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Varchild2008 (85.35)

Easy way to Destroy Motley Fool BOTS

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April 11, 2010 – Comments (10)

Captchas  still exist everywhere from Forums to Membership Subscriptions and so throughout the Internet.  I've found out many years ago that the Captcha Code you have to type to sign up for something DOES NOT WORK to eliminte robot invasion.

I think www.fool.com   is just the latest victim from those who believed CAPTCHAs were the answer to eliminating BOTs.   Ticker Replies to comments...Blog Replies to Comments... and most likely this one will get invaded by BOTs.

Here's a simple way to eliminate BOTs.

Set up an automatic process to eliminate everyone's account on Motley Fool that has ZERO CAPS picks and ZERO CAPS score.

This will allow normal users to carry every once in awhile a ZERO CAPS pick portfolio.... Because your CAPS SCORE will still exist from your previous CAPS picks....

But those accounts that not only currently have ZERO CAPS picks....but also ZERO CAPS score.....

Those accounts are all entirely the BOT accounts.   Seems like it should be possible to set up an automatic removal of these BOT accounts in 1 fell swoop once every 7 days.

10 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 11, 2010 at 10:56 AM, binve (< 20) wrote:

Another good one that I have suggested when I report the most recent wave of spam is to put the string "www.b2b2.us" (or whatever website this guy is pimping) in the profanity filter. The profanity filter doesn't even allow that comment to be posted and takes care of the problem at the source. Seems like a clean solution to me (at least with regards to this particular and prolific spammer)

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#2) On April 11, 2010 at 11:26 AM, SockMarket (41.76) wrote:

I am not saying this is common but there are some people out rhere who read and comment on blogs who don't pick stocks. We would destroy their ability to follow people.

Also if the bloggers are smart enough to have a bot create an account and copy text into the comments section of blogs they are probably smart enough to create a bot that will pick 7 stocks (or whatever the minimum is) with an NS timeframe. 

I like bvine's idea more. Also I would reccomend blocking IP addresses. 

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#3) On April 11, 2010 at 12:06 PM, isusan (< 20) wrote:

In addition to Binve's idea, I'd suggest putting a 7 or 14 day hold before a new account can blog or comment. That would give MF time to screen the new accounts for similarities to the spam ones.

I also suspect a coordinated effort by the Fools on that b2b2 site could make MF a less desirable spam target...

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#4) On April 11, 2010 at 12:21 PM, Option1307 (29.70) wrote:

It's just plain sad that we actually have to worry about things like this, unfortunately there are just a lot of people out there that are plain worthless and have no respect for other peoples' rights/privacy/whatever you want to call it. The anonymous nature of the interent is one aspect that I don't like, b/c it encourages spammers/trolls to continue with no real threat of "retaliation" etc.

Hopefully the Fool can come up with a better solution, if not I like Susan's idea,

I also suspect a coordinated effort by the Fools on that b2b2 site could make MF a less desirable spam target... 

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#5) On April 11, 2010 at 12:29 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Wax got spammed on his excellent Blog by someone called "afagg" (since removed). Proud to say or Chinese without a clue? Had to LOL. I like B-Mans idea as well. Regards.

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#6) On April 11, 2010 at 3:08 PM, Varchild2008 (85.35) wrote:

Thanks but I am afraid that b2b2  ROBOT would just change the text to b2b3.....b2b4......b2b5.....and etc.

If one doesn't work the programming code just does a +1 to the website address.  Simple to program unfortunately.

Profanity blocking would work once....and then when the bots return you run into a major problem with constantly blocking things and making it tougher for humans to type....

Cause frankly....some of us typo a lot on here... Ahem...talking about myself.

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#7) On April 11, 2010 at 3:11 PM, Varchild2008 (85.35) wrote:

Of course if Motley Fool was entirely "Subscription Based" and for me it kinda is since I annually subscribe to Stock Advisor anyhow....

Then there is no way BOTs would invade cause they'd have to pay $$$$ to spam.

Maybe make Commenting/Blogging a  Premium Feature?

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#8) On April 11, 2010 at 4:04 PM, binv271828 (< 20) wrote:

>>Thanks but I am afraid that b2b2  ROBOT would just change the text to b2b3.....b2b4......b2b5.....and etc. If one doesn't work the programming code just does a +1 to the website address.  Simple to program unfortunately.

But if the spammer ups the ante on spam website, then the profanity filter can up the ante on the strings that it catches.

If the spammer does b2b1, b2b2, b2b3, etc., then the spam filter can be set to use Regular Expressions and filter out b2b*. (where * is any digit or number).

Easy to program on the spammers side, but also easy to catch on the  filter side (I used to program websites for a living many years ago. This is not hard to do at all).

>>Profanity blocking would work once....and then when the bots return you run into a major problem with constantly blocking things and making it tougher for humans to type..

I disagree with this. When would you ever type b2b*.us as part of a conversation? There might be the *very* occasionally/rare/random legitamite conversation that gets inadvertantly filtered, but the amount of good in automatic spam protection far outweighs the potential hiccups.

My $0.02.

 

 

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#9) On April 11, 2010 at 5:11 PM, utahtb (< 20) wrote:

Why not just use a better CAPTCHA?  www.botproof.com

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#10) On April 11, 2010 at 6:48 PM, whereaminow (22.06) wrote:

I would support a Captcha for all comments if the Fool also opened up commenting to non-members.  I would like to know what people who stumble across my writing, but don't want to take the time sign up, think about it.  FootballOutsiders.com is a site that I can think of from the top of my head that uses this model.  The conversations at the site - it's a geeky sabermetric site - are very good and they don't require user memberships to comment.

Just from a personal perspective. And I think it would help the bloggers refine their writing.  And if the blogs get better, MF gets more traffic.

Just a thought.

David in Qatar

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