Spammer accounts appear to be returning

Certainly a noticeable surge in their numbers recently. Guessing they are back at their desks after a break. I’d guess their employers were not keen to give their folks laptops to take home.

We need to go back to weeding them out and suspending them more vigilantly.

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Never seem a spam account on iNat before. Any examples of what gets spammed here?

That’s because curators flag them as they get created. Or at least do a pretty good job, in combination with the automated spam filter the site has.

It’s exactly the stuff you would expect, it is not meant to get you to click on it (if you do great) but rather as search engine manipulation to make their sites get prioritized on searches.

Here are 7000+ pages of flags on them should you wish to review
https://www.inaturalist.org/flags?utf8=%E2%9C%93&flagger_type=any&flagger_name=&flagger_user_id=&user_name=&user_id=&flaggable_type=User&flags%5B%5D=spam&reason_query=&resolved=no&resolver_name=&resolver_user_id=&commit=Filter

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I saw one once. They kept putting up photos of hotel room interiors and the description was a link to the hotel’s booking site.
Not even like a wildlife booking tour, like a straight up motel, with a photo of their queen beds with side tables. :laughing:

I think most may try to be a little more subtle than that.

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I have only seen one, I don’t remember the full details, but it was a write up of an entire football (American) game, the whole game, everything that happened. Very long.

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Out of idle curiosity: Where’d they write that up? Journal post, profile or observation description?

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Huh… seems like an “observation” In a hotel room might make people think of bedbugs. That’s what came to mind for me. :confounded:

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I seem to remember it being an observation. I remember the observation being a score board I think, and than the observation description was the game. I think it was Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

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It’s funny you should mention that…it’s exactly what someone else jokingly suggested:

image

I think at the time I just flagged it as SPAM.
Nowadays, I’d probably flag it as SPAM and ID it as Human (in case it takes a little time to resolve the flag).

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You could mark that as human, I guess? :woman_shrugging:
Though I absolutely see the SPAM aspect of it as well.

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You definitely must be doing a good job!

as a curator, how can I be more proactive in finding and flagging these accounts?

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I was going to say the same thing as teellbee. So instead I’ll just say we should tag them as casual bedbug observations haha.

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It’s tempting, but as I said in the other thread, I would refrain from doing that because I don’t want to give false IDs.

On your home page there is a button towards the bottom right called recent users. Click that and then on the page it takes you to is a button for probably spam. These are new accounts that meet the typical criteria of spam accounts.

Please be careful to read the profile info they provide, is it spam, or is it a new legitimate user and only flag the former.

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I’m curious: Why ID as Human, as opposed to DQA of “Evidence of organism: No”? Wouldn’t it achieve the same result (ie. make the observation casual), but be more accurate (assuming there’s no human or other organism in the picture)? Am I missing something? (A complete newbie here! :D)

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Because there is evidence of humans. :slightly_smiling_face: :woman_shrugging:
The hotel was built by humans. The furniture is used by humans. The nicely made bed in the photos were set up by humans on the hotel staff.

Ultimately, it’s moot, because those observations were removed, but if they weren’t I wanted to make sure I used the choice that best fit.

FWIW, looking over the past few months of data, the number of accounts being marked as spam per day has been quite low recently, usually in the teens or single digits, with some spikes of 51, 92, and 177 in June. April and May were even lower than that.

In January and February, that number was in the triple digits nearly every day.

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Thankfully not encountered any of these yet…