• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.

    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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Mr. Capiatlist

The Constantinople of the Great Lakes
83 Badges
Dec 4, 2003
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • 500k Club
  • Rome Gold
As you all might have noticed, the Hearts of Iron III AAR forum has become the front lines in the war between good and evil; that is to say the war between me and the adbots. Many of you have been very helpful in alerting me to specific threads or posts that need deleting and some of you have not.

This is a really stressful thing: you have to remember I often clean up adbots during my lunch break or, like today, during my free days over the weekend. And something that has been bothering me is the number of people who reply to adbot posts. Don't. When you reply to an adbot in the adbot thread or after the adbot posts all you are doing is: a) drawing more attention to the adbot and b) creating one more post for me to delete.

Adbots work through two main methods. First, by posting links on heavily trafficked boards they are trying to boost the google rating of the site they are linking too. This is accomplished by posting a single time whether or not anyone clicks on the links. The second way is through people clicking on the links. Yes, there are still people who will click strange links on the internet. Rare, but it exists. When you see an adbot you should do the following:
1) Don't click the links
2) Report the adbot, via PM, to any/all of the local moderators and demi-moderators. I am probably your best bet if you are in the Western Hemisphere (as the resident Yankee); Qorten if you are in the Eastern.
4) Go about you life as normal; just because an adbot has posted on your favorite thread does not mean the thread has been "hijacked". Their posts will be deleted soon enough.
6) You are free to post after the adbot, just don't post "adbot post, please delete" because that doesn't actually help me find the adbot; I would have had to read the thread with adbots in it in order to see your post so it is literally just adding one more post to delete.

If you post reply to the adbot, jokingly or with a message stating that an adbot is an adbot, you will receive a warning for being off topic. If you've already received warnings for off topic posts you will receive an infraction instead.

Recognizing an adbot
As the technology that runs adbots gets more advanced, so do their posts. Adbots can range from very easy to recognize to rather difficult. But here are a few pointers.

  • They have no avatar. I don't think I've seen an adbot yet with an avatar.
  • They very rarely have signatures. Even then, their signatures tend to only include a link.
  • They post in foreign languages (usually Russian).
  • Their posts are filled with links. Some links might be hidden (so it will not just display a url).
  • Their posts might be non-nonsensical, like it was copy-pasted and stitched together quickly from near-by threads.
  • Adbots will usually have "Man" as their biography (if you check out their profile), and their interests/occupations will be a repeat of one of their other profile lines (generally username and location respectively).
  • If you check an adbot's recent posts they will likely all be identical and/or they will be back-to-back.
  • Adbot posts are almost always not on topic. Sometimes they might appear like a lost new user, but keep in mind that here in AARland, we are pretty far away from being in the general forums. Someone would have had to click several links to get there.

Like I said, the vast majority are VERY, VERY easy to recognize; but as we've seen recently some can be tricky. So just remember: report adbots, don't reply; keep calm, carry on.
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