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Threshold: Help

  Re: Request for testing: (mod 2/2)
by Anonymous Coward ( on Wed Jul 5 14:10:57 2017 (GMT)
  I used to admin a forum with a few dozen members a few years ago, so I can comment on spammer behavior somewhat.

"Articles are closed for comment after a suitable interval."
This will definitely help. Would be better to keep comments open until some time after a new article is posted, given Undeadly's history of infrequent postings.

"Article and comment contributions are accepted only from logged-in users. (If there is a legitimate need for anonymous contribution, please contact the Editors.)"
Disallowing anonymous comments will stiffle discussion significantly, given most commenters are anonymous. Anonymity helps to give people a voice where they may be afraid of persecution/isolation/segregation or accumulating disapproval just because of their opinions.
Disabling anonymous comments may not reduce the spam. I have seen many situations where spammers will register for an account and then go mad with the spam, even using many different accounts (helps bypass the CAPTCHA requirement). Unless you have good control over account registration, the restriction will just add to your administrative headache, as you have to delete the spam accounts.
Disallowing anonymous users to make articles is a different situation though, as it generally tends not to be the focus of a journal site like this.

"The (widely abused) "moderation" system has been removed. In its place there is now a mechanism for reporting to the Editors comments which are spammy or otherwise inappropriate."
Good change. You could replace it with a like/dislike system, but this may introduce a herd mentality in the comments section where people post just to seek approval from other users.

"User contributions are parsed more strictly than previously to prevent JavaScript and style injection."
A basic BBCode parser, or even just allowing some font-related HTML tags, and disallowing URL tags and other HTML, will help. Disallowing <a> links or disabling automatic URL-to-link conversion (if present) will help immensely. Genuine links will rarely be obscured in the form of <a> tags. Almost every spammer is out there to post a link to the website that they are paid to advertise, and I have found that removing the ability for them to post links such as "<a href="">cheap puffer fish disguises<a>" is very likely to reduce your spam problem.

You'll never stop spammers completely, but this will go a long way to help with the problem. Nobody in their right mind will copy and paste a spammy link in their browser, and many spammers rely on the "click-to-browse" style to get users onto their sites.
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