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Patrol4x4 Admin
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hope I'm putting this question in the right section. We have had a number of issues with unwanted threads started by new members we would have weeded out in our old system of personal post approval. I have my theories on why the AI came into being but I really would appreciate detail on the why, where it is going and what can we expect as a final result.

I can see it would have appeal to new members because they get instant recognition on screen like joining Fakebook, rather than waiting for approval.

Below are examples of what has come through, top one just this afternoon, there are quite a few others including people spruiking religion and gambling. One particularly bad one was from the US where a first post was put up advising people where to buy drugs on line through an email address, with a detailed description of the drugs along with various street names. This one was deleted but remained online with Tapa as a member later posted it via tapa saying look what showed up, I deleted that and sent the other to wasteland, but it was later deleted fully by a modadmin when I brought it up on our site. From this you can see why we have concerns



While we are on this subject, when you run a ban through spam a message comes up saying something like no matches found (or something like that) which is confusing because you are unsure it has actually worked until you ga back and check, would it be possible to change wording to give a positive result?
 
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Hi Ross,
I'm with the Product team here at VerticalScope. I thought I would jump in here to ask you some follow-up questions based on your thread and maybe provide a few answers to some of your more specific questions. First off, thanks for joining Labs and providing input. It is really helpful.

The easy question is probably the ban and clean. I agree, the messaging is a bit confusing and we have a ticket in with our dev team to fix that bug.

Next, the AI one is a bit broader. Our current implementation of AI is to leverage machine learning within search to ideally provide more relevant content based on search queries. How are you finding the advanced search functions? What more do you think we could do to improve search, in your opinion?

Another way we are hoping to leverage machine learning is with topic and community recommendations, just for you! What do you think of sites in general that offer recommended topics and reading - are you interested in that content? Does it seem personalized? Would you like the community to be more personalized for you, like a home page feed, for example?

Final thing (I hope you don't mind me peppering you with questions :) is in regards to the post approvals. We do have additional technology in place to try and reduce spam content from getting onto the sites. However, this is definitely a challenge when we also want to increase membership and continue to allow these communities to thrive and grow. Making the on-boarding process from guests to member easier, helps to increase membership. I'd be interested to hear any of your additional thoughts on this one.

Thanks again,
Carrie
 

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@Ross Wittig
Ross - one thing to clairfy... our AI (which is really only Machine Learning for now) is currently only deployed on Search. We expect to deploy it on Recommendations, and Homepage before the end of the year.
AI/ML is not being used today for Spam purposes. We actually use the same tools as we did on vBulletin such as StopForumSpam, and Recapcha. The spam issue persists on both old and new platform because spammers continue to get better at beating those tools. We have a few ideas in our backlog to introduce our own tech for spam, because its less likely that spammers will build around us (instead they build around common tools like stopforumspam) so if we build another line of defense we may be more successful.
 

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Patrol4x4 Admin
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Ross,
I'm with the Product team here at VerticalScope. I thought I would jump in here to ask you some follow-up questions based on your thread and maybe provide a few answers to some of your more specific questions. First off, thanks for joining Labs and providing input. It is really helpful.

The easy question is probably the ban and clean. I agree, the messaging is a bit confusing and we have a ticket in with our dev team to fix that bug.

Next, the AI one is a bit broader. Our current implementation of AI is to leverage machine learning within search to ideally provide more relevant content based on search queries. How are you finding the advanced search functions? What more do you think we could do to improve search, in your opinion?

Another way we are hoping to leverage machine learning is with topic and community recommendations, just for you! What do you think of sites in general that offer recommended topics and reading - are you interested in that content? Does it seem personalized? Would you like the community to be more personalized for you, like a home page feed, for example?

Final thing (I hope you don't mind me peppering you with questions :) is in regards to the post approvals. We do have additional technology in place to try and reduce spam content from getting onto the sites. However, this is definitely a challenge when we also want to increase membership and continue to allow these communities to thrive and grow. Making the on-boarding process from guests to member easier, helps to increase membership. I'd be interested to hear any of your additional thoughts on this one.

