[Solved] Questionable post

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[Solved] Questionable post

Postby acknak » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:14 am

See post: [Link removed, as RGB suggests below, so as not to impugn the OP's integrity: RoryOF, Moderator]

I banned the user and disabled the link, but it might be a legitimate post. The fact that the link is in the user's signature--rather than simply in the relevant post--makes it look more like spam to me.

The user has several (8, I think) posts over several months, all of them are rather off-topic by my reading. That's a really dedicated spammer.

Can the user contact us even though banned? I believe so. If not, maybe we should remove the ban, so he/she could contact the admins.
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: tagged [Solved].
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Re: Questionable post

Postby RoryOF » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:27 am

The mail link to admins seems broken. Only yesterday (Sunday) a User posted to the users@openoffice.apache.org list because he couldn't use it to query his lost account status - see Hagar's request to imacat on
http://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=102&t=54184&p=255158#p255158

By the way, that query to the user list, while not yet resolved, appears to be caused by confusion between the old and new forums; we have to await further information from the OP or acknowledgement that this is indeed the problem.

Unbanning the poster in your query and a request to transfer the URL into the posting body might be the way to go, but we would then need to monitor. See what Hagar thinks.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:00 pm

Well, before seeing this topic, I had removed the link in the signature! There are some rare cases when I see such link but with post that seems legitimate, I just remove the link in the signature without any further notice. If the signature reappears afterward, I ban the user.

So in this case, I would leave it banned and see if he protests.

Indeed, there is no direct contact possible, we really need the forumadmin mail box back...
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Re: Questionable post

Postby RGB » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:03 pm

IMO, this topic must be moved to Private-EN: here you are talking about a particular user, giving access to the user name and profile and accusing him/her of spammer directly on the public forum...

 Edit: I have deleted the direct link which has now been dealt with, RGB. I think that removal answers your concerns. RoryOF 
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Re: Questionable post

Postby acknak » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:48 pm

When someone posts in public, then it's appropriate to discuss that post in public as well. If we needed to discuss the user or their private information, then that should be private.

At least that's my feeling.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby RoryOF » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:58 pm

I agree in a way, acknak, when it comes to discussing the facts of his posting/knowledge, but any implication that someone might be this or that may be held to be derogatory or even libelous (UK/Irish libel laws being much stricter than US) and I don't think any of us would wish to open such a can of worms. In any case, now that the post has been dealt with, perhaps it is more sensitive to remove the link, as I have done. I considered RGB's suggestion to transfer the unmodified thread to the private channel, where it echoes to the Apache list, but decided against it, as I think the less interaction we provoke from them the better.

If you feel you should restore the original link, please do so.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby acknak » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:56 pm

As I see it, discussing whether a post or user has met the terms of service is a public question: the post was made public, the terms are public, and any user could usefully participate in the discussion.

There is no need, nor would it be appropriate, to discuss the poster's character or morals here.

I never remove a link, I just make it plain text. We've pretty much said that plain text links are ok, even if they're commercial, so I leave the link as text unless the whole post needs to be removed.

I have no way to restore the link.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby RGB » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:29 am

Everything started with a doubt: a "but it might be a legitimate post". So my concern is more general, not particular to this user, and match quite well with Rory's observation. (At least the first part: IMO, the "better do not use the private subforum because the Apache guys don't like it" does not make sense any more so it is something we need to overcome one day...)
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Re: Questionable post

Postby robweir » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:00 am

It is interesting to note that we have absolutely no restrictions on email footers and signature blocks on the AOO mailing lists. Anything is permitted, including on the users mailing list. But at my last checking the world has not ended and we have not been overtaken by spam.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby FJCC » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:13 am

I don't think such a comparison is useful. Before we instituted moderation of all first posts, the forum was getting thousands of spam messages per day. For whatever reason the forum seems to be an enticing target. It is common to see messages with no purpose other than displaying a signature with a commercial link.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby floris v » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:30 pm

I'd say that forums are easier as targets for spammers. The rule against commercial links in signatures was also intended to reduce the strain on moderators. And are mailing lists as actively scanned by search bots as forums? If not, the comparison is moot.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:24 pm

Make a search on the web and see how much hits you get that lead to a forum and how much on a mailing list (I mean its web interface).
Mailing list on the web have very poor visibility so I don't think they are worth the effort for the spammers. Moreover, on a mailing list either your register and your spammer address is well known then, or the message is moderated and is much less likely to go through.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby RoryOF » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:48 pm

Two instances of the spamability of forums are the old Forum and the LibO forum, both of which every morning (circa 0700 UTC) are flooded with overnight spam. Their admins fight hard to clear this, but I think our measures here (and our admins and moderators) do a better job.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby kingfisher » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:21 am

robweir wrote:It is interesting to note that we have absolutely no restrictions on email footers and signature blocks on the AOO mailing lists. Anything is permitted, including on the users mailing list. But at my last checking the world has not ended and we have not been overtaken by spam.


Anyone foolish enough to post to a mailing list immediately becomes a target for spammers.

We don't want spam of any kind here, thank you.
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Re: Questionable post

Postby /a3 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:33 am

robweir wrote:It is interesting to note that we have absolutely no restrictions on email footers and signature blocks on the AOO mailing lists. Anything is permitted, including on the users mailing list. But at my last checking the world has not ended and we have not been overtaken by spam.

Mailing lists and forums have differences though.

Mailing lists aren't indexed as much as forums that I'm aware of. A lot of forum spam is created by XRumer. The other difference is that forum signatures can be edited after the user has posted, and it will change the sig on all posts.
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