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Old 10-25-2010, 09:08 PM   #1
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Suspicious members.

First off, I apologize to Tracy if you are legitimate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyk859 View Post
Hi, I am Tracy . I am a new member of forum. Would a newcomer be warmly welcome here? Good day you guys!!!
I recognize this post. I've seen almost the exact same post twice before. First time I thought it was odd, second time I thought it was wierd, third time I suspect ulterior motives. A new member, with 1 post, posts on someone elses intro thread saying they are new and asking if new people are warmly welcomed. (The answer is so obvious if you read the replies above their post)

If you look at Tracy's signature it's a link to an online movie website. (I think, I haven't actually clicked it.)

So should we report suspicious members or ignore them or what?

I'm not too concerned about it, just felt the need to discuss it upon seeing it for the third time.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:12 PM   #2
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Any time you see something like that, definitely report it. If the mods/admins feel that it is spam, the post will most likely be deleted. If it is not, it wont.

I've seen alot of those where they post something random and their signature has a link to something that is obviously not related to aquariums. Once you report it, it gives the mods and admins a heads up in case they miss it.

I've yet to figure out exactly what the point is in these profiles that post random things like this. I guess its advertising, but seems like they'd understand pretty quickly how fast they get deleted on forums like this. My favorite is the 2 mile long post of things like cell phones and tennis shoes posted in the getting started forums lol
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:27 PM   #3
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They try all kinds of sneaky stuff. The point is exposure. By trying different things (like posting into someone else's thread) they're trying to maximize the amount of time their links are out there before someone catches onto them and deletes them.

Creating a new thread draws more attention to themselves, so they'll likely get caught faster - hence why they try stuff like this.

Lots of them signup and post their advertisements on their user profile page. Hardly anyone browses those at random, so that one is really pointless, but it all comes down to what I said before - they're trying to maximize how long their links are present and how many folks see them. Statistically speaking, the more people that look at the post, eventually someone will click it.

Like Jonathan said, the very best thing to do when you see this is click the report button underneath the username of the poster. This alerts the mod team to something they may have missed. It also immediately issues an email to all mods and admins so that someone sees it even if none of the staff happen to be on the forums at the time.

Moving this to the Forum Admin area, btw, and off to go ban tracy.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh View Post
and off to go ban tracy.
lol
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:00 AM   #5
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It's just plain signature line spam. At the best, it's advertising that shouldn't be there - that's why we have sponsors. At worst, it is a link to a website that is running malicious code that may try to install trojans, keyboard loggers, etc. They do it because it's free and even though it will get deleted, they know they have a chance to get a few suckers before it does.

What ticks me off is when I report those type of spammers, and all that ends up happening is that the signature line gets removed - the people aren't banned, and the posts remain. For that reason, I've stopped reporting folks like that. It's sooo stinking obvious why they're here, I can find no reason they shouldn't be banned.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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Kurt, I wish you didn't feel that way. When a post is reported, a new thread gets created in the mod area for the staff to review whatever it was that was reported.

Whichever mod or admin gets to it first has to make a judgement call at that point based on what info is there. 95% of the time, it's easy to discern that a user is just here to spam, so they get banned (such as Tracy mentioned above - I read her post and immediately banned her). There is a small percentage that isn't always as easy to determine.

For instance, if a new user signs up and has an illegal link to a blog or whatever in their signature, yet in their post they're actively engaged in the topic of the thread, sometimes we'll give them the benefit of the doubt - remove their signature spam and send them a PM that it's not allowed to post links to outside sites for advertising. Sometimes, we never hear from that member again - and in that case you're right, they should've just been banned because they had no intent on being a part of our community, only spamming.

On several occasions however, we've removed the link, PM'd the poster and had them respond apologizing for it, and those folks have become fully engaged in our forum without the advertising/spamming continuing. Other times we've just banned and then received emails at the support desk asking that they be reinstated, apologizing for the advertisements. Many of those folks are still here, without spamming, and are active in our community.

All I'm trying to say is it's a judgement call that the staff has to make when these things occur. Many times it's an easy determination on what to do, sometimes it isn't so easy. We're only human too, and we do our best here.

Not reporting a post that violates the rules isn't a good idea. Please if you see this stuff report it. At least when you report a post someone looks at it and attempts to make the right decision. If you do nothing to report it, then nothing happens and the spam stays around longer, which is exactly what these spammers want.

This is our community, and I say that as a member, not a mod. The membership makes this community what it is, not the staff. Everyone can help make this community the best that it can be.
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