Dealing with Spam and Spammers
Given the current volume of spam I think it’s high time I write this announcement. If you’ve been at this forum for a while you will have discovered by now that we are a hot target for spammers. As a high volume forum overall I think we do well to keep on top of spam and ensure a good experience for our members. Here’s how we work, and how you can help us combat spam:
WHAT WE DO
- First and foremost our mission is to remove any occurrences of spam posts. When we encounter spam posts we either quarantine the post or remove it entirely.
- Next we ban known spam accounts. Sometimes we can pick them off before they post, other times they are identified because of their posts. Once banned, the user will not be able to register another spam account using the same username or registration email address.
- In other instances we ban IP addresses. This is done where we discover trends and routine spammer IP blocking is done with very careful consideration, as often spammers use IP addresses that have been used, or may be used, by legitimate users.
- Finally, we rely on board software. We use a CAPTCHA to ensure that only ‘humans’ can register accounts. Where spammers manage to circumvent this we look at other software solutions and creative use of inbuilt functionality to block or deter spammers. For instance – we have even used the profanity blocker to prevent certain key spam words!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You can be immensely helpful! By reporting spam posts that you encounter you assist the Mods such that we do not have to sift through countless forum threads to find spam. You can report spam posts by clicking on the little report icon beside the post, and then drop us a quick note, e.g. ‘This is spam!’. Please do NOT reply to the Spam posts themselves, that just makes it harder for Moderators to clean up the Spam.
Note too that if a spammer has made 5 posts, you only need to report one of them. We can automatically pick up their other posts and our tidying up is a bit simpler if we only have one report.
WHAT NOT TO DO
We don’t wish to censor you, but we do prefer that you do not post suggestions or vent your frustrations in the ‘About This Board’ forum. Here’s why:
Any suggestion you have is likely considered. We have a private forum for the MVP’s where suggestions are occasionally posted. We’ve also been in in the ‘game’ for some time now.
The likelihood is that you will post during a busy spell. The Mods and Admins are probably working very hard at combating the spam and have their hands full. The last thing we need is to distract them.
We feel your frustration too. Any frustrations vented are likely to be ill-received. The Mods and Admins freely volunteer their time and like you feel frustrated. They too are frequent posters!
We don’t want to broadcast to the world the software solutions we put in place to combat spam. That may only serve as ‘intel’ to determined spammers who may then find ways to circumvent our measures.
I hope the above makes sense. I will wrap up by extending our thanks, on behalf of our Admins and Mods, who truly appreciate all of your assistance. Your passion to ensure a smooth running effective forum is inspiring – we will do our best to ensure that your experience here is positive!
Sent by Jon (MrExcel Moderator) on Sep 16th, 2015