Automatic Bans for "Deceptive Hidden Text"

  • joebert
  • Fart Bubbles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There seems to be an increase in how often people try to get away with hiding links in their posts using text which is the same, or nearly the same color as the background, AKA "hidden text".

Here are 3 good reasons why trying to use hidden text in a post or signature here is a bad idea.

1) Ozzu has two contrasting templates, a light theme and a dark theme. What stays hidden in one sticks out like a sore thumb in the other. Ozzu has multiple members, including moderators, using both themes.

2) Some people browse Ozzu with an addition to their "user.js" which looks for any text in posts or signatures that use the same or nearly the same color as the background, and makes it stick out like a sore thumb. Here's a screenshot of what I see when I look at a post with hidden text.

Attachments:
hidden-text.jpg


This isn't a simple "if the text is the same color as the background" check either. The script calculates color differences and contrast ratios to catch anything that might simply be hard to see. Anyone is welcome to ask for a copy of the script.

3) You will be banned permenantly without warning for doing it, requiring you to contact Bigwebmaster with a really good explanation if you don't believe you deserved the ban. New accounts which have obviously been made for the purpose of doing it will simply be deleted.


Obviously, not all hard to see text is meant to be deceptive. Whether action is taken will depend on a variety of factors, it's not going to mean "if your text is hard to see you're banned". In some cases you might get a PM from a moderator asking you to use a different color, or the moderator may just change it themselves if your time to edit the post has expired.

The basic rule of thumb to remember here is, if your intention is to deceive someone, you're probably going to end up banned. ;)
  • suzie
  • Guru
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmm,

Well I never!

Good you spot these things joebert.

S

:mrgreen:
  • mindfullsilence
  • Professor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

huh, never even thought of that as a way to spam a forum. That's cleverly simplistic. Hard to spot though, not sure how that script works, must be complicated. Interesting.
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That is why Joebert is the Great Cornholio, nobody is getting past him!
  • UPSGuy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

He's earned it.

Image
  • joebert
  • Fart Bubbles
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  • Loc: Florida

Post 3+ Months Ago

When the page loads, Opera gathers every container in the document with a CSS classname of "message" or "signature". For each of those containers it loops through every single element in the container, elements are gathered like so,

Code: [ Select ]
container_reference.getElementsByTagName('*');


The computed style for every single one of those elements is retrieved for "background-color" and "color". If the computed style returns "transparent", it looks at the value associated with the parent element until it finds a parent with a real color.

I use a modified version of the code powering this color contrast tool to compare two colors. If the background-color and color are close to eachother the script lights those elements up like a Christmas tree.
  • mindfullsilence
  • Professor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

you make it sound easy even though I'm sure it's not. Well done :)

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