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Comments summary...

Spotted any errors or found anything that doesn't work?

Comments summary...

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Thu 01.12.2012 4:03 am

Apparently the 'Comments' summary column on the home page is updated as soon as a post is submitted, but that post is not visible until moderator approval happens. That means there's a window of time in which there's a link to a 'new comment' that can't actually be seen.
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Re: Comments summary...

Postby phreadom » Thu 01.12.2012 9:02 am

Yeah, it's a little frustrating. :/ But the only alternative at the moment is to let spammers post and have it sitting around getting indexed by the search engines (which helps the spammers) if we're not around right then to catch it and delete it.

It's bad enough that the blog posts can't be queued pending moderation apparently (at least not by default it seems), and a few other irritating shortcomings.

Just trying to make the best of a bad situation. :(

First post moderation on the forums seems to have stopped 99.9% of the spammers from ever having their garbage see the light of day. The rest of the site isn't so streamlined. :/

Thanks for the heads up though! Do you think it's worth the irritation of the current "unavailable comment" issue for users in order to stop spam? Or should we err on the side of user friendliness and possibly help the spammers get higher google rankings?
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Re: Comments summary...

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Thu 01.12.2012 11:05 am

Err, the solution that I was hoping for was to put a 'hidden' flag on the new comments until the moderator approves them, and then simultaneously show both the comment and show the title in the list of comments.

If that's not possible though, I'm not sure it's really worth the hassle. If I understand it correctly, you have to have an approved account anyway - which means a valid e-mail address and passing a CAPTCHA of some form. That means a spammer has to come in person and fuss with it for each account they spam with, and if they spam multiple posts, all the spam is cleaned up at once with the deletion of the post.

(Although every time the spambots get better you have to change your CAPTCHA software, it's true, but then again, there probably aren't many spambots out there that can recognize your custom question since it's not common CAPTCHA software.)

Of course, if guests -can- post questions it's pretty much out of the question to let those go up without filtering them.
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Re: Comments summary...

Postby phreadom » Thu 01.12.2012 3:32 pm

They are actually signing up manually to get around the captcha, and posting the posts manually.

That's how persistent they are. They'll even write comments that sound relatively convincing and even on-topic sometimes...

For instance the moderator control panel shows the pending forum posts, but doesn't show them with the user's signature... so we used to occasionally approve posts that looked totally on-topic because we didn't see from the MCP that the user's signature was obviously spam. They were posting solely to get their signature onto the forum with its link to some spam website.

So now with those we make sure to look at the actual post first and give it the critical once over before letting them onto the forum. ;)

With the comments etc on the main part of the site, it would involve custom modifications to the site code, likely in several different places.

I'm in the middle of doing a major upgrade of the site software (from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7), so I'm not going to tackle it until after that at the very least. :) I might even consider ditching the blogs at that point... I'm trying to think of ways to streamline the site to focus more on the content and concentrate the user interaction down to fewer points.. forum/chat basically. (meaning I'll probably also ditch the shoutbox etc)

One thing at a time. ^_^
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