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manzara
post Sep 30 2010, 12:41 PM
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I really cannot believe that the many posts from kicking have survived for so long on the Forum.

As Global Moderator on another forum specifically for Turkey, these would have been removed in minutes[i].

Allowing them to remain for so long suggests the forum is not 'on top of things', discourages genuine posts and can encourage more serious and unsavoury posts. This I know from experience.

Get your act together TravelPod. You're reflecting a seriously bad image to members and potential members.


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travelmonster
post Sep 30 2010, 04:29 PM
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This has been a growing concern for months.

The more spam allowed to stay, the more spammers will put on here.

These forums used to be a 'community' and slowly but surely they are just becoming a place for spammers to advertise their sites.

I've spent hours over the last few months deleting spam posts and signatures, but have now given up because there is just too much.

I totally agree with you Manzara, I am starting to give up wading through all the spam posts to find the genuine ones to reply to.



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aopaq
post Sep 30 2010, 06:03 PM
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Well, I am glad to see the question I posted to the LE's has brought this concern out in the open to TP Administrators. After being told that TP has "made a lot of improvements to our spam fighting tools in the last month, so you shouldn't have to do a thing" I stepped back and steadily noticed an increasing amount of SPAM eluding these tools.

I feel that the Forums have taken a back seat in terms of TP's priorities which is a shame given that they used to involve such a regular and active community. However, now it seems that the Boards are mostly a place visited by spammers and advertisers. I am involved in another online Travel community and never see any spam or advertising. Whether this is due to increased vigilance by that Admin or what, I am not sure. But clearly it is possible if the desire is there.

I realize that the Forums were never the initial focus of TP but to have seen them develop and now reach a state of almost disarray is indeed sad. Moderators have clearly spent huge amounts of time trying to help with this issue. However, if we are not given more support or Admin does not try to work with us to help the situation, many of us will slowly do what is happening with the forums and just fade away.

TP has made many changes and improvements over the years and we appreciate the fact Admin has been open to new ideas and listens to its members. Well, it is time to listen again and take action! Let the Boards Live On!!!
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jacquesl
post Sep 30 2010, 07:46 PM
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Hi,

You can imagine that those tools will have to be tweaked so if anything gets through too often let me know at support@travelpod.com.

When I look at kickking's account I see that he really only posted yesterday and you guys have to give me a chance to go through my report. I get the report for all the spammers and it covers everyone from yesterday. I might tackle the report at 8AM, 1PM, 5PM, 9PM the next day ...... so please give me at least a day to clear it up.

We appreciate the work you local experts are doing on Travelpod's behalf.

Jacques


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ericlussier
post Oct 1 2010, 02:23 PM
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Hi everyone,

As Jacques mentioned we scoop up every forum post that contains a link and include it for review in a daily report, so there definitely shouldn't be.

Are you seeing a lot of spam sitting around for long periods of time (more than 24h)? Sometimes on weekends, it might take a little longer, but we're very diligent about staying on top of spam. Perhaps they're not including links? Maybe there's another pattern that we could detect automatically?

We just brainstormed on how we could reduce the time it takes to catch forum spammers and came up with an idea. What if we completely prevent people from creating forum posts that contain links if their account is less than 48h old?

I hate spam as much as you guys and despite being a tiny team (only 7 of us), TP is committed to keeping the forums spam free. hug.gif

Eric
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travelmonster
post Oct 4 2010, 10:20 AM
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Some of the spammers are putting links in their signature, so maybe that doesn't get picked up by your report?

Basically it hangs around for weeks and lots of it just sits there forever. It's not exclusive to these users alone, but if you take a look at vietanh199x and england90, just as a couple of examples - they add a few word response to a thread, which adds nothing and contributes nothing, but their spam is in their signatures.

I've come into the forums numerous times during the week and just found pages of spam. There are some threads hanging around where the last four or five answers on them are all just spammers adding their links and then I can't be bothered to trawl through it to find the real posts, so I suspect anyone new who came to look would just be put off instantly.

It's a real shame.





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"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment sparkling like a star in our hand -- and melting like a snowflake" - Marie Beynon Ray
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jacquesl
post Oct 4 2010, 10:34 AM
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Hi,

I don`t know if the signature is one thing that is missed but I will have that checked out and if it`s not then I will ask that it be added. I agree that there are many do put their links in their signature but sometimes the value of the post makes it better to keep. But those that have no value we want to catch and get rid of.

