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'Flag as Spammer' - Does it block use of e-mail address?


usmf
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If you click the "Flag as Spammer" on a member's account, will it block the use of the e-mail address associated with the account? We have a lot of banned members who were identified as spammers and only have a post count of 0-3. Right now, the accounts are just banned --- leaving them in the system to make sure that no user with the same e-mail address can register again. However, I'd like to be able to delete those accounts. Would I be able to "Flag as Spammer" to remove all content, delete the account and record the e-mail address as blocked in the system?

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

Nope if you remove those who you have flagged as spammers or banned them, they will not be blocked in the system unless you add their email addresses/IPS manually to the banned list.

Edited by Afrodude
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1 hour ago, Afrodude said:

Nope if you remove those who you have flagged as spammers or banned them, they will not be blocked in the system unless you add their email addresses/IPS manually to the banned list.

Thanks for the answer. So, what is the benefit of using the "Flag as Spammer" option vs. just deleting the account? Is one a better option? 

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13 hours ago, usmf said:

Thanks for the answer. So, what is the benefit of using the "Flag as Spammer" option vs. just deleting the account? Is one a better option? 

Flagging them as a spammer will tell our spam system to learn from the incident and help you in the future and others. It also takes many other data points into consideration so if they do try to register again from say the same IP address and our spam system notices it on other communities, it will block them.

Flagging as a spammer also is a one-click button you can setup to do optional things like delete or hide all their content and ban or delete the user.

Deleting the account does nothing to help yourself and others in the future.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to both of you for the information. We can now decide how to proceed with this. 

@Jim M When the spam info is sent, does Invision share this info with the online published lists of spamming e-mails, etc., so that all communities (not just Invision) benefit from the work?

Edited by usmf
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16 minutes ago, usmf said:

Thanks to both of you for the information. We can now decide how to proceed with this. 

@Jim M When the spam info is sent, does Invision share this info with the online published lists of spamming e-mails, etc., so that all communities (not just Invision) benefit from the work?

You can find out more information about our Spam Defense Service here: https://invisioncommunity.com/features/spam/

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Stuart Silvester said:

You can find out more information about our Spam Defense Service here: https://invisioncommunity.com/features/spam/

Thanks, but I've seen that page. It's not much real info. It doesn't tell you what happens when you hit that button, what info is shared with whom, what the lasting consequences are, etc. For instance -- it says:

If the worst happens and a spammer does make it into your community, Invision Community has a one-click spam cleanup process - simply go to the spammer's profile and click "Mark as Spammer". The user's account will be immediately banned, and all of their content will be removed. It's like they were never there.

This just says that the "Mark as Spammer" button will ban an account? I'm looking for the best way to mark spammers, keep their e-mail addresses blocked and totally delete accounts to not taking up space in the system. But I have a feeling that the "like they were never there" just means removing content -- not actually removing accounts. I want them deleted like they were totally never there, but somehow marking the e-mail address for good. Thanks for the help!

Edited by usmf
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4 minutes ago, usmf said:

Thanks, but I've seen that page. It's not much real info. For instance -- it says:

If the worst happens and a spammer does make it into your community, Invision Community has a one-click spam cleanup process - simply go to the spammer's profile and click "Mark as Spammer". The user's account will be immediately banned, and all of their content will be removed. It's like they were never there.

Does that mean that the "Mark as Spammer" button will actually delete an account? Totally deleted and not taking up space in the system? I'm looking for the best option to honestly remove spamming accounts -- totally removed and not taking up space hiding in files on the severs. Thanks for the help!

Sorry, I thought you were asking about how the remote part of the process works.

You can configure what flagging a member as a spammer does please see this guide - https://invisioncommunity.com/4guides/security-and-rules/spam-prevention-r9/#spammers

 

It also contains other useful information about configuring the various options. 

 

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Stuart Silvester said:

Sorry, I thought you were asking about how the remote part of the process works.

You can configure what flagging a member as a spammer does please see this guide - https://invisioncommunity.com/4guides/security-and-rules/spam-prevention-r9/#spammers

 

It also contains other useful information about configuring the various options. 

