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Spam in the Reader forum

Most Valuable Participant ,
May 01, 2011

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The Reader forum has been spammed since about 10 hours ago. Despite the several reports in the Spam thread, the spam messages are still piling up. This is making the forum nearly unusable.

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Spam in the Reader forum

Most Valuable Participant ,
May 01, 2011

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The Reader forum has been spammed since about 10 hours ago. Despite the several reports in the Spam thread, the spam messages are still piling up. This is making the forum nearly unusable.

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May 01, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 01, 2011

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Quite frankly, I don't feel encouraged to continue reporting spam.

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May 01, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 02, 2011

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Now that it is Monday, maybe someone will be able to do something... before the weight of spam brings the forum(s) down again

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May 02, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 02, 2011

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Well, all the spam in the Reader forum that was reported yesterday had been removed earlier this morning...

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May 02, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 03, 2011

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I marked this "question" as Answered because the offending posts had been eliminated. However, today the Reader forum has been piling up spam messages for more than five hours, and nothing happens, despite reports.

I always understood that one way to discourage spammers is to eliminate their messages as soon as posible.

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May 03, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 03, 2011

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I can imagine it's no one's first job to remove spam.  Seems to me they do keep up - sooner or later - so it's hard to be critical.

As far as it getting it removed quickly, that was the motivation for my suggestion in the "Much Ado About Spamming" thread.

-Noel

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May 03, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 03, 2011

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Noel Carboni wrote:

I can imagine it's no one's first job to remove spam.  ..

Shouldn't it be? Regardless, 5 hours is a very long time, and it discourages people reporting....

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May 03, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 03, 2011

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Sure, but I can't begin to imagine a company funding such a position.  That there are paid Admins at all who read these threads is a blessing.

You'll notice that virtually all the moderators are unpaid.

The whole idea of forums is that you get your smart/experienced users to help your other users for a LOT less money than it would cost to have competent people manning telephone support.

-Noel

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May 03, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 03, 2011

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Noel Carboni wrote:

Sure, but I can't begin to imagine a company funding such a position.  That there are paid Admins at all who read these threads is a blessing.

You'll notice that virtually all the moderators are unpaid.

The whole idea of forums is that you get your smart/experienced users to help your other users for a LOT less money than it would cost to have competent people manning telephone support.

-Noel

Funding such a position should be considerably cheaper than implementing a set of properly working forums. I frequent other forums that do not collapse under spam attacks, that don't have to eliminate functionalities to avoid disaster produced by spammers, where bugs are corrected in quite a lot less than two years, forums equiped with properly working search engines, ... And where moderators are as unpaid as the ones here.

I do not consider these forums as a gift graciously granted by Adobe to its users, who have to accept them gratefully and silently with all their shortcomings. It is users (including moderators) who are giving their time and expertise for free, thus replacing a virtually unexistent support service that, as you say, would cost Adobe a LOT of money. Therefore, a minimum of courtesy from Adobe would be to strive to make these forums functional, to avoid making the act of helping a real chore.

I think that all old timers know and fully appreciate the work of JC and his team in trying to keep these forums working as decently as possible. Unfortunately, their hands seem to be tied ever since the forums began being powered by this Jive software that has not been updated in about two years -we are still using version 2.5.16.

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May 03, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 03, 2011

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Claudio González wrote:

Funding such a position should be considerably cheaper than implementing a set of properly working forums.

That statement doesn't really stand up to scrutiny very well.  The ONE THING that companies are constantly trying to reduce is labor cost.  Employees are expensive!

Let's say a full time position to delete spam would pay $30K.  Most administrators roughly double that to determine the "burden rate", so the company would be laying out $60K / year for this ONE PERSON.  That's not a one-time cost, but $5,000 a month, every month from now on.  Those are not tiny numbers.

On the other hand, loading it as part-time low-priority responsibility onto a forum Admin who has tons of other responsibilities doesn't seem to cost nearly as much.

-Noel

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May 03, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 03, 2011

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Noel, and what would be the cost of kicking out Jive, getting some serious software to manage these forums, and start all over again (which would need highly specialized employees, and would make needless to have someone exclusively for removing spam messages)?. I apologize for asking you, but you seem to be the expert in calculating costs, and I simply have no idea, not to mention the fact that I live in another country. However, I suspect that it would be quite a lot more expensive, but that's just a naive guess.

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May 03, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 03, 2011

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I'm not trying to duck the question, but estimating a task like that would take a full-time professional planner/administrator a good bit of time (and more information than I have on hand) to do properly.

I worked in corporate high tech for 29 years, by the way, before starting my own company 6 years ago.

-Noel

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May 03, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 04, 2011

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If I understand you correctly (estimating a task like that would take a full-time professional planner/administrator a good bit of time ... to do properly), it would seem that my previous statement

Funding such a position should be considerably cheaper than implementing a set of properly working forums.

does stand up to scrutiny very well. It only took you minutes to estimate the cost of of having a spam remover, but just estimating the cost of implementing a set of properly working forums would be very expensive...

