Replying to Spam

If you reply to a Spammer, there is a chance your account will be banned by accident.

Save the moderators a lot of trouble: Don’t reply to the spammers, don’t post jokes, don’t make fun of them, just report the post and move along. :slight_smile:

I take this to mean that we shouldn’t post things like:

Right? (I’ve stopped doing so for quite some time, but just wanted to get an official word.)

Do you guys read the spam reports, I try to make the irresistible snarky comment about the spam there (so perhaps the moderator gets a small smirk)?

With spam like this popping up every once in a while as bots get past the filters would you consider a rank of something like “Member Moderator”.

Something like the current rank but with a few hundred posts required and if 3 "Member Moderator"s agree it is deleted.

With current rank system and moderator ranks being able to delete it should be simple enough to implement.

If Jpearman, Mr. de Rijk and Mr. Mead all think something is spam it pretty much has to be spam.

We understand that moderators don’t check the forum every few minutes but the combined members of the forum do and could very easily fix this problem.

Something like permabans for anyone that abuses would stop all abuse and would help keep forum clean in times like these.

I second this idea…

Another possible approach:
See if there’s a way to make a post be auto-deleted after 5 spam reports (or something like that). This is kinda like the way Stack Overflow does spam removal: since over 7k questions are asked each day, no moderator can keep up. Thus, if ~5 community members flag a post as spam, they consider that the post was probably spam, and delete it. (Or, it may be “hidden,” then mods can delete it later. I don’t know.)


Yeah, there are many members on here who could help keep the forum clean and civil. Faster response from all of these members would decrease the number of people who see the spam, which would lead less frequent posters or new visitors to believe there was no spam at all.

This spam post

about nike or something

In 10 minutes 3 members of the forum with over 900 posts each have commented here and could have deleted that post.

(post count criteria is probably not perfect was just used as post count ranking system is already in place and high post count means less likely to risk permaban)

I don’t agree and this is exactly why.

I do feel that VEX should handle the forums, here’s why.

Imagine this if you will, while it may be unprofessional of me to do so, you make a post about your robot and how you’ve discovered this newfangled way to do something awesome in VEX, you throw your regular old label of “Tabor (insert mechanical device here)” Then I come a long and post criticisms about it or start actually calling it what it is, if you were suddenly given power (along with multiple people in BNS) to remove that post simply because you didn’t like it thats when a community like this gets a little out of hand. The idea that you could go there and say “I don’t like Andrew’s post about my thing, can you guys help me remove it” is definitely not an appealing idea.

While I do personally believe the existence of BNS has sort of ruined the forum for me, I would much rather keep BNS out of control of moderation and censorship of this place that I used to love to visit and discuss things. You had/have your own forum, go use that and do what you please there, but please leave the VEXFORUM control up to IFI and VEX.

Now I understand that your plan would also include a bunch of other people from outside of BNS, but that still doesn’t make it good. I would much rather get a post of mine removed or edited by JVN, Karthik, or anyone else within VEX telling me passively I did something stupid, and I need to get in line. This is because I respect these as individuals, and I have looked up to them throughout the years in the FRC program.

You however Tabor, I do not. I won’t go into specifics, but yes. This is a terrible idea.

  • Andrew

I don’t know, what was that post about “no personal attacks” JVN made?

I never saw said post.

Also if you thought it would be easier to jump around the bush describing the terrible idea of which that is without pointing out a specific person, then that’s good for you. I prefer to explain my reasoning using a hypothetical situation, but its one that could happen.

If I were to personally attack someone on the forum (such as Tabor in the last post) you’d know I’d be attack him. I made my opinion, its a post for a discussion, and an opposing argument to probably the majority, Maybe? But I’ll stand by my opinion. Why is that considered a personal attack? This is why I don’t enjoy coming here anymore, and honestly I’m sick of it.

This is a discussion, on how to deal with spam. I made my opposing opinion to something added, and I have nothing to counter it since I don’t run websites or forums. I honestly don’t see whats wrong with that.

