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whereaminow (< 20)

Enough is ENOUGH, Motley Fool



September 26, 2010 – Comments (28)

Recently I asked why Motley Fool does not institute Captcha for creating blogs and commenting on posts. The response provided indicated that since the foe appears to be human, Captcha would not help.

This is incorrect.  Let's assume TMF staff is correct, that the spammer is human and not a bot.  Spammers always attack the site with least resistance.  This is a basic security concept that every CIO (Chief Information Officer) or CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), depending on your organizational setup, should know.  It's "requiired knowledge" for the job.

In other words, "the spammer is human" is not an excuse.  I spend time on other sites where commenters are allowed to create posts and there is just as much human traffic.  They use Captcha. They don't have spammers.

The spammers come here because Motley Fool  is an easy target.  If TMF would institute Captcha, the spammers would move on to an easier site.

David in Qatar

28 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 26, 2010 at 12:14 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Bump for sanity.

David in Qatar

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#2) On September 26, 2010 at 12:19 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Bump again for sanity, as in just 5 minutes, spam has moved this halfway down the front page.

David in Qatar

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#3) On September 26, 2010 at 12:21 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Btw, TMF staff, though you probably hate my guts by now, if you are looking for a CISSP and you think can afford me, I'm all ears =D

David in Qatar

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#4) On September 26, 2010 at 12:35 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Yea- 9 of 10 blogs are spam right now. Really stinkin' up the place. I hope Donner can get his "ExCaps" up and running. It seems TMF is allowing this. It aint rocket science. 9 of 10 ? Maybe all this "chatter" has come to interfere with their business plan. I still ck in occasionally because there are still a few good writers I enjoy following.
  I was looking for your post on "Clipped Coins" last night. Do you have a link handy? Thanks, David. You are a huge Plus here. If/when you bail, leave a trail. Regards

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#5) On September 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Thanks for the kind words Starfirenv!

I'm not sure which post you are referring to. I did a post once on how the Roman government used to abuse their coins, leading to inflation, which they then exacerbated with price controls.  I also have done some stuff on various forms of counterfeiting in my Money series.  I would look through my posts from February to April 2009 for those.

Btw, it took only 20 minutes for spam to move this post off the front page.

TMF is basically shut down at this point.

David in Qatar

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#6) On September 26, 2010 at 12:46 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I also saw that dwot put up a post and it was pushed off the front page just as quickly.

TMF, do you realize how disrespectful that is?  Dwot actually saved people around here money by calling the top, moving people to cash, and explaining what was up. 

What happens when dwot says screw this and leaves?

You really have to do something.

David in Qatar

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#7) On September 26, 2010 at 2:29 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

I know most of you are watching football right now, as am I.  But I know a lot of people will be around here today (or would have been).

I can't express enough my disappointment with the state of MF blog service.  I have several blogs in final draft stage, and was hoping to put one up today that I know my readers would have enjoyed. 

I'll come back.  But at this point, I'm not sure why.  Perhaps a site like seekingalpha or zerohedge would be interested in my writings.  It's time I investigated. 

David in Qatar

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#8) On September 26, 2010 at 2:33 PM, portefeuille (98.52) wrote:

also see these posts.

I Would Love to Watch Arsenal vs. Chelsea, But...

TMF Guys...Get it done now

Simple solution to prevent spamming

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#9) On September 26, 2010 at 2:38 PM, portefeuille (98.52) wrote:



I guess not all that much has changed at the "Motley Fool headquarters", hehe ...

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#10) On September 26, 2010 at 2:52 PM, OneLegged (< 20) wrote:

I am "outta here" until the spam is not the main feature at TMF Blogs. 



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#11) On September 26, 2010 at 2:53 PM, Acesnyper (26.44) wrote:

LOL @ TMF headquarters.


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#12) On September 26, 2010 at 3:48 PM, angusthermopylae (42.09) wrote:

Just the other day, I was wondering what the site interconnectivity was--how many posts and posters are being followed, are there clusters of users who stay within a range bloggers, etc.

I hadn't really noticed the spam, but that's because I have a long list of Favorites that I check in with daily.  OTOH, I have noticed that the "community" within those blogs is pretty small--same 10-15 people commenting on the same blogs...and then there are the spam comments.

Maybe my TMF-life is as sheltered as my First Life?

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#13) On September 26, 2010 at 4:41 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

#8 Or-
  TMF-WTF? Today's buying Opp? Invest in "The Death of Walmart? Are You Kiddin' Me?
  Bring back the old home page ! ???
I stand by my call in comment #12. But,it's NOT all about the spam. Look how many of the respondants are gone.
  Here's an idea for you, TMF, work your way back to "The World's Greatest Investment Community". You guys were once called an "Ethical Oasis". Why not do a story on Moody's CEO Ray McDaniel, who sold 100,000 shares of Moody's stock on the same day that the Securities and Exchange Commission notified Moody's that it was under investigation. (Inside Info)

Read more:
Oh, they were in collusion with Goldman and Paulson in the Abacus deal. You don't want to piss off YOUR Board of Directors. Yup fellow Fools, none other than the COO of Paulson (Putnam Coes) and a Senior Advisor at Goldman (Steve Kerr, who does your in house  "coaching") are now Directors of TMF (both since '08). But so what?
  Maybe a story on insider moves pre BP fiasco? Oh, can't. I understand.
  Start with the spam. Right now, 10 of 10 "Member Blogs" and all 4 of the "Buzz" are spam. It's a good thing you don't work for me. Get 'er done Donner. See ya'.
  Lose this community and you're done.

