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2007-04-11 06:46:28
Hello, there is a lot of spam in the chat comments, sent by automatic robots.  Some users even try to remove it by typing 10 short messages, which is useless, since they'll come back.  Sure catchpas and logins/pass could avoid this, but it is a big job.  A simple routine to avoid this for a while withtout having to code much would be to force the nickname field completion (which robots don't use), so automatic spam would be filtered.  Regular users would just have to enter a nickname, mort already do.
Just an idea, if it can help...

Thanks for games.
2007-05-13 21:52:07
Nobody here ?
2007-05-19 00:26:17
Just took a look at the chat messages - Yikes.  Stephen, I really think you need to take a look into this, the bots post a chat message every few minutes.
2007-05-28 23:12:10
Well the text fields look removed, but the messages are still posted (there might be some length-based filtering method, since the shrt ones remain readable in the main page, at the bottom).  In fact, now only bots can post, passing parameters through url, since the posting function is not disabled.
Stephen Brooks
2007-05-29 12:51:16
Ah, hadn't checked this forum for a while.  I also noticed the spam a while ago and just removed the chat boxes for the time being.  The nickname checking idea is probably better, I might try it...
2007-05-29 19:19:59
Hello, and first of all, thanks for the browser wars sections, it's a great browser based game.  I'm addicted. 
I looked a bit, and now robots fill the nickname field, which invalidates this technique now.

The not so easy way is to filter some stuff, like the bbcodes [url and "href" keywords, often used, but some spam messages don't have urls, it's annoying.  A simple captcha (like 2+2 ?) to fill in could be a solution, but it adds some code and... time to implement.  The easyest is to limit the input size, the spam messages are all long.

Anyway, the games are great, and still playable. 
2007-05-29 21:23:36
Another idea (last one before sleep ^^), the forum is not invaded, probably because of password system, so if it could be extended...
2007-06-03 20:57:09
If you blacklist [url and "a href", you filter 99% of spam comments, hehe.
Stephen Brooks
2007-06-04 16:28:35
That also might be an idea.  I wonder if they're targeting this site specifically or they're just bots doing everyone... If they're dumb bots hopefully they won't realise they're being filtered!
2007-06-04 21:30:25
As far as i see, those are just spam bots.  The messages are "standard" spam content, like blog spam : they find a text area, they fill it.
Stephen Brooks
2007-06-04 23:55:47
Okay, I think I've just implemented your suggestion.  Turned out I already had a "filter" of sorts to stop blank posts if people pressed return accidentally, so I just had to add a couple of lines - literally the two following!
$anti_spambot=array('[url','a href');
foreach ($anti_spambot as $x) if (stristr($msg,$x)) $ok=0;
Stephen Brooks
2007-06-05 12:28:17
HAHAHA filtering all those out just leaves the banal "Hey, your site is great!" comments that they tend to leave before dropping a URL.

Time to add a few more things to the filter, once I can figure out what the largest common denominators of those other comments are.
2007-06-05 15:44:09
I saw that last night, at least the urls are gone, but they still post those stupid things about their fantastic websites.
Filtering those can be endless (admin time inestment) and filter some human comments.  And it has to be updated...
Forget ip filtering, of course... ^^

The best would be the captcha system (adding an array of forced-to-validate questions like 2+2=?  third letter = ?  or some force to leave blank/fill field) but it is some coding job.  Or the forum system, account based.
Stephen Brooks
2007-06-05 23:29:33
Some even managed to post in Russian (I didn't know my form accepted Russian characters).
Stephen Brooks
2007-06-05 23:32:03
Actually, if I were to make the system different, I'd integrate the Browser Wars login with that of this forum and make those chatboxes actually be special threads in this forum that happen to be displayed on those pages.  Therefore you'd have to register and log in in order to be able to chat.  Not had any automated registrations to this forum so far, though.
2007-06-09 20:43:40
Fine, it would work (if necessary), no need for cookies or similar stuff (IMHO).
Anyway, bots seem to post less now, hoping they don't counter attack.  ^^
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