There was a bot active in the forums which bothered many users by leaving nonsense comments on many threads. A bot is basically a software program which emulates user behavior that is able to use written text on the forum, garble it up and produce a language like output text which is used to reply to your threads or to post on your profile walls. This is not something on your systems and it's not a hack of the forum software as such, it's a remote controlled user which is able to navigate the forum interface automatically and to browse the forum for content.
The issue is that such a bot behaves mostly peacefully, the texts it creates are human like, talk about a certain topic and is context aware and because of that spam filters have a hard time detecting there is anything wrong.
Because several users including me fell for these generated texts and quoted it in our replies there was a lot of left over junk in the forum that I cleaned up.
I decided to clean up mess after I received a handful of content reports from several users that this bot/user was flooding their threads with spam messages as well as their walls.
How can you help stop this in the future?
- report users that reply to many threads in a very short time or at regular intervals
- report users that leave unwanted comments on your user profile walls
- report posts that comment on very old threads, create a new thread for your own questions when the original thread had no reply in 6 months or so
- report posts that are off topic and do not answer your question, especially when they feel off and not quite human like
- try not to answer or quote comments that are non-sensical or basically spam, just report it and it becomes easier for us moderators to clean it up
- do not post private information online, this includes email addresses. Use the private messages feature first if you want to contact another user
- do not click on links posted by someone who you don't trust
Thank you for your understanding and thanks for helping us keeping the forum clean of spam.