Bryon Thur

1728 Reputation

17 Badges

19 years, 307 days
Waterloo, Montana, United States

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These are replies submitted by Bryon

A note that as of today, we have added a new Delete as Spam feature to MaplePrimes that will hopefully be a useful tool for managing the spam that we see on the site.

Thank you all for your suggestions!

Hi Christopher - just a note that we added a new 'delete as spam' feature earlier today that hopefully makes it easier to control that spam that is posted on MaplePrimes.

I agree that spam has become more of a problem, and we will continue to do our best to control it. That said, spammers have become more sophisticated and more organized, which makes it challenging to preemtively control them. I'm of the opinion that the best offense is to remove new posts and block the spammer accounts as they appear rather than through restrictive measures that make it harder for legitimate new users to post their content.

We are looking into the timing issue you mentioned.

@Mac Dude Thanks for the suggestion! It's a great idea, and we've added the intern's name (Pia) and a link to her profile to the post.


Thanks for your comment. I thought a couple points of clarification would be useful.

1. The reason I suggest that we delete all posts is that spammers commonly create multiple questions & comments within a few minutes, in the hopes that some get buried on the site to avoid deletion. In cases like this, removing all the messages at once would help reduce moderation efforts. That said, we could look at putting some limitations around it, such as only removing content posted within a 24 hour window in order to alleviate the risk of removing a real question or post. In any event, the members's account will be disabled so that they cannot post again.

2. We have the ability to retrieve content in the event that a post and/or user is removed accidentally or maliciously, so there is no risk of permanently removing content. As a secondary safeguard, however, what if we added a reputation threshold to the equation such that 'delete as spam' only works if a member's reputation is under 10, for example? This would essentially do what Carl Love suggested, but would also capture the rare cases where spammers create multiple accounts to upvote messages.

Regarding the spam folder, that is an interesting idea. There are a number of different community-moderation models that we could look at implementing.

Over the years, we've seen spam increase from time to time and unfortunately, it looks like we are in a particularly busy period for it right now. I'm not sure what specifically, if anything, causes these spikes, but they do seem to come and go in waves.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to prevent, and spam-management is a reality for every online community. Most of the spam-related accounts and posts are created by a distributed, inexpensive labour force, so, as Axel mentioned, captchas and related techniques do not work. And because it only takes moments to create a new account and publish a question, it is ultimately easy for spammers to create their content. In a few rare instances, we have even seen users create multiple accounts and up-vote their posts in order to escape the "zero reputation" scenario.

In my opinion, community moderation, similar to what MaplePrimes does now, is the best way forward. We have a number of diligent users - both inside and outside of Maplesoft - who regularly patrol MaplePrimes and remove unwanted messages. These efforts are greatly appreciated, and they help keep MaplePrimes virtually spam-free for the thousands of users who visit us daily. We have tried to make the delete process as quick and simple as possible, but I can understand that it is occasionally onerous, especially for those who regularly contribute their time.

That said, there are some additional things that we can do. I particularly like Carl's suggestion to add a "delete as spam" function. When selected, this would perform multiple actions (i.e., ban the user and remove their other posts) in addition to simply removing an individual message, as is done now. We are currently working on some updates to MaplePrimes, and will add this feature to the mix.

This will certainly not eliminate the problem, and we will still get hit by spam attacks from time to time. But hopefully it will make it a bit easier to manage, and a bit harder for the spammers to do their jobs.

Hi Christopher - thanks for this suggestion. I have added it to our list of priorities and I'm hopeful that we can add it shortly.


@Carl Love 

That is a good suggestion and I'll add that to our wish list. We did remove many of these garbage tags that you referenced, but we missed 'query', which we'll remove later today.

If there are others that you can see, let me know and we can clean them out as well.

@Carl Love - are you seeing the same icons as displayed here:


If you are seeing them, you can vote by clicking on the thumbs-up symbol.

If you are not seeing them, there is a problem that we did not see during our testing.


@Carl Love 

A note that the ordering of answers in a user's profile has been corrected and should behave as it did prior to the site update.

With regards to the right-hand menu, this is how it works:

  • Recent Posts & Recent Conversations get updated with the latest content immediately after creation
  • Active conversations gets updated every 10 minutes at the latest.

Both of these timeframes are much faster than the prior version of MaplePrimes.

We will look into the problem where an answer did not appear in Active Conversations after 8 hours. However, note that Mapleprimes does get a lot of answers & comments throughout the course of a day, so it's unlikely that an answer would remain in that list after 8 hours.

Somewhat coincidentally, earlier today we posted an update to MaplePrimes that was focused primarily on improving performance. With this update, average page loads have decreased by an average of about 2x, and some sections have improved many greater than that.


@J Rod 

We are unfortunately not able to find any problems when it comes to posting and replying using Internet Explorer 9.

How were you able to post the reply above? Did you use a different browser? Is there a specific scenario where you are unable to post? Any further details would be greatly appreciated.

@Carl Love Many of the components of these pages use Javascript, which is cached by your browser. Clearing your browser's cache will remove all the files, but typically all you should need to do is click the refresh button once the page has been loaded. That should cause your browser to retrieve all of the files over again and replace what's in your cache.

I experienced the same issue. The first time I viewed the editor after the update, I still was unable to see the HTML editor properly. I simply refreshed at that point and everything went back to normal.

@Carl Love 

We published another small update to the editor in MaplePrimes. The problems you were experiencing should now be taken care of.

A note that if you still see some problems, refreshing your browser and try again. If you still encounter issues after that, please let us know.




@acer Thanks for this. I've confirmed that this is a problem and we'll address it.

@Carl Love I was referring to the same problem, but obviously our first fix didn't solve it in all circumstances. We have since updated the site again with another fix, and we believe the issue has been solved for good this time.

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