Insomnia (insomnia) wrote in burning_man,

The death of spam on Burning_Man.

After repeated efforts to ban spammers, it's clear that someone out there -- probably only a couple individuals -- are running spambots that have our community on their list. I have done a bit of searching, and have determined that they are also spamming hundreds of other LJ communities, via multiple bogus accounts. I have given that info to LJ's sysadmins, in the hope that they can do something specific that would target these spammers -- LJ has some pretty advanced sysadmin tools that could solve the problem -- but unfortunately the spammers are persistent and LJ's sysadmins haven't taken action, AFAIK.

1> I am monitoring this community far more regularly, and will be receiving direct email notifications on new posts, etc. (I've probably invested a couple hours behind the scenes this week to mod this community.)

2> I'm restricting new members of burning_man to only those who have accounts I can verify as having a real human behind them, with real friends and a record for non-spammy, non-trolly posts & comments. As I do not want to stop any real human with good intentions from using the community, I will go out of my way to verify all new accounts, communicating directly with them, if needed, to be sure.

3> It's possible, if not entirely likely, that there might be a few spam accounts on burning_man which haven't been banned by me as yet. For that reason, I am temporarily monitoring and approving all new posts, to make sure they are relevant to the community. This might result in minor delays of posts going live, ideally of no more than 1-2 hours during PST daylight hours... in most cases, under that amount. Direct moderating will hopefully be in place for no more than a month, until I feel secure that none of burning_man's existing accounts are being used for spam.

I'm pleased to announce that the new changes have already started to block spam from our community. Last night, a jewgonnafols requested to join the community. I rejected their request as they had a similar profile to the previous spam accounts, which list several hundred LiveJournal communities, many of which have subsequently been spammed by the account in question.

I brutally censored your spam at the source. Hopefully this is something you can all live with.

I *hope* that LJ's admins will take additional actions to stop this widescale spam on their end, because it's a bad thing, not only for the tens of thousands of LJers who are receiving it, but also for the site's performance... but at least it shouldn't be your problem anymore.

Expect things to go back to normal here soon, with problems primarily limited to poor behavior in comments, and the occasional off-topic post. I'll be busy in the background, making sure that the bad guys never get a chance to do their thing.

Several of you might not like the steps I have been forced to take. Others might not like the fact that I'm not taking additional steps at this time. Frankly, some of the discussion on this has already been a bit too heated. That's understandable, because we all hate spam. I can't be expected to make everyone 100% happy, or to mod the community in the exact same way someone else might prefer... but, hey, you *were* spammed. It's not a problem any of us wanted, but I can't expect you to be happy about it, or happy that the spammers have forced us to install a few locks on the doors of the community.

What I promise to do though is to stop spam cold with a minimum of impact on all of you. All I ask, if you question the steps I have taken, is to give me a couple months to show conclusively that I can/will/have solved this problem, with a minimum of impact on all of you. If problems persist, I intend to take additional steps, possibly including taking a considerable amount of my time to recruit, interview, appoint, and properly train a co-mod... but if I'm right, after the recent changes, there will be precious little left to moderate, as the spammers will be kept out of our community. There's already evidence to prove that the latest changes are working, but I hope to fully convince any skeptics over the weeks ahead.

While I am temporarily reviewing and regularly reading new posts, there may still be the occasional trolly reply that I don't immediately notice. I don't expect it to be a particularly significant problem, but when it happens, please send me a message. Hopefully, most minor issues can be dealt with through edumacation and cluehammer whacking, without the need for bannination.

No spam allowed. Trolls smited. Polite disagreements welcomed. Minimalist/surrealist semi-polite, non-creepily obsessive snarking still allowed.


As an appropriately synchronistic sidenote, we have a new member today.
ilyshenka lives in beautiful сан франциско, California, and comes to us via my sfbayarea community. He cooks. He rides a Ducati. He loves to make people insanely hungry with his photography. (Time for lunch!)
One door closes, but another one opens...
***update #2***
Looks like we dodged another spam attempt, this time from antidamivarg. So far, so good!
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