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So much sp@m RRS feed

  • Question

  • I don't understand why, day after day, the same sp@m messages start appearing by dozens in these forums.

    For Pete's sake, you're Microsoft and the phone number in the subject title is always the same. Surely it must be possible to get rid of these as soon as they're submitted, no?

    That bloody idiot and his incessant black m@gic posts makes following the bona fide questions really hard!

    Thursday, June 6, 2019 10:27 AM

All replies

  • Exactly, need some mechanism to get rid of it. 
    Thursday, June 6, 2019 10:46 AM
  • Please post a link.

     

     

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Thursday, June 6, 2019 1:42 PM
    Moderator
  • There is a spam filter, but all lot of spam is not caught. And many false positives are reported. Otherwise, only the forum admins can ban users, which deletes all posts by the user in bulk. The forum admins are contractors and seem to depend on users reporting the spam before they take action.

    The forum admins emailed me a few years ago asking that I only report one post per spam user. This makes the task quicker, but it can be hard to distinguish the user names. I don't know what their process looks like, but apparently the forum admins get confused or overwhelmed if all posts are flagged abusive. It actually makes it more likely that the spam will remain.

    You can use the "Report as abuse" link at the bottom of any post to report it. Select "spam/advertising". When prompted for "Reason for reporting?", enter "SPAM" and submit. The forum admins should ban the user account in a few hours, which deletes all posts by the user in bulk. If after a few hours the posts remain, then report another one of the posts. I sometimes need to report 2 or 3 before the user is banned. If reporting all posts by a spammer fails, the only recourse is to email fissues [at] Microsoft [dot] com, with a link to the user profile activities tab.

    The process would be much easier if the forum admins looked for the spam instead of relying on reports. When we search for spam we need to keep track of names. If a post is already reported we have no idea when it was reported or by whom. We cannot coordinate. When the forum admins find spam and they ban the user, all of the posts suddenly disappear. No need to track names or come back later to see if the user was banned.

    Spam is very easy to find. Navigate to the forums home page. Do not select any forums. Instead filter on posts with no reply. A quick scan reveals the spam posts. The forum admins could do this twice a day. It would take maybe 20 minutes each time to scan all of the MSDN and TechNet forums.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Enterprise Mobility (Identity and Access)

    Thursday, June 6, 2019 1:54 PM
  • None of these have yet been reported as spam (as of this post) which you can do using dropdown at bottom of post, either case they'll be gone shortly.

    edit: all gone now

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.



    Thursday, June 6, 2019 4:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Dave, i used to follow the same. But the concern is about the number of spam's thats coming in. Somewhere the algorithm for catching it is not working as expected or needs improvement. 

    Thursday, June 6, 2019 4:56 PM
  • Sounds good, it is always a work in progress.

     

     



    Regards, Dave Patrick ....
    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Microsoft MVP [Windows Server] Datacenter Management

    Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties or guarantees, and confers no rights.

    Thursday, June 6, 2019 4:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Since the automatic filtering consistently fails, may I propose something?

    * When new accounts with 0 points post a new thread, it is put in moderation queue. Stays invisible unless a moderator releases it. On the same occasion, moderators help newcomers to find a suitable forum for their posts.

    New users won't need to post a separate request to verify them faster, or suffer inability to attach images or links.

    * New accounts can skip moderation, if they bring additional reputation when registering. 

    This reputation can be: paid Office or MSDN subscription, affiliation with a known org; Github, Stack Overflow users with high enough reputation and so on.

    * New accounts can reply in existing threads (checked by automatic filtering, as usual)

    Regards,

    -- pa

    Thursday, June 6, 2019 9:19 PM
  • I have seen user mistakenly banned by spam filter for posting event log entry that contains link to go.microsoft.com. The spam filter is definitely running but not working as expected. Some even call it overzealous (https://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/d9ee10f5-ac52-4e3e-9023-01cfbef1b5b9/new-spam-filter-is-working-against-many-people?forum=reportabug). 

    I think there is a communication issue between those who delete spams and those who develop spam filters. I have reported spammers who used the same phone numbers since 2016. No action taken to ban those phone numbers. 

    But it might become useless. A the new trend is to post spam content on github or a sandbox forum on another company's web site then link to them. That is hard to identify unless you follow the link or have the tech expertise to tell the post is irrelevant to the forum. And obviously you can't ban the whole github web site, the best you can do is to ban the account, but then the spammers can create a new account in seconds. 

    Moderators can't deal with spams themselves because spammers usually post across all forums. Some forums don't have moderators and post are left there for years, that will attract more spasms due to the effectiveness. I suggest to at least put low traffic forums to community moderation (that is, all new posts need to be reviewed by human before appearing to the public, and users need to be aware of that to prevent double posting).



    Visual C++ MVP




    Saturday, June 8, 2019 2:46 PM
    Moderator