Thanks again,
Carrie
Hi Carrie, to say what we have now overall is making me as happy as a pig in mud is an understatement, I would like to see ongoing slow change to reach perfection. We suffered badly for months when this happened even I was going to walk away, but in the last week or so the natives are no longer restless :).

I appreciate the reasons for auto member approvals and the simple step from guest to member, that confirms what I had taken from it. We are between a rock and a hard place with this, what we have isn't working as well as it should but the reasoning is a part of construction. Not sure I have a simple answer.

I will say that change for change sake is not a path I would like to follow.
Ross

Hi Rob, bloody spammers, I don't hand out my mobile number much and I don't usually answer calls that show just a number, but I'm in a health scare situation at the moment so I had to give a few medical facilities my Ph number, yesterday my phone rang while I was doing something, by the time I got the phone out of my pocket it had stopped, I looked in the log and there was just a number so I quickly pressed call without really looking....... Buga me it was a bloody scammer from Tunisia!!!!!!!!!!! How the hell do they get our damn numbers. I hope the fleas of a thousand camels infest their armpits.....
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We had another spammer slip through the net on Sunday in Off Topic, I gave it the spam remedy.
 
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@Ross Wittig Thanks again for your comments. Although I was sorry to hear about the spammers both on the site as well as on your phone. They are so intrusive! While not a forever solution, I'm certainly glad to hear the current tools helped in this case.

Also, glad to hear overall that both yourself and the community are digging the latest releases. Happy members makes me happy too! :)
 

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We had another spammer slip through the net on Sunday in Off Topic, I gave it the spam remedy.
Ross - do you mind checking when the spammer signed up? Just want to make sure it was someone that came through recently, and not a zombie account that has been in there since the VB days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have been looking at join dates but not recording them, this guy joined 1 month ago but only just posted, the Uber guys were a week ago and back several few weeks. Do remember a sleeper that had joined in 2015 but first post (spam) was just recent. Is it possible for people to hack us and take over a non used account?
Ross
 

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I have been looking at join dates but not recording them, this guy joined 1 month ago but only just posted, the Uber guys were a week ago and back several few weeks. Do remember a sleeper that had joined in 2015 but first post (spam) was just recent. Is it possible for people to hack us and take over a non used account?
Ross
Our system is very secure, but what often happens it that users re-use passwords. So if a user was to create an account on Patrol4x4 and re-use a password that he used on Yahoo Mail, and that password had been hacked or otherwise become publicly available on the dark net, there are bots that will try that password on his Patrol4x4 account and then use it for spamming. That is often why you will sometimes see a "good user" all the sudden start spamming. It requires a password reset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Our system is very secure, but what often happens it that users re-use passwords. So if a user was to create an account on Patrol4x4 and re-use a password that he used on Yahoo Mail, and that password had been hacked or otherwise become publicly available on the dark net, there are bots that will try that password on his Patrol4x4 account and then use it for spamming. That is often why you will sometimes see a "good user" all the sudden start spamming. It requires a password reset.
Cool, thanks for that explanation mate. Do you mind if I cut and paste that reply to let our guys know how this happens?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A clarification for me as there have been past complaints about the AI with picture posting. Members have complained about the need to hit refresh to see a posted pic that they haven't posted, I have had to do this myself. I always hit the refresh button when I post a pic and all seems fine, my question is if a member posts a pic and doesn't hit refresh does that then sit there until someone else views it?
Ross
 

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A clarification for me as there have been past complaints about the AI with picture posting. Members have complained about the need to hit refresh to see a posted pic that they haven't posted, I have had to do this myself. I always hit the refresh button when I post a pic and all seems fine, my question is if a member posts a pic and doesn't hit refresh does that then sit there until someone else views it?
Ross
Typically the Vision scan runs within about 2-3 seconds of posting. At its worst, it might take up to a minute... but I've rarely (perhaps never) seen that.
It does help keep our communities clean & safe; and makes sure that our members don't have to see anything that they didn't sign up for... imagine browsing a car forum, with your 5 year old kid asking Daddy a question... and all the sudden your monitor has something severely NSFW.
The moderators do a great job, but this just helps keep things a bit safer, and more quickly imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Typically the Vision scan runs within about 2-3 seconds of posting. At its worst, it might take up to a minute... but I've rarely (perhaps never) seen that.
It does help keep our communities clean & safe; and makes sure that our members don't have to see anything that they didn't sign up for... imagine browsing a car forum, with your 5 year old kid asking Daddy a question... and all the sudden your monitor has something severely NSFW.
The moderators do a great job, but this just helps keep things a bit safer, and more quickly imo.
No I'm not questioning that as I have used a similar scenario in another thread I posted today. I'm just wondering why I have needed to refresh someone elses pic occasionally? I have also been asked this question by others as it doesn't seem to happen with all recent uploaded pics from others I have viewed, I had assumed a pic only needed to go through this process once, am I incorrect on this?
 

