GWJ bugs, feature requests, and updates

The only time I have seen a captcha is when I have been using a VPN.

Sorry! Forgot to check in; here's the condensed version of the chat I had with Doogie:

There are a lot of rules cloudflare manages. I think it might be best if I can get samples of the content being posted that's triggering the rules so that I can identify which ones might be a problem. The tricky thing will be to assess whether we should turn a rule off or not because they do help protect the site, but we don't want it to be a pain in the ass to use the site, either.

So, it seems to be chrome specific, and mostly when people are posting (but sometimes just browsing). Is there a commonality in content or details between posts that are flagged? does it involve posting pictures, gifs, bbc code, HTTP links instead of https, or some other details that might help shed some light?

My data point might be helpful here, since I practically never post. (Lurker power!)

Though, I should probably lead by saying I have not encountered the issue in the last few days, despite no changes in my habits.

- I use Chrome exclusively, and it is up to date. (I actually updated after my first post here when I read it might be the issue, but there was no immediate effect.)
- I never encountered the issue when making a post. (I actually have posted a teeny bit recently due to the Elden Ring trailer drop, so I have tested it.)
- My typical method of using the site is to click the "see new messages in topics you've posted in" button at the upper right (the chat bubble button, which turns red when there's new goodies) and review the new posts first.
- Sometimes I right-click the posts to open a new tab, other times I just click them and then use the back button. I usually do the former if it is a large number of new posts or a large number of threads, but if there isn't much new to read, I'll just do the latter.
- After that, I will sometimes navigate through the forums to threads I like to check in on, but have not posted in.
- I do not recall any specific action triggering the captcha reliably. However, I "feel" like it was most likely to happen when I was changing pages quickly in general: such as when going back-forth reading new posts when the post count was low, or when navigating manually to threads I don't have posts in but still like to catch up on.
- The forum I read the most is D&D, probably followed by Everything Else, and Games and Platforms.

I'm not sure if this any help or not, but hopefully with enough data points you'll end up with something helpful.

Of course since I posted about the captcha issue, I haven't had it happen to me since.

Ferret wrote:

Helpful stuff!

LOVE the level of detail, thank you! If anyone has anything to add, I would really appreciate it

Like Ferret I also use the "recent content" speech bubble from the top of the site and then once I'm caught up there I go to Forums > [section]. I very rarely use the right click to open in new tab that Ferret mentions.

For me the Captchas were appearing on many different events, from making new posts to even just page changes within threads. There didn't seem to be any consistent action that was triggering the Captchas, although I do feel (with no data) that they seemed more likely to pop up if I had been on the site for a while.

I use Chrome exclusively and it is up to date.

My usage patterns are very similar to Ferret's. I was getting captchas as well but haven't seen any pop up in the last couple of days. I did find that when I was getting them, I could just reload the site and they would go away for a while.

Just wanted to update: it's been a few more days and I still haven't seen another captcha. Given how frequently they were popping up when I first posted compared to zero for the last several days, starting to think it might be fixed.

My theory (backed by neither data nor insight nor special knowledge): There was a very large influx of bots and bot-like activity early in June. This prompted the captcha system to kick in more frequently as there were more suspicious hits to the site, such as mass page opening and leaving pages on idle/open for a while. I had a captcha or two appear at the beginning of the month and haven't seen one in a couple weeks. That coincided with a whole bunch of really odd Coffee Grinder accounts appearing and posting seemingly "human" messages. But reverse image searches on their profile pictures, subsequent stealth post edits, and no further activity by these accounts makes me suspect they were either bot or bot adjacent (human "bot" farms) accounts

Is GWJ now allowing links to rom sites via sneaky signatures?

https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

I've seen a few posts this year that were reasonable in content body, but had questionable links in signatures. Just wondering if the "Report" feature isn't including sig content, or if we need some (optional) way to clarify why we're reporting a post?

I was visiting the Key to Happiness thread (aka, free games we can give away) and it seems that as of late there are some users who register specifically to be able to reply and ask for keys. Active users, in return, are now adding the disclaimer for such people to stop requesting, as that is not the purpose of the thread.

I was thinking if certain threads such as the free games thread and some more controversial threads could benefit from
1. becoming invisible to new users (less than 10 or 20 posts)
2. unable to reply in these threads (in case they still find the thread if someone feeds them the permalink).

just throwing ideas around, hope this is useful

merphle wrote:

Is GWJ now allowing links to rom sites via sneaky signatures?

https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

I've seen a few posts this year that were reasonable in content body, but had questionable links in signatures. Just wondering if the "Report" feature isn't including sig content, or if we need some (optional) way to clarify why we're reporting a post?

No. They are posting with increasing frequency and are starting to behave like accounts occasionally manned by humans. We're finding a few on our own, but would appreciate flagging them if you see them in the wild.

