Is this spam? #8
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This thread is to discuss whether a particular post/profile/group is spam.
Posts/profiles/groups should NOT automatically be flagged based solely on someone asking here whether they are spam. READ THE DISCUSSION and make a considered judgment first.
This comment yesterday from a brand new member just doesn't fit anything I remember in the thread. Linking to it here so as to check back later to make sure it's not a delay spot for spam.
I started poking around in her catalog, because it's a fascinating mix of inventory and real books.
Interestingly, there are multiple members (who have joined at various times this past year) who share both inventory and titles.
For instance, there are 5 other members listing Georgina Goodman Nelson Womens Size 8.5 Purple Regular Suede Platforms Shoes
Funny, touchstones only gives me one of the other catalog listings.
Anyway, these members share many listings
http://www.librarything.com/profile/zahn (Ha! The washing machine drum paddle is listed in boating books collection!)
and an older member
Thing is, there doesn't seem to be any active sales work being done, but their entries seem to be tangling into some of the valid works.
For instance, Ca 1-Part 7 Lincoln has 26 members, but possibly because of an isbn assignment match.
take a look at the tags that make no sense too.
Is this a research project that I should continue? It gets pretty messy. I'm see many accounts that are very similar, and data on real books is being trashed.
Back in the day I used to go to Jeremy directly with accts that were clearly doing sockpuppety things. I know Loranne took over a lot of his duties but I don't know if that's one of them? Presumably there's a particular staff member that a line can be dropped to to get these kind of things looked into with more than we have access to on our end.
I'm not going to flag this, but there are probably people who would.
Technically, a member can do that, but it sure raises the spam flag higher. I'm going to flag the posts.
The book is not cataloged, therefore, no review on LT. I checked out the blog and other than a lot of advertising I'm not sure what it's about.
I have not flagged yet.
It might be a mystery, but I'm betting it's going to be unsolved. I don't think it's spam (but can't say for sure). It's certainly a strange one.
They have also added things like Physician's Desk Reference and other popular works, and then a whole series of obscure works sub-titled Mycological papers.
Here's an odd one: http://www.librarything.com/work/3657535/book/119619759 If you look at the 40 members who have that one work, you start seeing how similar their very odd catalogs are. I messaged both Loranne and Tim, but never heard back from either of them.
I've concluded that there is a lot of spam work going on, and that these members have been corrupting Amazon et al as well, trying to use these platforms to market washing machine parts and the like.
I've been picking at it, trying to tease the real works from the bullshit and trying to isolate the bullshit, using the editions pages.
But it's a spiderweb. Perhaps we could take it on as a group project? If so, we can start a separate thread on just these member catalogs that need examined.
Tags and recommendations get very weird on anything from these collections.
Great Novels: Charles Dickens, by Parr
Here's a work listed by 82 members. Of those, 33 have chosen the one with the racing car cover picture direct from Amazon. And who might those 33 members be? They are the suspects who all share other items like
MIELE W351 Washing Machine Carbon Brushes and Holder - Pack Of 2. GENUINE P/No 4297411
This is more like a sink hole than a spiderweb. As Alice would have said (and did), "Curiouser and curiouser."
Very suspicious. Brand new member. Empty group. But it's not spam, just something I've been keeping an eye on. But someone else has flagged the group. Don't think they really should have flagged absent something more.
Not very welcoming, either.
Note the group pictures. Also interesting that group name and URL don't match.
"No, I'm not advertising anything : ) Park Plaza Cinema was one of my favorite places to go see a movie when I was growing up. They closed its doors in 2004 and tore it down in 2008. I just miss the place : ( "
I recommended he edit the group description accordingly.
Don't forget to flag the group
It's a 2016 Cat Challenge set up thread. Keep an eye out for these if the Spam filter is pulling them out as unusual. Folks put a lot of work into the set up and there may be some more slightly 'unusual' looking ones as the month goes on.
The member was also flagged but saved.
In my opinion the post is not spam.
hasn't broken any rules yet. Will check back later.
If they haven't done anything else in six months, I doubt they'll come back.
They are certainly flag worthy, blatant advertisements for books she's pushing. I'd swear I've seen this before, from another throwaway account (same author, I mean), but this account was just created today. I'm content to see the posts die, and I'm not planning on "rescuing" the profile, either. Merely pointing it out.
It's kind of questionable (as to whether or not it's spam, or an "enthusiastic" author), but I'm not sorry about where they've ended up.
Mostly posting this for the future, to be truthful. Who knows? She might even read this, and realize the error of her ways. I'm betting against it, of course.
ETA: She's posted about two books out of the four in her library (composed of the four books she's written). I flagged the topics (on general principle), but not the profile. I leave it to my betters to post on her profile.
