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Is anyone working on reducing the spam that is submitted on Sphinn, looking at some of the user names, it seems that spam-bots are able to register and submit.

I get all Sphinn content fed to me via RSS and it takes me ages to filter out all the spam, heh.

Thanks
Comments41 Comments  

Comments

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from MattSawyer 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

100% agree. I’ve almost given up checking the upcoming section, at 9am GMT yesterday it was almost 100% spam submissions. :(

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from LawnchairLarry 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Zigojacko: Didn’t you know about the AutoPligg software from Syndk8 Toolshed for bulk submission to Pligg-based websites? Sphinn and all the other Pligg-based websites will get buried in spam if that becomes popular! Let’s hope they do not lower the price. Meanwhile, there’s not much you can do about it other than generously pressing the "Report as Spam" button.

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from zigojacko 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Having said that, I have just checked the registration page and the required equation given is changed with each page load so I can’t see how spam bot registration is possible. But either way, it needs to be sorted.@LawnchairLarry: Is that what Sphinn uses? Pligg CMS? I wasn’t aware and had never heard of Pligg either. I will look into it then, thanks.I do report some as spam, which is a quick process, but each submission will still get fed to me via RSS, whether it’s spam or not and even once the submission is removed on Sphinn, it still sits in my Feed Reader, once the topic has been removed as spam on Sphinn, I still can’t even search through my Sphinn feed folder and search for the phrase "this topic no longer exists" to mass delete the spam because the topics don’t update in my Feed Reader.It’s just a pain in the ass but hardly life critical, heh. Either way, I will look into what you have mentioned, thanks.

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from baiduyou 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

The spam issue is raised again and again, but the answer always seems to be ’use the "report as spam" button - nothing else can be done’.Seems to me like the problem isn’t taken anywhere near seriously enough by Sphinn; progressively fewer people are bothering with ’What’s New’, to the point where it has slowed to a trickle - at the moment it only takes 6 Sphinns to get in the ’Top 10 Most Sphunn in What’s New’ - it used to be around 14 or 15.If some sort of action isn’t taken, spam is going to effectively kill the site.

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from zigojacko 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I haven’t been using Sphinn for very long so am unable to really compare it to how it used to be but there is always something that can be done to prevent spam.An awful lot of the spam topics are being created by the same company looking at the links/subjects, if looked into, it is probably likely that a fair few of them are being submitted from the same IP or at least an IP range. They can be blocked.Preventions can be enforced to prevent submission using keyword stuffing the topic title, again, something that appears to be occurring time and time again.I don’t know how many staff work/operate Sphinn but if practical, they could even manually authorise topic submissions. My guess though, that it’s highly impractical.Food for thought though, because I think your right baiduyou. If effective methods are not applied to prevent spam, then 9.9 times out of 10, spam will kill the website.

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from zigojacko 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Or take these two recent submissions for example:-http://sphinn.com/story/84289http://sphinn.com/story/84289No topic title and no opening topic paragraph, it wouldn’t take five minutes to amend the topic submission process to prevent that from happening. :)

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from Ramkarthik 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I guess moderators should be picked from all across the world. I assume moderators have the power to delete any submission. If moderators are selected from all parts (north, east, west and south) of the world, there will always be some moderator who is awake and can check in now and then.

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from zigojacko 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Not sure is Sphinn has active users in most timezones but it’s a good idea if it can be applied. Does Sphinn have any moderators at all as it is? I don’t even know, heh

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from Ramkarthik 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Sphinn has moderators. You can find them at the link in the bottom of the page which says "Sphinn Staff". But as most of them belong to approximately the same timezone, they cannot be online at all the time.

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from iBrian 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Given up as well on the report button.Also, "What’s new" is filled with off-topic as well as on-topic spam (me has new marketing blog wot duz soe), so no wonder Sphinn has become a haven for voting blocks, who can get their content up to the hot page quickly.I’ve repeatedly submitted news on the industry, but stopped bothering now, because it just gets buried in spam, and buried in spam means overlooked.

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from MarketingGuy 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Who’d have thought a community driven content management model targeted at a group of people making a living from manipulating rankings would be suseptible to abuse?I’m just surprised the spam is getting past all the "Twitter r0xx0rz" posts.

