Can post Links Permission

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jsebean
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Mon May 05, 2014 4:06 am
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jsebean
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Can post Links Permission

Post by jsebean » Mon May 05, 2014 4:06 am

Most spammers are looking to gain SEO attention and get links posted, they typically do not post random text. It would be nice to have a new permission added "Can post external links", so that users can set this to never on the newly registered users group, as an example.

If one wanted to take it even further though, you could even add a permission "Can post external links without approval", so if that was set to never, rather than having the post rejected, it would go to moderator queue.

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-Jonah
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Big Mac
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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 05, 2014 2:49 pm

This sounds like one way to tackle the problem.

I think I've seen a feature like this on forums I've signed up to. I found it a bit disruptive. I saw a few non-spammers who were actually bumping their post counts, so that they stopped being blocked from posting links.

The same problem happens with spammers putting spam links in the website field of their profile or their forum signatures.

I find that is a worse problem, because moderators can get rid of spam links, but admins need to step in to get rid of spam in profiles.

I wonder if a banned naughty word list approach could be used to block specific URLs from being posted? If an organisation like Stop Forum Spam could compile a list of URLs used by spammers, then phpBB administrators could import a spam URL block list and block that (instead of blocking new users who want to post any URL).
David "Big Mac" Shepheard

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jsebean
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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by jsebean » Mon May 05, 2014 6:34 pm

Big Mac wrote:This sounds like one way to tackle the problem.

I think I've seen a feature like this on forums I've signed up to. I found it a bit disruptive. I saw a few non-spammers who were actually bumping their post counts, so that they stopped being blocked from posting links.

The same problem happens with spammers putting spam links in the website field of their profile or their forum signatures.

I find that is a worse problem, because moderators can get rid of spam links, but admins need to step in to get rid of spam in profiles.

I wonder if a banned naughty word list approach could be used to block specific URLs from being posted? If an organisation like Stop Forum Spam could compile a list of URLs used by spammers, then phpBB administrators could import a spam URL block list and block that (instead of blocking new users who want to post any URL).
It wouldn't stop users from posting links if you used a permission "Can post links without approval", since the post would go to moderator queue. It would be ideal if, after one post was approved with links by a user that the user would not need approval anymore by moderators, but this would make things more complex to implement in phpBB and you wouldn't be able to do that as a permission.

So perhaps you could add an option to Antispam Countermeasures and not make a permission, I just thought it would be simple enough to add a permission and allow board admins to configure it as they wanted.


EDIT: As for other spam methods spammers use, you could apply the same permission for posting links in PMs, Signatures and the website field as well.

EDIT 2: In regards to SFS, this is impossible to keep up with, there's no way possible to block all spam URLs. Not only could you potentially get false positives like you typically do from SFS, but you also run into the issue of redirect URLs and changed domains. Eg. If you block myspamdomain1.com then I could just use myspamdomain2.com or even a tinyurl or goo.gl link to get around such blocking, it would be a tedious cat and mouse game and since the spammers would always have the upper edge it would never work. So that would be ineffective. Thus, I still think requiring moderator approval for all links, including signatures and profile websites should follow such a permission. Perhaps block URLs in signatures and profiles until they're no longer new and require approval for forum posts with URLs.

As for spammers making rubbish posts just to increase their post count, that's probably beyond the scope of this permission and could be a mod, such as requiring link approval for all users who post their first links, no matter how new or old, unless they are old users, for example. There's a lot you could do, but first step would be to get a permission added.
-Jonah
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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by Master_Cylinder » Mon May 05, 2014 7:04 pm

Something similar was already suggested in Area51...

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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by jsebean » Mon May 05, 2014 11:15 pm

Master_Cylinder wrote:Something similar was already suggested in Area51...
Link? I asked over there and was given a link to a discussion that never really got anywhere since the whole thing was ambiguous. It would be nice if someone could specifically ask for two permissions: can post links, and "can post links without approval" (also images as well). I would post this myself but I have some catching up on old RFCs first before I post a new one.
-Jonah
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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by Master_Cylinder » Tue May 06, 2014 12:42 am

I didn't see any posts over there asking about it...

http://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic ... 08&t=44917

As I said, it's similar but not exactly the same...too bad it got hijacked and closed. :(

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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by brunoais » Wed May 07, 2014 7:44 am

If you force links posted by all but "trusted" users to have rel="nofollow", there's no SEO problems related to it.

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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by jsebean » Wed May 07, 2014 10:44 am

brunoais wrote:If you force links posted by all but "trusted" users to have rel="nofollow", there's no SEO problems related to it.
I'd elect to have rel="nofollow" on all external links in general but I think that's beyond the scope of this. I don't think spammers are going to go around looking for boards where links posted have rel="nofollow" and not post on them, they're still going to post their spam as there is still some benefit of getting that spam on your site anyway just for real users to click on links as well.

So with that said, while that may be beneficial, it still isn't going to stop the spam. And this antispam method wouldn't be perfect either, as some people have said, some people may start bumping their post count in order to post links without approval. It's too bad it couldn't be made to have the user removed from the Newly Registered User group after one post is approved so they do need to keep getting approval, but that's a separate issue.

Personally I would not use the permission can post links, but other's may find it useful. I would prefer new users who make posts have them sent to the moderator queue.
-Jonah
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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by Master_Cylinder » Wed May 07, 2014 7:31 pm

jsebean wrote:It's too bad it couldn't be made to have the user removed from the Newly Registered User group after one post is approved so they do need to keep getting approval, but that's a separate issue.
You can edit the ACP so you only moderate the 1st NRU group post but then spammers will be posting sooner. You really wouldn't need the NRU group as much if you can control links better. I still think that what we need is:
1) Can always post links
2) Can never post links
3) Can post links after X number of posts.

If we can control that by user/group then that would have a big impact while remaining flexible enough to allow different admins to set things how they want.

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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by jsebean » Wed May 07, 2014 8:09 pm

Master_Cylinder wrote:
jsebean wrote:It's too bad it couldn't be made to have the user removed from the Newly Registered User group after one post is approved so they do need to keep getting approval, but that's a separate issue.
You can edit the ACP so you only moderate the 1st NRU group post but then spammers will be posting sooner. You really wouldn't need the NRU group as much if you can control links better. I still think that what we need is:
1) Can always post links
2) Can never post links
3) Can post links after X number of posts.

If we can control that by user/group then that would have a big impact while remaining flexible enough to allow different admins to set things how they want.
I would prefer to have a can post links without approval at least for new users, that way, you're not simple rejecting posts. Instead, most spam would be caught and not published, but the few posts that are legit can be let through without any issue.
-Jonah
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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by Master_Cylinder » Wed May 07, 2014 11:17 pm

I'd rather disallow all links, at first, than to have to moderate links but everyone is different. ;)

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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by jsebean » Wed May 07, 2014 11:50 pm

Master_Cylinder wrote:I'd rather disallow all links, at first, than to have to moderate links but everyone is different. ;)
That's why in my original post I suggest adding two permissions.
1. Can Post Links; and...
2. Can Post Links without approval.

By default, enable can post links for all users, and set can post links without approval to Yes, but then this would allow board owners to set either permission to No or Never if they wish, so in the end, the board admins would be in control.
-Jonah
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Re: Can post Links Permission

Post by Oyabun1 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:35 am

jsebean wrote:That's why in my original post I suggest adding two permissions.
1. Can Post Links; and...
2. Can Post Links without approval.
Two separate ideas. I can't vote on this because I like the first idea but not the second.
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