My french is almost useless anymore, but the About me seems to be just a short description of the history of diagnosing agoraphobia.
Great profile picture, eh?
If he has a book, I hope it had at least a good editor, maybe even a good ghost writer.
It could need rescuing.
Looks fine to me (other than an unnecessary apostrophe). I don't see it in the Spam? group, so someone must have rescued it already.
ETA: Oh, and also, looking at his profile, http://www.librarything.com/profile/Doug1943, he's also a legitimate long-time member with an extensive library cataloged.
This profile http://www.librarything.com/profile/puravidalifelift is clearly spam, and I reported it in the other thread.
This one http://www.librarything.com/profile/ryefieldinvestments is okay because they sell books and not dental care??
Take a look at her recent "reviews." The books are already rated, though not reviewed. She's got a place-holder statement instead.
I took a look this morning because she posted a new profile image that advertises "Avg. rating 4.1 stars"
I looked at those and, while I didn't flag them, I think the reason is that some may think the member created the group to promote his own web serial.
I don't think that's spam. The "reviews" aren't, and I see they are flagged as such, but she may be doing that simply as a reminder to herself. And it takes no time at all to rate a book; reviews take longer, so I can see why someone would rate first, review later.
No disagreement there. However adding her ridiculous "placeholder" text only makes it so she would have more trouble locating ones that still need reviewing, as now they are rated and "reviewed" in her catalog. It serves zero purpose to anyone.
His only book has his review, and it's flagged. Hence, his group should be flagged also?
The message in the groups is flaggable as it seems to be pushing his book. But I see no reason why there shouldn't be a group in Italian about eBooks.
Can anyone send a PM in Italian explaining the rules? I've sent the links, but those pages aren't available in Italian.
there were several threads but they're already gone!
If it's a bot, put it in the Spam reporting thread.
This thread is for discussion of whether or not something in fact constitutes spam. I don't think there's much question about that when it comes to bots!
Seems to be promoting a blog of some sort, but she's been around for quite a number of years, has conservation and "small town" interests, and this new group does seem to tie in with it.
I'm inclined to give frenchtown a pass (and in any event it's absolutely NOT a flag for the member), but some folks on here may be stricter than I am.
Cyril the Cyberpig was one example. It's hard to see when it was entered, but I'd surmise that it was before implementation of the multiple author capability and the user wanted to showcase the stories contained in the anthology. The tags clearly mark it as being in the Anthology and not the magazine and would not seem to pass the, "can I hold this work in my hand all by itself?" test. The only solution I had was to use the work-to-work relationship.
Anything else that can or should be done for these legacy misfits?
gilroy, I'm looking for a mechanism beyond marking these as spam.
Why do you have to do ANYTHING with them? They are valid entries.
ETA: Unless the entries are yours, or are blatant advertising, the entries are valid for that user. The work to work system isn't for creating a table of contents. And if I am understanding your logic correctly, any book that is part of an omnibus now needs to go away as the Omnibus has been cataloged making them obsolete entries. Okay, that's an extreme example, but the principle is the same.
We have been asked not to enter short stories ONLY for the sake of creating work to work relationships. That does not mean that short stories are not valid works.
MarthaJeane, saying that it, "exists on the internet," is this most solipsistic way of copping out about this. I can read things on Google, but Google sure as heck doesn't exist in my collection. I allow for e-book exceptions because at some point the user has added the work to their collection and may be held in the cloud, but they do have immediate access to it. These may be some of the short stories in question, but if the tags indicate that it is not an e-book then I would say it's an invalid entry.
I found a discussion at https://www.librarything.com/topic/188543 that I'll follow.
No, short stories are not supposed to be catalogued solely to include them in a work-to-work relationship.
However, they are not spam, and there is no other way to mark them. Tim has said time and again that he's not going to interfere with what people list in their catalogues.
Methinks you have a rather blobby, fuzzy, still half-way in denial, "this doesn't exist", "this isn't publishing","people can't read on this" view of "the internet".
I read most of the Clark Ashton Smith short stories I do through the Eldritch Dark website. Likewise for other authors now in the public domain.
They are their own entities, with a discrete title, beginning and end, not arbitrary excerpts. They have been published in a form that allows them to be accessed and read as stand-alones, and that's how I've read them and will catalog them.
If someone else piggybacks to introduce extra information that those stories happen to be included in X and Y physical or electronic anthologies, not my problem. Not a problem at all, even.
I agree with that. I also think it would get no argument from Tim. The work exists (as a webpage or a single PDF or EPUB or whatever), you have a relationship with it (you have read it) therefore it is permissible to be catalogued.