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from marketposition 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

So do they need west coast mods? hint hint.

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from Wiep 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I guess that most moderators are just too busy drinking & gambling in Vegas. The current level of spam is normally only reached during weekends...Which obviously doesn’t make it a good thing, but I’m sure that spam prevention is present on the Sphinn developers’ to-do list.

Avatar Moderator
from kerimorgret 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

If there’s a bunch of spam, I sometimes put in a comment to flag the spam, -- the comments also show up on the front page, so people see it even if they’re not checking upcoming. That can help sometimes. Or say something on Twitter and ask people to flag. If you’re lucky a mod will see it and grab the spam.

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from andymurd 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

To beat AutoPligg, sphinn just needs to hack around with its submit form. Rename the category dropdown to something like "spamcatcher" both in the from HTML and the handler. Add another selector called "category" and hide it using CSS. Reject any submissions with a category selected.AutoPligg users would have to hack their software just for sphinn which very few people will do. Normal users won’t know the difference.

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from zigojacko 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’ve never used Autopligg’s CMS as I mentioned above, but that process doesn’t seem particularly awkward to implement so it would nice if something such as this can be done.I am sure the reduction in spam would influence and encourage more members and new sign-ups as well. :)

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from onreact 2178 Days ago #
Votes: -1

The report spam button is working fine. As far as I know just 2 or 3 reports hide such a submission automatically.Sadly there are also false positives. A post of mine on SEOptmise has apparently been deleted:http://www.seoptimise.com/blog/2008/11/keyword-research-7-keyword-modifiers-to-optimise-new-websites-for.htmlWhen you submit it you get "This link is no longer valid."

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from JohnMcD 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Recaptcha at registration seems to stop AutoPligg attacks on the Pligg sites I’m running.  The difference is the Recaptcha string is not a computer rendered string, its been scanned right out of a book. 

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from AutomotiveSEO 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I love this site.  I use it to train my people.  It’s actually my "Day 1" training - read the Sphinn homepage!With that said, I RARELY venture away from the homepage for that reason.  I am a true "user" and not much of a "contributor" for that very reason, and it stinks, because I love the site.Still, I understand the difficulties that spamming presents.  How do you make it hard enough for spammers without making it too hard for users?I don’t envy your position.

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from monitis 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Also community can help the process.  Yes, if we flag the spam it should be moved to "spam", make the cleaning to some extend automatic.

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from tamar 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 2

I think I’m the first mod to respond here.  First and foremost, there’s a Contact Us link on the bottom of the site: http://sphinn.com/contact.php.  Mods respond to this pretty quickly.Second, a good chunk of us are currently at PubCon.  In fact, I’m sitting in the front row of a session right now but I figure I should respond since this post seems to have no moderator/staff representation. Third, we have a lot of moderators doing things around the clock with representation in all corners of the planet, as far as I can tell.  We do take spam reports seriously -- you should see the backend.   Sometimes, the spam gets RSS’d, but yes, like Tad says, when you click on those links, they often say "This link is no longer valid."We’re aggressively banning accounts and blocking offending IPs on a pretty regular basis.  If you are bothered by this, please report it -- in fact, the "report as spam" button works in such a way that if there is legitimate spam, if enough unique users click on "report as spam," the post WILL be removed off the upcoming queue for moderator approval.  That said, you should report spam that is obvious.  Encourage your friends to do the same.  Obviously, this is for blatant spam and not a post you don’t agree with (Desphinn works for that).  I’ll pass this onto the mods and let someone chime in if they have anything else to add, but keep in mind that a LOT of us are at PubCon -- even our European representation.

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from Ramkarthik 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Tamar, thanks for taking time to respond to this. How’s PubCon going?Anyway, is there any feature like if a site is marked as spam by users in more than a certain number occasions, it will be blocked from sphinn? This will stop spam to a huge extent.Also, when I tried to submit a post from mashable, sphinn said "The url is either invalid or blocked". I double checked the url and it was correct. Does that mean sphinn has blocked some of the blogs already?