I`ll keep you posted.

ps...don`t hesitate to send me stuff directly at support@travelpod.com. I will make sure whoever is supposed to deal with it get it or deal with it myself!


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aopaq
post Oct 6 2010, 04:05 AM
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QUOTE(ericlussier @ Oct 1 2010, 03:23 PM) *

Are you seeing a lot of spam sitting around for long periods of time (more than 24h)? Sometimes on weekends, it might take a little longer, but we're very diligent about staying on top of spam. Perhaps they're not including links? Maybe there's another pattern that we could detect automatically?

We just brainstormed on how we could reduce the time it takes to catch forum spammers and came up with an idea. What if we completely prevent people from creating forum posts that contain links if their account is less than 48h old?

I hate spam as much as you guys and despite being a tiny team (only 7 of us), TP is committed to keeping the forums spam free. hug.gif

Eric


Here is a case in point: I returned to the boards after 5 days away and see that leeglavin has posted 20 entries advertising about casting oppoirtunities for Discovery Channel. These were posted on October 4th and it is now October 6 (5:00 pm, China time) which is well over 24 hours.

The Spam in signatures is also an issue but it is the obvious ease with which spammers can post that is now the biggest problem. They see numerous examples and realize that it is easy to go undetected for even 8 hours, which is far too long. I know there are many, many examples of spam messages that have long since gone undetected, which helps send a negative image to future forum members and a positive image for future spammers.

I realize TP has a tiny team but since there is now nobody obviously looking after the Boards fulltime since Louise, things have gotten progressively worse. It is obvious that the current anti-spamming methods are not enough and you guys need to figure out something else. Have you considered asking Moderators to help more and giving them the ability to delete spam without having to spend countless hours doing so? Is that a possibility?

I agree with Paula that the way things are currently is "a real shame."
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ericlussier
post Oct 6 2010, 09:08 AM
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QUOTE(aopaq @ Oct 6 2010, 05:05 AM) *

Here is a case in point: I returned to the boards after 5 days away and see that leeglavin has posted 20 entries advertising about casting oppoirtunities for Discovery Channel. These were posted on October 4th and it is now October 6 (5:00 pm, China time) which is well over 24 hours.


Hi aopaq,

Aha, I see the problem clearly now. All of our spam efforts have been focused on spammers who post links. leeglavin doesn't have a single link, so it's no wonder he's evaded our system.

If the other cases you've all been seeing are similar (same text in all entries and no links) I can now understand your frustration.

I have an idea on how to block this type of spammer. I'll get back to you.

Eric
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ericlussier
post Oct 8 2010, 01:49 PM
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Just to let you guys know that we're going to implement something on Tuesday to try and squash the type of posts that you've mentioned.

We've also double-checked if we were tracking signature links and we are indeed. We'll be on the watch out specifically for those people who post one or two word responses that don't add value and are clearly only there to promote signature links.

Have a nice weekend!
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aopaq
post Oct 10 2010, 08:16 PM
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Looking forward to the new update Eric!

Just also wondering why "kikkin" still has a SPAM post in the Jamaica thread? Was this person's account not cancelled? I think you guys need to be more ruthless with spammers! ranting2.gif
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travelmonster
post Oct 12 2010, 07:46 AM
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I totally agree Brian, there has been much put on here regarding dealing with the spam, but I haven't really seen any action taken over the last few weeks to stop it since this was raised, which is disappointing. Also if the signature links are being checked, it really needs looking at as it is clearly not working at the moment.


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manzara
post Oct 12 2010, 07:55 AM
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QUOTE(travelmonster @ Oct 12 2010, 07:46 AM) *

I totally agree Brian, there has been much put on here regarding dealing with the spam, but I haven't really seen any action taken over the last few weeks to stop it since this was raised, which is disappointing. Also if the signature links are being checked, it really needs looking at as it is clearly not working at the moment.



I agree. I am Moderstor on another Forum and some time ago we experienced this kind of Spamming. We had to deal with it quickly - but it wasn't quick enough.

Others were waiting in the sidelines and very soon we were inundated with pornographic posts.

Be warned, drastic action needs to be taken. The Spammers, especially the serious ones will always try to stay ahead and exploit any loophole in the system.


