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 Post subject: Add naive Q&A captcha
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:59 am 
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Hi team,

I've did some reading and it seems a simple naive Q&A captcha ("What is the first name of the main character?" Parson/parson) is effective at reducing spam. Doubly so when in conjunction with regular CAPTCHA.

Since bots have been getting through more often, such a quick fix may be a good solution for now.

Best

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:23 am 
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    WurmD wrote:
    I've did some reading and it seems a simple naive Q&A captcha ("What is the first name of the main character?" Parson/parson) is effective at reducing spam. Doubly so when in conjunction with regular CAPTCHA.

    Oh hell no. DON'T do that! Spam isn't such a big problem here that it's worth punishing everyone trying to log in to this site. (As far as I'm concerned, putting CAPTCHA on a website is basically saying "We don't have enough manpower to do things properly, so boop you.")
    WurmD wrote:
    Since bots have been getting through more often, such a quick fix may be a good solution for now.

    There are better quick technical solutions, such as not allowing new users to post links.

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:52 am 
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    > punishing everyone trying to log in
    trying to *register*

    What would be a good definition of "new user" (that would not affect legitimate users)?

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:32 pm 
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    WurmD wrote:
    > punishing everyone trying to log in
    trying to *register*

    That will only work if you assume that spambot accounts are also registered by bots instead of humans, which is probably not always true now, and may become even less true in the future.
    WurmD wrote:
    What would be a good definition of "new user" (that would not affect legitimate users)?

    One possibility would be "a user who has made less than X posts on the forum" (at least forum.giantitp.com uses this with X set to 10). Obviously this would affect some legitimate new users, but we could do a few things to minimize this:
    - we could set X to a lesser value
    - we could exempt links that point to (some subdomain of) erfworld.com
    - we could exempt users who earn any of the available badges

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:47 pm 
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    This was part of my research on the subject:
    - CAPTCHAs are designed to thwart bots
    - Hitting spam developers in their pockets, by forcing human intervention, is an effective spam reduction strategy

    Ergo my suggestion:
    - Upon registration, add extra line "What is the first name of the main character?" (Parson)

    A cheap to implement, very low extra effort on the part of a legitimate Erf fan, effective spam reduction strategy. (That I may add, is used in the GIANTIP forums)

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:26 pm 
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    I am not a member of Team Erfworld so this is in no way an official post but as far as I am aware there have been discussions about that subject and the annoyance for new fans was deemed higher then the annoyance causes by spam. The spam itself seems to have a half life of less then a day thanks to the diligent, self-sacrificing service of the spam deleters (cough cough, shameless self-congratulation, cough cough). If things with spam go worse that decision might have to be revisited.

    Though I would not be averse if we could get some Titanic magic to spawn an opened pack of Keto right above the head of any person who makes a spam post about Keto.

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:46 pm 
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    *tips hat*

    You have really been cleaning stuff everyday?

    I started this thread due to the impression that the Your Games thread viewforum.php?f=23 has been suffering from spam lingering more than that (but perhaps not)

    In any case, I'd be happy to join you on that service Bandaid. Red?

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     Post Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:56 am 
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    WurmD wrote:
    This was part of my research on the subject:
    - CAPTCHAs are designed to thwart bots
    - Hitting spam developers in their pockets, by forcing human intervention, is an effective spam reduction strategy

    I don't buy it. For one thing, the Internet has made it really easy to find people who are willing to do grunt work like creating accounts on forums very cheaply. For another, this forum is a prime target for spammers, because there is a good chance that a spam post will stay visible long enough for search engines to index it, which is the one thing spammers actually care about, since that's what they get paid for. (Nowadays spam really is just search engine optimization.) Therefore spammers are probably willing to pay a little bit extra to create accounts here, no matter how hard that becomes.

    WurmD wrote:
    Ergo my suggestion:
    - Upon registration, add extra line "What is the first name of the main character?" (Parson)

    A cheap to implement, very low extra effort on the part of a legitimate Erf fan, effective spam reduction strategy. (That I may add, is used in the GIANTIP forums)

    Yes, and those forums still get some amount of spam. You just rarely get to see it, because they have a lot more people removing spam, so it usually doesn't stay there for very long.

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