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from iBrian 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Tamar, that sounds like part of the problem - this thread was created over 8 hours ago, and yet it’s taken that long for someone to make comment.I don’t think this thread is intended as a "bash Sphinn thread" as much as a "more editorial controls" required.I’ve certainly seen various repeat offenders spamming the new submissions page, they have spam removed, then resubmit other content the following day. So when mods keep asking members to keep using the report button, they need to answer the "why" question, not "what".While we can appreciate there are issues with Pligg, it’s been recommended before to get more people on board to help, because the current editorial controls don’t seem to be working well. 3c.

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@baiduyou: "The spam issue is raised again and again, but the answer always seems to be ’use the "report as spam" button - nothing else can be done’."Moderators are constantly killing spam. I personally wipe it out throughout the day, and I’m not alone. It is taken seriously, and it is policed. You will tend to find it more noticable at the times you’d expect -- slow weekends, when there aren’t a lot of people around.It would indeed be a huge help if the members here on Sphinn would help the moderators who are already working to eliminate spam. The Report As Spam buttons do work, but it takes two reports to knock something out. With this many comments about spam, I have to think that more than two members are often spotting spam. So please do help us.The entire Sphinn platform is being rebuilt to improve the site overall in addition to reducing spam, so I think we really are taking the spam issue not to mention the overall experience issue seriously. It’s a pretty big expense we’re putting into rebuilding from scratch.In the meantime, we’ve heavily modified the current setup so that bots seems to be less the problem -- we’re not standard Pligg-based. But there’s just a huge number of actual humans who fight their way through the captchas, the email verifications and so on.

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from tamar 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"Tamar, that sounds like part of the problem - this thread was created over 8 hours ago, and yet it’s taken that long for someone to make comment."Like Danny says, it’s slow now.  We’re at PubCon.  I’m in the front row of another session right now and am answering this.  I also passed this onto the mods (hence Danny’s response). I never interpreted this as a "bash Sphinn thread."  However, there are safeguards in place -- we have a "Report as Spam" button, but somehow few people actually use it.  You need three (not two, I think) clicks of "Report as Spam" for the post to be removed from Sphinn.  Somehow, there were 24 Sphinns when this hit the frontpage but the spam stories are never actually reported as such.  Why not, guys?  That button is there for a reason and it allows the community to be involved in policing Sphinn better to help the mods.Brian, you also mention that the people come back.  Like I said, IPs are banned.  Users are banned. Even URLs are banned.  If you see the same thing again, there’s a contact us form.  Trust me, if the infractions are obvious, the mods/admins don’t hesitate. 

Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I actually saw this thread before Tamar sent the message out to the mods. I’m on Sphinn several times per day, and usually it’s one of the first things I get to. I got to it later than usual this morning, is all. Add to that the fact that yes, lots of people are away.I’m not saying spam’s not a problem, but there are also times during the day where it’s being nabbed almost immediately. No one comments about that, because no one can see it, right? You notice if there’s a lot of spam that’s made it up for several hours, which does indeed happen. But most of the time, I think it’s fair to say, the site is not overrun by spam. But that’s not because the spammers decide oh, it’s a regular workday, I won’t spam right now. It’s because lots of people are constantly killing stuff off.Like Tamar said, there’s plenty of banning and killing going on. Lots that most users never see. Sorry that we do have times where spam is more visible. It will get better. But I guarantee that no matter what we put in place, there will always be some spam that gets through.

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from tamar 2178 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"But I guarantee that no matter what we put in place, there will always be some spam that gets through."And if you think along those lines, I don’t think there’s *any* web property that is immune to that.  That’s not to excuse Sphinn, but yeah, there’s a lot of nabbing going on that’s instantaneous.  I have to say that I know that the Sphinn mods do a pretty good job.

