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Abu Hadi

Beware of Bots

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My apologies for making fun.

Bots are a serious matter. I believe the most harm a bot could do here is to provoke you with links. 

Even the best internet security cannot help you if you open a rogue link. If you have suspicion about a link, hover over it without clicking, check the bottom left corner of the screen and you should have the full URL. Check it for relevance and oddities, eg microsoft1.com is not microsoft.com. 

There is also a site...URLVoid you can copy/paste the link in to and they will tell you if it's safe.

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Still I don't understand what spam bots would gain by joining a site like this one and writing lots of posts and earning reputation points? The reputation points are only a measure of the time spent here writing posts and how many people have reacted to ones posts. It's nothing special or desirable in itself.

I'm not saying there aren't spam bots here. I have no idea. I'm new here so I guess it'll take some time to follow and spot such things. I'm just saying that if there are spam bots here then there must be a certain goal behind it. Maybe spying on the Shia? Maybe trying to find the Shias weak spots in order to use it against them? Maybe trying to make people deviate from the right path? These are all reasonable motives. It should be relatively easy to see what the suspect is doing on the site? Is he or she for instance promoting free masonry - well then one can suspect either ignorance or a hidden agenda to fool naive shias into a more positive view of the satanic forces in this world. Or even worse - getting shias to aid these forces and thus weakening the good forces in this world. 

 

Unfortunately not all people have access to scholars or other islamically knowledgeable people to ask questions to. Knowing the exact identity of the responding user is not important as long as the user can give a valid source for the information/answers given.

What's the point of having forums for various types of discussions if people are discouraged from asking questions?

I wouldn't consider asking Islamic questions on an Islamic platform as wasting people's time. Members who answer fellow Muslims questions get thawab from Allah SWT for their time and efforts. Of course it is up to each individual to decide how to spend his/her time. But time spent earning thawab is not wasted time. The whole point of this existence is to serve Allah SWT and his causes. 

I imagine that our imams and our prophet a.s. would encourage people to ask islamic questions and seek answers to them in any way possible. But I could be wrong. 

Edited by Carlzone
Forgot one word

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4 hours ago, Carlzone said:

Still I don't understand what spam bots would gain by joining a site like this one and writing lots of posts and earning reputation points? The reputation points are only a measure of the time spent here writing posts and how many people have reacted to ones posts. It's nothing special or desirable in itself.

I'm not saying there aren't spam bots here. I have no idea. I'm new here so I guess it'll take some time to follow and spot such things. I'm just saying that if there are spam bots here then there must be a certain goal behind it. Maybe spying on the Shia? Maybe trying to find the Shias weak spots in order to use it against them? Maybe trying to make people deviate from the right path? These are all reasonable motives. It should be relatively easy to see what the suspect is doing on the site? Is he or she for instance promoting free masonry - well then one can suspect either ignorance or a hidden agenda to fool naive shias into a more positive view of the satanic forces in this world. Or even worse - getting shias to aid these forces and thus weakening the good forces in this world. 

 

Unfortunately not all people have access to scholars or other islamically knowledgeable people to ask questions to. Knowing the exact identity of the responding user is not important as long as the user can give a valid source for the information/answers given.

What's the point of having forums for various types of discussions if people are discouraged from asking questions?

I wouldn't consider asking Islamic questions on an Islamic platform as wasting people's time. Members who answer fellow Muslims questions get thawab from Allah SWT for their time and efforts. Of course it is up to each individual to decide how to spend his/her time. But time spent earning thawab is not wasted time. The whole point of this existence is to serve Allah SWT and his causes. 

I imagine that our imams and our prophet a.s. would encourage people to ask islamic questions and seek answers to them in any way possible. But I could be wrong. 

You go to other sites as well and it's not a bad idea to have this information and learn the signs and what to avoid.. 

If you think you are talking to a bot you can confuse the conversation. You can always apologize later, but a confused person loses their poise about the third twist in . Look for imperfections in the responses. An extra or missing space, a misspelled word, punctuation. Even if a bot replies with rage it will not miss a space, nor a period.

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On 7/13/2018 at 10:10 PM, Carlzone said:

there must be a certain goal behind it. Maybe spying on the Shia? Maybe trying to find the Shias weak spots in order to use it against them? Maybe trying to make people deviate from the right path?

Actually people   or bots programmed by them -  PW to  create doubt, divide and conquer.

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18 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

You go to other sites as well and it's not a bad idea to have this information and learn the signs and what to avoid.. 

If you think you are talking to a bot you can confuse the conversation. You can always apologize later, but a confused person loses their poise about the third twist in . Look for imperfections in the responses. An extra or missing space, a misspelled word, punctuation. Even if a bot replies with rage it will not miss a space, nor a period.

