• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Moderation

Page 13 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
You've been told it's a matter of privacy. Pay attention to what's being said. Things work better when you do that.

I saw you'd posted last night, but decided it was just way too late in the evening to deal with ***.

Yes, I have seen the "privacy" excuse, but unlike you, I don't just automatically believe a reason is correct, just because someone in authority says so. As @Ricco' asked; how is a privacy matter? There's a frikkin' huge BANNED signed next to the username. Also, when a cyclist gets banned from the sport, we all know how long that ban is for. If someone goes to jail, the length of the sentence will also be widely known. So, how is it that when it's an internet forum, it's suddenly "A-baba... pvivafy"?
But, you know what? I give up! It's clear we'll never seen any improvement on the matter.

I don't understand why you're so weird around here. In other parts of the forum you seem fairly reasonable, apart from that outrageous claim over in the Quintana thread that 4 is somehow better than 3.
 
Okay, seriously, who is actually moderating the forum at the moment? Is there anybody but RedRick? I think one mod is simply not enough for a forum of this size.
And I am repeating myself endlessly, but why are people who volunteered (not me, others, who seem totally fine members) not taken into the team?
This is so silly. I know forums and such are always reluctant to take in new mods, but after such a long time of discussions and complaints - why? Why don't you trust members who have been here for years, and if they turn out to be problematic after all you take away their mod status, done?

I am currently active in another forum of roughly the same size etc. and they don't have a problem with spam and everything is handled extremely smoothly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RedheadDane
Or have them solve a bunch of equations. That should at least make one forum member tread lightly.


falgLtk5SkujE7a_GjaA7oBjDGCBkhEL17GjHZyzGH0.png



With a sixty second time limit of course.
 

SHaines

Administrator
Staff member
Okay, seriously, who is actually moderating the forum at the moment? Is there anybody but RedRick? I think one mod is simply not enough for a forum of this size.
And I am repeating myself endlessly, but why are people who volunteered (not me, others, who seem totally fine members) not taken into the team?
This is so silly. I know forums and such are always reluctant to take in new mods, but after such a long time of discussions and complaints - why? Why don't you trust members who have been here for years, and if they turn out to be problematic after all you take away their mod status, done?

I am currently active in another forum of roughly the same size etc. and they don't have a problem with spam and everything is handled extremely smoothly.

Hey there,

Spam isn't something that can be eliminated from any forum without restrictions that we're unwilling to implement. Our forums are free for everyone, which means people who get paid to post spam will find them a target rich environment. We have a lot of tools to prevent spam that makes it live from popping up twice, but to do that, we need help from the community.

Anytime you see any spam anywhere on the forums, folks can use the Report option beneath the post. That allows a Moderator or CM to get them removed quickly and we can then use the forum admin panel to prevent a recurrence. It takes some time and it will never be 100% effective at preventing spam, but it keeps it to a minimum.

More Moderators will be very helpful, for sure. Our team has been preparing for some things behind the scenes for a while now and we're finally seeing some progress, so we should be ready to grow the ranks further in the upcoming couple months. While these plans are very exciting for a community nerd like myself, I suspect they won't be thrilling to most folks, but we'll share more specifics on that as we get closer. Please do bear with us just a bit longer.
 
As for the ban length discussion. In the end people in this thread were rather accurate in predicting when Logic will return? So maybe knowing all possible options. That should do it? After people can bet. As after all this is sports oriented forum.

As for keeping a list of banned people and listing reasons for the ban to be published. Imagine you nick name and some derogatory term to find itself on such list. You would never have that.

As for the spam. Maybe a reported post could get hidden until the moderator gets to it. But obviously this would get abused. We are people after all. So some sort of criteria would need to be involved.

As for people asking to be moderators. To fight of spam. And i guess having more control over editing threads. Maybe to grant them that wish. As it's not always easy. To find yourself on the other side of this discussion. And it's mostly work anyway.

As for reaching out to mods. This should be settled. As contact info was provided. On where to complain if desired. Maybe such info to be provided in that message. When you get banned.

I fortunately got banned once for being able to see that message. And knowing how vague it currently is. So that could improve. Note that i did shot the sheriff but i didn't shoot no deputy.
 
Last edited:
As for spam, I think we should be a little bit honest about this and note that currently it's being dealt with PDQ. I've seen two spam posts in recent days - one in French, one in Wiki-level English - and both were gone within a couple of hours. Complaining about it is easy and all some can do but the fact is it's being dealt with.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lequack
MargaretJohnson said:
According to my assumption, French team will win this one.

Everything screams "spammer".
New account
Generic username
Random post... except it kinda makes sense...

Spammers are starting to use AI, like chatGPT, to write posts. Simply copy and paste a post, ask the bot to write an answer, then stick it up. They come back later and insert the links. It makes it much harder to spot, especially if they use a post that isn't the OP as it'll look like they're continuing the conversation, but it'll still seem weird, like the example you give. Honestly, I think it could be a huge problem going forward.

I'm hoping this is what @SHaines is talking about when they say there's work being done behind the scenes.
 
Spammers are starting to use AI, like chatGPT, to write posts. Simply copy and paste a post, ask the bot to write an answer, then stick it up. They come back later and insert the links. It makes it much harder to spot, especially if they use a post that isn't the OP as it'll look like they're continuing the conversation, but it'll still seem weird, like the example you give. Honestly, I think it could be a huge problem going forward.

I'm hoping this is what @SHaines is talking about when they say there's work being done behind the scenes.
So far they have all had the same MO, so they are quite easy to spot for a human.