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May 04, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 05, 2011

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I hate to state the obvious, but the amounts matter, Claudio.  A manager planning a project for weeks then executing the plan is still very likely going to be less expensive than hiring a full-time person whose job it is to take up the slack from now on for the bad implementation currently in place.

Hey, I'm not the one making decisions to save money by reducing employees.  That's an industry-wide concept.

And if you feel you have the solutions, I encourage you to continue to express them here - not everyone has to agree with them for them to be valuable.  I'm certainly not trying to suppress any thoughts, but I will probably comment if I don't happen to agree with you.

-Noel

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May 05, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 05, 2011

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You wouldn't be forgetting costs such as the cost of breaking a contract with Jive, and then making a new contract with another company and start from almost zero, would you? But I agree, I am no expert in the matter, so I can be totally wrong in assuming that hiring a low rate employee to eliminate spam for as long as we see properly implemented forums is less expensive than redoing the forums. Or even is assuming that the present ones cannot be mended with the present software, or we would have a decent search engine from the beginning, and we wouldn't have two year old bugs.

And no, I don't think I have the solution, but feel fairly sure that the ever growing number of workarounds that are necessary to compensate for the poor design and implementation of this site -leading, amongst other things, to its "temporary" crippling for safety reasons- are not a good solution; and that hiring a person to eliminate spam shouldn't be necessary.

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May 05, 2011 0
Advocate ,
May 05, 2011

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Claudio González wrote on 11/05/05 19:23:

But I agree, I am no expert in the matter, so I can be totally wrong in assuming that hiring a low rate employee to eliminate spam for as long as we see properly implemented forums is less expensive than redoing the forums.

So on hand hand you complain if it takes a few hours before spam is

removed, but on the other hand you think one employee is enough. How

many hours do you expect him to work per week? Would he get weekends off?

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May 05, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 05, 2011

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Based on the day/time of the start of this topic, it appears the role is expected to be 7 day coverage, possibly 24/7.

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May 05, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 05, 2011

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Jochem van Dieten wrote:

Claudio González wrote on 11/05/05 19:23:

But I agree, I am no expert in the matter, so I can be totally wrong in assuming that hiring a low rate employee to eliminate spam for as long as we see properly implemented forums is less expensive than redoing the forums.

So on hand hand you complain if it takes a few hours before spam is

removed, but on the other hand you think one employee is enough. How

many hours do you expect him to work per week? Would he get weekends off?

It wasn't me who suggested hiring someone to delete spam messages; I have only being repeating that I think it woudld be much cheaper than redoing the forums. And I don't know if hiring one person would suffice; I only know that it would be much better than having none.  See also

http://forums.adobe.com/message/3659490#3659490

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May 05, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 06, 2011

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Claudio González wrote:

I only know that it would be much better than having none.


Perhaps an unfortunate choice of wording.  If I were the Admin and saw your implication here that there is no one managing spam, I might be tempted to ask:

"What am I, chopped liver?"

-Noel

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May 06, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 06, 2011

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I was obviously talking about hiring a full time person of low rank to work exclusively in deleting spam messages: in the present circumstances, it would better having one than none. Fortunatelly, Admin knows how I feel about what he and his team do to keep these forums clean and working, so there was no chance of being misinterpreted by him.

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May 06, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 06, 2011

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Claudio González wrote:

I was obviously talking about hiring a full time person of low rank to work exclusively in deleting spam messages: in the present circumstances, it would better having one than none. Fortunatelly, Admin knows how I feel about what he and his team do to keep these forums clean and working, so there was no chance of being misinterpreted by him.

Instead of hiring a person, how about masking some users moderators of these forums?  They should decide if the message is appropriate or not.  Microsoft is doing this quite successfully so why can't Adobe do a test run?

I have noticed that somebody is moderating these forums because two of my messages from DW have been deleted because I mentioned Microsoft's Expression Web (under $100) and free version Microsoft Sharepoint Designer 2007 for a newbie to get into HTML/CSS before spending about $200 on Dreamweaver.

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May 06, 2011 0
Adobe Employee ,
May 06, 2011

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Messages such as those (Microsoft Expression Web) should not have been deleted. Can you tell me approximately when they were deleted?

Thanks!

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May 06, 2011 0
Advocate ,
May 07, 2011

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DWILCOX01 wrote on 11/05/07 04:16:

I have noticed that somebody is moderating these forums because two of my messages from DW have been deleted because I mentioned Microsoft's Expression Web (under $100) and free version Microsoft Sharepoint Designer 2007 for a newbie to get into HTML/CSS before spending about $200 on Dreamweaver.

