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����������� (The Thread About Forum Spam And Possible Solutions)
Might as well discuss solutions and their relative merits.

(edited from original spam, obviously)
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Response To Aquirre From Other Thread: 
It wasn't really a suggestion to secure this board, since it's pretty spam-free. It was more of a consoling feeling that someone's actually trying to put a spotlight on this issue from a spammer's perspective.

The online world seems otherwise to be rapidly drowning in a diarrhea of nonsensical noise ...


Yeah, I admire the project. Reminds me of my idea to release "vaccines" or "antibodies" which are basically benign trojans/viruses that use an exploit to get in, but the payload is actually just a patch for the same exploit.

This somewhat violates people's rights to control their own computer, and it's definitely illegal, but on the other hand, if unsecured workstations are being used in DDoS attacks and spam vectors, then it's for the good of the internet in general and I think that probably outweighs people's implicit right to determine when and how to patch their computers.

As for the general state of email and forum spam, "search engine optimization", and wikipedia abuse, my opinion is that it is all neatly explained by the "Tragedy of the Commons" theory. It makes me wonder what the end result is going to be, because it seems like everything we like about the internet (openness, freedom, anonymity) is only made possibly because we are in an early transitional state where the exploiters haven't reached maximum efficiency yet. Will we eventually get to a point where openness, freedom, and anonymity are replaced by exclusivity, controlled access, and identity verification? 
It Seems 
very likely. As a comparison, in the mid-nineties I already considered Internet to be extremely noisy compared to e.g. CompuServe, which I had been using for a long time before that.

It was always very easy on CS when searching for help or useful info, while the Internet search engines (pre-InfoSeek and AltaVista) were bad and their results even worse.

Since then, the search engines have become much better, but the increased speed of noise production is just ridiculuos today.

What's the use of having any amount of very knowledgeable info, when you can't access it due to ear-damaging noise levels?

Not to mention the increasing difficulty to distinguish between real and phony info. 
Hmm... 
A less pessimistic point of view is that the internet goes through cycles of higher and lower usefulness.

You could look at the huge increase in usefulness provided by Google in the early days, when it replaced older, crappier search engines and provided a sudden window into billions of pages which were ranked well enough that you could actually find stuff. Then as google became well known as an information source, it became a desirable target for exploiters. Now the usefulness of google is a product of how well they can defeat the exploiter's strategies. So the peak for google was a few years ago.

The more recent attempt to consolidate knowledge and root out the crap is Wikipedia, but Wikipedia is experiencing the same curve... there was (or will be) a peak where there is a critical mass of information to make it useful, but now that people recognize it as useful, it becomes more attractive a target for the exploiters, who go in there trying to make full use of the free access to an audience.

So if it's really cyclical, is each peak higher than the last? Is each trough shallower? 
Ha 
Metl, insightful...
I guess the same is with many nice forums - first you can have nice people but then it's filled with lamers... 
Lol 
I guess the same is with many nice forums - first you can have nice people but then it's filled with lamers...

Good one! A little self deprecating humor is good
for the soul. 
Best Resurrect Evah 
 
 
I suggest adding a captcha to the site, if that helps to combat the spammers. 
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