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from zigojacko 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks for the responses guys, I am a frequent user of the ’Report as Spam’ method although rarely see the topics removed anytime soon although I think a big part of why this is, is because I am in the UK.When I get to work in the morning, it is 1am in the US, heh. For the large majority of my working day, Sphinn is quite quiet and the spam steadily builds up throughout the day flooding my RSS feed from Sphinn full of rubbish which brings me to my original point...It kinda defeats the object of RSS feeds on Sphinn, if they are full of spam and takes me hours to filter through all the topics seperating the legit from the spam. I appreciate the task on your hands at Sphinn and the lengths required to prevent spam, but I feel that something more would need to be done so that it isn’t all sent via the RSS feeds, I would like to use the RSS feeds to see what the latest topics on Sphinn are at a glance so then I can determine whether to contribute or whatever.Either way, I will continue to ’Report as Spam’ and hopefully other members will as well so that we can automatically get the spam topics removed quickly. And by the way, I am unable to ’Desphinn’ - Nothing happens when I click the ’go’, tried in both Firefox and IE.If no other spam prevention methods are raised though to prevent them from being delivered via RSS then it will eventually cause me to unsubscribe from the feeds that is all and I guess would be the same reason for most others. Thanks :)

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from yetanotherben 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I keep a rss feed following what’s hot as what’s new is often quite spammy...@danny would we be able to vte it out, for instance: 3 votes and the article is automatically removed from the ’what’s new’ list? As opposed to waiting for moderators.  I’m sure you guys stop a lot of stuff going through but it does get a bit much sometimes...it would encourage people to be a bit more vigilant with what people tolerate too...

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from zigojacko 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@yetanotherben: I think that’s what does happen after 3 votes, it gets automatically pulled from the database but I guess there just wasn’t enough people reporting the articles as spam.

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from zigojacko 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It has made a difference today though I notice, I don’t know if it is due to this topic but the spam topics have been getting removed throughout the day, maybe this is due to more members reporting them as spam...?Oh and by the way, reference to my earlier comment, I am able to Desphinn now, not sure why I wasn’t able to yesterday. :)

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from seobro 2177 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Spammers add zero value to the community, create a rating system and people with very low ratings have to have posts checked by admins before they are entered into the system.

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from Gab 2176 Days ago #
Votes: 0

So there’s Rob, Mikkel and Nick Wilsdon who are staff overseas ... perhaps some staff in Asian timezones might be helpful? Perhaps Sphinn.jp folks who speak English?

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from Misscj 2176 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I don’t think it’s fair that the moderators should have to deal with this issue at all.  It’s not a human problem, it’s a machine problem.  They should be happily at PubCon while the system takes care of spam in a reliable and intelligent way.  There are ways of doing this, and I’m sure the Sphinn people are working on it.I think another issue entirely is duplicate content.  Why can’t submissions about the same topic not just be tagged to the original submission.  They’re taking up space!

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from Halfdeck 2175 Days ago #
Votes: 1

The solution is ridiculously simple. Just publish submitter’s nick as part of the RSS feed. Then people can apply filters to the RSS feeds based on submitter nicks. Sphinn is already doing that with comments and that’s how I’m able to just read comments on Sphinn posted by a select group of people. You can do the same with submissions.

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from zigojacko 2172 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Misscj: I agree with the duplicate content issue also. I notice quite a few of the same topic sphunn by various people, if obviously the original source article title is retained then it would be quite simple to prevent a duplicate topic with the same name being sphunn. If the topic titles are different, then the system will not be able to autodetect duplication unless it check the outbound link but even if there was a facility to tag articles to others, that would be a good feature request I think.@Halfdeck: You might be onto something there, in terms of resolving the RSS feed issue which was my original issue. Maybe have a profile option which you have to apply before any of your articles are fed via RSS.

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from yetanotherben 2172 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@zigojacko - thanks for the heads-up on that - I didn’t realise it’s value...I guessed it was to simply add the item onto a list to be moderated or something similar.

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from zigojacko 2169 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@yetanotherben: no problem mate.

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from Sebastian 2018 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Spammy comments in a thread on spam ...

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from pageoneresults 2018 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sebastian, they are juicing their profile links by posting in these long standing topics. There is a process. Look at the OPs Profile, notice the link to their Blog? When they post Comments to Evergreen Stories, their profiles links get indexed much quicker. ;) HOOVERs!

Avatar Moderator
from Sebastian 2017 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Until a moderator thankfully nukes their crap, Ed. Good to see that the beast is maintained. So, now both of our profiles get indexed faster, hehe. Oh wait, they’re indexed since Sphinn’s stone age ...

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