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  1. #1
    Master Coder
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    quality control suggestion :)

    OK; like many people on these forums, I am finding it increasingly problematic when I read a > 10-post thread (for example), in a genuine effort to provide help, only to find the last post to be spam. OK, so I could read the last post first but of course, spam costs in and of itself.

    So how do we cut down on these costs ( time costs/ spam removal costs/ ongoign costs through dirty posts? well....how many new members sign up each day?

    Can we not adjust the software such that unless you have posted x number of times, you cannot include any links? Instead, new people could only post a good search term? for example, if the question related to perl and to a specific issue, the new people could only post a search term like 'perl cpan name_of_module'.

    Until you have reached say 200 posts in 200 threads, you could not include a link in your post. so if someone posted five links to a thread, it would still count as one, for the purposes of this evaluation.

    The aim with that scenario is to ensure that they must make many more clicks in order to make one spammy post so it'll be much easier to post spam elsewhere.

    here are my thoughts on 'cost' / 'benefit'

    benefits
    1. less time required of mods to remove spam.
    2. less time wasted by readers/learners to finding answers
    3. less time wasted by contributors
    4. better quality content to draw more of an audience
    5. more effective help through better utilisation of our time - again, improving the content value of CF
    4. better content = higher quality / improved stand-out, so WA can draw more uniques and increase ad-revenues

    costs.
    1. one-off code amendment cost
    2. possible temporary increase in admin time to monitor level of success

    costs would surely be offset by the benefits in a short space of time?

    what do the rest of you think?

    bazz
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  • #2
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    Well, any additional obstacle you implement to fight spam is also an additional obstacle for those with legitimate questions.

    for example, if the question related to perl and to a specific issue, the new people could only post a search term like 'perl cpan name_of_module'.
    This makes it harder for those that are new because they would have to study a whole lot of forum rules and functionality to figure out what they can do and how to do it before they can post their question. But I can see the “no link” rule working in that they can only post inactive (unlinked) URLs so other people would still be able to copy the URL and access whatever they have to. This would also show the URL right away and make it more prominent where the poster is leading us.

    It will never be possible to get rid of all spam. As unfortunate as this is, that’s the price of freedom.

  • #3
    Codeasaurus Rex
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    Yeah, my concern with not allowing included links is that I feel this would really hose a lot of people in the Client Side section. If you've got a layout that you need vetted, a screenshot often times won't do it - and an experienced developer with FireBug can solve your problem much faster by just playing with live code.

    Even with posting inactive (unlinked) URLs, I don't really think that will stop automatic spam bots. Let's face it -- how many people click the links as it is? Will it really matter if they're linked or not?

    WA posted recently about increasing the number of moderators so hopefully this will help combat the spam present in a lot of the categories. I just feel that we should only restrict what users can do as a last resort.
    Unless otherwise stated, any code posted is most likely untested and may contain syntax errors.
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  • #4
    Rockstar Coder
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneC View Post
    Even with posting inactive (unlinked) URLs, I don't really think that will stop automatic spam bots. Let's face it -- how many people click the links as it is? Will it really matter if they're linked or not?
    Basically this. I've had to delete enough spam over the years to realize the spammers don't care if their posts actually work or not, they'll just keep doing it.

    Once the new moderators are in place that should help with the spam and we also rely on the regular members to use the report post feature, especially if the spam is a reply to a legit thread. That feature helps us since we can't realistically read every single thread all the time.
    OracleGuy

  • #5
    The fat guy next door VIPStephan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oracleguy View Post
    I've had to delete enough spam over the years to realize the spammers don't care if their posts actually work or not, they'll just keep doing it.
    That may be. But I suppose most of the time spammers put links because they try to get backlinks to their site so it would appear higher in search engine rankings (SEO spam). Making links inactive would at least prevent that. That would of course only apply to totally new members that also fall into the signature regulations (or even less strict – like the first five posts or whatever).


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