Message Boards Spam Study

Read about and discuss the latest changes to the Message Boards.

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Message Boards Spam Study

Post by Aaron Robinson » 03 May 2007, 04:06

During the second half of April (15-30), the moderators and I undertook a study of spam posting on the Message Boards so some hard and reliable information would be available. Below is a summary of our findings for the period:
-9.4 spam posts were made per day, at a rate of one every 153 minutes
-Spam varied from 1 to 32 posts per day
-Spam made up 9.6% of all posts
-Spammers made up 123 of 143 new registrations (86%), at a rate of 7.7 per day
-Spam posts were viewed on average 0.7 times
-17.9% of spam was deleted within 10 minutes
-27.2% of spam was deleted within 20 minutes
-65.6% of spam was deleted within 30 minutes
-77.5% of spam was deleted within 60 minutes
-Spam was deleted on average every 50 minutes, with a median response time of 20 minutes
-Nick Anderson, Josh Plave, and Aaron Robinson combined to delete 97.3% of all spam
-49.7% of spam posts were by guest users

At the same time, I examined the activity of guest posting in the Support sections. The results are as follows:
-Topics started by a guest averaged 4.4 per month in the four sections where such posts are allowed, vs. 20.9 per month by registered users (17.4% of the total).
-However, guest topics made up 31.4% of the total in the Getting Started section.
-The next highest percentage was 18.0%, in the Aircraft section.

To help reduce the level of spam further, guest posting will be disabled in all sections except Getting Started.

Additional questions? Please feel free to ask.
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madisonlover101
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Post by madisonlover101 » 03 May 2007, 06:05

Good job guys. Thanks for all your hard work. :D
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Post by RatherBFlyin » 03 May 2007, 06:15

Wow, those sure are some determined spammers. :(

Is there any way to determine the average time between when a spammer signed up for the message boards and when it made its first post?

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Post by Northwestdc9 » 03 May 2007, 07:37

Nice ! Aaron, Josh and I are kicking spam butt !!
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Post by Samuel Arnold » 03 May 2007, 09:31

Well done the three of you !
Great job.

The SPAM isn't bothering me much now, and whenever I see a SPAM post, it usually has had '0' or '1' views, not very often is it any more. The title is never offensive often also, which is good.
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Post by Seattleground » 03 May 2007, 12:37

We should make it you have to be a member to post and be a pilot of simairline too!!!!
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Post by detpilot » 03 May 2007, 12:53

We should make it you have to be a member to post and be a pilot of simairline too!!!!

Did you read any of the above post?

-However, guest topics made up 31.4% of the total in the Getting Started section.

Besides, it's pointless to require everyone to be a member of Simairline, that stops new people from coming in and asking questions.
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Post by Aaron Robinson » 03 May 2007, 13:44

Is there any way to determine the average time between when a spammer signed up for the message boards and when it made its first post?

Not unless we were to undertake another study. However, my experience says that it's almost immediately after registering.
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Post by RatherBFlyin » 03 May 2007, 14:46

Thanks for the research. I wasn't expecting that much detail at all. Great work, guys. :D

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Post by frogdude4993 » 03 May 2007, 15:17

Those stats are sad, but great work you guys!
Last edited by frogdude4993 on 04 May 2007, 01:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by caps1237 » 04 May 2007, 01:31

Northwestdc9 wrote:Nice ! Aaron, Josh and I are kicking spam butt !!

Hahaha yup! :D

Aaron Robinson wrote:
Quote:
Is there any way to determine the average time between when a spammer signed up for the message boards and when it made its first post?

Not unless we were to undertake another study. However, my experience says that it's almost immediately after registering.

Yes, this is usually what happens. Although I noticed that there were occasional spammers who registered, and waited days until they began spamming. Very odd.
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Post by Martin the Warrior » 04 May 2007, 01:36

Northwestdc9 wrote:Nice ! Aaron, Josh and I are kicking spam butt !!

Yeah, interestingly enough, I deleted quite a few in the couple days before the study began.

Well, it doesn't matter who is deleting the spam, as long as it gets deleted, but at least not too many people have to see it.
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Post by gatorman » 04 May 2007, 01:51

great job guys

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Post by ninerninerniner » 05 May 2007, 01:15

frogdude4993 wrote:Those stats are sad

I agree. However Nice job for the 3 of you. I hope we can eliminate the spam to less than 1% rather than having 9.6% of total post as spam.

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Post by Dash8driver » 05 May 2007, 18:21

"We dine well here in Camelot'
We eat ham and jam and SPAM alot"

Monty Python and the Holy Grail :D :wink:

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Post by Seattleground » 17 May 2007, 02:06

Did you see the guy today posted in alomost every section his name was laxtex i think!
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Post by G-BOAD » 18 May 2007, 16:07

Perhaps forum registration should require approval. funnyPicsheere, bsfzwihfa, sbrthnnnd, CrutoNaxqq are obviously not real users interested in flight simming.
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Post by shoo_tsukino » 18 May 2007, 18:06

G-BOAD wrote:Perhaps forum registration should require approval. funnyPicsheere, bsfzwihfa, sbrthnnnd, CrutoNaxqq are obviously not real users interested in flight simming.


Please see above. If I am not mistaken, it does. And in either case we can't tell who is going to spam and who isn't. I could very easily register and start posting spam, and nobody could tell that I wasn't a pilot.
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Post by Northwestdc9 » 18 May 2007, 18:49

shoo_tsukino wrote:
G-BOAD wrote:Perhaps forum registration should require approval. funnyPicsheere, bsfzwihfa, sbrthnnnd, CrutoNaxqq are obviously not real users interested in flight simming.


Please see above. If I am not mistaken, it does. And in either case we can't tell who is going to spam and who isn't. I could very easily register and start posting spam, and nobody could tell that I wasn't a pilot.

I don't think we can ban user names like that but it would be worth looking into. Aaron ?
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Post by Aaron Robinson » 18 May 2007, 18:58

I've addressed this issue in another topic:
We tried this before, but the result is that all I get is an email from the Boards asking me to look at a user's profile and then approve the user to post or not. The process is extremely cumbersome and ineffective, and ends up doing more harm (delaying new users from posting) than good (preventing a spammer from posting but not registering).
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