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Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

Lincoln, United...
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Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

Yesterday we had several spammers (a prolific one being visaonline) on the Vietnam forum with numerous posts (all closed) under their belt before they stopped. What happened today? We had a repeat. At one point out of 17 threads on the 1st page, 6 were 'visaonline' with several already closed. One big advert.

Isn't it time we had more local mods, One's that actually use the board. It was obvious early on it was going to be another repeat. The forum vote part is fine if the poster is just doing one post but adding them one after another............. we got flooded out. And given the amount of users saying they were reporting visaonline, his/her posts stayed up a long time.

Personally I think most spammers have woken up to the fact that if they spam early on, not a lot is going to happen until around 4 pm local time in Vietnam. When magically, the account gets stopped and the spamming stops.

Of course, one could ask why was 'visaonline' account still active the following day after mass spamming the forum the day before.

One thing I have noticed is that as posts are deleted (closed) the number of posts against the spammers name also reduces. Surely (and this is guesswork as I don't know for sure how the auto report system actually works) I would have thought the total number of posts they have made would still be counting upwards otherwise how is the baseline of all reported posts measured.

But either way, put simply, the present system doesn't work very well.

Torremolinos, Spain
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1. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

Hi Bertie

As has been previously mentioned on this forum, for TA to actually moderate the forums is just not feasible, there are just too many forums and thousands of posts made daily for them to keep up.

This is where the community and the reporting structure comes into play.

As long as the community reports the posts for the same reason then they will be automatically removed very quickly. If they don't, then the community in the main are obviously not bothered enough by the posts to warrant reporting them.

It does help (regarding self promo etc) to submit a post e.g like this:

To ... xxxx

Please note self promotion/advertising is not permitted on the forums. As such your post has been removed for this reason and will be removed.

Usually, other posters will see the reason and report it. By just clicking and "hoping" others will do the same doesn't always yield the same result.

Finally, if you send a message to TA should the posts still be there (after you have proof other members have reported them) then they should investigate (but not usually at weekends).

The link to use is this one: tripadvisor.co.uk/help/are_the_forums_manage…

CB

Llanbrynmair...
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2. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

"One thing I have noticed is that as posts are deleted (closed) the number of posts against the spammers name also reduces. Surely (and this is guesswork as I don't know for sure how the auto report system actually works) I would have thought the total number of posts they have made would still be counting upwards otherwise how is the baseline of all reported posts measured."

Bertie, when a post is deleted it is also deleted from the poster's contribution list and his/her post count is reduced by one.

In the case of a spam attack from a new account and sufficient forum members to report the posts to trigger automatic removal, the spammer's contribution list will eventually reach zero.

With regard to visaonline's account not being closed after the spam attack the previous day, visaonline wasn't actually the guilty party then, rather it was a travel agent advertising his company and tours. Hopefully both accounts have now been closed.

The subject of having a direct emergency link to TA staff to alert them when a spam attack is taking place has been discussed before on HUMTAB, but nothing came of it. More's the pity.

CB, you wouldn't believe how determined Vietnamese self-promoters are and the sheer number of them! I do hope your forum is more tranquil. :-)

Chester, United...
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3. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

Hi

As I said on your thread on the Support Forum I think we would all be shocked if we knew the number of moderators that TA had and with so many forums it must be a very difficult job

The team is most likely very small which is why if they do not have it already they need some automated spam/advertising filters

I would not be in favour on people other than TA staff moderating a forum

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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4. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

It's rather surprising that a day of blanket advertising would not cause the account to be closed. The second day of blanket advertising would not have happened. Can't understand a close out not happening.

Lincoln, United...
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5. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

MuftiMixandmatch I think you have hit the nail on the head.

I too cannot understand it when a users account is being reported in such a short time, why it isn't automatically suspended, flagged for investigation. I'd be surprised that regular users of the board hadn't flagged the threads, especially as a couple had actually said they had. It's as if each thread is treated separately with nothing going forward into a bigger pot for the user doing the spamming, that says whoa!

I seem to remember the spamming started around 10am and finished around 4pm. Yes, threads were closed down (I lost count - they were all the same wording), eventually but they still hung around even then, clogging up the board. I have never quite understood why closed threads are left on the board anyway. Someone, some time ago, suggested that is so the poster can see their post has been closed. But the OP name is removed when it is closed anyway. And if they are wise, they would put the company name in the title box. As that still remains long after it is closed.

But saying all that, today we had a company come on, advertising it wares for tours. I don't know how many have reported it apart from me, but it's gone already. Didn't even get a closed topic applied! How clean the board looks! :-)

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
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6. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

Bertie, your agitation must be working. Well done!

Luigi

Miami, Florida
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1,824 posts
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7. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

Hi 69bertie,

Thanks for sharing your concerns. I do see that the posts you referred to were reported to us pretty quickly, and I also see that our moderators deleted two posts that remained from the first wave within a few hours of the others being reported. You're absolutely right that the second wave should not have happened, as typically the moderators would have also closed that account at that time. I'm not sure what happened here. It's extremely rare, but not unheard of, for our tools to encounter a temporary glitch that might leave an account open after we try to close it, and of course it could simply have been a case of human error. I do see that our mods shut down the account promptly after the second wave, and that we closed a subsequent account posting the same spam after only one post was made from the account.

As others have said, we do have a small moderating team, and we handle a tremendous amount of spam and other inappropriate post reports, so occasionally things like this will happen, but in my experience if a spammer's posts are reported we usually shut them down pretty quickly, so we do very much appreciate everyone's help in reporting these.

Thanks,

Dan

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

Thanks Dan, good to hear. With computers being so "perfect," I sometimes forget about that old fashioned thing called human error. :-) That reason seldom occurs to me anymore.

Sometimes when I notice huge spam activity, I go to the poster's forums listing page and report that URL. I think it's perhaps more effective than reporting single posts.

Chester, United...
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9. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

Thanks for popping in Dan

10. Re: Vietnam forum: What happened to the mods?

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Removed on: 19 October 2012, 15:17