What Constitutes SPAM?



  • As far as Vivaldi is concerned, what would constitute SPAM? Recently I've seen a blog as well as a forum response that appears to all intents and purposes to be nothing other than SPAM and it made me wonder whether or not Vivaldi has certain guidelines concerning such. I've looked into the Terms of Use but could not find a proper definition nor does it seem to have been broached to my knowledge. We've seen what SPAM has done to MyOpera and I would hope that it doesn't get a foothold here as well.



  • Spamassassin should catch the most of it, but a "this is spam" buttom could be helpful.

    I think I have seen the start of a SPAM blog too but the author failed to place his link …



  • Thanks. I think we were probably looking at the same blog. ;)



  • Just seen: There is a report button!

    " Report this post "

    right below the blog post headline - but it is so tiny, I think I need new glasses …



  • @QuHno:

    Just seen: There is a report button!

    " Report this post "

    right below the blog post headline - but it is so tiny, I think I need new glasses …

    I also had missed the Report to Moderator button. In my case it's the pain of my back that is making me skip things. Been a very, very rough two weeks with my back and I'm not out of the woods yet. Funny how pain can change one's perspective on so many things. Anyway… I've reported the SPAM. I sure don't want to see happen here, what is taking place elsewhere. Take care.



  • @QuHno:

    Just seen: There is a report button!

    " Report this post "

    right below the blog post headline - but it is so tiny, I think I need new glasses …

    I see a similar link above the lower right-hand button cluster, here in each forum post (have not checked the Vivaldi blog area at all so far).

    Possibly that link could be made into a proper button, and placed to the left of the other 3 buttons of the group ?

    And could the one in the blog use a similar tweak ?



  • I fear that SPAM is beginning to trickle into Vivaldi at an increasing rate and that something needs to be done. Blogs that I'm seeing set up appear to be little more than SPAM traps and I have to wonder why these accounts have not been closed. This was one of the major complaints leveled against MyOpera having to close (i.e. they could have stemmed the tide early on but they failed to take it seriously and they failed to put into place, filters that would remove it effectively). So, what is being done about it here? Some days when I click on Blogs, it seems like I have to navigate past three pages of little more than SPAM before I arrive at what appears to be a legitimate blog. Am I the only person seeing this? :(



  • No, you aren't the only person who sees the SPAM. As you wrote, the first 3 pages in the blog listings I saw this morning (It is 06:14 here) were SPAM (all reported, btw).
    Some of them even started to interlink between several accounts, probably to improve the SEO factor …

    edit:
    Just seen when I looked through the profiles: Some of them seem to leave their SPAM messages in the forums too ...

    I would really loathe it if the same as at my.opera would happen here.
    Over at my.opera I reported litreally hundreds of posts some days in the myopera IRC channel (was faster and more effective than the report button, at least at the times when Leevi was online)



  • Well, I'm relieved that I'm not the only one seeing and reporting this but I'm deeply concerned that it could be the thin edge of the wedge so to speak. The PTB need to take this seriously before it gets out of hand.



  • Seems that they try some new methods to avoid SPAM detection - some of the posted Youtube Videos seem to be pure SPAM too - sadly I can only guess it only from the visual content there, because I don't speak Vietnamese etc.



  • I know exactly what you mean. The telephone numbers and "free" games that appear in the blogs and comments are a give-away. I spent half an hour tonight reporting them.


  • Vivaldi Team

    Hi,

    Posts or accounts which are clearly created to sell or promote products or concepts that are of commercial value to either account holder or a business is most often considered spam. Otherwise we will have to decided on a case by case basis.



  • There appears to be a concerted effort by a Vietnamese person/group to SPAM the community via blogs. When I click on Community I run into page after page of posts (sometimes two to three dozen) by the same individual all within a period of twenty minutes to the point where clicking on Community is no longer worth the effort. Clicking on Blog while more workable is slowly becoming problematic as well and unless something is done soon, I fear Vivaldi is going to be overrun by Spammers. And once that happens, I for one am out of here. It's a bit disingenuous that many were critical of MyOpera for making such complaints regarding SPAM shutting down the community when we see how insidious it can be. Vivaldi is only a few months old and already SPAM has reared its ugly head here. Very sad indeed. :(



  • There's an unavoidable "cost of doing business" when hosting blogs and forums that must always include effectively dealing with SPAM. I'm certainly no expert in such an arena, but I do know that forums such as Wilders and DSLR have managed to be very nearly 100% effective at SPAM-suppression, over very long time-frames.

