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Forums > Announcements & Site Feedback > Additional anti-spam measures put in place

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: December 09, 2012 (03:41 PM)
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As some of you will have noticed, the site got hit fairly hard by spam. I'm not sure, but this is likely the result of a couple of factors:

1) I removed the age entry field on the account registration form;
2) The "noindex" rule I thought I had in place on the forums got broken during one of the recent remodel efforts;

Spammers don't post links on a site like HonestGamers with hopes that our community will send them a bunch of traffic, not directly. Their primary hope is that the page with easy access will be indexed by Google and other search engines, which will give a slight boost to the value of the page for which they provide an outgoing link. They hit as many sites as they can find, including ours.

In general, HonestGamers should not have been worth such an attempt, because its entry forms were custom made by yours truly... which usually means that someone would have to write a custom script to create artificial accounts and post on them. Apparently, someone had taken the time to do so at some point in the past, and the removal of the birth date field caused the script to suddenly work again. That's all I can figure.

I've added a new field to the form. The form now asks a user to correctly fill in a blank before a new account registration attempt will be accepted. There currently are 20 questions, and I can add more as needed to confound any attempts at automation. Additionally, I have added "nofollow" and "noindex" rules to all pages on HG Chatter and on the forums. This removes any incentive to fill the site with spam because for the most part, the only traffic the site will send such sites now is the traffic that comes if one of us accidentally click on obvious spam. It's just not worth the effort for spammers, and it won't be until this site is much larger.

In the course of rectifying this issue, I found that some pages on the site were missing a variable they needed to display old content if directed here from cached Google entries, or from GameRankings. That issue is one I was not aware existed. I'm glad I found it and could address it. So something positive came out of this, at least.

I've deleted the obviously bogus spam accounts that were created yesterday and onward, as well as the posts. I hope that no additional measures will be necessary to ensure that the site is relatively free from spam and easy to use. Thanks for your patience while spammers had their way with the site, and have a great rest of your weekend!

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto on secret doors to another world

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