Firstly, at the time that you created this thread, there were a grand total ofâ€¦â€¦....3 or 4 spam accounts, who in total made a total of 10 or 12 threads here. Over a single weekend, that's still nowhere near as bad as what we used to get here. Most of you regular users never saw the true extent of what we had to deal with before, however with the old image captcha system, it wasn't uncommon for bots to post half a dozen threads every 2 or 3 days during the week. On weekends it was worse (especially when there was a major sporting events happening like how the Super Bowl is happening today), with as many as 2 or more spam threads getting posted. Depending on whether or not a staff member was online at the time they were posted, or how quickly a staff member was able to catch/spot them, the actual number of spam threads that regular members saw varied from a handful, to a few to none at all.
Secondly, a change was made during the first half of January of 2016. I removed the image captcha verification that had been in place and have implemented a "Question and Answer" system in it's place. This means now that users registering new accounts must answer a specific question in order to verify they're a real person.There are currently 20 possible questions that a new user would have to answer. They are randomly rotated so that a bot cannot predict what will be asked at any given time. On top of that, I have personally devised/written up the Questions myself, as well as the appropriate answers for each. They are not super difficult, but they are specific enough to HJU and to the tokusatsu genre that in order to successfully register, it will actually take an actual person actually putting forth the time and effort to look for the answers. I must admit though, I would have liked to have a two-step verification (like answering 2 random questions back-to-back), however I cannot currently find a way to set that up hereâ€¦ assuming it'seven possible.
So basically from this point on, any spam threads that end up here should be ones that were posted by actual people, who are usually not as prolific at spam-posting as spambots are. Human spammers usually want to get in and out as soon as they possibly can, so while the new system may not have been able to eliminate spam threads 100% (and realistically, the only way to do that is to no longer allow new accounts to be registered), the results that we staff have seen so far shows that at the very least, the volume/number of them has been significantly reduced.
Dealing with spam threads is a regular, expected thing when you're part of an online forum. So everyone here still needs to do their part to help us keep them in check. The staff will keep booting them if/when we spot them, and to help with that, we need regular members to use click the "report thread" icon (for anyone who doesn't know, it's found below a users name on the left side of the screen and looks like a triangle with an exclamation point) to let us know when they appear.
I appreciate your diligence on it. I'm complaining about spam posts, not accounts. Since last year, seems to be every week, there'll be a few dozen new spam posts. They're getting easier to spot, but they're still strangely prevalent. Also, I didn't mean this as an attack against you, just a frustrated re/question.
Keep in mind that the best way to eliminate the spam posts is to deal with the spam accounts that make them. When we are able to find and boot out the spam accounts, then those accounts can no longer make spam posts.
As I said in my previous post here, from the staff's point of view, the true extent of the spam problem was more than what the general population here saw. A lot of spam threads/posts that get posted here get noticed/flagged by security measures that are put in place by vBulletin (the forum software HJU is based on) and they get put in what's known as "Moderated Mode", which basically means that the staff can see them, but regular members cannot. This is to allow potentially suspicious threads/posts to be examined by the staff, who then have the option to approve them (which would allow everyone at the board to see them) or delete them. When it was at it's worst, I remember seeing 2 and a half pages worth of "Moderated" spam threads (probably close to 100 actual threads) that had been made by something like, 10 spam accounts in one single day. Now since they had gotten flagged by the forum and placed in "Moderated Mode", HJU's regular members didn't even know that they were there; only members of the HJU staff had the ability them.
Don't worry, I never took it as a personal attack. And trust me, the staff know ALL about the frustration factor when it comes to these spam accounts/spam posts. Having to continually go through the needed procedures to remove the offending posts/threads, as well as banning each of the IP addresses used to make them is a pain in the ass.
Rest assured that the members of the staff here does it's best to remove the spam when we spot them. For now/At this point, the switch from the "image captcha" system to the "Question & Answer" system that I previously mentioned in this thread does appear to have helped cut down the overall number of spam threads that I've seen get through here. But even then, the fact remains that we (the staff) can't always be online here 24/7, and there are going to be times when a spammer will slip through and post his/her junk. That's when we need the rest of HJU to help out by clicking the "Report Post" icon (I mistakenly referred to it as a "Report Thread" icon in my previous post in this thread) so that we can be informed of when one of you notices/finds it.
If/When you notice it, click the icon to let us know and the next time one of us is online, we'll (hopefully) get the notification, which will then allow us to deal with it.