SOLVED

Problem inserting links

Trusted Contributor

Not seen this before, error when inserting a link, to Microsoft support articles and discussions here, I get an error, happened a few times today (annoying!) 

 

Error inserting link.png

 

Anyone else seeing this?

13 Replies

Hi Cian,

 

Received the same couple of minutes ago, in my case it was another number-dash-number combination within the plain text like

Interval.JPG

 

 

The message is

Content.JPG

 

Thanks for confirming @Sergei Baklan! I have also seen different number combinations, three times yesterday, haven't tried again since.

#MeToo

 

Best Response confirmed by Cian Allner (Trusted Contributor)
Solution
Hi all,

Thanks for reporting, this was caused by some extra filtering on number strings due to a large number of spam posts coming in with phone numbers in them.

Unfortunately this has he side effect of preventing posting legitimate posts that have matching number strings in them. If we changed the regex to only prevent posts that were in the format of n(nnn)-nnn-nnnn then spammers would just not post in that format.

I am keeping it under review and may well turn off the block again in the mean time my advice would be to avoid posting strings of numbers if at all possible.

Thanks Allen, appreciate the background information.  Unfornatunely this catches out a lot of support.office.com articles, which will match those patterns. 

 

I can work around this and I understand blocking spam must be a priority.  I can use alternatives, which works fine, not necessarily ideal but it does the trick.

I am with @Cian Allner@Allen. I can't post links to Microsoft Support articles, because the number-dash-number pattern is not allowed. Also, I can't post images from my SnagIt without renaming them, because the default name includes the time stamp in the format yyyy-mm-dd and the warning goes up. 

 

I understand the spam fighting approach  but maybe the pattern recognition could be extended to allow http at the start of the string and the most common picture extensions png, jpg and gif at the end, so they can be treated differently from spam phone numbers.

Allen, thank you for the clarification. For a while we will survive with this, but hope you'll find another solution.

 

On the one hand phone numbers could be without dashes (I usually use them with spaces notation).

On the other hand with some resources becomes harder to work (URLs, Excel discussions with numbers inside, etc.)

 

I’ll check this and get back to you.

The filter shouldn’t prevent posting urls with numbers as long as you change the text to click here rather than providing the full subject of the post / page your linking to

Here's another example:

 

 

filter.pngConsidering half the support.office.com articles have GUID as part of the URL, it's really annoying :)

Hi All,

 

Having reviewed the spam we are now getting phone numbers in a format that was not getting picked up by the regex anyway. As a result I have remove the post block for posts containing numbers. 

 

I promise we will only ever implement this as a last option and never for very long. Unfortunately blocking the spammers in this way becomes a 'whack-a-mole' style exercise as once you block one type of spam another usually starts or the format gets changes to get round the block.

If I may ask @Allen, are these controls being put back in place? I'd rather they were personally if it helps with what we are seeing at the moment with persistent spammers on the front page.  I don't even get how the spammers profit from this.  Hope you get a good middle ground if possible! Thanks for your work on this, it must be infuriating.

Yes, they are still on... annoying :) And spammers seems to have adapted to the filter by inserting random characters in between.

Tell me about it!

 

Whack A MoleWhack A Mole

No Moles were hurt in the making of this image