Having said I do wish those works which are obvious import fails (or stuff like 'All books by XXX') can be flagged as unreal. They wouldn't be removed or anything like that - just flagged as unreal (and maybe appear in a different part of the author page). Although I suppose the possibility of misuse is too high for such a feature to make it to the real world.
I have not flagged this. But come on, if people want to catalogue dresses and perfumes and seeds on LT, do they need to start groups about it?
Maybe they are preppers - will LT survive Armageddon?
Looks like they are genuinely cataloguing seeds for a shared library and the group is legit.
Now, whether or not this is really the place to be cataloguing seeds for their library ... well, I didn't even like it when LT started to support films etc. so I'm in the 'not really the right place for this' camp.
What happens when you borrow a seed from a library? Grow the plant and collect a seed to return next season? How do you know it has bred true?
That's more or less exactly what competent seed-savers do, yes. If cross-pollination is a concern you only grow one variety of a particular species (or in some cases group of species; peppers will pollinate between some species) within the area where cross-pollination is a concern (which varies depending on pollination method). Gardeners aren't necessarily stupid, and people devoted to preserving interesting varieties of seeds are more likely to be careful than those who just go buy whatever's on the shelf at Home Depot in April.
We've saved seeds ourselves (basil, tomato, and rocoto pepper), and have not had cross-pollination problems. When we saved tomato seeds we only grew the one variety in the backyard and had the rest in the front (the cross-pollination zone for tomatoes is about 25 feet), and rocotos are C. pubescens which does not cross-pollinate with C. annuum or any of the other more common species of pepper. The tomatoes were originally from seeds a friend brought back from her grandmother in Bulgaria, so they're heirloom in the truest sense of the word, and it's a variety I haven't seen locally. (It may be in seed-saver circulation under some name or another - we call them "Baba Pink", since they're pink and "Baba" is Bulgarian for "grandma".)
Seeds decline in viability after a few years - if you want to preserve a variety you either need something like a seed bank at cryogenic temperatures or to grow them out and save the new seeds.
Yes, I took the flag back off. I don't see any sign of bad activity, although I do find it not all that dissimilar from people cataloging car parts or other items. I would guess they probably do not even realize that they're a topic of conversation.
I cannot fathom what draws a person to catalog seeds here, on a site meant for cataloging books (and other items). I save seeds myself, and know how strong the will to propagate is for things like Wallflowers, and how difficult it is to start certain types of tomatoes, especially with the weather changes over the past few years.
Now I want to go plant things, and I have a calendar that tells me I'm doomed to failure.
ETA: Some seeds decline after just a couple of years, while others remain viable for 20 or 30 (I'm still planting a winter squash from an envelope that says 1993). Depends on the plant.
I guess if you build it, they will come. LT is a great framework for cataloguing and it's public - my guess is, there aren't really many seed cataloguing sites out there.
Yeah. "The community" has no say here. I don't think anyone's happy with the notorious perfume cataloger (who was active in something like 2008 - they're long gone, but their odor remains forever), but Tim says it's okay and he's the only one whose opinion matters.
Maybe I should start cataloging the hundreds of toy tractors that are in my basement.
Graduate student? Lavishcoupon.com? Hmmmm... I am not sure...
The lavishcoupon.com is definitely an advertising site. But she doesn't seem to have done anything else spammy and has legit books in her library.
On the other hand, despite the fact that she is "from usa in New Jersey" (and here I thought New Jersey was in the USA!), I'm dubious about someone who is a "student of graduate". It reads like a google translation.
But seriously, although Naomi's someone to keep an eye on, I'm really reluctant ever to flag a profile based solely on the member's link to a home page. That particular link
Enthusiastic author. Do NOT flag the author.
I see she is on Goodreads and has reviewed that book there (as well as a few other books, though not recently). I wonder if she hasn't figured out how to properly review something here? I occasionally see people wondering how to do that.
ETA thanks for the counterflagging
https://www.librarything.com/work/14133652 Honestly, that was all I could find to comment on...
https://www.librarything.com/work/13323037 I could perhaps add some commentary, but that was my reaction.
>188 yolana: I counterflagged yours
Upon rare occasion, I review for myself, and those are the four that are flagged. I often counter flag when I see things flagged as not-a-review, and sometimes if feels as though things get flagged for spite rather than anything.
I wish it were okay to flag the go-to-my-blog reviews, personally.
(I counterflagged 2wonderY's two reviews, of course)
>192 lorax: I hadn't considered that it could be some sort of ill will by one person. How annoying if this is the case, I hope they've gotten it out of their system if so.
Originally established in 2008, as a video & photography business. Within the recent years it has turned into more of a Book Review/Promo site while still showcasing my videos & photography when I have the opportunity.
