Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

Recognizing forum spammers


From my own experiences I wouldn’t say “mainly”: Most spam links I had to kill in the past referred to sites where you can buy drugs (mainly the one for men…) or sites with malware.

I second this.



You’re right. That’s a big part of the reasons why links are created. I tend to observe more phenomena about links created for marketing purposes, but I’m not sure if it’s actually the biggest cause for link spamming.


I think the “seckrit question” on the blog was pretty effective and unsolvable most of the times :slight_smile:


CAPTCHA solving services use real humans in less developed countries who are paid a few cents to do whatever a normal user needs to do to pass any kind of check.

Also, I’m pretty sure that there are software applications that can solve math puzzles even when they are expressed in natural language instead of math formulas. There was a famous one that had 99% accuracy but I have just searched for it and it seems it doesn’t exist anymore. I bet there are several similar applications, though.


It was. In the 2+ years the blog was active, I deleted 5 spam messages. The math problem caught 22K attempts. All the spam is still in the DB, it just doesn’t get displayed. It works because it’s a custom solution on a very small site. If they did the same thing here, it would be worth spammers time to get around it.


So effective, even I had problems in solving it sometimes :stuck_out_tongue: they say it was because it timed off, but I prefer to think that it’s because I’m a bot.


That’s exactly why it was so effective. Now, what could be a better way to discourage spammers is a reverse timer thing. So during the first 15 minutes you’d always get the question wrong and only afterwards it would accept the answer. Because we, real followers of the blog usually spend more time writing our posts and spammers don’t. They just copy and paste a generic line and want to move on. Keeping them busy for fifteen minutes failing to solve real easy math is just karma.


With @Nor_Treblig’s script, even this task was automated! :smiley:


Hi, welcome to the forums!
I think this piece of software may help you solve your problem: click me
I don’t know this guy but It’s only $9.99 and since I’ve got it I have never looked back, it’s working like a charm!

If you want to see my advanced math solver (which isn’t even using binary trees) take a look here and search for seckrit_question
It could even solve advanced mathematical problems (for Rons and Nors that is), like subtraction :open_mouth:

Captcha-solving services are really great because captchas got just too hard to be solved by myself!



‘Select all the images with store fronts.’

  • squints at screen *


Edit: * Discourse turns asterisk to bullet &#£@%*! *


You have to escape your asterisks :wink:
Write \* and you’ll be fine.

*squints at screen*

Edit: note that I had to escape that backslash too, so to write \* I actually wrote \\*, and to write this \\* I had to write \\\\\*, and to wr… well, I think you all understood.


There is another option to avoid writing all those backslahes when you want to cite MarkDown syntax (and also to prevent MarkDown from making a mess when people will quote your text, as I did above): write it as preformatted/code text, which shows everything literally:

In this example I wrote exactly \* and it will be shown just as \*

You can also insert preformatted text inside any normal sentence, like this, but it needs the backtick character, which is not easily accessible on my keyboard, so I never use it.

Do you think that posting in this section a short cheatsheet of the basic MarkDown syntax would be helpful to others?


It doesn’t seem to make a difference in the quote, the backslashes disappear anyway.

The best thing would be if Discourse, instead of taking the displayed text when clicking quote, took the source of said text. The software can already perfectly see from where the quoted text comes from - author, post, topic - I don’t think it would be too difficult to extract the internal text from the same post.


To quote the actual source with its format, links etc. intact you have to use “Quote whole post” when replying.


When quoting selected text all formatting is lost.


Ah yes. I tried doing that but had my backslashes facing the wrong way :roll_eyes:

That might be because it only turns them into bullets at the beginning of a line.

The problem with preformatted text is it strips everything including the font, which looks odd.

~Maybe I’ll start using tildes instead~


Where is it? I can’t find this option anywhere.


Eheh, Viva la programmación!


I think so, please do it.


It´s the one that says “quote whole post” :roll_eyes:

Seriously though, it´s the speech bubble left of the “Bold” icon.