Discourse "raiding bots" keep coming to my site

Hi discourse community,

These strange bots keep coming to my site luckily system catches the issue and reviews it & we can remove the account, what will discourse do if these bot’s come more advanced and start to bypass these features?

It seems to randomly come to sites and advertises its site, I’ve had 2 other similar other bots, I’m curious has anybody else had any similar experiences and if so what’s your protocol to stop these bots?

3 Likes

This is a slightly strange question - in the way that hypothetical concerns often are.

The arms race between spammers and spam detectors is eternal. Too many sites become too effective at catching spam, the spammers learn some new tricks, the wave of successful spam prompts developers to once again invest resources into detecting & combating spam.

Neither the Discourse team nor the community can tell you how the Spam of The Future™ will be thwarted; it doesn’t exist yet, so how to effectively counter it is impossible to so much as guess at.

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Discourse assigns trust levels to users and those on the lowest have their posts run by Akismet to determine whether they’re likely to be genuine. There’s also posting restrictions on the newest of users (such as the number of topics they can post in & the number of links they can post). New users can’t send Messages directly to other people. If too many people report posts they become hidden automatically until reviewed by a moderator. Etc.

No software is perfect, but if you dislike spam, Discourse is one of the best forum packages around. Some will get through, and false positives will happen - but that’s true of any alternatives, too. Certainly, having tried several, I can’t imagine choosing something else.

Please understand the above isn’t exhaustive. There’s other cleverness like nofollow for SEO, and so on. It’d take a long time to write about every feature; Discourse has quite a few.

5 Likes

We’ll tweak the features…

In your example above everything is working perfectly. You simply delete and block the account.

3 Likes

Would be trying to raid my own test community to test features be allowed?

1 Like

There isn’t much way to know. As I understand, most spam comes not from bots but actual humans. Discourse still has ways to catch them, as you’ve seen. You could make tracking them and their motives a full time job if you want.

I recommend that you not spend any more energy worrying about what they might do. As long as it remains a minor annoyance, you can just ignore them (while blocking and deleting them).

2 Likes