Sure seems like that's what that post is; an advert for something she's promoting. Yeah, I'm going to flag it. Feel free to leave a reminder on her profile. Today's not my day for kindness, and I doubt I'd put it in a professional manner.
(Remember, folks, please don't flag the profile)
It seems a bit ditsy. Keeping an eye on it lest it gets edited to youknowwhat.
is she trying to sell something?
Although the book is free, it is advertising.
She has a sock puppet account where she reviewed one of her books, pretending to be a reader:
http://www.librarything.com/profile/Annie.Mitchell (note the period, it's a separate account from the one you link to)
I've just pointed out that astounding coincidence to Amazon.
This site is definitely NOT spam. It may look like that from a quick view of the title, but I think it's really a legitimate book-related topic. And when I checked out her website, it really looked like a legitimate blog and review site, not something where she's selling anything (though I didn't look at it that closely).
In fact, I posted a message to this group myself, recommending ABE books as a good venue for sellers (though I'm strictly a buyer myself, which is what's landed me in the ROOTS group).
I don't think there's any way I can counterflag in support of a group (is there?), but I hope no one else flags this.
As I implied, the topic struck me as weird, but weirdness does not equal spam. And simply because she doesn't know LTers' common preferences re Amazon is no reason for the group to be flagged. She's been a member since 2008, she's got an extensive library, and she's posted as of this moment 241 reviews that look like to be mainstream books with some of the reviews being quite lengthy.
Whatever we think of this kind of a group, that does not make it spam and it really ought not to be flagged. I think it really is an appropriate discussion topic regarding books to ask, what online marketplace do booksellers prefer? It's a lot less weird that a lot of the other topics we see on here, like this single-member and now-dormant group on Living Self Sufficiently.
Flagging should only be for real spam, not just because we think something is off-topic for a "books" site.
That makes no sense to me, either.
i must say I don't like it when people form groups for the apparent purpose of pushing people to their own sites.
Hmm, looking around the blog, I find it's not just a blog. She is, indeed, selling: "this list is by no means exhaustive and we don’t have all of these in stock at all times. If you’re interested in something we don’t have in stock, we’ll order it. And if you need it quickly, there’s a link to our webstore attached to each title." https://thebookfrog.mybooksandmore.com/web1/screens/homepage.jsp
Okay, clearly someone not clear on the concept.
Oh, and since >222 CurrerBell: would like to sit there and trashtalk people with her in her new pointless group, I will just point out that I am pretty positive these are not freaking revenge flags. Yes, some of us may be irritated that she is breaking ToS with redundant groups and not understanding the point of groups. So?? That doesn't mean we are ZOMG out to get her! Geezus get a grip. Lots of people use the site, they see a group about selling, and they view it as spam. It's that simple.
I think the annual reading groups definitely violate the TOS clause against creating "pointless," "meaningless" or "random" groups.
I would courteously disagree. I've seen these annual groups before and think they are none of these things to the user, whether or not they are well-used. She quite clearly also welcomes other members. Something doesn't become any of those things just because very few friends come to play. Is it the way I would do it? No. Would it be better if there wasn't a new one each year? Probably. Should the user join an existing group? Not if they don't want to. Also, with so few posts anyway, it's not like it's something offensive that's all over Talk. Maybe these groups will keep slowly accumulating members, maybe not, but I see no TOS violations in them and if we're in the business of policing by popularity or driving people to existing places that have there own characters and are often large and unwieldy, then that's not a good thing.
I don't think the selling books group is spam since she . . . hasn't posted a link to a sales site.
Yes, she has. See my post #223.
>233 lilithcat: I stand corrected. I only looked at the home page, which screamed blog to me. Whether she is trying to advertise here or made a sincere but poorly executed attempt to learn from others is up to the highly-paid LibraryThing employees to decide.
Here's my argument:
Do not create "pointless", (the groups have a point, to track a year's reading) "meaningless" (to this user and any others that wish to join in, the group has meaning - reading tracking) or "random" (annual reading tracking groups aren't random - there're multiple precedents, the only difference is the size) groups or topics. We give all groups the benefit of the doubt, but the creation of multiple ( they are no more 'multiple' than any of the other annual tracking groups that reseed each year - the difference is the size and hence activity level), duplicative (see previous point)and contentless (they have content - limited by the activity level and membership but definitely content, no different to any of the other tracking groups except size)
You guys obviously interpret these conditions differently as is your right and I'm sure you could produce an equal level of argument. In which case, it is totally subjective.
Should we rename this thread to "Should I Flag This?" instead of "Is This Spam?" ??
I'm wondering if people are just seeing the word Spam in the title and autoflagging without looking at which thread they are reading.
"Paid for and approved by Jim Fondo, Democrat for Broward County Sheriff."