Yes it is good to have this information. I have been to other sites but so far I have only encountered internet trolls. This spam bot phenomena is new to me and I have never thought that anyone could be a spam bot before reading this thread. I would really like to see a true spam bot in order to learn how it can be detected. But it needs to be a verified and real spam bot and not just a suspicion without real evidence. The methods used should be reliable. 

What do you mean by the misspellings? Do you mean that a spam bot never misspells? This is not reliable as there also are real people who don't misspell. We need foolproof evidence. 

And what do you mean by apologising later? Apologise for what? 

Maybe I'm getting paranoid but to be honest I feel that your response to my post is a bit confusing and incoherent and not very specific. Have you used a spam bot to create that answer?

I have read some of your other posts and usually they seem normal to me.

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13 hours ago, S.M.H.A. said:

Actually people   or bots programmed by them -  PW to  create doubt, divide and conquer.

 

 

Salam aleykom (to Son of placid as well. Sorry I forgot to write that in my previous post).

Thank you for your response. Create doubt, divide and conquer are all very reasonable motives. We absolutely need to watch out for these things. 

But as I mentioned in my previous post this needs to be done in a reliable manner. And we must also be aware that there are Muslims who have grown up in the West and who have gone to western schools with all the brainwashing that that includes and who don't have access to scholars. Such people might have lacks in knowledge and might ask many tough questions in order to understand how things can be explained islamically. It does not mean that he or she is trying to sow doubt in the community. On the contrary it could be an attempt to strengthen their Islamic foundation and get rid of loopholes that the shaytan otherwise can use against them to sow doubts in their hearts.

I have come across people ("muslims") on Facebook that I really believe are agents working for the enemy. In one of the biggest shiagroups I was actually the first one to attack this person as I saw what he was trying to achieve. He was critical of why we need marja, and said that we are good enough to make our own judgments. He also didn't see a reason for praying. I warned the other users about his motives and told them that the enemy will use people amongst us to sow doubt and make us stray from the right path. But in this case it was very easy to see his motives. Shias strength lies in our maraji3. Just think of the power Sayyid Sistani had when he ordered for jihad. No western leader can come close to that kind of power. So it is very logical that they will try to take that away from us so that we will become weaker and easier to control and conquer. And therefor it is extremely important for shias to speak up when they see this happening and tell the naive shias why these people are doing this. So we need to be awake and aware, but not too paranoid or too suspicious and assume that everyone who ask tough questions is out there to take us down. We also need to have good answers to tough Islamic questions. 

By the way at the university I have learnt about different forms of leadership and westerners have tried to dissect the elements of religious or spiritual leadership. They are interested in understanding the factors involved in the effectiveness of this form of leadership in order to use it themselves. Unfortunately they don't understand that they will never be able to reconstruct true faith.

Thank you for the link. I will InshaAllah check it out. 

Edited by Carlzone
Forgot a sentence

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Root Bridge — how thousands of internet connected Android devices now have no security, and are being exploited by criminals.

Android has a feature called Android Debug Bridge (ADB for short) which allows developers to communicate with a device remotely, to execute commands and fully control the device.

“The adb command facilitates a variety of device actions, such as installing and debugging apps, and it provides access to a Unix shell that you can use to run a variety of commands on a device.” — Android’s developer portal

It is completely unauthenticated, meaning anybody can connect to a device running ADB to execute commands. However, to enable it — in theory — you have to physically connect to a device using USB and first enable the Debug Bridge.

Unfortunately, vendors have been shipping products with Android Debug Bridge enabled. It listens on port 5555, and enables anybody to connect over the internet to a device. It is also clear some people are insecurely rooting their devices, too.

https://doublepulsar.com/root-bridge-how-thousands-of-internet-connected-android-devices-now-have-no-security-and-are-b46a68cb0f20

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On 7/13/2018 at 10:10 PM, Carlzone said:

Still I don't understand what spam bots would gain by joining a site like this one and writing lots of posts and earning reputation points? The reputation points are only a measure of the time spent here writing posts and how many people have reacted to ones posts. It's nothing special or desirable in itself.

I'm not saying there aren't spam bots here. I have no idea. I'm new here so I guess it'll take some time to follow and spot such things. I'm just saying that if there are spam bots here then there must be a certain goal behind it. Maybe spying on the Shia? Maybe trying to find the Shias weak spots in order to use it against them? Maybe trying to make people deviate from the right path? These are all reasonable motives. It should be relatively easy to see what the suspect is doing on the site? Is he or she for instance promoting free masonry - well then one can suspect either ignorance or a hidden agenda to fool naive shias into a more positive view of the satanic forces in this world. Or even worse - getting shias to aid these forces and thus weakening the good forces in this world. 