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ericlussier
post Oct 12 2010, 11:01 AM
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QUOTE(aopaq @ Oct 10 2010, 09:16 PM) *

Looking forward to the new update Eric!

Just also wondering why "kikkin" still has a SPAM post in the Jamaica thread? Was this person's account not cancelled? I think you guys need to be more ruthless with spammers! ranting2.gif


Hi aopaq, are you talking about the thread "cheap - Negril travel question"?

That thread was marked as spam on Sep 30 and is not visible if you're logged out.

If we find spam, we do not delete content from TravelPod right away. This is done in case someone has made a mistake.

Eric
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manzara
post Oct 12 2010, 12:03 PM
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QUOTE(ericlussier @ Oct 12 2010, 12:01 PM) *

Hi aopaq, are you talking about the thread "cheap - Negril travel question"?

That thread was marked as spam on Sep 30 and is not visible if you're logged out.

If we find spam, we do not delete content from TravelPod right away. This is done in case someone has made a mistake.

Eric


I really cannot believe you can be so relaxed concerning spammers. Delay in removing spam is a huge mistake for TravelPod, not the spammers.

Remove them immediately - or you'll be extremely sorry! You haven't yet experienced the full extent of their resoursefulness. You obviously have no idea of the extent of the problem and as an LE that is really worrying.


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ericlussier
post Oct 12 2010, 12:44 PM
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Hi manzara,

Perhaps I didn't say that clearly...

That post is marked as spam.
From a regular TP member's point of view, it's "deleted"!

However, forum moderators can still see them. Content marked as spam will appear with a purple background.

That post in particular was posted on Sep 29 and was marked as spam on Sep 30.

I can assure you that we do not take spam lightly. Clearly there was a hole in our system for forum posts that don't contain links. We just promoted another change that will catch examples like the one aopaq mentioned above (people who posts the same link-free message to several threads).

Please send me more examples of spammy forum posts that have not been caught.
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travelmonster
post Oct 12 2010, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for the response Eric, I for one didn't realise that the posts marked in purple couldn't be seen by general TP users, I do still think however that ones from 30th Sept should have been long deleted altogether, but it is better knowing that not everyone can see them.

As for examples of spam that are still there, I will email you as suggested.





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ericlussier
post Oct 12 2010, 01:36 PM
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QUOTE(travelmonster @ Oct 12 2010, 02:28 PM) *

Thanks for the response Eric, I for one didn't realise that the posts marked in purple couldn't be seen by general TP users, I do still think however that ones from 30th Sept should have been long deleted altogether, but it is better knowing that not everyone can see them.

As for examples of spam that are still there, I will email you as suggested.


Wooops. It looks like i just deleted my own posts accidentally. blow.gif

Did anyone else know about the purple background? blink.gif

The reason we have to flag a forum post or a blog entry as spam before completely deleting it, is so that if we make a mistake we have a way to recover the content. This process comes from years of spam fighting experience.

But you're right... perhaps after 30 days we should just delete the account completely.
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aopaq
post Oct 14 2010, 03:20 AM
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QUOTE(ericlussier @ Oct 12 2010, 02:36 PM) *


Did anyone else know about the purple background? blink.gif

The reason we have to flag a forum post or a blog entry as spam before completely deleting it, is so that if we make a mistake we have a way to recover the content. This process comes from years of spam fighting experience.

But you're right... perhaps after 30 days we should just delete the account completely.


Hi Eric,

I did not know about the purple but I do now. smile.gif I am glad to know that other members will also not be able to see such posts.

I understand the issue about flagging prior to deleting an entry but is 30 days really necessary... would not 10-15 be sufficient? And why would you not immediately delete the account of an obvious spammer? True, they could create a new account but at least that requires a bit more effort on their part.

At any rate, I think I am seeing more of a change now since the signature spammers are being targetted as well. I agree with Manzana that a tough stance needs to be taken. I honestly believe that the loss of any possible members who get actually caught up in the anti-spam campaign would be less than those potential members we would lose due to their being too much spam on the Boards.
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ericlussier
post Oct 14 2010, 09:30 AM
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Great!!! I'm glad to hear that you're noticing a difference!

Please continue to send me spam posts that you come across that are more than 24h old and don't have a purple background.

Thanks for your help everyone! hug.gif
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