Automatically shadow ban spambots?

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
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Apr 25, 2019
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Would it better to hide a spambot's posts when they're detected by an algorithm and to tell them their posts have been hidden?

Or would it be better to shadow ban them and let them continue to post thinking that others can see them, when they're really only visible to them and staff? Would this be effective in wasting the bots time, when they could be using it on trying new messages which may get past algorithms? Or would it just create unneccessary noise?
 

Pete

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Sep 9, 2013
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If they’re really a bot, they won’t notice either way because real bots work on the principle of the cheapest way to promote - there’s simply no incentive to have the bots be clever enough to work it out.

On the other hand, false positives can and do happen, and allowing someone to see they have been flagged as spam gives them a chance to do something about it.

You can’t solve a social problem with a technical solution.
 

haqzore

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Dec 6, 2012
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99.99% of spam are automated bots in my entire forum admin experience.

Shadow banning /hiding posts will do nothing besides bloat your database. The bot is a bot and couldn't care less.
 

Pete

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Sure, 99.99% is automated, but automated identifying such posts will undoubtedly have false positives, that was the part I was thinking of.
 

haqzore

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Sure, 99.99% is automated, but automated identifying such posts will undoubtedly have false positives, that was the part I was thinking of.
I think every script comes with some type of a contact form. People can get ahold of you if needed.

Having said that, I've never had issue with this in over a decade of admin'ing.
 

Pete

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It's more looking at the hypothetical situation the OP is suggesting: if some kind of *automated* determination of posts-are-spam is in play, it's almost certainly going to have some false positives (by being too enthusiastic) or it's going to miss things (by not being enthusiastic enough).

That is the unfortunate nature of the beast - as Facebook is currently discovering.
 
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