Support » Plugin: NextGEN Gallery Voting » [Plugin: NextGEN Gallery Voting] Bots are voting on my images

  • Hello,

    my issuse of today is because i found out that a lot of votes on my images are from bots, crawlers and spiders.

    When star-voting is active, then it is possible to block bots with the robots.txt using

    #blocks all URL with a "?"
    #(the ngg-Voting-Links contain a "?")
    Disallow: /*?

    But only the good bots do what i tell them in the robots.txt. The evil bots will ignore the robots.txt and ceep voting. And some of the good bots dont understand the Disallow: /*?

    When using drop-down voting i get less votes from bots (between 5 and 10 a day). How can i get rid of them completely?

    force_login = 1 might solve the problem with the bots but then i have the new problem that the visitors of my page cant vote either and i doubt that many will register in order to be able to vote.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nextgen-gallery-voting/

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
  • Plugin Author shauno

    (@shauno)

    You can try add a rel=”nofollow” to the links too. But that’s not going to stop ‘bad’ bots either.

    Anyone have any suggestions for stopping non-human clicks?

    the good old captcha might help. But it will annoy human users, too.

    One other possibility might be to ban certain IP´s from voting. Here is how it might work:

    -the Webmaster can add bot-ip´s manually in the backend and votes from that IP will not be counted any more and all old votes from that IP will be deleted.
    -the plugin checks, if this IP has allready voted in the past. If yes, it checks when and how the vote has been cast.
    Example: I have one “visitor” with the IP 188.40.65.130 coming to my website every night, casting 3-5 votes with ~20 minutes between two votes and then leaving. this makes me think that this “visitor” is a bot.

    Plugin Author shauno

    (@shauno)

    You can already limit by IP by allowing 1 vote per image or gallery. If that option is not selected, the plugin must count all votes from an IP. What’s to say they aren’t legitimate votes?

    i mean those votes:
    1. One IP, coming to my site every day, at completely random times (day and night), voting once or twice and then leaving.
    id gid pid vote user_id ip proxy dateadded
    1849 0 707 20 0 78.46.90.27 2011-12-18 00:49:21
    1855 0 630 100 0 78.46.90.27 2011-12-18 03:49:55
    1865 0 624 80 0 78.46.90.27 2011-12-18 23:37:39
    1869 0 626 100 0 78.46.90.27 2011-12-19 01:34:03
    1871 0 623 80 0 78.46.90.27 2011-12-19 03:46:32
    1904 0 619 80 0 78.46.90.27 2011-12-20 18:58:08
    1908 0 628 20 0 78.46.90.27 2011-12-20 22:53:38
    1913 0 620 100 0 78.46.90.27 2011-12-21 06:16:38

    2. One Ip, voting on many pictures within ONE second.
    1719 0 625 40 0 176.9.0.13 2011-12-13 10:09:05
    1737 0 621 40 0 176.9.0.13 2011-12-13 10:09:05
    1784 0 622 40 0 176.9.0.13 2011-12-13 10:09:05
    1786 0 619 100 0 176.9.0.13 2011-12-13 10:09:05
    1803 0 702 60 0 176.9.0.13 2011-12-13 10:09:06
    1829 0 633 40 0 176.9.0.13 2011-12-13 10:09:06

    They are obviously NOT cast by humans. There must be a way of finding and deleting these votes automatically.

    i forgot to say merry x-max. and sorry for adding so many items to your to-do list.

    one other possibility is:

    i have Piwik – Web analytics running on my server. It tracks the IP´s of all my human visitors. I need a programm that compares the IP´s of the votes to the IP´s in my piwik-database…

    i finished writing this program in VBA for excel. are you interested in the code?

    Happy new year!

    Here is another suggestion on how to solve the bot-issue:
    “Trapping “Dumb Submitter Bots”” read it on:
    http://www.kirsle.net/doc/submitter.html

    Plugin Author shauno

    (@shauno)

    Those are honey pots. They work with submitting forms. The star and (dis)like voting are links.

    nice to hear from you.

    I currently use the drop-down and the honey-pot would help me. would it be much work to implement this?

    Plugin Author shauno

    (@shauno)

    Done in 1.9.3. Not perfect, but should stop ‘dumb’ bots accidentally voting on your images.

    http://shauno.co.za/donate/

    thanks for the update. I will tell you, if i get less spam-votes now.

    i still get plenty of spam votes.

    an other way to filter out spam votes might be to check if the user who is casting a vote is currently using a browser. Bots usually dont.

    Hi,

    I have the same problem (crawlers and bots voting on images) and would recommend to change the way voting works: change the regular http links to small HTTP forms. I suppose there are much less bots and almost no crawlers who use HTTP forms.

    You could add honeypot hidden input fields – only bots could fill in values. This behavior could be used with blocking these IPs.

    What do you think?

    Greetings,
    Mathias

    Plugin Author shauno

    (@shauno)

    Honey pots with the drop down voting has been implemented as per my last post in this thread. Apparently, it didn’t help.
    Changing the other voting types to forms is a lot of work, and it seems it wouldn’t really help.

    The best way to stop spamming is force users to be logged in. But I understand that is terrible for conversions.

    Anyone have a better way of stopping bots?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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