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DN: Please block shortened links

over 4 years ago from , UI/UX Designer @ robertanitei.com

Again on the top stories of DesignerNews is full of spammy links, all of them with over 10 upvotes. We must do something.

DN Spam

43 comments

  • Xavier LuyckxXavier Luyckx, over 4 years ago

    It was 'funny' but please now :

    1. Ban them.
    2. Invite-mode only (or block registration) until you have the right solution.

    (3. We know you 're working hard on this, keep up the good work guys. We love you. )

    28 points
  • Alex FerensAlex Ferens, over 4 years ago

    It's at the point where i'm ohh so close to leaving DN. Please do something!

    6 points
  • Vlad Danilov, over 4 years ago

    You may use The Spamhaus Domain Block List (DBL) https://www.spamhaus.org/dbl/ for automated filtering:

    $ host www.designernews.co.dbl.spamhaus.org Host www.designernews.co.dbl.spamhaus.org not found: 3(NXDOMAIN) $ host hec.su.dbl.spamhaus.org hec.su.dbl.spamhaus.org has address 127.0.1.103

    Details are here.

    4 points
  • Jonathan SimcoeJonathan Simcoe, over 4 years ago

    This is garbage. So much spam tonight!

    4 points
  • César MigueláñezCésar Migueláñez, over 4 years ago

    Why not make comment upvotes count towards user karma, then put a minimum karma requirement for posting new links?

    3 points
    • M. AppelmanM. Appelman, over 4 years ago

      Because spammers could simply leave tons of comments and have an upvote party to start posting new links.

      1 point
      • César MigueláñezCésar Migueláñez, over 4 years ago

        That's true, but it would be more work for them nonetheless. We would also report users leaving spammy comments before they could post and reach the homepage.

        1 point
    • Thomas Michael SemmlerThomas Michael Semmler, over 4 years ago

      Maybe something like, "give gold" from reddit, but instead, we can give new commenters "credit" or something like that.

      0 points
  • James LaneJames Lane, over 4 years ago

    Just to update people. Jody added this feature yesterday:

    Implemented experimental functionality to block specific IP addresses from signing up for Designer News accounts

    3 points
    • Joe Blau, over 4 years ago

      Mathematically; That solution is never going to solve the problem. If DN could block 1000 IP's a second, it would 1.079×1028 years to block everything.

      4 points
      • James LaneJames Lane, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

        Joe, you do realise that it's banning IP addressed from signing up for Designer News accounts? Can't imagine there are that many new accounts per second

        Simply from viewing logs of where the spam has come from, it is from the same IP address. It's more hassle for the spam user to try and get around it, which is the aim, a deterrent, not a fix... Hence he said 'experimental'.

        2 points
        • Mathieu CMathieu C, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

          If the IP is banned, they'll use a VPN. Imo it's not a viable solution

          4 points
          • Joshua TurnerJoshua Turner, over 4 years ago

            Or a less elegant and often cheaper solution, proxies.

            They keep putting on bandaids. Although, at least they're aware and are trying to address the issue.

            0 points
        • Joe Blau, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

          Joe, you do realise that it's banning IP addressed from signing up for Designer News accounts?

          James you do realize that you can create any IP you want? I can take your IP if i wanted, there is nothing stopping the spammers from getting you banned by spoofing your IP. IP's are essentially unlimited and they don't need to make 1000 a second... they just need to make 10 every few weeks to spam their stuff. That just stretches out the spammers timeline.

          Simply from viewing logs of where the spam has come from, it is from the same IP address.

          Please look up how VPN's work. I could have 100 different IP's a day for the rest of my life if i wanted. They can register though Tor and have a new randomized IP each time they register (which is probably what they are doing). There needs to be stock in designer news accounts that discourages people from wanting to get their account deleted; right now designer news accounts don't have that so as long ad DN keeps trying to ban accounts, there will be spam.

          0 points
          • James LaneJames Lane, over 4 years ago

            Hi Joe

            Yes I do get that about the IP Address and it may not be the best solution, that wasn't what I was implying, more of a deterrent. But I do see the issues with that as a solution.

            On the topic of IP Addresses, surely the website that is hosting the spam (whichever it may be) has a fixed IP Address? Or is it just as easy to constantly switch the IP Address of a website too?

            0 points
  • Ian WilliamsIan Williams, over 4 years ago

    Build a wall!

    2 points
  • Joe Blau, over 4 years ago

    Just as an FYI, I hope people realize that banning based on IP or URL is futile. With IPV6, there are 340 undecillion (340282366920938463463374607431768211456) potential IP addresses and the number of URL's greater than 362083 (a number way higher than the first one). From and engineering standpoint, blocking or banning is a terrible idea because there are essentially infinite IP Addresses and domain names.

    I proposed as system earlier where you can't post a link until you've commented enough and received enough up votes for your commentary. This allows anyone to join read the posts, create avatars and their profile, vote on posts/comments, post comments, and creates value in their account. Once they've created enough value, then they reach a level where they'll be able to post actual links and articles. The threshold needs to be high enough to deter people from creating disposable accounts but low enough that it doesn't prevent a great community from being built.

    2 points
    • James LaneJames Lane, over 4 years ago

      This has and is being discussed constantly by the admins to find the best solution. Your input has NOT been ignored. But the solution, like you said, has to suit the whole community so as I see it... it's better that it's discussed in length!

      0 points
      • Elizabeth AdamsElizabeth Adams, over 4 years ago

        As a frequent reader but infrequent poster in DN, this solution doesn't seem to be the most inclusive. I don't post frequently because the community is not always the most welcoming, but I read frequently because it's a good place to learn the trade.