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No I'm not questioning that as I have used a similar scenario in another thread I posted today. I'm just wondering why I have needed to refresh someone elses pic occasionally? I have also been asked this question by others as it doesn't seem to happen with all recent uploaded pics from others I have viewed, I had assumed a pic only needed to go through this process once, am I incorrect on this?
I believe that is the case.

Some pics might scan quicker than others, however once scanned you should not have to refresh to view a second time unless the user maybe edited the post or updated the image.

Jeff M
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I believe that is the case.

Some pics might scan quicker than others, however once scanned you should not have to refresh to view a second time unless the user maybe edited the post or updated the image.

Jeff M
Thanks Jeff, I had another one last night after posting here, I needed to refresh before I could see it, the old system would give you an exact lapsed time since the post, now it says 'a moment ago', I'm not sure how long a moment lasts ;). My initial thought was the person posted the pic and immediately logged out.
 

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Thanks Jeff, I had another one last night after posting here, I needed to refresh before I could see it, the old system would give you an exact lapsed time since the post, now it says 'a moment ago', I'm not sure how long a moment lasts ;). My initial thought was the person posted the pic and immediately logged out.
@Ross Wittig

Gotcha,

I am not sure about the official definition of "a moment ago" but if you hover over the timestamp it will give the exact time detail.

Example below:

Text Font Technology Screenshot Electronic device


Jeff M
 
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@Ross Wittig
I want to clarify the issue here.

Scenario 1; you post an image, you hit save and you see the stopwatch instead of your picture, but you refresh the page and it is there.

Scenario 2; you are browsing a forum and a user posts a photo and hits save, and you (or another user other than the OP of the post) sees the stopwatch, then hits refresh and the image is there?

Scenario 3; an image that was posted a while ago shows up as a stopwatch?

Did I get these correct?
Helena
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Ross Wittig
I want to clarify the issue here.

Scenario 1; you post an image, you hit save and you see the stopwatch instead of your picture, but you refresh the page and it is there.

Scenario 2; you are browsing a forum and a user posts a photo and hits save, and you (or another user other than the OP of the post) sees the stopwatch, then hits refresh and the image is there?

Scenario 3; an image that was posted a while ago shows up as a stopwatch?

Did I get these correct?
Helena
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes

Sorry about the sometimes 16 hour time delay, lol.

@Ross Wittig

Gotcha,

I am not sure about the official definition of "a moment ago" but if you hover over the timestamp it will give the exact time detail.

Example below:

View attachment 3844

Jeff M
Well talk about learn something new everyday, thanks for that Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got this at 3.58pm and it was posted at 3.56pm, have asked the poster to give me feedback on what he did when posting, a pic posted by a member immediately following showed up straight away (they both use Tapa BTW)
Got this reply when I asked the question of the original poster:
"I am on tappa and they are photos from my phone. Worked immediately and still work fine on my phone.
I edited the post to make the observation of our sorely missed brother in arms.
You can't post text after a photo unless you add it later on tappa"

The guy that followed with an immediately showing pic said the same thing but I know he is on a paying version of tapa'

Another that read my post question said this: That's how mine have been when I have posted from the phone, via Tapa. I see them okay with the phone on Tapa but not the Web view on the computer.

So Helena and Jeff I'm like a dancer with 2 left feet at the moment ?.




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I am going to talk to our devs, see if I can get some answers here.

Thanks for the help, keep the information coming in, see if we can get to the bottom of this.

Helena
 
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