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Discussion Starter #1
. . . don't people read the forum rules before making their first posts?

We have a zero tolerance for spam/unauthorized advertising. There isn't any room for confusion about this. But every day, we ban brand new members who can't get past their first post.

Sorry. Just a frustrated rant. The people who are reading this probably already know about the rules.
 

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Why are there instructions on irons that say "Do not iron clothes while wearing"?
Why is there an entire article in the NYTimes today on the "hidden" dangers of the SHARP blades on blenders? (Hidden? Spinning knife blades aren't obvious?)
Why do frozen pizzas have to instruct people to take them out of the plastic before cooking?
Do people really need the instruction "Do not attempt to stop chain with hands" on a chainsaw?

Why do I sometimes feel my dog is smarter than the people who created the need for such warning labels?
 

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Why does my hair dryer contain a warning not to use it in the shower? Ignore the obvious dangers of electricity and water, who's washing and drying their hair simultaneously?

Maybe you need more mods? *wink wink*
 

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Why does peanut butter have the warning "may contain nuts"?
Because peanuts are not nuts. But they are frequently processed in facilities that may also contain tree nuts.

People are stupid. I've accepted it. Mostly. I very strongly support the notion that human intelligence is not a bell curve, but is instead bi-modal. Maybe its just because of my work environment (i.e. academics/scientists/doctors) but I never feel particularly smart. But people are just so STUPID. And those are the people that are having babies. :(

ETA: My favourite is this warning on chainsaws: "Do not attempt to operate running saw with genitals".
 

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quite frankly even if they get banned, unless they're instabanned, they still get some exposure with minimal investments needed.

If I wanted to advertise something and don't care about actually being a member of the forum, there's really no downside to spamming.

Of course I would do it the smarter way by pretending to be a person wondering about a product or whatever. Making a few random pointless posts before making my spam thread. We get those too but they're usually never banned cause it falls in a more grayish area and it isn't obvious if the poster is actually advertising/spamming. It also involves slightly more time and effort to set up.
 

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Because peanuts are not nuts. But they are frequently processed in facilities that may also contain tree nuts.

".
Ok good point, they actually are a legume, which I knew but I still think of them as a "nut".

Why does my new curling iron have the warning "For external us only"? Now - I work in the medical field, strangest thing I've done a chart review on is a stuck soup ladle, I still think such a warning is odd. Same with my hair dryer saucing "do not operate in shower". Odd.
 

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Why do hot beverage containers warn that beverages may be hot? I mean, I'd sure hope so...

Why do plastic bags say "NOT A TOY!"

Why do aerosol cans say to spray away from your face?

Natural selection, I say!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
quite frankly even if they get banned, unless they're instabanned, they still get some exposure with minimal investments needed.

If I wanted to advertise something and don't care about actually being a member of the forum, there's really no downside to spamming.

Of course I would do it the smarter way by pretending to be a person wondering about a product or whatever. Making a few random pointless posts before making my spam thread. We get those too but they're usually never banned cause it falls in a more grayish area and it isn't obvious if the poster is actually advertising/spamming. It also involves slightly more time and effort to set up.
Thanks to the diligence of members reporting spammers, the shelf-life of the hard-core spammer here is usually on the order of minutes. And you're right. These spammers don't know, or care, that they've been banned.

But I'm mostly talking about the spammers who seem like they'd actually like to participate. They post a legit introduction. Maybe include of photo of the family dog. But then throw in a link in their signature that limits their tenure here to a single post.

There is no grayish area. Any signature link is spam (with the exception of a tiny handful of posters who actually got permission, maybe 6-7 years ago, to include a blog link, for example.)
 

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Well to me it's understandable for people to screw up the signature links. That's not necessarily a common rule. I think this is the only forum I'm on that doesn't allow links. It's pretty common for people to put a link to their blog or youtube channel in their signature. I thought signature violations were only a warning with the signature changed, not a ban?

I know the whole point is people should read the rules before they post but most people aren't going to do that. Who honestly read all the EULAs and rules for everything. There's also no mention of anything on the signature editing page. If the rule was obviously stated right there where they go to to edit the signature, I'd think you get a lot less offenders.

What I mean by gray area is when a new poster asks for an opinion on a specific pet related product. It's easy enough to simply fake the interest and recommend the product to get both exposure and marketing. There are plenty of things like Schticky, DogTV, etc that I never heard of until reading about it here from some new member.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I know the whole point is people should read the rules before they post but most people aren't going to do that. Who honestly read all the EULAs and rules for everything. There's also no mention of anything on the signature editing page. If the rule was obviously stated right there where they go to to edit the signature, I'd think you get a lot less offenders.
That's an excellent idea. It might be also a good place to specify signature size limits, since that is a frequent violation here.

I've also long thought that the rules need to be condensed and simplified, but I have yet to sit down and draft a proposal.
 

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Most spamming is done by automated spamming programs that are designed to post on thousands of forums and blogs in a single run. You can even outsource such runs for $5.

This automated spamming is typically done for two reasons. The first is for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the second is just to get a click on a link to a site selling a questionable product. With recent changes in Google, some of the SEO spamming is done with the goal of getting a competitor penalized for having a bad link profile. So, in some cases, the site being linked to may have no idea that someone is doing this to them.

Another type of outsourced spamming, more common with the recent Google changes, is "personalized" spamming. In this situation, a person is paid to create profiles and test posts on forums, social sites and such with believable information, photos, bio, etc. that are cut and pasted manually. This dodges most anti-spam measures and gets the link posted.

Of course, the whole thing is a game of numbers. While most sites will reject automated spam and some will deal with manual or semi-automatic spamming, enough don't deal with it to make the effort and cost worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Again, I'm talking about the people who join because they have an interest in discussing dogs, and then they screw it up by including a link in their signatures.

I've been moderating Internet forums a lot longer than I've been on this one, and I know how spam works. I'm usually pretty good at spotting the sock puppets, the false identities and the copy-and-paste spammers who go to some effort to build an identity here.
 

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Again, I'm talking about the people who join because they have an interest in discussing dogs, and then they screw it up by including a link in their signatures.

I've been moderating Internet forums a lot longer than I've been on this one, and I know how spam works. I'm usually pretty good at spotting the sock puppets, the false identities and the copy-and-paste spammers who go to some effort to build an identity here.
Anyone who's operated a forum or a blog on their own site probably already knows this stuff. I wanted to give some information/insight to those who hadn't operated such sites. It's interesting the level of automation and outsourcing you see in spamming. Dog and golf sites are two of the most popular targets.
 
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