I don't know about any of your messages getting removed because of that

reason. I do know about 2 of your messages (and a lot more) in the DW

forum getting deleted yesterday evening when the OP reported them as

abuse and I agreed that it was the wrong place for smart remarks about

some software platforms.

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May 07, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 07, 2011

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Maybe the idea of "specially enabled users" is not so bad after all. It shouldn't be too difficult to identify users who could qualify for this (just looking at the Spam thread should be enough), and send them PMs asking if they would be willing to collaborate. My idea is that they would just be enabled to remove what they think are obvious spam messages, which would not be really erased permanently but would remain for some time in a sort of reservoir from which they could be replaced in case someone with higher powers finds there have been mistakes. No further powers.

Is this worth discussing, and perhaps implementing?

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May 07, 2011 0
Mentor ,
May 07, 2011

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Claudio González wrote:

Maybe the idea of "specially enabled users" is not so bad after all. It shouldn't be too difficult to identify users who could qualify for this (just looking at the Spam thread should be enough), and send them PMs asking if they would be willing to collaborate. My idea is that they would just be enabled to remove what they think are obvious spam messages, which would not be really erased permanently but would remain for some time in a sort of reservoir from which they could be replaced in case someone with higher powers finds there have been mistakes. No further powers.

Is this worth discussing, and perhaps implementing?

I have run across post I would love to delete on the spot.

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May 07, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 07, 2011

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Which doesn't mean that it is blattant spam...

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May 07, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 07, 2011

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Claudio González wrote:

Maybe the idea of "specially enabled users" is not so bad after all.

Is this worth discussing, and perhaps implementing?

Yes and yes, IMO.  Of course, we don't know if it's possible without completely reprogramming the forum software, but it's just a more conservative version of the idea I proposed (where anyone could zap spam), so I'm for it.

Whereas the forum requires 4 "just plain users" to report a post as abuse (with reason: spam) before hiding it, such a specially enabled user could do it in one shot using the same mechanism.

-Noel

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May 07, 2011 0
Mentor ,
May 07, 2011

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The only fly in oniment could be it could be mis-used if people have grudes against other people.

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May 07, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 07, 2011

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Abuse of the abuse reporting system is of course abuse in itself.  It should be ridiculously easy to tell if somone zapped a post that wasn't spam.  If it happens too much the offender could be stripped of his/her special status after review by a mod or admin.  I just don't see this as a problem. 

People who are made mods are given that kind of responsibility.  Maybe we just need more moderators?

Something that spreads the spam management job out to more conscientious people is a Good Thing and is worth a little extra risk of something going wrong.  What's the alternative?  Doing nothing at all?

-Noel

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May 07, 2011 0
Mentor ,
May 07, 2011

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I agree. As long as there is enforment of removal for abuse of power. There should be a one, or two strike system. if you do something by accident, you have forgiveness for one or two accident reports. If it becomes a habit, remove them.

I am Moderator on a Yahoo group for Intuit Quicken and I have removed  post because of Spam. It only be twice. But we have a ver low incident of Spam.

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May 07, 2011 0
Advocate ,
May 09, 2011

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Claudio González wrote on 11/05/08 01:41:

Is this worth discussing

Not if you do so under the illusion of it ever being implemented.

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May 09, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 03, 2011

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I am glad to say that all the spam messages in the Reader forum reported today in the Spam report thread have been eliminated.

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May 03, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 04, 2011

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The number of sports-related spam posts in the Reader forum has been on the increase, specially on days of important matches. And, as hard as JC and company strive to eliminate them quickly, they frequently remain there for hours after being posted.

I always undestood that one way to help in combating spam was to eliminate spam messages as soon as possible, not in hours. Some time ago, I suggested in this same thread, and combining suggestions from others, that some of the users that daily report spam in the forums they frequent be appointed as some kind of "limited moderators", with the only privilege of temporarily removing messages that for them are obvious spam. If considered necessary (I wouldn't consider it necessary, for they have been reporting spam for months), the removed messages could be temporarily stored in a safe place where they could be revised by someone with more experience and authority, before being eliminated for ever.

Some persons have questioned this idea, on the grounds that these limited moderators could use their powers for unjustly removing messages from people they do not like. I find this very thought insulting for the people who report messages daily, and could equally been said, equally insultingly, of any of the present moderators.

It has also been pointed out that the idea is not even worth considering unless someone is under the illusion of it ever being implemented. Been a complete ignorant of the innards of the software behind any forum, my naive impression is that this simple idea cannot be all that difficult to implement. And if it were implemented, spam messages would only be vissible for minutes, not hours. And I am naive enough to think that this would even make easier the task for all of those who are now trying to delete spam messages and disable their posters.

In short, I still think the idea is at least worth considering.

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Jun 04, 2011 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 04, 2011

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By the way, this is what I am talking about:

Spam.jpg

And the list is longer...

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Jun 04, 2011 0