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A note on new spambots

TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 8,221
edited February 2020 in Site Resources
As with most all forums out there, we have our fair share of problems with spambots, which are basically automated programs that roam the internet and try to insert spam into every corner of it. The other moderators and I do our best to fight these bots, but some inevitably get through the cracks every once in a while and manage to put spam in the forums. When they do manage to get through we usually just ban them and delete all the content they have posted.

There is a new type of spambot that has been bothering us lately. These bots are more cunning than others, and instead of simply spamming, they first copy/paste an on-topic discussion from another website, such as Reddit, or even our own forums, and then come back several days later and edit the post to contain spam. Because they copy/paste on-topic discussions, many actual users think they are real and respond to them. The moderation team has decided that, since these topics are (usually) relevant discussions on this forum, we will not delete them if they get responses. Instead we will simply ban the spambot, remove the spam from their post, and add a note on that post that it is a spambot and not a real user.

Some examples:
This spam was copied from this website.
This spam was copied from this website.
This spam was copied from this website.

Post edited by Tresset on


  • XorinaXorina Member Posts: 122
    I take it that this is a moving target and ISP address blocking won't work?

  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,203
    Blocking IP addresses is dangerous. We may block a lot of legitimate users who have the unfortunate coincidence of sharing the same address as the spammer.

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