        2 points
        • Joe Blau, over 4 years ago

          You use your account and comment on topics in the community so you would be able to post. The spammers start posting and up-voting each other with 0 comments, and 0 prior posts, and less than a day of account activity. It should be very easy to determine who is legitimately participating DN and who is spamming

          0 points
          • Elizabeth AdamsElizabeth Adams, over 4 years ago

            Sure, and I agree that spam could be better addressed here. I was only trying to point out that your proposed system would seem to penalize people like me who like to come to read and perhaps only very occasionally post.

            0 points
            • Joe Blau, over 4 years ago

              How so? You have posts, you have karma, you comment, you've updated both your profile image and your header image — You're a valued member of the community. The system I'm proposing stops people who have no comments, no posts, no karma, and brand new accounts, and no updated profile informaiton from posting until certain criteria are met. You've built value in your account over 2 years, while the spammers sign up for accounts, spam 10 urls from 10 different accounts and then up vote each other. The usage patterns in your account are far different from a spammer.

              0 points
              • Elizabeth AdamsElizabeth Adams, over 4 years ago

                Ok, well, I think I was mostly concerned with the specifics of what constitutes having "commented enough and received enough up votes for your commentary." If that threshold were too high, folks like me might be barred from participating when they wanted to. So, I was just contributing feedback toward any such plan from the standpoint of not posting much. You obviously have a system in mind that you think will make dealing with spam simple. All I'm saying is that it's probably not quite as simple as it might seem-- else we might have had a solution quite a while ago.

                0 points
                • Joe Blau, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

                  It requires a balance; I said that in my first post.

                  The threshold needs to be high enough to deter people from creating disposable accounts but low enough that it doesn't prevent a great community from being built.

                  0 points
                  • Elizabeth AdamsElizabeth Adams, over 4 years ago

                    Uh huh. And I said in my first post that this community is not always the most welcoming. ;)

                    What I'm doing here is contributing feedback, as a member who posts rarely, in order to say that I don't think this is a question of "terrible ideas" (your words) versus really "genius" ideas (your proposed plan). I'm expressing concern because if a too-limited number of people with too-similar views determines what the "proper" threshold is, the determination might in the end work against building a community of value. I'm not saying your solution is wrong. Since you seem to place a lot of value in being right, I suppose it's important that you hear that. I'm saying your solution is perhaps not the most inclusive, even if it is in the end the best of all possible solutions to this problem.

                    0 points
  • Roman DavydkoRoman Davydko, over 4 years ago

    The biggest problem is RSS. Even if admins delete those link, I'm still going to get them in Feedly. Pretty frustrating.

    2 points
  • Ian GoodeIan Goode, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    When do posts about spam, become spam themselves?

    I'm sure the people who run this site are well aware of it. They'll sort it out.

    edit How do we contact support actually? Emoji don't seem to be working on the web version.

    1 point
    • Duncan RussellDuncan Russell, over 4 years ago

      Related: I had to contact support the other day, and it took me a fucking age to find the link. I only persevered because I'd heard it mentioned that it was at the bottom of the page.

      What was doubly confusing is that the "Support" link in the footer's actually for the DN Market.

      1 point
    • Max LindMax Lind, over 4 years ago

      Hey Ian! - your best bet is to use the little feedback newspaper icon in the lower right hand corner. Contact details for specific items are also listed under About.

      I'm always happy to field questions, comments, and feedback directly!: max@designernews.co

      0 points
  • David BarkerDavid Barker, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Wow… That's a lot of spam. I've banned the users involved and deleted the stories. The admins are working on a few ways to stop the spam appearing without us having to manually delete the stories.

    1 point
    • M. AppelmanM. Appelman, over 4 years ago

      So it looks like most spam is coming from accounts that were created about a month ago.

      Before you terminated this guys account, please look at the accounts that upvoted that users' stories and if they were also registered about a month ago, perhaps terminate those accounts as well?

      4 points
  • Mark ProganoMark Progano, over 4 years ago

    You can ping the short url to get the full url and then check that against sites you're blocking..

    0 points
  • Max LindMax Lind, over 4 years ago

    Hey Everyone! — we hear your concerns, and definitely agree that the spam must be stopped immediately! We've added a number of spam prevention tools on the admin end (ability to block urls, ability to block specific IPs from signing up, and more).

    These new changes will help prevent and deter new spammers, but it looks like the bulk of the latest round of spam was coming from older accounts (1+ month old). We're sweeping through the spam stories and catching all associated users who have posted, commented, and/or upvoted stories deemed spam.

    As with everything, we want to test-test-test on our end before any additional changes are implemented. Needless to say, it's a lot to think through and work through.

    Thank you for your patience, and thank you for your feedback. Constructive criticism or general frustration alike, it's all important for us to hear.

    0 points
  • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    def index

    if post.report.count >= 3 post.delete end

    end

    0 points
  • Thompson GeorgeThompson George, over 4 years ago

    Can you ban by IP? I know you could probably use a proxy or tor to post again, but it might help a bit. idk

    0 points
  • Sem SchilderSem Schilder, over 4 years ago

    It is getting way out of hand. This is not funny or you will lose people

    0 points
  • Kyo NagashimaKyo Nagashima, over 4 years ago

    I think URL blocking should be based on resolved URL, not posted URL.

    0 points
  • Jesse HeadJesse Head, over 4 years ago

    It's gotta happen sooner or later.

    0 points