Perhaps this isn’t new, as I’ve only been on Lemmy for around 3 months, but up until this point I hadn’t noticed spam, advertising, scams, etc at all on Lemmy. However, within the last 2 days I’ve seen at least 3 examples of obvious spam posts, made by accounts clearly dedicated to that purpose. Has anyone else noticed this? And are there steps we could take to counter it (perhaps a report button)?

m-p{3}
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Every platform that becomes popular eventually ends up being spammed.

My suggestion would be some kind of filter that keeps track of several metrics related to the domain name linked, ie how often the domain name is part of reports, how recently the domain name has been registered, etc and if the link seems untrustworthy, have the submission or comment filtered and require a manual approval by the community mod(s) before it shows up for everyone else.

And personally I’d auto-block any URL shorteners services, they don’t serve a valid purpose here and can be used to hide the destination URL.

How do you detect URL shorteners? Simply by checking for a redirect using curl, or do you check against a list of urls? Domain review would be a lot of work to implement, i hope we can avoid that.

m-p{3}
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I currently just use a list of known URL shorteners domain names, and it reduced the spam a bit on the subreddit I moderate.

Problem is that someone needs to maintain that list.

m-p{3}
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Every list needs a maintainer ;)

EDIT: Here’s a preliminary list

https://github.com/m-p-3/domain-lists/blob/main/url-shorteners

And that maintainer needs to be trusted. But if we manage without a list, there is no need for extra trust nor maintenance work.

m-p{3}
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Fair point.

I found it kind of funny first. This site is a smaller forum filled with people who are interested in privacy and security and are generally tech literate enough to spot a scam. Not sure what they hope to gain over doing this on a bigger website, but it’s interesting we are on these people’s radar.

krolden
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Spam knows no economic or physical boundaries. They just spam indiscriminately.

Halce
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I think the Lemmy devs should really consider implementing privacy pass for this problem: https://docs.rs/challenge-bypass-ristretto/0.1.0-pre.2/challenge_bypass_ristretto/#challenge-bypass-ristretto---build-status

One way to stop this is You can make your instance block new post or comments if they are under a certain age or karma or combination. Can be done with a quick and dirty psql insert trigger script .

I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that Lemmy doesn’t keep track of user karma. Perhaps it does internally but doesn’t display it in the ui? Otherwise, this sounds like a good suggestion.

Karma is kept track of on the back end. But Lemmy ui doesn’t show it. It’s in the API tho.

Jesse
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The code for total user karma is in the backend, but just isn’t utilized in this instance. You absolutely can access it though.

Its just a quick sum() on the post_like and comment_like tables anyways. Wouldn’t hurt performance unless you have a really huge instance. And then you could precalculate karma when it starts to bottleneck if its not already done somewhere.

Some people just have way too much time on their hands.🤷

Maybe nofollow and ugc attrib on outgoing links could help?

@dessalines@lemmy.ml This sounds like a good idea, what do you think?

That sounds like a great idea! Although I didn’t know what that meant until looking it up just now lol

krolden
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There’s a report button already but I believe it only reports to the instance admin and not the whole federation. From what ive seen is the spam is mostly coming from instances with not much activity otherwise.

This is one of the reasons voat died, they didn’t want to pay anyone to add any anti spam measures since the entire thing was just a school project that blew up.

Bans arent federated yet, so an admin on instance A might ban a user + remove his posts, but other instance wont know about it. This will need a bit more time to implement, and should improve the spam situation a lot.

Dessalines
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Outside of other solutions ppl proposed below, we do just need more active admins, across different timezones. The report queue has really helped, but there’s not enough of us looking at them.

Cleaning things up only takes a few seconds with the ban + remove content action.

Also a lot of these spam posts do seem automated, which means our captcha here isn’t doing as good a job as it should be 😞

Would some sort of Bayesian filter help? At least from what I’ve seen on PeerTube, WriteFreely, and the history of email is that certain patterns crop up in the posts.

krolden
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I think its just that captcha is so cheap and easy to bypass. I’m sure you know about the farms of people solving captcha for bots and other spam services.

Captcha is more of a user annoyance at this point.

Maybe, in addition to admins, there could be demi-mods where when they report something, it becomes hidden? Or some other democratic approach; I remember League of Legends did a “tribunal” thing where users could vote on whether something was appropriate. Maybe something like that could distribute the admin-load without giving people unilateral-ban-power.

krolden
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Spam moves faster than democracy.

It moves faster than fascism too =P

krolden
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Nah fascism is just better at disguising their spam as an attack on your personal liberties by the communists.

I’m saying the current moderation strategy is pure fascism

Could be Reddit’s attempt to make Lemmy less appealing by adding spam to it

doubt it

lol

You can bet this 100% happens. Its cheaper to make competing products worse than to invest in features to Make your product better.

overflow
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Yes I’ve noticed it’s just been occasional so far tho and there’s actually a report button just click the three dots under a post then click the flag to fill out the report form and click report when you’re finished

Jesse
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Does the report go to the community mods or the lemmy mods?

overflow
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the former

Dessalines
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Its both, both admins and community mods see reports now.

Just a quick reminder to users: if you see spam, simply commenting “spam” or downvoting it doesn’t alert the mods. It’s best to hit the report button and/or comment directly mentioning the mods of the community or the admins of the instance where the post originates from.

If you report the offending post to the admins of another instance (Lemmy.ml sees this a lot since we one of the biggest instances), they can only remove and ban on their own instance, whereas the home instance admins can ban the user from posting at all, and if they remove it, it should propagate through to the federated instances.

I take care of 2 giant sublemmys and remove spam within 12-24 hours. I hope we could get more good moderators on board to be able to put in required community work.

I’m able to help!

lol “sublemmy”

krolden
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Giant? What number of uswrs/posts qualify a sub for giant label?

c/privacy and c/technology are the main big sublemmys here.

krolden
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Oh huh I guess I never actually looked at the number of subscribers.

Dessalines
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Just a note that I’ve de emphasized subscriber count, as its fairly useless considering the number of ppl who signup then never come back. Active users per month is pry the best indicator for popularity.

CHEF-KOCH
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Define spam, advertising, scams, etc.

Practical everything is an ad, info or notice what you post because you want to make people aware of things. There are some ads here but they quickly getting reported, reported myself lots of things already, it is normal.

Maybe link the examples or report them otherwise this is hard to understand what exactly you mean.

@k_o_t@lemmy.ml
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