The Recent Ad Wave
Posted 22 July 2006 - 10:45 AM
First, most if not all of these ads are posted by bots, not some actual human. Therefore they can strike at any hour the computer is programmed for.
Second, since they do strike at odd hours it is simply not possible for me or Anthony to always delete them expeditiously. We are doing our best to get them down as quickly as possible, but both of us do occasionally need to sleep and do other things besides prowl the board looking for ads.
Third, those same bots also typically hide their internet address behind legitimate addresses. So if we were to ban the address used, we might actually end up banning one of our legitimate members.
Fourth, the idea of stopping guests from posting will not stop the problem. These bots are able to complete the registration process and sign up as members. As some of you are aware, I’m also a leader over at OTOL. We’ve had to deal with the ads over there too and guests are not allowed to post at OTOL.
At present I believe that Anthony still considers allowing guests to post as one of his highest priorities. It is possible that once the upgrade is completed that he may be forced to change that policy, but he would prefer not to do that. However, it will not stop the ads if guest posting is disallowed.
Finally, while I realize that the ads are upsetting, especially some of the vulgar sexual ones, commenting on them doesn’t help anyone. And on the off chance that it was placed there by a real person and not a bot, if they come back to check on it then your comments will simply encourage them, since they now know that you actually read the post.
To that end I would please ask that everyone just skip over the topic if it’s obvious what it is, and if it’s not, then just head back to the main menu without comment once you realize what it is. And rest assured that Anthony or I will get the post down as fast as we can possibly accomplish it.
Take care and take trains!
Posted 22 July 2006 - 04:53 PM
USA/Canada trains traveled: Adirondack, California Zephyr, Canadian, Capitol Limited, Cascades, Coast Starlight, Corridor (VIA), Crescent, Hudson Bay, Lake Shore Limited, Northeast Regional, Ocean, Maple Leaf, Vermonter
Posted 24 July 2006 - 08:20 PM
great northern miles-876
northern pacific miles-28
via rail canada kilometers-8,848
Posted 24 July 2006 - 09:12 PM
Yup, there are lots of interesting programs that run around the internet collecting info and doing things, and not all are good. There are bots that scan sites like this looking for people who post their email address in a post, so that they can add your name to a spam list. Please note that having your email address set so that other members can email you does not open you up to the bots. Only posting your email address within a post will make you vulnerable.
i didn't realize that there were programs that would register automatically so that getting rid of guest postings wouldn't get rid of the ads. just ignoring them, as you say, is probably the best idea.
Then there are "spiders" that run all over this site collecting infomation for sites like Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. This is of course a good program, as it allows people to find things on the net.
There are many other programs out there that I won't go into.
Take care and take trains!
Posted 24 July 2006 - 09:22 PM
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