Author Topic: Hostile activity in SMF-hosted forums, possibly AI.  (Read 568 times)

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Offline MarkMLl

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Hostile activity in SMF-hosted forums, possibly AI.
« on: June 30, 2022, 09:19:53 pm »
I can't see a better place to post this, or a specific person to contact. Below is written from the perspective of a user rather than a mod or forum owner.

A couple of weeks ago somebody or something started posting to the forum at https://forum.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php , apparently responding to a message which contained a sig critical of the largest Eurasian country's head of state. The poster was obfuscated by various VPNs, the messages tended to veer between vaguely coherent code criticism and homophobic rant triggered by somebody's mention of Github CI/CD (Content Integration/Content Delivery). I was suspicious at the time that the poster could be an AI which had been trained on SMF formatting and user conventions.

Over the last few hours another new user has popped up, posting a small number of what amount to sophisticated "me too" comments to messages... one of which was 16 years old. It looks as though one of the mods has already chopped the user, but there's an example message quoted at https://forum.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php/topic,2143.msg446084.html#msg446084 which is- to my mind- very "Eliza-like"... the problem is that it appears to also have been trained on things like the C/C++ reference manuals.

Everybody knows that there's "bad stuff" going on. Unfortunately there's a possibility that some of it might be directed at us.

MarkMLl
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Hostile activity in SMF-hosted forums, possibly AI.
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2022, 12:53:02 am »

No reason to worry.

If the AI is so dumb that you notice -  ignore it like you would any human troll / spammer.

If the AI is so smart that you can't tell...   enjoy the conversation!  :D
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Hostile activity in SMF-hosted forums, possibly AI.
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2022, 09:25:53 pm »
Over here, new users who add a marginally relevant post to an old thread are typically link spammers. They aim to drop links to commercial websites, in an attempt to improve those sites' search engine rank.

They search for threads which discuss a certain topic (relevant to the site they are trying to push), create a new account, and post a message that's low in content but innocent. Then they come back a few days or a week later, when the thread has faded away again, and edit their post to add a spam link. I am pretty sure that these actors are not AI-based, but low-paid crowd-sourced humans.

Your Putin friend may be a different story, but hard to assess since you did not provide links. I assume those posts have been removed in the meantime?
 

Offline MarkMLl

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Re: Hostile activity in SMF-hosted forums, possibly AI.
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2022, 08:04:13 am »
Curiously, he both called himself and addressed others as "friend"... too much context has disappeared by now since both he (it? they?) and the majority of his postings have been deleted, and the sig that apparently triggered him has been changed (and SMF conferencing always displays a user's current sig, not the one on a message when posted). However you can get a hint at https://forum.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php/topic,59533.msg443864.html#msg443864 ... another user chose his words /very/ badly :-)

In this case the offender had been around for a few weeks, and by and large had made some fairly coherent comments with code pasted from elsewhere... but nothing that was sufficiently notable to be outside the capabilities of today's (so called) AIs.

The whole thing was... odd and surreal. But not nearly as bad as the Aussie creationist that once caused repeated trouble in an astronomy conf on CIX :-)

MarkMLl
 
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