If my post is removed so be it, I explained my reasoning behind that in my previous post.


Thanks to everyone who provided feedback.
The biggest step will be once the web folks are ready to upgrade the forum to the latest version of vBulletin. That should be hugely effective in cutting down spam.

Unfortunately, the web and code ninjas here at IFI are focused on other higher priorities. Hopefully this will roll out sometime soon. :slight_smile:

Until then, the moderators are doing a good job of getting things cleaned up.


Now that is a terrible idea, vBulletin 5 is full of bugs and is almost (as I have found on the VEX IQ forums) unusable. Perhaps XenForo would be a better bet but please not VB5.

Your right. Even being as full of myself as I am I wouldn’t trust myself to have power to edit your messages.

Specifics instances of trusted members slightly slipping up is not something teenagers can be allowed to judge. I was thinking just delete posts on junior members.

Really my fear is that at some point a high school teacher will look at the vexforum to consider making a vex team and upon seeing a post about Penis Enlargement* promptly leave the forum and not make a vex team.

If 1 coach decides not to do vex because of this than something is wrong. How long would it take for spam posts like this to be deleted if the entire community on the forum lurkers and all contributed to keeping it clean.

  • This can be deleted and replaced with the word spam if it is deemed to be inappropriate but it states the point better than just simply saying spam.

I moved one off-topic post out of this thread into its own thread. I also removed 4 posts where people discussed where that post went.

Back to Spam prevention…

Just out of curiosity what is your opinion on the posts above?

Because really none of our opinions matter on the subject if you decide it is not something worth doing.

I don’t think that letting random members moderate the forum is a good solution, but suggesting that it is some kind of plot for a skype group to take over the forums is laughable and unfounded.

For people who obsessively check the forums the ridiculous amount of spam (a lot of which has some pretty inappropriate content) is extremely frustrating.

I understand that the normal forum verification is removed at this time each year to allow new members to join in order to submit online challenges. What if there is simply a DIFFERENT account system for submitting online challenges than the forum account system? This account system would not need a verification system at all, and the forum verification system would not need to be removed each year at this time. I believe this would solve most of the problems. Any reasons why this wouldn’t work?

I’m sorry you feel that way. Personally I’ve made a lot of great friends, met a lot of amazing people I would’ve never met otherwise, and had a great time. Intruding on the forum experience for others is not the idea, and it is certainly the fault of some of our members that this happens occasionally. Unfortunately it is not the job of anyone in the chat to control what every one of our ~80 members post on the forum. That is the job of the Vex Forum moderators :).

The more I think about it, the more I totally agree with this. I do think that it might be a good idea in the long run to add more moderators (possibly from the community). But, I don’t think that letting everyone with a certain post count be a moderator is necessarily safe (at least, not for this forum).

Most of the time I spent away from VEX Forum over the past two years I spent over at Math.StackExchange. Now I’m quite used to being able to close a question with 5 votes from supporting community members, or delete an offensive post with support from ~10. So, coming back here can be tiring when I can’t just eliminate the spam myself. But, I do realize there are good reasons for the current system, and am perfectly content to stay this way for quite a while.

tl;dr: You’ve got a happy forum denizen here, regardless of whether changes are made; although, an auxiliary moderation team could be helpful (especially at this time of year). :slight_smile:


The best way to do this would be a middle ground approach, where 5 votes hides the post and just shows the title with a note saying something like “This post has been flagged as spam. Click here to unhide it.”

Then, the post gets added to a log for the official mods to determine if the post is spam or not and, if not, the hidden status is removed. If so, then the post is permanently deleted and bans are issued as normal.

Could there be a system where new members could only post X post/day and have a X min gap between posts? This would stop a person from spamming an entire page of spam.

I’m pretty sure some rate-limiting is place already. I’m not 100% certain, though.

Most of the spam problems I’ve seen stem from 1 source (due to similarity of spam), but have multiple accounts.