• ATTENTION MODERATORS: Please delete spam on sight

  • General discussion about the RAILROAD.NET site, forums, or content ONLY. Please do not post your general railroading questions, please choose an appropriate forum. For help using the site, please post in the Help Using RAILROAD.NET Forum.
General discussion about the RAILROAD.NET site, forums, or content ONLY. Please do not post your general railroading questions, please choose an appropriate forum. For help using the site, please post in the Help Using RAILROAD.NET Forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by Otto Vondrak
Attention Moderators:

Earlier was asked for you to lock spam threads and wait until we could determine their IP address and such. Now the problem seems to have gotten worse, and we can't keep up with all of them. Please delete spam posts on sight, and let us know if you see more in other forums. On other words, don't wait for us to act, delete it as soon as you see it.

Just so you know, these spam messages are generated by computer programs that circumvent our approval process. These posts are not created by human operators. We are working on solving the problem as soon as we can- it may require a software upgrade or patch. Whatever the solution is, we're working as quickly as we can to acquire it.

Thank you for your patience and viligence!


  by David Benton
i was just wondering , would a probationary period for new members work ? say their first 10 posts have to be approved by a moderator before they can post freely . ?

  by RussNelson
yes, that would help a lot. they would have to generate a real railroad posting, and that would be too expensive.

  by Otto Vondrak
I don't know about any expense but the whole problem is that these are automated computer programs, not real people. They are already circumventing our existing approval system.


  by RussNelson
I mean expensive in terms of human effort. They would have to convince a person that they're posting on-topic posts. Automated posting software can't do that.

  by JoeG
I would like to see new members having to pay, via Paypal, a tiny amount to join RR Net. Maybe it could be $0.01. The point is, that would defeat the bots, who would not be willing or able to pay anything.

  by pablo
That's a really good idea. Really, I think we could ask for even more, if it would help maintain the site as well.

I'll help in any way we need to, even if it's physically replying to prospective members.

Dave Becker

  by charlie6017
I'm game for that, too. A nominal fee isn't asking too much!

  by keeper1616
I doubt charging a fee would stop the robots from posting. They can still get into the site as long as its public. (ie anyone can view the content)

  by Alloy
Someone posted about garbage PMs. The other trend which I just began seeing is some sort of spammers replying to existing threads. There's an example in the Pennsylvania railfan forum, under the "Glen Loch" posting.

[Someone else posted about this early in the week, but it must have been a reply, and not a separate thread. I can't find it.]

The spammer provides a link to porn, which is easy to tell because it's labeled, 'spam, por n.' (That makes no sense as to why a spammer would tip off the content, but at least it makes it easy to spot.) But future spammers wil probably not be so accomodating, and I hope we can all avoid opening one of those links by accident.

I guess it gets back to somehow preventing a spammer from registering in the first place. It's been awhile since I registered here, but most sites have you type in a word that appears on the screen during your registration. That was supposed to screen out the bots, wasn't it?

Anyway, good luck in mounting a new defense system.

  by Noel Weaver
I really do not want to get drawn into this situation again but as I was
adversly affected by a link on here, I feel that I have a right to speak my
piece on this subject.
I stated previously, the owners of this sight should consider a modest
annual fee to participate by posting. What ever costs are involved in
making this sight much more difficult for spam and other problems could
be ofset by the fees paid by us on an annual basis for the privilege of
It is easy enough to push the wrong button or key on your computer and
bingo, you have a big problem. Not only are some of these spams linked
to a computer virus but some of them contain obsene stuff which our
younger people should not and need not be exposed to. I wonder how
our leaders would feel if some angry parent came after them for allowing
their kid to be exposed to a picture of an obsene act or to language which
described obsene acts?
Trainordersdotcom does not have these problems, probably because they
charge an annual fee to post, it's fair to me on there and would be fair to
me on here.
Remember, all, as things stand now, in come cases you could merely push
one wrong key at the wrong time and your whole computer system could
be damaged or even ruined.
Finally, Mike and Otto, I did not do this post to criticize you nor to cause
you more problems but rather to show you my support.
Noel Weaver

  by gp80mac
An annual fee may stop some if the spam postings, but you will lose a LOT of members. I've seen trainorders befroe and after they started charging. The trainorders of today can not hold a candle compared to the old free site as far as content and variety.

I also find it amusing there's about half a dozen spam topics on this very "general discussion" forum - with some being here for a couple days. Kind of obvious they're there..

That's simply my opinion.

  by JoeG
I am not advocating an annual fee, just a very nominal one-time fee when a new member joins. From what I can see, the bots manage to sign up as members and then do spam posts. My idea would make Paypal the cop--no one can join without a Paypal payment. I am assuming this can be done. If I'm wrong, the idea won't work.
As for higher membership fees, or annual fees, I hope we can avoid them. I periodically send RR.NET a Paypal contribution, and I hope other members do the same to the extent they can. I believe that regular membership fees would cause some valuable members to quit. I hope another method can be used to combat spam.

  by U-Haul
I always report X rated material to one of the senior members. Postings about other non railroad items ("earning money online" for example) I usually ignore and rarely report these a senior member because of their low priority.

  by Mike Roque
Thank you all for your suggestions. While we would love the income that would result from fees, we would rather stop the spam problem without making changes to our business model. Our goal at this point is to stop the bots from being able to register. As you are all aware, the bots are getting by our the CAPTCHA that comes with phpBB.

I've been a bit busy the last few days, but I do have a potential solution to the problem that I will attempt to implement some time next week.