Add censorship per usergroup

  • It would be great if you could have the content censorship per usergroup.


    A common way to combat link spam is to have members signup into a new useregroup, then have them promoted after certain criteria are met.. days registered, posts etc. 4.1 promotions now allows this.


    If we could use stopwords for only certain usergroups we could stop new members posting links in the editor.

    • Official Post

    Simply disallow them to use the URL-BBCode that way their spam links will remain plain text (which will be ignored by search engines).


    Censorship doesn't really work for URLs, there are new domains and links every day thus you can barely catch all spam links with that and some might slip through. If they cannot post actual links, nothing bad would happen and you (and your moderators) have plenty of time to combat these spam posts.

  • Wait... What? Someone told me you could do this by default (cannot recall who).


    So without denying people the right to post links, because we do have people who like to freely share something once in a while... How does one combat spam in WBB?

    • Official Post

    Nobody said that there is no censorship, but it's a global list being applied everywhere, but without specific values for each user group. Also all outgoing links will have the rel="nofollow" attribute applied by default (can be disabled though) which renders spam links completely pointless.


    Fighting spam is more than just blacklisting content, it is an entire suite of measures:


    Lets take a step back and think about the goal of spamming links, basically they don't intend to attract people (who the hell clicks on these links anyway?), but instead attract search engines and thus grant the target URL a higher ranking. Our registration process is pretty advanced and has a lot of different mechanisms which successfully prevents bots, mainly because it's measures are different to other softwares.
    This means in order to create automated accounts in Burning Board 4, you'll have to write custom code to target exactly our software and by chance this pattern will match no other software. Surely that's possible, but what does a spam bot does then? By default all its spammed links are send to the void because Google and other search engines will ignore them.
    The bottom line is, spam bot softwares have to adapt to our software, but if they make it through there's nothing they can do. It's a waste of time, because there's no reward in spamming a forum with Burning Board if on the other hand you can target other forum softwares which are vulnerable to spam.

  • Nobody said that there is no censorship, but it's a global list being applied everywhere, but without specific values for each user group. Also all outgoing links will have the rel="nofollow" attribute applied by default (can be disabled though) which renders spam links completely pointless.


    Fighting spam is more than just blacklisting content, it is an entire suite of measures:


    Lets take a step back and think about the goal of spamming links, basically they don't intend to attract people (who the hell clicks on these links anyway?), but instead attract search engines and thus grant the target URL a higher ranking. Our registration process is pretty advanced and has a lot of different mechanisms which successfully prevents bots, mainly because it's measures are different to other softwares.
    This means in order to create automated accounts in Burning Board 4, you'll have to write custom code to target exactly our software and by chance this pattern will match no other software. Surely that's possible, but what does a spam bot does then? By default all its spammed links are send to the void because Google and other search engines will ignore them.
    The bottom line is, spam bot softwares have to adapt to our software, but if they make it through there's nothing they can do. It's a waste of time, because there's no reward in spamming a forum with Burning Board if on the other hand you can target other forum softwares which are vulnerable to spam.


    I'm sorry, your answer isn't satisfactory (if I understand you correctly).
    Human spam and just general jerks (trolls) join simply to tell people 'go here'.
    And the idea that bots exclude Woltlab is just wishful thinking.


    I was under the impression that there was something in the line of user upgrades... ie... Newbie joins and after X is promoted to Y user group.


    And it was my hope to use this in part to help curve possible spam or general trolling behaviour.


    So you're telling me there is nothing... nothing at all....??
    This should be a show stopper.

    • Official Post

    And the idea that bots exclude Woltlab is just wishful thinking.


    Time is money, do you really want to waste your time building a bot which can get around our anti-bot measures just to do ... nothing? Sure every once in a while will be so stupid to do that, but yet it doesn't work out for them. Bots have limited resources, thus you send them out to bug sites which helps you to get your job done.


    I was under the impression that there was something in the line of user upgrades... ie... Newbie joins and after X is promoted to Y user group.


    We have that and you can combine multiple strategies to properly fight spam.


    --


    Let's take a deep breath and start over. My point was, that just blacklisting will most likely not do the job, because new sites and spellings for certain terms grow on trees. You can define a censorship if you want. All I wanted to say is that disallowing the URL BBCode for new users would perfectly prevent spam bots since they visit once and return never. I should have mentioned that you can use automatic user promotions to add new users to the regular group which can use the URL BBCode.


    We have all the tools you need, I just wanted to point out a different strategy which can be more effective.


  • Automatic user group change based on x factors for example. You can ask your users to first introduce themselves with one post and rigger after that they will have access to the forum or sie thing like this. Check out the product introduction in WL forum

  • Time is money, do you really want to waste your time building a bot which can get around our anti-bot measures just to do ... nothing? Sure every once in a while will be so stupid to do that, but yet it doesn't work out for them. Bots have limited resources, thus you send them out to bug sites which helps you to get your job done.


    In China its a multi-billion dollar business. So yes, they do make money spamming site.


    I can hire professional spammer right now to spam this site, it would cost me all of $5 and they'd gladly continue doing it for the next few hours. That's because in China my $5 would be ¥31 to them.


