Community > Adventure Related Talk & Chat

Invasion of the spam bots

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Snarky:
Hey AGSers!

In the last couple of years, we've had an influx of a new kind of forum spammers. Their M.O. is that they post a few innocent-seeming posts, and then a while later they go back and edit them to add spam links. I assume this is done by bots, but if so, they are smart enough to pass fairly convincingly for a human: there are examples of some of them discussing adventure games and having arguments about politics with other forum members. Even after the edit, the post is usually coherent, and the link may appear vaguely relevant to the thread topic (a lot of them are to tutorial databases and things like that).

The volume is not huge (as far as we know), but they can be well-hidden. So please, if you come across an edited post with a link to some (non-AGS-related) commercial site, particularly if it's by a member with only a few posts, flag it for the mods. And be aware that this pattern is something we'll usually perma-ban users for without warning, so take care if you link to sites like this, particularly if you edit the post later.

eri0o:
I have not come across these, but is it possible they were normal people that just got hacked later?

Snarky:
Yes, that might be in some cases. It can be very hard to tell. The possibility is worth keeping in mind, particularly since we have made it a practice to delete all posts by members who are found to spam in this way, even the comments without any spam. That's not really fair to someone who has been hacked.

Others are almost definitely bots, though.

Crimson Wizard:
AFAIK most of the suspects so far had this in common:
a) they were not much active, mostly make 1 random post in few months, and usually their posts are too generic to be sure that they are invested in the conversation,
b) it was not clear whether they have any relation to AGS at all, as they don't ask any AGS technical questions and rarely comment on games (if ever).
c) were posting links that are vaguely related to the actual conversation.

eri0o:
Adding to the list of probable bots: [redacted]

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