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#14) On September 26, 2010 at 5:08 PM, outoffocus (24.13) wrote:

I've mentioned this a dozen times before. No one blogger should be allowed to post consecutive blogs within a certain time period.  A 30 minute waiting period between blog posts would kill some of this spam

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#15) On September 26, 2010 at 5:10 PM, zymok (22.85) wrote:


Others have said it all.

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#16) On September 26, 2010 at 6:45 PM, geneticbiscuit (96.02) wrote:

Maybe a far-out idea...but how about giving a subset of active CAPS members (allstars, active pitch writers, highly recommended bloggers, etc...basically any fairly large group of legitimate users) a sort of "kill switch" ability - members policing the community?

These members have the ability to flag the profile of a spammer which automatically inactivates the suspect profile and removes all posts until an official MF reviewer can either confirm and block the user permanently or reactivate the profile?  There are enough active users during the heavy spam times (weekends/evenings from what I can tell) that most spam posts should be blocked out fairly quickly and there wouldn't be so much pressure of the site administrators to constantly monitor.

There should also be some sort of penalty for false-blocking to weed out the abuse of power (if you don't like Alstry's posts and flag him, since technically it isn't spam, you are blocked for X amount of time - a month?).

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#17) On September 26, 2010 at 6:50 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Every idea I've seen put forward has some merit. 

For a website to be taken seriously, it should have a layered approach to security.  TMF's approach is clearly not working.

I promote captcha as a first line in a layered security model, since it is so easy to implement and proven effective.

But I welcome steps beyond captcha that are necessary.

The market already provides the technologies, standards, and practices at little to no cost.  There is simply no excuse not to use them.

Bump for sanity.

David in Qatar

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#18) On September 26, 2010 at 7:09 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Funny thing is, I had another post on the burner about the economics of the NFL - something a little different than what's normally presented.

But, lol, I don't think anyone here is in the mood for anything concerning the NFL right now.

David in Qatar

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#19) On September 26, 2010 at 7:17 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

David, if they don't fix this, not much point of looking at this site.

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#20) On September 26, 2010 at 8:35 PM, Robuh (25.65) wrote:

I think that this warrants the nuclear option of getting attention (clear your cookies and rec this as many times as you can.)

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#21) On September 26, 2010 at 8:54 PM, starbucks4ever (97.78) wrote:

When a small imaginative firm turns into a multi-million dollar corporation, the first thing that happens is that soap disappears from the bathroom. This always happens, because they hired 10 consultants, 20 human resource managers, and 30 executives, and laid off the guy who made sure the soap was there. Motley Fool is now a big Wall Street operation that employs dozens of pump-and-dump specialists but got rid of the intern who used to run the anti-spam filter.  

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#22) On September 27, 2010 at 5:49 AM, outoffocus (24.13) wrote:

I notice that the spammers only attack during the "off-hours".  When TMF is closed for the day. I stand by my 30 minute limit between blog posts.  Also there should be an auto-deletion feature after TMF recieves a certain amount of spam reports for the same post. Lets say, 10.

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#23) On September 27, 2010 at 11:25 AM, TMFJake (28.18) wrote:

We aren't ignoring you, and we are working on something that we believe will resolve the problem.  I'm sorry I'm not sharing the details, but I hope you understand why I wouldn't want to do that.  If our solution doesn't reduce the volume of spam, we'll continue to layer on additional protections. We very much apologize for the inconvenience that the recent uptick in spam has caused.

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#24) On September 27, 2010 at 3:24 PM, kdakota630 (30.05) wrote:


Perhaps a blog to the public by you would help let the rest of the users here know that TMF is working on something, because it currently doesn't appear so.

If you've already made a blog along those lines I apologize, but in my defense, it may have been pushed down by spam too quickly to be seen.

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#25) On September 27, 2010 at 3:29 PM, valari25 (99.30) wrote:

TMFJake, nothing productive is being done.  Whatever you have in place isn't preventing the spam and it is catching and banning actual accounts.  When you restore those accounts, the blog history is WIPED OUT.

TMF may as well do nothing, since the something you are currently doing is actually worse then doing nothing.

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#26) On September 27, 2010 at 9:46 PM, cashkid79 (96.18) wrote:

Are they coming from the MSN or logins...just put a hold or track anything that has NFL in the blog post and tag them for now...track the correlations, piece it together, get it done...

Or just block all NFL-blog posts and offer to run a paid advertisement for whoever is behind the nonsense...then they might actually get interested people versus bugging the heck out of those on here for useful advice...seriously not good for anyone like this.

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#27) On September 28, 2010 at 1:00 AM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Wow- These guys have been effectively nuked. Somebody is pissed. !0 of !0 and 4 of 4, for a while now.

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#28) On October 03, 2010 at 12:14 PM, blesto (31.83) wrote:

"... if you are looking for a CISSP and you think can afford me, I'm all ears =D"


Has a certain ring to it.

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