    It's why I can buy a boat load of 99 cent items off of eBay. Have you used eBay? Tons and tons of imported goods from China for 99 cents. From web camera to mp3 players... ect....


    And for as low as $5 I can have spammers hitting up your site for hours. They'd happily do it too.




    We have that and you can combine multiple strategies to properly fight spam.


    All right, so you do have 'something'. Now could I set it up so that X user group cannot post links, but after they are upgraded to Y user group they can?


  • Exactly.


    All right.... That's 'something'


    Now is there a global censoring option?


    Because I have small group of people who have been trying to plaster their site on my site for the past 4 years. Proving that yes, not everyone has a life, and no, they do not give up easily. So my solution has been to add their domain to censor list.

    • Official Post

    Now is there a global censoring option?


    Yes, we do.


    That was my whole point the entire time, we have both. I just suggested that automatic promotions (with disallowing URL BBCode for new users) would be more effective than a blacklist to fight generic spam.


    For the sake of clarity: You can define a global blacklist (= censorship). You can use automatic promotions to limit new users. And you can do both at the same time.


  • Yes, we do.


    That was my whole point the entire time, we have both. I just suggested that automatic promotions (with disallowing URL BBCode for new users) would be more effective than a blacklist to fight generic spam.


    All right, then I just maybe misunderstood you originally.


    So that we are clear....


    I can make it so when a newbie joins, they will not be able to post links, but after X many post (say 12 for example), they will automatically be promoted to the new user group that can post links?


    And there is indeed a censoring list that can be applied to everyone?

    • Official Post

    I can make it so when a newbie joins, they will not be able to post links, but after X many post (say 12 for example), they will automatically be promoted to the new user group that can post links?


    Yes, and you can combine it with the censorship below.


    And there is indeed a censoring list that can be applied to everyone?


    Yes, and you can combine it with the promotions above.

  • Simply disallow them to use the URL-BBCode that way their spam links will remain plain text (which will be ignored by search engines).


    Censorship doesn't really work for URLs, there are new domains and links every day thus you can barely catch all spam links with that and some might slip through. If they cannot post actual links, nothing bad would happen and you (and your moderators) have plenty of time to combat these spam posts.


    www*
    http*
    https*


    That will block all links using censorship. So it does work and is valid censorship imo.


    "Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other such entities."


    Regardless, it doesn't work for even it's intended purpose. If I block the word "Hello" it only blocks this in the forum app.


    Second question... How does one censor words in wall posts, gallery comment, blog comments?


    Similarly blocking BBcode also only seems to work for threads (1st posts) 2nd+ posts can still use full bbcode editor.


    Again, how does one block links in posts because it seems BBCode cannot be disabled, and also, how does one block links in wall posts, gallery comments and blog comments where the full editor is not implemented?


    You cant even force all new content to be moderated per usergroup (until promoted to another), well you can for forums again and also images and articles, but not for wall posts, gallery comments or blog comments!


    Lots of spam holes here that need filling.

  • Nobody said that there is no censorship, but it's a global list being applied everywhere, but without specific values for each user group. Also all outgoing links will have the rel="nofollow" attribute applied by default (can be disabled though) which renders spam links completely pointless.


    Fighting spam is more than just blacklisting content, it is an entire suite of measures:


    Lets take a step back and think about the goal of spamming links, basically they don't intend to attract people (who the hell clicks on these links anyway?), but instead attract search engines and thus grant the target URL a higher ranking. Our registration process is pretty advanced and has a lot of different mechanisms which successfully prevents bots, mainly because it's measures are different to other softwares.
    This means in order to create automated accounts in Burning Board 4, you'll have to write custom code to target exactly our software and by chance this pattern will match no other software. Surely that's possible, but what does a spam bot does then? By default all its spammed links are send to the void because Google and other search engines will ignore them.
    The bottom line is, spam bot softwares have to adapt to our software, but if they make it through there's nothing they can do. It's a waste of time, because there's no reward in spamming a forum with Burning Board if on the other hand you can target other forum softwares which are vulnerable to spam.


    Many spammers register manually, without bot software. A nofollowed link is invisible to Google, but not my users who also need protecting, so nofollow is not a solution. Also many spammers, bots or manual dont even check if a link is nofollowed. It is invisible to most eyes and actually blocking links in posts with a message that new users cannot post links is a much better deterrent.

    • Official Post

    Regardless, it doesn't work for even it's intended purpose. If I block the word "Hello" it only blocks this in the forum app.


    Second question... How does one censor words in wall posts, gallery comment, blog comments?


    Censorship is not a feature of Burning Board, it's a feature provided by the framework and implemented in many different things, including wall posts and comments.


    Similarly blocking BBcode also only seems to work for threads (1st posts) 2nd+ posts can still use full bbcode editor.


    This is not true. Regardless of that you should not disable BBCodes, you should disallow using the [url] BBCode for the desired user groups.


    Again, how does one block links in posts because it seems BBCode cannot be disabled, and also, how does one block links in wall posts, gallery comments and blog comments where the full editor is not implemented?


    Blocking the URL-BBCode is a server-side thing, it doesn't matter if there is an editor or not.

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