Quit Reporting SPAM for TechSmiths convenience.

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I was going to report the SPAM I just came across.

Not Today. Maybe not tomorrow. Why should I keep reporting Spam? It changes nothing in the long run.

If TechSmith doesn't care enough to assign a moderator to check for Pornography links that get posted from time to time. Spam in general.
I feel I’m playing the role of enabler here. They seem to wander into work and remove Spam at their leisure. I see employee responses being posted at 6AM EST or earlier at times. I’m usually at my computer by 5:30 EST.

 Yet, the existing reported Spam? Is overlooked and remains up until 8AM or so. ???

Over the past 6 months. Just a few members have reported spam on several occasions.

Paul  

Reports the most by far. His time zone is a factor.


With a website that stretches around the Globe. While TechSmith is fast asleep in central Michigan. This stuff/spam creeps in overnight.

Paul has been reporting the Lion’s share of it.  

TechSmith has the power to edit, delete and manage content in this forum.

Ask them about SPAM. They say that responsibility lies strictly with Get Satisfaction.

Well, If Paul.......... were an employee of TechSmith. Not asleep in central Michigan.

Actively monitoring the forums for new posts. Plus, had the power to remove or quarantine suspicious posts. With quarantine ones probably being ideal.

When TechSmith starts their day, they can have their coffee, wake up and take an informed look at the quarantined posts. See if they should be restored, or if further actions are warranted. “Delete Account Holder”.

This leaning on the members to report spam approach. Has been going on for months into years now. “Or, Far Too Long” without resolve.

It’s time to try something else. The current approach is a failure. The current thread for reporting is 4 pages long.It's the latest one.

I’m not going to count the number of reported incidents. It wouldn’t accurately reflect all Spam removed.

TechSmith has removed untold quantities of Spam when they were around to do so.

I’m Debating if I’ll continue to report SPAM at all?

TechSmith demonstrates little concern. They care for a few days ‘Seemingly” But they never actually resolve the problem. A Pro-Active Real Solution? Is clearly not on their mind. Because it's never happened.Their currently sleeping or enjoying the weekend.

I’m a member of a number of forums. This is the only one that’s chronically problematic. Creating problems/annoyances for me. I’ve been complaining for what must be years now.

My e-mail is loading up with Spam and the website currently looks like this.



Enjoy the Weekend TechSmith. Were here, you’re obviously not.

Regards,Joe




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Joe Morgan

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  • wasting my breath once again

Posted 4 months ago

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Photo of Fred Grover

Fred Grover, Champion

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Joe I would have to agree with you on this issue. I was a Forum Moderator that had the abilities in their past Forum Board (Not the GetSatisfaction Board) that was able to Moderate and ban or delete these kinds of posts. It was nice to have that ability and responsibility but that all changed when they went with GetSatisfaction which I still do not like.

It would be nice to have the old way back and true Moderators that can cover these kind of problematic issues with the spam. I did this many years ago and would have to say that when they decided to change the method of their Community Support Forum to GetSatisfaction is went downhill. It is sad when you see Pornographic material or other spam and someone you referred to the Community User Forum sees that it makes you and TechSmith look very unprofessional. That has happened to me in the past too.

So, TechSmith if you are listening please make some changes or as I have offered many times before to help Moderate and get this issue under control with no response back it would be nice to see something done about it. My offer still stands to help Moderate like me and a few other users here used to be able to do along with communicating with other Members through Private Messaging in the Forum Board which there is no option available for that now either. Sometimes change is not always the best even though some feel it may be the way to go.

Regards,

Fred Grover.
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Paul

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I agree with you both, to a point.

I would be happy to be a moderator, to a point.  After all, I'm already doing half the job.  And if the forum is deemed to be a community project, there is nothing incompatible with a non-employee being a moderator.

But my reservation is this.  Prevention is always better than cure.  So rather than moderating a post after the event, by which time it has already "infected" other users' mailboxes and links could have been followed, it only makes sense to moderate initial posts by new users.  I don't have the time to monitor every post on every product.

The counter argument to preventing a new user's posts from being published pending moderation is that it would delay the genuine users.  That much is true, but with community moderators spread across global time zones, any delay would be minimal.  I'm 5 - 8 hours ahead of US hours for example.  And this first-post-moderation practice is so widespread across tech forums that genuine users would not mind if their post was delayed a few hours.  No-one's gonna die.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Agreed Paul. A frist post with some kind of approval to verify the user is a real person and not a spammer would be a great option. I guess TechSmith has to do something with this issue as the ball is in their park right now and other users here have stated their opinions and feelings. Hopefully something will get done about it. Thanks for what you have been doing. Have a great day/night.

Regards,

Fred Grover
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Joe Morgan

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I prefer moderation before posting as well.

That’s how Adobe handles it and it works well. Except they seem to have near full time monitors. So even a moderated post at 6 or 7 AM EST on Sunday USA. The delay is less than an hour.

 I’ve joined several different forums over the years. Don’t use a lot of them much, never receive bogus responses or Spam from any of them.

The problem with full time moderation with Get Satisfaction is. That's truly 100% out of TechSmith’s hands. And they have said so in the past. I could have misunderstood? But that’s the way I read it. Get Satisfaction controls the website and what gets posted when and where.

TechSmith only has the power to remove it/clean up what's posted.That's the extent of TechSmith's power.

