charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
[personal profile] charmian
LJ has released a further statement on the spam issue.

http://news.livejournal.com/135748.html

In any event, [personal profile] azurelunatic had an idea about reporting spam on the "Latest LJ posts" page. I have no idea whether this will work (someone I talked to in the anti-spam industry suggested it probably wouldn't), but it probably won't do any harm. The scale of the spam seems so large, that I suspect they'll have to use more automated means of dealing with it.

http://azurelunatic.livejournal.com/6663221.html

Date: 2011-03-16 08:33 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
I strongly suspect that there is a bottleneck at available labor to deal with the reports, but I'm working on the following assumptions:
* more data cannot hurt
* some types of spam users go under-reported or not reported at all due to not bothering other users directly (they may get spam email, but delete it without noticing where the links go)
* my suggested method is likely to net some of said under-reported spammers
* it is the ones who are not bothering other users directly who are the primary cause of this specific Spamhaus complaint
* the reports can be dealt with one by one and suspended individually (I suspect the labor bottleneck is here)
* the reports may also be used as a data mine by their analysts

Date: 2011-03-16 03:01 pm (UTC)
ursamajor: Dreamwidth logo in a field of daffodils (dreamwidth daffodils)
From: [personal profile] ursamajor
These kinds of numbers make me adore the Dreamwidth latest page even harder.

Also, when you take into account that userinfo updated_last1 has leapt from ~170k last week to almost 300k today (based on checking LJ Stats a few times on different days: 170k, 180k, 210k, and now 300k; scroll to the very bottom), it makes me think that a bunch of the spammers populated awhile back, and have only started emerging recently. The incredible growth rate just illustrates how quickly the problem is getting worse - because I strongly doubt 40% more LJ users decided to update today-specifically than a week ago.
Edited (adding my spammer speculation) Date: 2011-03-16 03:37 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-03-16 09:34 pm (UTC)
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
From: [personal profile] ursamajor
Oh, I don't disagree at all. It's apples and oranges at this point, and at least as far as I can tell, having the one week open-registration period for DW hasn't resulted in an uptick in spam. It has made me a fan of invite codes again, though. ;) And also thinking about circles of trust and levels of trust - where they overlap, how far can they be extended, what that means for how populous a given online service can get being invitation-only without being exposed to potential spam-vectors.

And I admit I haven't really looked at LJ's "latest" page in several years; the proportion of signal to noise for me there was already tilted far in the latter direction, probably due to LJ already having a large, frequently-updating population when the latest page was implemented, and I found more interesting things more relevant to me on my friendsfriends page. Dreamwidth's latest page often goes back up to an hour ago; LJ's, on the matter of single-digit minutes. But the ratio's tilted much more favorably to me on DW, and I check DW-latest on a regular basis.

Date: 2011-03-16 10:22 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
There was an uptick, actually. One account, so far as I can tell.

Date: 2011-03-17 12:49 am (UTC)
ursamajor: shiny happy Kaylee (shiny!)
From: [personal profile] ursamajor
Well, when you start from zero ;)

Date: 2011-03-17 06:23 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (mischief)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
Oh man, the suspense is better than daytime TV. Is LJ working things out? Or trying to dodge? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

Date: 2011-03-17 07:07 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Huh, I saw that someone in the LJ news comments suggested changing their IP address, as it had worked for them on a situation where they'd been blocked.

My response to that person there was the two situations seemed different -- small outfit, small spam problem, cleaned up, and the organizations blocking him were dragging their feet.

LJ's spam problem is still big, so I fear that if it's being done evasively -- I cannot think of an antispam organization that would be pleased with someone evading their measures without also cleaning up their act. Though I trust that there is cleanup going on. Just, is it enough? I do not want to see LJ get hit with more stringent efforts from antispam organizations.

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