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Fighting Spam..Thoughts?

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|)/-\|)

Guest
My programming specialty is artificial intelligence, so we already have some feasibility.
If it could be done (and I'm sure there is an IQ, sadly not mine, out there who could do it) then what would be the moral/ethical implications of doing it? It would be a power not unlike the results of the Manhatan Project to hold or release.

"Talk among yourselves, I'm feeling a little verklempt!"
 


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DevynCJohnson

Guest
If it could be done (and I'm sure there is an IQ, sadly not mine, out there who could do it) then what would be the moral/ethical implications of doing it? It would be a power not unlike the results of the Manhatan Project to hold or release.

"Talk among yourselves, I'm feeling a little verklempt!"
Ideas from everyone and anyone are welcome and enjoyed. Feel at home on this awesome form. :cool: This is the best forum ever.

What do you mean about "ethical implications"?
 
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|)/-\|)

Guest
Ideas from everyone and anyone are welcome and enjoyed. Feel at home on this awesome form. :cool: This is the best forum ever.

What do you mean about "ethical implications"?
In my mind the ethical question (on an anti-spam search and destroy bot) would be "Does anyone have the right to shut anyone else down because we don't like (insert any reason here) their method of contacting large groups of people?". What are our rights and duties as i-net users?

I don't like the small amount of unsolicited (I actually like SPAM(tm) with my eggs when I'm roughing it!) e-mail and I won't open it (the implication for this board is orders of magnitude greater than 1 mailbox), but does that give me the right to backtrace the spamer and kill the origin with pings (at a minimum)?

Internet ethics aren't discussed much (because of business? anarchists? average users? personal freedom?) anymore, but my personal opinion is that no one should have to defend themselves from intrusion or worse, invasion, on the internet just because you have a fleeting presence there.

Should we be Chivalrous or Barbaric? And technically,, wouldn't a defensive search and destroy bot be little more than a worm (virus), possibly with unintended consequences?

But I say "Kill 'em, kill 'em all" ;)
 
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Cyber-Berserker

Guest
"Does anyone have the right to shut anyone else down because we don't like (insert any reason here) their method of contacting large groups of people?"
When registering on the board, it is clearly stated that spamming (unwanted solicitation) is not allowed. In the real world, if the owners of an office or residential building declare that uninvited solicitation is not allowed, solicitors that enter the premises anyway and bother the occupants by trying to sell something can be arrested. Why should a board like this one be any different? It is a private club where members interact. The interaction is public, but in order to participate, one must join the club and agree to the rules of membership. One of the rules is no solicitation (spamming). Spammers have it easy, because unlike the real world, they cannot be arrested, fined and/or incarcerated.
 
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|)/-\|)

Guest
The interaction is public, but in order to participate, one must join the club and agree to the rules of membership. One of the rules is no solicitation (spamming). Spammers have it easy, because unlike the real world, they cannot be arrested, fined and/or incarcerated.
I completely agree with you.

The ultimate question is what to do about attacks (and I look at spam as an attack). Do you put up another barrier to entry (which is what sys admin will have to do) or do you go after (my preference) the perpetrators with the intent of shutting them down?

Then again, spammers and their ilk do provide people fighting them with jobs (or at least work)...
 
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Cyber-Berserker

Guest
Yes, the best course of action is to go after them and eliminate them. The problem though is not ethical, but legal. In a state-level society the government, whether it be a parliament, monarch, aristocratic assembly, whatever, has the exclusive right to the use of force. It is a right they jealously guard. If we hunt down and exterminate the spammers, the authorities would regard us as vigilantes and consider us a bigger danger than the spammers, because we "take the law into our own hands." As opposed to the hands of governments. To make the matter a really big mess, spamming operations are international in scope, and therefore, going after them would run us afoul of several governments and their law enforcing arms. The result would be one or more governments somewhere shutting down the board, while the spammers joyfully continue annoying the hell out of everyone. Welcome to the brave new world made safe for McGag'nPuke, Coca Cola and Microsoft, while subversives patronising local businesses and using open source operating systems are targets of the authorities.

