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  HWA = Spam Galore?! 
 Date Written 
Dr. Peaceful May 29, 2012, 12:58pm EDT Report Abuse
Didn't come here for a week or two, amazed to see all the spams in this forum. Some one week old spams advertizing for NY Escort Service weren't even clear up. I highly doubt those services are related to computer hardware or security protection. ;) Also noticed some spammers were just copying text from previous posts in a thread, and then simply incorporate a link to some other advert.

Sad to see the forum deteriorated to this...

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Vitaliy (Administrator) May 29, 2012, 11:01pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: HWA = Spam Galore?!
If you see spam - please use "Report Abuse" on that message and we will clean it up promptly.

Rhort May 30, 2012, 03:28am EDT Report Abuse
>> .
That's weird; I come here virtually every day, and I've not noticed any :/

~ The manual said "Requires Windows '95 or better" I installed Linux!
john albrich May 30, 2012, 03:50am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: HWA = Spam Galore?!
When reported, the admins have generally been very quick to take care of SPAM posts...sometimes within a few minutes. I think that's pretty amazing.

Recently, the a.s.i.a.n.e.s.c.o.r.t posts do seem to be the worst, coming back over and over. sometimes resurrecting long quiescent threads.

If only there was some easy way to bar most of them before they are posted...maybe a quarantine zone of some kind. Although for something as blatant as a post containing URLs with a.s.i.a.n.e.s.c.o.r.t (maybe even any URL containing the word e.s.c.o.r.t) I'd accept a blanket ban. The number of tech related URLs with e.s.c.o.r.t in them I would think wouldn't be a huge loss.

Bottom line is the really persistent SPAMMERS will always find a way around a pre-scan script, but maybe a few changes would deter a number of them.

HWA might consider some other tools that might at least slow the SPAMMING down, but it's recognized such preventive measures take time to develop, test, and implement. Not sure what the trade-off might be to the Vitaliy, but it does seem like the SPAMMING is increasing in frequency and volume. Some up-front work now might save admin time later, esp if the SPAMMING continues to get worse.

1) The "are you human?" text-imbedded-in-image test before a post is accepted. Those are a pain for me with my vision problems. But, some webheads claim these tests may not be worth it as they might p**s people off enough to keep them from contributing to a given website. I doubt that would be an issue for HWA'ers.

2) Lock out posting to older threads. This is one I do NOT favor, as I've seen people find value in old threads and adding more value by adding new help/tips/etc to an old thread. The work-around is just too easy. SPAMMERS will quickly see that they just need to find a current thread and post to that. So, I don't see locking out posts to old threads as providing a meaingful solution. Implementing Item 1) would also help reduce irrelevant/SPAM posts to older threads, so I wouldn't favor implementing Item 2).

3) Quarantine, or globally prevent publishing any post that contains specific character strings in URLs (as above). Alternatively, let the post go through but redact every URL that contains the prohibited strings. That way, a legitimate user would see the redacted info in his/her post and could contact the admins and ask for the post to go through unredacted.

4) If the SPAM-bastiches switch to URL compactors like or tinyurl, it makes the pre-scan for SPAM URLs script a bit more complex. It would involve querying the compactor site for the uncompacted URL (if the compactor site provides that ability (e.g. 'preview.tinyurl', '', and so on) and then making the decision...but that can raise new issues.

To solve that, I think compacted URLs can even be disallowed entirely. Any URL that points to a known compactor website should just be auto-redacted. Since HWA already visually "compacts" long URLs on the screen, long URLs are no longer a page format problem. However, keep in mind there are a very few URLs that only work properly when compacted because HWA's post formatting messes with the URL and ends up corrupting the link (e.g. a URL might contain legitimate characters that are coded by HWA as a smiley-face, a bold format command, etc) that gets displayed on the HWA page. Although, the solution to that I would think, is that HWA could modify the post parsing scripts to exclude parsing URLs in that manner. That would eliminate any need for a URL compactor. (plus, I personally prefer exposed URLs for security purposes. But again, all this requires more up-front coding on the part of HWA.

edit to add:
5) Require a waiting period between the time a userid is created and when that user's first post may be submitted. This is a method I've seen on other websites, but it is also one that has to be pros/cons balanced. New users with a critical problem wouldn't be able to post to HWA and get a timely response. And of course, the SPAMMER work-around is to simply delay submitting until the "waiting period" has passed...probably a mild irritation for them at best.

Meats_Of_Evil May 30, 2012, 02:05pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: HWA = Spam Galore?!
Yeah lol spammers are lively lately. Didn't know the report abuse thing still worked, I thought no one was running this site anymore haha.

Everything I write is Sarcasm.
Dr. Peaceful May 30, 2012, 02:16pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: HWA = Spam Galore?!
Vitaliy (Administrator) said:
If you see spam - please use "Report Abuse" on that message and we will clean it up promptly.

When you say We, do you mean You? LOL XD



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