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Is this Skyrim forum for real?
March 7, 2012 7:02 PM   Subscribe

Is this forum for real? It's tweaking my 'this is some kind of SEO fake' instincts but it seems to be legit. It's driving me slightly crazy. Ponderings below.

So, it's a huge forum with a very high SNR about Bethesda games. It's not compu-spam as far as I can tell.

But:

-It doesn't seem to be associated with any other website, which game forums normally are
-The posters are mostly using female names, with pictures of themselves
-All the posters seem to have 1700-1800 posts which is curious
- 'gameskryim' is a weird title, particularly as the forum covers several other games

It's the second point that is the most weird, which is a bit awful I guess. But still - this is the internet. What do people think?
posted by Sebmojo to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
What I find very weird about it is that there is a large active forum for Morrowind. I know a few people who are replaying Morrowind now because they just finished Skyrim and are nostalgic, but I wouldn't expect there to be such demand for forum discussion about it. It's OLD. You can find the answers to just about anything by browsing old forums.
posted by lollusc at 7:14 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's fake

Here's the info StatsCrop brings up

Looks like someone wrote a script to generate a fake forum by pulling posts that other people made and getting them "posted" here by a bot. Weird and not that clever. And probably doesn't make enough $ to justify the time of effort spend.
posted by sarahnicolesays at 7:15 PM on March 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I definitely get that same vibe. I don't know much about doing whois lookups but I got this which showed the domain being purchased in Nov 2011, which is much more recent than a lot of posts on the forum. I wonder if someone scraped a bunch of forum content and then auto-generated fake users.
posted by ghharr at 7:15 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I just googled the title of some of the posts and they have "doubles" in other, legit, forums.
posted by lollusc at 7:16 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It looks like the posts were scraped from forums.bethsoft.com and then assigned to fake users whose names and faces were scraped from Facebook.
posted by Phssthpok at 7:16 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd say it is certainly fake on some level. As you said, far too many female posts with pictures, and you'll note that almost everyone joined in 2006-7. There are also distinctively male names with female pictures. There are also no posts about the latest Skyrim game since December, which certainly wouldn't be the case.

My guess - it is probably scraping another site and replacing with different photos and usernames?
posted by shinynewnick at 7:17 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, thank you. I did a bit of googling but didn't find the bethsoft link.

Mystery annihilated! Favourites for all!!
posted by Sebmojo at 7:24 PM on March 7, 2012


Those avatars are really creepy! That should have been the first sign.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:49 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Considering the glaring lack of advertising on the site, and no way for me to give them any money, Im left wondering why this exists in the first place? Some reasonably intelligent person invested a considerable about of time to make it look almost right and sort of pass first level bullshit tests, for no apparent reason. This seems more like a weird hobby project then a scam.
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 8:50 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's advertising on the posts.

That is super strange and creepy. I don't like this new Internet.
posted by amanda at 8:59 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's kind of sad. I want there to be a world where all these smiling ladies have spontaneously formed a gaming forum and it's totally boring and average.
posted by redsparkler at 9:21 AM on March 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


So do I!
posted by Sebmojo at 11:48 AM on March 8, 2012


My blog was hacked years ago. Weird links to my non existent pages show up all over these fake forums even still today. Makes me nuts. It's totally fake. I don't know what they get out of it, but this is quite common.
posted by Vaike at 12:49 PM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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