Or, TechSmith could switch to another provider. That offers better service.

However, when they switched to Get Satisfaction. All previous content was lost. Years of questions and answers wiped clean. Leaving members to answer all questions from scratch. From the simplest one, to complex explanations, requiring a lot of input, screen shots and members time.

The current oldest questions and answers in this forum? Date back to the day TechSmith joined Get Satisfaction. I wasn’t a member back then. I'm sure there must have been a tremendous number of previously answered questions flowing in.

I don’t mind attempting to answer the occasional Camtasia 8 question, or SnagIt 13. However, if we have to burn down the house to get to Adobes standards? Then I’m not prepared to commit to all that.

Many of my answers required an hour plus of my time. In a rinse and repeat situation. I don’t think I’ll answer those question again. That help is history. Regardless of there value.  And my desire to help. 

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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Spam is no fun at all.  There are actually multiple filters, but unfortunately some still gets through.

The thread for users to report spam is not the only mechanism.  If the community sees the spam, it's already a failure of the anti-spam systems in place.  Some posts are so obviously spam that GetSat filters them for us.  Some "potential spam" posts are flagged for review by moderators and must be manually approved before they are public.  And some spam slips through, sadly.

Thank you guys for all you do to help users, and for helping keep things clean out here.  I don't know what will come of it, but this thread (and the spam) did spark an internal email on the spam topic.  We do care, and we're looking at the options.
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Paul

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Thank you, Dave.  It's good to hear that someone is listening.

At the risk of sounding like a cracked record may I respond by saying that, in my view, monitoring posts is the wrong approach for two reasons:

1. Quantity: There are exponentially more posts than users, so finding spam posts is a needle in a haystack job that requires  a lot of resources

2. Root Cause Analysis: This tells us that the reason we get spam posts is not because we have users who occasionally post spam but usually do not.   Instead we have users whose sole purpose in registering is to create 100% spam.  Ergo the root cause is not the posts but the user.  So it is the new users that need moderating not the posts, and because there are far fewer new users than new posts, it requires fewer resources to moderate. 
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davemillman

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I was just about to say that we never see spam from existing contributors, only from newly registered users. If Techsmith could just moderate those the spam problem would disappear. Moderating first posts is very common on other boards.
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Mal Reynolds

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It is, but... I think the reason that they don't want to do it (I've seen this reason given before but I can't recall whether it's on this forum) is that it will also catch any posts with questions from potential purchasers who have registered just to get information about the product.

If the potential purchasers can't get a question answered, they get bored and frustrated, and a sale is potentially lost. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I am not supporting or defending that theory, merely stating that I know it exists.

This is why a more aggressive AI approach needs to be taken but, hey, it's Get Satisfaction; in my view one of the most under-powered, under-featured wastes of space in the entire market. This is what they have in their "education centre" relating to spam posts:
https://education.getsatisfaction.com/community-task-guide/manage-content-and-users/spam-management/

That's it. Pathetic. Utterly, utterly pathetic IMHO. Open source, DIY PhpBB has more powerful and flexible anti-spam modules than that. I know that Adobe also uses Get Dissatisfaction but they're a much larger organisation which, I suspect, uses some minimum wage human intervention as well. Certainly in my view any DECENT community software should allow you to customise spam settings by, for example, quarantining any posts which have external links.

If the reason above IS in fact the reason that TS don't want to auto-quarantine posts from new users, then I get it... but I think the issue has reached a point now where there really isn't any option but to do it.

Assuming that the waste of space that is Get Dissatisfaction allows them to, of course.
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Joe Morgan

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Well, I don't know what kind of Spam filters Get Satisfaction uses?

Brand Spanking New posts are Titled with then name of the Spam they represent.

These filters are some kind of a joke. What do they filter. Bots?
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Paul

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@ Mal
I doubt that a genuine "first post to make an enquiry" would be delayed more than a few hours while it waits for a moderator to clear that person.  And the number is tiny.  How many presales enquiries do we see on here?  A thimbleful.  So while I can imagine TS offering that up as a justification, it won't stand up to scrutiny.

I like the idea of quarantining posts with external links, except that would catch every case where a genuine user includes a screencast link or similar.  We only see malicious links from first-time users.  Same solution: moderate the user not the post
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Joe Morgan

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My image above tells a larger story than just WOW, look at all that Spam today.

Theres 12 actual Spam posts on 1 page.Viewing the Home page. The oldest is 4 hours old.

2 posts discussing what to do about Spam. The oldest is 2 hours old.

6 legitimate posts regarding TechSmith products. 1 response "Mine" is 25 min. old but the post is 5 hours old.Older than all the Spam posts.
The remaining posts are 9 to 21 hours old.

Granted, it's summer and the forum dies down to graveyard slow in the summer.
However, 4 of the 6 legitimate posts are 12+ hours old.
It appears 4 of them are new users seeking answers. Without posting links to websites/Spam.

The newest posts are 100% Spam or discussions about them.



Maybe I'm oversimplifying things, but how hard is to think your way around this and do better?
 
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lucsim

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I don't know if this could be a solution, but instead people have to watch over perhaps a system like CleanTalk - https://cleantalk.org - could work? I have it on my WP sites and works really good. Could be a little learning curve in the beginning, watching if no "good" posts are blocked and always good to keep a watching eye but quite seldom an error.