Amoebic wrote:
merphle wrote:

Is GWJ now allowing links to rom sites via sneaky signatures?

https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

I've seen a few posts this year that were reasonable in content body, but had questionable links in signatures. Just wondering if the "Report" feature isn't including sig content, or if we need some (optional) way to clarify why we're reporting a post?

No. They are posting with increasing frequency and are starting to behave like accounts occasionally manned by humans. We're finding a few on our own, but would appreciate flagging them if you see them in the wild.

Sorry, Ameobic, I just want to be sure I understand the answer merphle's last question: Does using the flag icon to Report a post also prompt the admins to check signatures now too (is that what you mean by "flagging them"), or should we PM someone instead?

Mantid wrote:
Amoebic wrote:
merphle wrote:

Is GWJ now allowing links to rom sites via sneaky signatures?

https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

I've seen a few posts this year that were reasonable in content body, but had questionable links in signatures. Just wondering if the "Report" feature isn't including sig content, or if we need some (optional) way to clarify why we're reporting a post?

No. They are posting with increasing frequency and are starting to behave like accounts occasionally manned by humans. We're finding a few on our own, but would appreciate flagging them if you see them in the wild.

Sorry, Ameobic, I just want to be sure I understand the answer merphle's last question: Does using the flag icon to Report a post also prompt the admins to check signatures now too (is that what you mean by "flagging them"), or should we PM someone instead?

Yeah, that's what I'm getting at. I'm pretty vigilant about flagging posts that are obviously spam/bots, and mod response has been very good at promptly eradicating them. This kind of post, where there's nothing in the body that seems untoward but has an offensive link in the signature, seems to linger far longer than it should after getting flagged.

merphle flagged for being a spam bot.

merphle wrote:
Mantid wrote:
Amoebic wrote:
merphle wrote:

Is GWJ now allowing links to rom sites via sneaky signatures?

https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/...

I've seen a few posts this year that were reasonable in content body, but had questionable links in signatures. Just wondering if the "Report" feature isn't including sig content, or if we need some (optional) way to clarify why we're reporting a post?

No. They are posting with increasing frequency and are starting to behave like accounts occasionally manned by humans. We're finding a few on our own, but would appreciate flagging them if you see them in the wild.

Sorry, Ameobic, I just want to be sure I understand the answer merphle's last question: Does using the flag icon to Report a post also prompt the admins to check signatures now too (is that what you mean by "flagging them"), or should we PM someone instead?

Yeah, that's what I'm getting at. I'm pretty vigilant about flagging posts that are obviously spam/bots, and mod response has been very good at promptly eradicating them. This kind of post, where there's nothing in the body that seems untoward but has an offensive link in the signature, seems to linger far longer than it should after getting flagged.

We all look at flagged posts, but we're also human. Since a lot of these come in while at work, if it's not people fighting/keyboardwarrrioring I'll sometimes wait until after work or the weekend to clean up and may sometimes miss them if the posts themselves are deleted by other mods. Apologies for that! Also if mods delete the posts they no longer show up on the report console and I have to remember to scroll back up through mod chat to find the user details. I'm the only active admin at the moment that can delete/remove users as far as I'm aware. Shawn is a shadow mod and will sometimes pop in to maintain reports and delete bots as well, but he's currently out in the woods.

A lot of bots will post identical posts in multiple threads. Deleting the one account will delete all the posts from that one account, but may seem to remain if there are multiple posts including some from a near identical bot account.

If you send a flag, and I don't get to that flag in a few days, please pm me?

Also sometimes, if they create an account, and post something innocuous at first....they'll wait to see if it's acted on. And if no one has banned the bot account immediately, they'll go back and change user pictures, signatures, etc. Incredibly annoying. if you're scrolling back through pages and see something like this from coffee grinders please let me know!

Amoebic wrote:

If you send a flag, and I don't get to that flag in a few days, please pm me?

Will do - and I appreciate all your (and the rest of the mod team's) hard work, maintaining order and sanity around here.

I definitely understand that things slip through cracks, and this sort of insignificant stuff is far lower priority than other stuff - real life stuff, especially. As someone on a team of folks who often get pinged individually for tech support, I really try hard to avoid PMing individuals for help.

I was mostly wondering if there was any appetite to enhance the report button, to maybe give us an optional drop-down selector of why we're flagging? Only trying to help smooth the system...

Among many things, yes. Particularly a feedback form of some kind! I may need to contract someone at this point.

Amoebic wrote:

If you send a flag, and I don't get to that flag in a few days, please pm me?

Due to my work, I am almost always at (or near) a computer during EST working hours, so any PM sent concerning this, please cc me as well on this PM. While I cannot remove a profile, I can remove posts and flag the profile for removal.