 

Thanks so much! I read through that page, but it doesn't address the idea of deleting a spamming account. From what it says, the "Mark as Spammer" button will only delete content. So, is the best way to remove spammers to use the button to mark them, ban them and remove content -- then delete the account itself?

We're working with a forum that's been around a long time and the spamming accounts may have been banned, but they've never been cleaned out. Something definitely needs to be done, but I just want to make sure that we decide on the right action before giving instructions to the staff.

Edited by usmf
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I really wouldn't worry about deleting the accounts, you're talking [usually] at less than a kilobyte of data per member. (average in my dev environment is 435 bytes and those are accounts that haven't had things like signatures etc deleted). If you trust the moderators, then setting the action to delete the posted content is a good approach, that would have a greater impact on data usage than the account.

As you've noted, keeping the accounts there prevent the email address from being used again.

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1 minute ago, Stuart Silvester said:

As you've noted, keeping the accounts there prevent the email address from being used again.

There is one issue with that, in that flagging as a spammer doesn't strip the profile, which quite often gets links, about me's etc added to it by the spammers. Unless this has changed in 4.6?

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Thanks! This answers just about everything I was wondering. 🙂

One last question -- when the "Flag as Spammer" button is pushed, does the spam info get shared into the broad online spam prevention, in that way helping more than only Invision customers?

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1 hour ago, usmf said:

One last question -- when the "Flag as Spammer" button is pushed, does the spam info get shared into the broad online spam prevention, in that way helping more than only Invision customers?

Yes, this is one of its primary purposes. The data sent to IPS is used by other communities that have enabled the spam prevention service and have elected to use the return scores to address new account registrations.

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7 minutes ago, CoffeeCake said:

Yes, this is one of its primary purposes. The data sent to IPS is used by other communities that have enabled the spam prevention service and have elected to use the return scores to address new account registrations.

Thanks so much! Great to know . . . now off to deal with all these spam accounts.

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The issue I have with delete content for spammers is there are no explicit safeguards to prevent this option for members of other groups from being banned. 

Not that I fear it would happen out of malice or intent but rather by accident or curiosity what happened if a moderator flagged someone as spammer who is a long time member?!

I would prefer that this option be only allow to work on  specific groups (newbies) not blankly across all groups -

It seems highly unlikely that a long term member would randomly start spamming a site, this to me indicates their account were compromised and other mitigation should be taken. Such as putting said account in timeout wiping out credentials and putting the last X number of posts in to a queue for review. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Ocean West said:

The issue I have with delete content for spammers is there are no explicit safeguards to prevent this option for members of other groups from being banned. 

Not that I fear it would happen out of malice or intent but rather by accident or curiosity what happened if a moderator flagged someone as spammer who is a long time member?!

I would prefer that this option be only allow to work on  specific groups (newbies) not blankly across all groups -

It seems highly unlikely that a long term member would randomly start spamming a site, this to me indicates their account were compromised and other mitigation should be taken. Such as putting said account in timeout wiping out credentials and putting the last X number of posts in to a queue for review. 

 

Interesting, as we just had a similar experience. A long-time Admin accidentally marked a member as spammer instead of changing his group. Thankfully, the member did not have a lot of posts and was very understanding about it. We could reinstate the account, but of course all content was lost.

It would be very good if this option was restricted to a certain group(s) for newbies. I'm dealing with over 50,000 accounts that have been banned with under 3 post count in the first group. Very uncommon to have to deal with a spammer in any of the higher groups (more than 3 post count, in our case) -- and could easily be dealt with on a one-on-one basis.

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41 minutes ago, Ocean West said:

Not that I fear it would happen out of malice or intent but rather by accident or curiosity what happened if a moderator flagged someone as spammer who is a long time member?!

We have had this happen in the past--accidental flagging of a long term member with tens of thousands of content items. 

42 minutes ago, Ocean West said:

I would prefer that this option be only allow to work on  specific groups (newbies) not blankly across all groups -

This is an excellent suggestion. I believe we made a modification to do just this.

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