    It seems to require some technical mechanisms, combined with an utter intolerance by all members for anything even smelling of SPAM in postings (and blogs), along with the moderation horsepower (which equates to "time") to stay ahead of it all. I truly hope this place can achieve what it will ultimately take… SPAM is financially attractive to the spammers (especially those in the 3rd world), and spammers are as persistent, creative, and insidious as hackers in trying to penetrate a site's defenses.



  • Here's the thing, blackbird, and I admit that it sticks in my craw. Opera mods notified us months ago that SPAM was one of the main reasons for the closure of MyOpera. And yet we heard from many Opera members countering that claim as an empty excuse. According to many of them, SPAM could "easily" be eliminated with the proper filtering tools. Really?

    So now we find Vivaldi beginning to become infected with the same garbage and there doesn't seem to be much resistance and very little protest at its early stages. I would be bold enough to hazard a guess that unless something is done and that very soon, Vivaldi is going to become unworkable. As I mentioned earlier, I finally gave up after clicking on the Community button at the top and scrolling through page after page after page of SPAM entered by the same person and all within a ten-twenty minute time period. In short, clicking on Community is no longer worth the effort (at least for me). Clicking on the Blog button is only slightly better. Whereas I see SPAM blogs now appearing more regularly than was the case a few weeks back, it's still a workable way to navigate through Vivaldi… but only "just" and one has to wonder, how much longer.

    Oh well... gotta go to work. I've raised my voice of protest and that's about all I can do. Hopefully someone is listening.



  • My own exposure to Wilders, DSLR, and some other forums shows that forums, at least, can be kept almost completely free of SPAM all the time if the mods and posters are both alert and active in suppressing it. On the other hand, for some reason, Opera's forums seemed more beset much more often with occasional SPAM postings than Wilders or DSLR ever have - but I don't know why. There have to be some differences in techniques or setups that contribute to the differing results.

    My understanding (misunderstanding?) is that it's harder to keep blog communities SPAM-free in principle than it is just plain forums, largely because so much material routinely gets put up on so many blogs that it just gets very hard to 'police' efficiently. In either case, though, I would think the path to the answer is to explore the most spam-free blogs and find out what they're doing differently… likewise for the most spam-free forums.



  • Does the spam you've seen so far look to be from bots? If so, Vivaldi should come up with a way to block those at the registration process. I hear that captchas don't really work well (they're a pain in the ass for the user anyway), but something like requiring JS and instructing the user (via text) to do something with the mouse that could be tested. The instructions would be random from an internal list of tasks. The downside to this though is accessibility goes down (requiring JS, Opera Mini, the disabled).

    For spammers physically creating accounts, I think it'd be worth it to make the sign-in process a little more difficult. Maybe require sms verification by default (which is Haavard's suggestion that I disagree with by itself) but have a registration confirmation forum (which will be the only place you can post int) where if you can't do sms you need to introduce yourself and do a brief response to what users ask. Then, if they at least sound legit, they can be confirmed (by mods and trusted uses that click a confirm link where it's required that at least N trusted users have to click it).

    There are some fake sms services that spammers could use I guess. But, at least requiring sms verification to post immediately would be nice.

    Also, when signing up, I don't remember if I had to confirm via email. If not, that'd be good to have to do. I also haven't tried to create another account here using the same email address to see if vivaldi blocks me on that.

    For forums at least, requiring that you comment so many times on other threads before you can create your own might help. The downside to this is that people might put worthless comments in threads.

    Really just a bunch of quick examples to get the ideas flowing. I'm sure we can all come up with something that's good.

    I just think most of it should be stopped at the sign-in process. It's not like email where we have to accept everything and filter it for review in fear of missing something.



  • The spam appears to be from bots. Try this. When you arrive at Vivaldi.net click on the Community button and slowly start scrolling down through the day's additions. See what comes up.



  • Not necessarily electronic bots - some of those spammers use service centers in low wage countries where real humans copy, modify and paste texts manually (more or less slave work). Hard to beat those apart from e.g. excessive IP tables or looking at the daily characteristics of the SPAM attacks.



  • I see a lot of posts that are in other languages that I can't read. On that alone they look like spam. But, even when I translate them, they're nonsense of poems or something. So, a lot of them look like spam to me (mostly from this user https://vivaldi.net/community/profile/truonghongha ). Yet, not 100% sure as I found one from that user that's in English and it looks like an imported blog post that might be legit. Then again, I saw that same English post twice.

    If that one is legit, the my opera blog import process shouldn't place old posts in the community feed (it did that for mine too when I imported).

    I do see on the side of a post in the community feed that you can choose "hide all items like this". I don't know what rules that invokes. Hide all from that user would help. Also, hiding all posts in languages I'm not interested in would help too.


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