 

Unfortunately not all people have access to scholars or other islamically knowledgeable people to ask questions to. Knowing the exact identity of the responding user is not important as long as the user can give a valid source for the information/answers given.

What's the point of having forums for various types of discussions if people are discouraged from asking questions?

I wouldn't consider asking Islamic questions on an Islamic platform as wasting people's time. Members who answer fellow Muslims questions get thawab from Allah SWT for their time and efforts. Of course it is up to each individual to decide how to spend his/her time. But time spent earning thawab is not wasted time. The whole point of this existence is to serve Allah SWT and his causes. 

I imagine that our imams and our prophet a.s. would encourage people to ask islamic questions and seek answers to them in any way possible. But I could be wrong. 

The main purpose of these bots is to create FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about clear issues in Islam. You will see them most often on topics that deal with subjects like Wilayat and Marjae'yat, Iran(specifically topics where people are expressing support for IRI), Homosexuality, etc. The more the waters are muddied, the more room these groups have to come into the community and push their anti-Islamic agenda. If the community was strong and united around, at least the clear issues, they would have less room to do this. 

The programmers for these bots have a goal. To make unclear what is clear where it helps the Taghut and Thalimeen, those who wish to oppress Muslims. 

For example, we all know that we are supposed to follow a Marjaa' and that there are certain Marjaa' who have attained a level where they are without a doubt qualified to lead the Ummah. Among the two best examples are Sayyid Ali Khameni and Sayyid Ali Al Sistani(may Allah(s.w.a) help and protect them both and give them long life). At the same time, you will rarely see a topic on SC where there is not some doubt expressed regarding their leadership and where there is not false accusations made against them(like the recent false, baseless accusations made by Mike Pompeo(la), the US Secretary of State that Sayyid Ali Khameni is worth billions of dollars). Some of these comments are made by real people (The Akhbaris, Iranian Monarchists, Yasir Habib fan boys, etc) but these groups are extremely small within the Shia community, but based on the volume of their comments it would seem that there is a big divide and controversy in the Shia community regarding the leadership of Sayyid Ali Khameni and Sayyid Sistani. There is not, and if you go out in the real world you won't hear these opinions expressed except in very small circles amoung very specific groups. These are not general opinions held by the Shia community. They are baseless, and designed to deceive the non educated Shia. The bots 'push' these fabricated opinions online, and since they are computer programs, they can be replicated across many sites and can make large volumes of posts without their programmers having to pay real people to do this. It is an efficient way to spread propaganda. This is one example. There are many. 

Edited by Abu Hadi

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1 hour ago, Abu Hadi said:

The main purpose of these bots is to create FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about clear issues in Islam. You will see them most often on topics that deal with subjects like Wilayat and Marjae'yat, Iran(specifically topics where people are expressing support for IRI), Homosexuality, etc. The more the waters are muddied, the more room these groups have to come into the community and push their anti-Islamic agenda. If the community was strong and united around, at least the clear issues, they would have less room to do this. 

The programmers for these bots have a goal. To make unclear what is clear where it helps the Taghut and Thalimeen, those who wish to oppress Muslims. 

For example, we all know that we are supposed to follow a Marjaa' and that there are certain Marjaa' who have attained a level where they are without a doubt qualified to lead the Ummah. Among the two best examples are Sayyid Ali Khameni and Sayyid Ali Al Sistani(may Allah(s.w.a) help and protect them both and give them long life). At the same time, you will rarely see a topic on SC where there is not some doubt expressed regarding their leadership and where there is not false accusations made against them(like the recent false, baseless accusations made by Mike Pompeo(la), the US Secretary of State that Sayyid Ali Khameni is worth billions of dollars). Some of these comments are made by real people (The Akhbaris, Iranian Monarchists, Yasir Habib fan boys, etc) but these groups are extremely small within the Shia community, but based on the volume of their comments it would seem that there is a big divide and controversy in the Shia community regarding the leadership of Sayyid Ali Khameni and Sayyid Sistani. There is not, and if you go out in the real world you won't hear these opinions expressed except in very small circles amoung very specific groups. These are not general opinions held by the Shia community. They are baseless, and designed to deceive the non educated Shia. The bots 'push' these fabricated opinions online, and since they are computer programs, they can be replicated across many sites and can make large volumes of posts without their programmers having to pay real people to do this. It is an efficient way to spread propaganda. This is one example. There are many. 

Thank you for your reply, Abu Hadi. 

Ok, can't we find a reliable way of exposing these bots/agents? 

Can't we start a thread where we put them against the wall and let them answer critical Islamic questions so that their faulty stance is exposed in front of all members of Shiachat? If they refuse to answer the questions then they are banned? Any member who is suspected to be a bot/agent is expected to go through this process and any member who signs up or already has signed up on this site will be required to accept this condition. Or am I too harsh?

