribute to the discussion as opposed to slipping under the radar.

For the record, there is now a two-step process at work.

Step 1 - the board software looks at the post and makes sure certain offending words (.com, for example) are not present. If everything passes the board software's muster.. THEN it moves on to....

Step 2 - The post enters queue and a real human gets to take a look at it.

From the sound of it, unless I am misunderstanding, it is the first step where the issue occurred.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Polyphase Avatron » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:01 pm UTC

This is very troublesome

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby jestingrabbit » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:29 pm UTC

Polyphase Avatron wrote:This is very troublesome


Compared to a forum deluged by bizarre word salad or tiny, only semi meaningful fragments of posts with poor punctuation, or lots and lots of porn spam, I feel this is only slightly troublesome.
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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby Azrael » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:26 pm UTC

I'm betting on spammer.

Quarantined, PM me with proof of life if you want out.

EDIT: They were alive!

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ssl broken [split]

Postby dudiobugtron » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:35 am UTC

Split from ssl broken:

- Az


machine321 wrote:Wow, your anti-spam filters are ridiculous. I realize spam is a problem, but blocking the URI scheme for SSL connections anywhere in the message? I'm not sure this message even makes sense any more with how much I had to edit it to force it through the filter.
johnkeates wrote:Also: the spam protection is severely broken.


Afaik, the spam protection is only for users who have less than n posts, (for some finite n). As a user with n or more posts, I think it's fine. :)

Check with a mod, or in the forum rules or something if you want an official reason though.

----------------------------
PS: Just to show off:

Code: Select all

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/angular_momentum.jpg

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/angular_momentum.jpg
Image
Image

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Re: ssl broken

Postby jestingrabbit » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:00 am UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:Afaik, the spam protection is only for users who have less than n posts, (for some finite n). As a user with n or more posts, I think it's fine. :)

Check with a mod, or in the forum rules or something if you want an official reason though.


Please, don't make these sorts of posts.

Here are the rules. Look at number 3, in the brief and expanded sections, and you should be able to work out what's going on. Specifically, there are certain disallowed words that we've come to via looking at the spam that arrives here. And we try block stuff that turns up. So, for instance, brand names are likely to cause problems, stuff that appears in links is likely to cause problems, stuff that people use to try to seem human whilst actually coming across as bots is likely to cause problems.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

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Re: ssl broken

Postby johnkeates » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:11 pm UTC

I don't really care about the spam protection, it's obvious why it's needed. It would ofcourse be helpful if the standard error message would contain a link to that rule.

Anyway, that isn't why I posted, I posted because ... see here.

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Re: ssl broken

Postby Azrael » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:54 pm UTC

machine321 wrote:Wow, your anti-spam filters are ridiculous. I realize spam is a problem, but blocking the URI scheme for SSL connections anywhere in the message? I'm not sure this message even makes sense any more with how much I had to edit it to force it through the filter.

.com, guys. It's blocking .com

That's it, unless the URI scheme contains words like louboutin for kicks.

That isn't broken. It's astoundingly effective, and I wouldn't expect it to be that arcane or difficult for non-spammers to figure out.

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Re: ssl broken

Postby johnkeates » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:58 pm UTC

Okay, but what about hxxps://xkcd.tld?

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Re: ssl broken

Postby Azrael » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:04 pm UTC

Azrael's Alt with 1 post just successfully wrote:hxxps://xkcd.tld


So yeah, that wasn't the issue. Now pardon me while I delete that post. That alt is quite useful in testing these cases, and it wouldn't do to have more than 1 post.

I'm not going to deny the possibility that phpBB spam word mod has the occasional hiccup, but the list of spam words is quite short and besides ".com" they're all proper-ish nouns of trendy companies you've all seen copy-pasta spam for.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby jupo » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:34 pm UTC

I notice earlier in this thread it mentions that spam controls were disabled for PMs. Well, I just got an Xrumer spam PM (drom a user with 0 posts), which has the side effect of also spamming my email.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby jestingrabbit » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:26 pm UTC

Please, report the PM, and then something will be done about it.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

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Re: Anti-spam measures (New Users / Denied Posts)

Postby bug sniper » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:44 am UTC

I'm not sure why my link to the SCP foundation was rejected.
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