Slightly exaggerated, but it would not be a rant otherwise.:)
 
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|)/-\|)

Guest
Yes, the best course of action is to go after them and eliminate them. The problem though is not ethical, but legal. ............
...but it would not be a rant otherwise.:)
I apologize to everyone for taking this discussion away from it's original intent, it started as an info/tech post. Maybe we should start a rant / flame group.:rolleyes:
 
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ainteinstein

Guest
That's okay, |)/-\|), do hope I spelled your name correctly. As when we talk in person, a conversation can take many a turn but it does get back on track. What this "detour" showed is that spammers are not welcomed here, and I agree. The one thing that really irks me with spammers is that they post solutions to a problem that are incorrect and I have seen desperate newbies follow the advice. Grrrr...

You have my vote to Ban the Spammer!
 
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JasKinasis

Guest
Whatever you are doing, it appears it isn't working right now! The site is currently being spammed big-time by somebody who has registered a bunch of times and made the same post over and over again!

I did report a couple of the posts. But when I saw the sheer volume of them I thought "What's the point?! The site admins will certainly notice this!" Heh heh!

Time to break out the ban-hammer. Can it and ban it gentlemen!
 
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rstanley

Guest
First of all, please turn off creation of new users until this can be dealt with.

Second, I do recommend forcing CAPTCHA's, as much as they are a PITA!

Third, as I have recommended before, I would implement a policy of notifying new users that their first 10 postings will be moderated. If any are spam, or trivial messages to get past the 10 moderated postings, the user and all postings will be deleted.

IP banishments are completely USELESS!!! They only punish the good users, NOT the spammers! Too many people are using ISP's that use DHCP for the end users modem/routers. I have been blocked TOO MANY TIMES!!!

In any case, this has to be dealt with NOW, or else, just shut down Linux.org, permanently! The site is useless as is.
 
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ryanvade

Guest
First of all, please turn off creation of new users until this can be dealt with.

Second, I do recommend forcing CAPTCHA's, as much as they are a PITA!

Third, as I have recommended before, I would implement a policy of notifying new users that their first 10 postings will be moderated. If any are spam, or trivial messages to get past the 10 moderated postings, the user and all postings will be deleted.

IP banishments are completely USELESS!!! They only punish the good users, NOT the spammers! Too many people are using ISP's that use DHCP for the end users modem/routers. I have been blocked TOO MANY TIMES!!!

In any case, this has to be dealt with NOW, or else, just shut down Linux.org, permanently! The site is useless as is.
I partly agree. Very often Spammers actually use static IP addresses. At least that is what I have found lately. But WE NEED A CAPTCHA REGISTER SYSTEM. I just spent 2 hours deleting posts and banning user accounts clearly created by a bot.

@Rob care to add your thoughts?
 
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rstanley

Guest
I partly agree. Very often Spammers actually use static IP addresses. At least that is what I have found lately. But WE NEED A CAPTCHA REGISTER SYSTEM. I just spent 2 hours deleting posts and banning user accounts clearly created by a bot.

@Rob care to add your thoughts?
Sorry you had to do all that work. I know how much of a pain it is! Wish I could take you out for a pint! ;^)

Let me know if I can help deal with all this "mess".
 
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ryanvade

Guest
Sorry you had to do all that work. I know how much of a pain it is! Wish I could take you out for a pint! ;^)

Let me know if I can help deal with all this "mess".
Well it comes with the job. ;) Not so bad. Just wish that more tools could be installed to help deal with this sort of thing. *cough* @Rob *cough*
 
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JasKinasis

Guest
And at least 363 of those (and counting) belong to this abam character who is spamming the site.
BTW: Whatever you have done, it seems to have stopped the script/bot in use by the spammer from being able to post in the forums, but it is still creating new accounts by the looks of it. 25mins ago the user abam0363 was created!
 
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unixfish

Guest
I tend to average reporting 5 posts a week. I check this site 5 times a week. If we ban the spammers, I won't have anything to do - kidding, kidding...

The spamming has gotten bad. I am on other forums that don't use CAPTCHA, and they don't have spam posts. Why this one?

However, I agree with most here - CAPTCHA is a PITA, but it is only a one time pain. It's like a car alarm - someone determined will get through, but it keeps the casual yahoo types out. This looks like bots / casual spammers who only need to post once in a forum to boost their search rating.

How about a mandatory waiting period? Sign up, and you cannot post for 96 hours unless you direct ask for permission from an admin? The wait may keep bots / spammers out, but asking directly will enable people with real questions the ability to ask them.

I agree with IP blocking. With all the software to spoof an address and freely available proxies across the world, someone determined will still get in. I do think "someone determined" would be a cracker and not a spammer, but still.

$0.02.
 


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