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Looking for volunteers

Hi,

as many of you certainly noted, we're having a spot of bother here at the Registry, primarily with the spam, but also with completing some features.

Therefore, I'm looking for volunteers who'd be willing to take on some tasks. Most importantly, we need more people to work on the Drupal configuration. There are some features that could help reduce the spam problem, and then the usability of the site has also suffered lately. Notably, some of these issues are due to my efforts at /improving/ usability, which goes to show that these things need quite a bit of testing before going live, which I have very limited for.

So, if you have Drupal experience and would like to pitch in, comment here!

Just to make this a bit more concrete, here are some things that could be done:

  • About the spam: We've pretty much exhausted what captchas and content-analysis can do, there is still something coming through. Other sites have had more success with letting users do the rating on content (e.g., ala stackeXchange). This usually works be giving new users very limited permissions, and then, we they receive positive ratings, giving them more permissions. Spammers supposedly don't get positive ratings, so they can't do much. Drupal has some modules to do similar things, called "userpoints". These would need to be properly set up.
  • The front page has numerous issues. I've put back the old home page now, after numerous complaints, but the changes had been in reply to previous complaints, so we still have something to do ;-)
    • The main content navigation ("Browse the registry"), is a page, instead of a menu. This is because the regular menu is too long already. There are several Drupal modules for using drop-down menus or similar, which could be explored to integrate this
    • The browsing options themselves are quite limited. There are modules for searching, with full-text indexing, etc. These would also need setting up and configuring
    • Ideally, I think users could also be given the possibility to come up with their personal selection of interesting plug-ins (e.g., like lists on Amazon). This could be setup easily using Drupal content types and views, but again, would need testing, and appropriate integration into the site's lists and navigation.
    • In general, I think we have great users here, and there are probably other possibilities to include them more into building the site. We'd need to build some tools for that first, though. Drupal has all the basics, but they need to be properly configured.

Comments

An approach that seems to work at some wiki sites is to restrict editing or posting for new registrants for four or five days, i.e., a "cooling-off period". It won't stop the hard-core spammers, but it will stop the casual or drive-by vandals.

From what I see, many of the spam accounts exist for a couple of days before the first spam post, so maybe they have gotten wise to this strategy.

It's been a while since I've monkeyed with Drupal, but I could probably bring myself back up to speed fairly quickly (after this hurricane passes me).

I'd be up for helping where I can - drop me a line.

Thanks for the offer :-) I'm a bit too busy to properly set that up right now, but I'll get around to it next week, okay?

On 3 replies 1 was spam !

now i found more difficult fight the spam because the deleted spam remain perfectly visible in the "Updated Questions" and "Recent Comment" list in the home page and so seems worthless remove the messages.

And sorry i can't help for drupal

I'm still looking into the block caching thing. It was turned on, but even though it is now turned off, the stuff still seems to appear there.

I see that the side is usable again, great improvement.

I hope you solved the cache issue, now i can't check because there is no spam to delete , but the fact that there are no visible trace of spam in the home page seems a good sign

I don't like much be forced to see the preview of my messages in order to submit, i would prefer the old system where preview was optional not obliged

Great job so far! As for the spam issues, have you, guys, tried hiddenCaptcha + Honeypot module (configured to http fill + timestamp)? Then a restriction for newly registered to post external url links for a week or two? (I'm not sure if there is a Drupal module for this feature though)

From what I've seen, not all of the optional profile fields are filled out, so apparently the spammers have also gotten wind of that type of protection. Nevertheless, it won't hurt ;-) Lets try it out.

There's gotta be a plugin for drupal for blocking spam, like akismet for wordpress. Spam is a widespread issue, so it has to be already solved for drupal.

Sure there is. Several, in fact. Trouble is, none of them are perfect...

I know these are phoney but how can someone add a new forum to the forums list?
I realize there are issues about spam and phoney stuff on here. It might be time to restrict this forum to invitation only status.
That said I can help out in the spam/phoney forum area. I can be on here at various times to control access if I am needed. PM me or whatever.

Hey, Ingo! Obviously, some spammers get past Captchas and other spam traps, and I don't think they are bots. Is it technically feasible for your team (if there is any) to rule those out through the moderator approvals? I know it's a time sensitive matter that ought to be dealt with almost immediately, but given a fairly low rate of posts here despite relatively high traffic it seems to be the only viable option, at least for now. I've been monitoring this site for the last 3 weeks (mostly through my mobile device) - messages/posts count here is about 3-5 a day, of course, spiking on weekends but never exceeding 10-15. I wish I could offer myself as an aid to fight the spammers off. Unfortunately, my webmaster skills won't qualify for the task, but , please, let me know through PM if there is anything else I can help you with.
Kind regards,
proTo

AFAIK, they (new users) have never been moderated. Ingo touched on this subject in a post a long time ago, about not wanting to restrict users from signing up and commenting. His feelings may have changed since then, but I think we're just trying our best to keep them removed as they show up. Of course, a worthy module to fight SPAM would be greatly appreciated.

modules are just scripts and can be bypassed by other scripts (spam bots). I see no end to this software battle. Dealing with real person spammer is a different thing. Blocking IPs (as it was suggested here by someone ) is also ineffective to ward them off (e.g. tor browsing).
I just want to outline 3 things to back up moderation tactics:
1. IMO, moderating messages takes no more time than cleaning up this site from the spam. Yes, it would be somewhat annoying for legit users but....
2. both real person spammers and bots will never see the light of day here.
3. becuase such an approach undermines the very meaning of posting here crap, it will eventually mean less censorship work in the future.
The result is 100% spam free website.
It's just my opinion. Again, I could be wrong without having seen a bigger picture.
Kind regards,
proTo

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