We need to find a way of stopping them. The Shia community doesn't lack intelligent members. Let's find a way to outsmart these bots. Anyone who has any suggestions as to how this can be done - please feel free to express yourself.

By the way, after reading your detailed explanation I now have at least three suspects: Forgottenthinker, It's me hello and Klanky. 

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but my suspicions are very strong.

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1 hour ago, Carlzone said:

Thank you for your reply, Abu Hadi. 

Ok, can't we find a reliable way of exposing these bots/agents? 

Can't we start a thread where we put them against the wall and let them answer critical Islamic questions so that their faulty stance is exposed in front of all members of Shiachat? If they refuse to answer the questions then they are banned? Any member who is suspected to be a bot/agent is expected to go through this process and any member who signs up or already has signed up on this site will be required to accept this condition. Or am I too harsh?

We need to find a way of stopping them. The Shia community doesn't lack intelligent members. Let's find a way to outsmart these bots. Anyone who has any suggestions as to how this can be done - please feel free to express yourself.

By the way, after reading your detailed explanation I now have at least three suspects: Forgottenthinker, It's me hello and Klanky. 

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but my suspicions are very strong.

There is one way I have found to spot them, and it's pretty reliable. Ask them a question about how they feel, rather than a fact. 

Use their name in the response and ask a question like, 'How do you feel about this fatwa from this marjaa ? ' (if the topic is about Marja', staying with my example from the last post). The response will be weird and non human sounding or they will quote something from another site, because, of course, bots don't have feelings so they don't know how to discuss that. Also, see if they quote alot from Wikipedia, bot's seem to like that site for some reason. 

Of course, it is a cat and mouse game, because whatever way you use to detect a bot, the bot programmer can always change the code to adapt for that, as a countermeasure. Also, because AI enabled bots use thinking patters that are similar to what human's use (Neural Networks, etc), it's sometimes very hard to tell which posts are from bots and which are not. If we knew for sure, we would ban them. If we banned everyone we thought was a bot above a certain threshold, say 80%, we would also probably ban some real people who were not violating site rules. We can't do that, since it is an issue of Haqq. We can only say we are 90% sure or 80% sure. We can never be 100% sure, unless the bot is a really badly programmed one. 

Like I said before, if you are, let's say 80% sure or more that a member is a bot, stop discussing with them. Stop reacting to their posts. If most of our members did this, the bots would get bored and move to another site. 

Edited by Abu Hadi

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30 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

There is one way I have found to spot them, and it's pretty reliable. Ask them a question about how they feel, rather than a fact. 

Use their name in the response and ask a question like, 'How do you feel about this fatwa from this marjaa ? ' (if the topic is about Marja', staying with my example from the last post). The response will be weird and non human sounding or they will quote something from another site, because, of course, bots don't have feelings so they don't know how to discuss that. Also, see if they quote alot from Wikipedia, bot's seem to like that site for some reason. 

Of course, it is a cat and mouse game, because whatever way you use to detect a bot, the bot programmer can always change the code to adapt for that, as a countermeasure. Also, because AI enabled bots use thinking patters that are similar to what human's use (Neural Networks, etc), it's sometimes very hard to tell which posts are from bots and which are not. If we knew for sure, we would ban them. If we banned everyone we thought was a bot above a certain threshold, say 80%, we would also probably ban some real people who were not violating site rules. We can't do that, since it is an issue of Haqq. We can only say we are 90% sure or 80% sure. We can never be 100% sure, unless the bot is a really badly programmed one. 

Like I said before, if you are, let's say 80% sure or more that a member is a bot, stop discussing with them. Stop reacting to their posts. If most of our members did this, the bots would get bored and move to another site. 

Ok, I see. It frustrates me that we can't be 100% sure. I wish there was a way to be completely certain. 

But if they are bots, why would they get tired if we stopped responding? They have no work or life to attend to, so I suspect that they will keep on going until they are banned, and perhaps not even then. They could just create a new account and start all over again?

I feel that it's hard not to respond to their posts as I'm worried that readers will believe that I left the conversation because their arguments were strong and could not be refuted. So I try to expose them and when I feel that it's obvious to the readers what their agenda is I leave them and stop responding. 

 

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Bismehe Ta3ala 

Assalam Alikum 

Long before the  American media establishment was accusing Russia of meddling in American presidential elections, US was doing the same thing back in 2011.

 

 

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My advice to all of us including me, be technology aware, be politically aware, be skeptic, be wise, and don’t be gullible. Suspect everything that comes your way. Otherwise there’s no point in being a Shia.

Among most of all, Imam Ali, Imam Hassan, and Imam Hussian (May peace be upon them) have suffered the most due to the gullibility of Shia in their times. 

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