This one from January still doesn't feature any links though:

This post brings up an interesting point about the current state of cycling and how teams are recruiting young talents. The author suggests that the success of a few big young talents and the hording of top prospects by teams like Sky/Ineos, who do not have their own development programs, has led to other teams looking to grab hold of riders ever earlier. The author also brings up the analogy of Athletic Bilbao strategy and how teams like Sky/Ineos are also creating a system where the only threats to their continued success are riders they've already taken a look at and rejected. It raises the question of whether this trend is good for the sport and whether it will affect the audience, and the spectacle of the races. It will be interesting to see how this trend develops in the future.
 
Spammers are starting to use AI, like chatGPT, to write posts. Simply copy and paste a post, ask the bot to write an answer, then stick it up. They come back later and insert the links. It makes it much harder to spot, especially if they use a post that isn't the OP as it'll look like they're continuing the conversation, but it'll still seem weird, like the example you give. Honestly, I think it could be a huge problem going forward.

Could explain why it's been a while since we've seen those super obvious spammers, you know, the ones posting millions of threads in Russian/Chinese/Runic alphabeth, probably just hoping to overwhelm.
Guess that's the problem with spammers: their tactic constantly evolves.
 
So far they have all had the same MO, so they are quite easy to spot for a human.

This one from January still doesn't feature any links though:
It can take a while for them to come back (which seems pointless as I've seen several posts that were buried in threads that have been edited) but it's also possible they've been caught by an IP ban, so the user themselves aren't banned but they can no longer access the site. Also possible they just forgot.
 
Could explain why it's been a while since we've seen those super obvious spammers, you know, the ones posting millions of threads in Russian/Chinese/Runic alphabeth, probably just hoping to overwhelm.
Guess that's the problem with spammers: their tactic constantly evolves.
I think the filters for these things have been much improved from when we had post approval turned on. I also can't remember one that's slipped through recently, but there were definitely a good few that got auto-filtered as spam when I was a mod.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RedheadDane
I think the filters for these things have been much improved from when we had post approval turned on. I also can't remember one that's slipped through recently, but there were definitely a good few that got auto-filtered as spam when I was a mod.

There has definitely been an improvement in that matter.
And I will admit to sometimes have engaged in bit of "anti-spam spam":
Step 1: Report spam threads.
Step 2: Find as many others threads I could where I could post something relevant, in order to push spam-threads further down the list.

It can take a while for them to come back (which seems pointless as I've seen several posts that were buried in threads that have been edited) but it's also possible they've been caught by an IP ban, so the user themselves aren't banned but they can no longer access the site. Also possible they just forgot.

Wouldn't that be great? Spammers just... forgetting to spam.
 

SHaines

Administrator
Staff member
Spammers are starting to use AI, like chatGPT, to write posts. Simply copy and paste a post, ask the bot to write an answer, then stick it up. They come back later and insert the links. It makes it much harder to spot, especially if they use a post that isn't the OP as it'll look like they're continuing the conversation, but it'll still seem weird, like the example you give. Honestly, I think it could be a huge problem going forward.

I'm hoping this is what @SHaines is talking about when they say there's work being done behind the scenes.

This change isn't related to AI. The AI tools aren't even in a finished state yet, so effective tools to track them definitely don't exist.

While it may prove problematic in the future, we'll adjust to meet needs as they evolve. What we don't want to do is ask members of the community to play detective and determine if every post that pops up was written by a person, or if some elements may have been handled by a bot.

As online tools start to adopt AI features, we're likely to start seeing AI used to translate posts from one language to another. We want users to post in English so we can properly moderate, but if someone uses an AI to translate their question into English, even if they wrote the content, if the tools makes edits to the language based on AI, then those posts will look like a bot.

We don't want to discourage new users by accusing them of malicious acts because they made use of available tools that should work to improve their access to spaces where they'd otherwise be left out.

When posts break rules we'll intervene. We won't be spending time scouring the forums for anyone who may have made use of AI.
 
We don't want to discourage new users by accusing them of malicious acts because they made use of available tools that should work to improve their access to spaces where they'd otherwise be left out.

Trust me, when you're active in a forum, you'll learn to recognize things that are suspect.
For example, randomly replying to really old posts/threads is a good clue. Earlier today there was a sudden post in the San Juan thread. However, that does seem to have been taken care of.
And the post Netserk is quoting above was literally quoting a post from 2020.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: King Boonen
Trust me, when you're active in a forum, you'll learn to recognize things that are suspect.
For example, randomly replying to really old posts/threads is a good clue. Earlier today there was a sudden post in the San Juan thread. However, that does seem to have been taken care of.
And the post Netserk is quoting above was literally quoting a post from 2020.
Yes, it is pretty obvious, we’re not exactly “playing detective”. One such suggestion I might have made would be to auto-flag posts made to threads that have been inactive for a certain period of time, not attempt to get anyone using google translate banned…
 
Yes, it is pretty obvious, we’re not exactly “playing detective”. One such suggestion I might have made would be to auto-flag posts made to threads that have been inactive for a certain period of time, not attempt to get anyone using google translate banned…

Definitely not "wonky English" that's the key indicator of spamming. Several real posters whose English gets a bit wonky sometimes, my English probably gets a bit wonky sometimes, because sometimes... I just forget how to English! (I also sometimes forget how to Danish, but luckily that isn't relevant for this conversation.) Linguistic mistakes are to be expected, considering that quite a few of us aren't native English speakers.
 
I am not sure what "not playing detective" means. There are some posts that are clearly spam although they don't have a link and do make "sense". But they don't add anything to the conversation, are very vague, pull up old threads, there's just clearly not a person with an interest in the conversation behind. That happens especially in the hobby/advice part of the forum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RedheadDane