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Aethelflaed's avatar

How do spammers create so many accounts?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13687 points ) June 20th, 2012

How do spammers create so many accounts? I believe you’re only allowed one username per email address? Do they just spend time creating thousands of email addresses or something? Or is there some app or something that helps them?

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15 Answers

Yeahright's avatar

I was wondering the same thing. I also thought it was one account per email.

SavoirFaire's avatar

You are only allowed one username per email address, but spambots can be programmed to sign up for email addresses just as easily as they can be programmed to sign up for Fluther or other websites. Moreover, bots that just leave profile spam behind rather than posting a bunch of spammy answers don’t even need to bother validating their email address. That kind of bot could just use addresses harvested from other websites to fill in the email address field without even needing to create fake email accounts.

augustlan's avatar

What he ^^ said. Damn bots.

wildpotato's avatar

Couldn’t we use the thing where the site makes someone who signs up type in a randomly generated set of symbols to make sure the person is not a bot?

erichw1504's avatar

There’s websites where you can make throw-away email address.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@wildpotato CAPTCHA is an option for weeding out the stupider spambots, but we’d need to get Ben and Andrew to do it. Since they are not actively developing Fluther at the moment, it’s just one more thing to put on our list of things to ask them about.

augustlan's avatar

We used to have CAPTCHA, but it broke. :(

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@augustlan Can’t spell, don’t make me.

jrpowell's avatar

I have a site. It is tiny compared to Fluther. But it is similar to Fluther but we don’t really have moderation.

I have tried a few thing regarding spam.

Open registrations, no email validation needed. = Lots of spam
E-mail validation needed = Just as much spam
Blocking China and South Korea in .htaccess = 95% reduction of spam.

It isn’t bots spamming the site. It is people willing to do it for 50 cents a hour.

augustlan's avatar

@johnpowell Some of them are definitely bots. Not all, but a significant percentage are.

jrpowell's avatar

If it is a bot you should ask to have andrew or Ben break it. Change http://www.fluther.com/join/ to http://www.fluther.com/suckitbots/

I do it on my site since mine is a simple wordpress install. I use http://stfudamnit.com/alliehatesyou/ instead of the normal login slug.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@johnpowell The ability to block IP ranges, specific ISPs, or entire countries is top on my list of desired changes to the moderation tools. Two ISPs account for almost 50% of Fluther spam.

Response moderated (Spam)
Aethelflaed's avatar

@erichw1504 Wrong question? (And yes, I did.)

Some_Ghost's avatar

They have eeeeerie poooweeeeers.

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