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How to identify a spambot

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How to identify a spambot

 

Recently the moderation staff have noticed that many of our users mistake spambots for actual users, and as a result we decided that a thread detailing how to identify a spambot would be useful.

 

What is a spambot?

 

A spambot is generally referred to as an account created on the forums by an automated program simply to advertise. Not all spammers are automated, but we lump all accounts that register solely to advertise under the "spambot" label, even if there is a real person doing the spamming.

The objective of spambots is almost always some sort of advertising. They may attempt to blend into a topic with a seemingly innoccuous link; the goal is to get users to visit the link (generating ad revenue) and possibly eventually buy the product advertised. On the rare occasion spambots will link to dangerous sites with various exploits. In order to be safe, one should never click a link from a spambot.

 

What do spambots do?

 

Spambots will do the following things:

  1. Make posts
  2. Set up a link in a signature
  3. Start a blog
  4. Send private messages (rarely)
  5. Put links on their profile.

 

Occasionally, some badly-designed spambots will even send in a report with their links rather than actually posting!

 

How to Identify a spambot?

 

In 99% of spambot cases, they are using a newly registered account. That should be the first thing you look for - an account that has joined the boards within a few days of the post.

Strange language: A huge majority of spambots are designed and run by people whose first language is not english. Thus a post that doesn't appear to make sense or uses mostly broken english, or even another language entirely (Russian is popular with spambots) is a good indicator.

Lastly, and most importantly: A link. In almost all cases, the goal of the spambot is to get you to buy something - so seeing a link somewhere in the spambot's content (blog, message, signature, post, etc) is the best way to verify that they are in fact a spambot.

 

Certain spambot patterns are also prevalent.

 

For example, any new user with account information that looks like the image below is a spambot (in particular the number "143040" somewhere in the profile information), and can be reported as such even if they haven't posted anything.

 

110914185119.png

 

Here are some other samples of typical spambot posts(links removed):

 

[hide]

Should my sister wear this?

 

(LINK HERE)

 

She is 19 only.

 

I don't think she could wear this.

 

What do you think?

Note the link and broken English.

 

soft2.jpg

 

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Notice the links and product list - here it is quite obvious what it wants you to buy. The structure of the post is also odd.

 

All kind of people are getting all different parts of their body pierced. In the past, no one was even sure these parts of the body existed or at least no one had ever heard of getting that particular body part pierced. However, one of the latest trends is the lip ring.

_____________

 

silver necklaces

 

This one is a little more tricky. While not perfect, the english is decent, and has the appearance of being a legitimate topic. The link, plus the fact that the account was newly registered, were the giveaways.

[/hide]

 

What can regular users do?

 

As a team, we try to stay on top of spambots as best we can. We generally have a pretty good success rate with catching spambots minutes after they post. However, we cannot read through everything - so this is where you, the normal user, can be of greatest assistance. That's right, you guessed it - the report feature! You can report a spambot from their profile, or an individual post, or a private message, or even a blog entry! Even if you aren't sure that the user in question is a spambot, submitting a report will bring them to our attention so we can evaluate the situation and decide on some action!

 

I've left this thread open, so if you have any questions you can reply and a moderator or administrator will do their best to answer ASAP. However, please do not reference any specific user here (keep that to the report system), as our naming names rules still apply.


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"It's not a rest for me, it's a rest for the weights." - Dom Mazzetti

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The texts of old have prophecized the end times.


Quote

 

Quote

Anyone who likes tacos is incapable of logic.

Anyone who likes logic is incapable of tacos.

 

PSA: SaqPrets is an Estonian Dude

Steam: NippleBeardTM

Origin: Brand_New_iPwn

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Are any mods still active here?

 

This forum is overrun with spammers.


ixfd64.png

 

ARENAscape:

 

Baratus [AS] max hit: 166 with Moon Battle Hammer

ixfd64 [AS] max hit: 116 with (untitled spell #2)

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Arceus is the last of his kind from what I can tell. I saw him check in the other day before the forums went down but the problem persists.

 

Shame


Quote

 

Quote

Anyone who likes tacos is incapable of logic.

Anyone who likes logic is incapable of tacos.

 

PSA: SaqPrets is an Estonian Dude

Steam: NippleBeardTM

Origin: Brand_New_iPwn

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