4 Posts authored by: mrs.alterego

We have been paying close attention to the feature requests submitted in the thwack Community, and we want you to know that we hear you! So guess what??? We will be deploying a new Global Navigation tonight that will encompass a couple of the Feature Requests you've submitted to us.


For example, you asked us for an easier way to find SolarWinds Lab. You also asked us to provide navigation tabs for some of our unadvertised areas, and while we couldn't add all of them (because, let's face it, our navigation would be miles long at that point), we have brought back some areas we have heard you mention!


We are working on our 2016 roadmap and there are many of the Feature Requests that are being discussed and prioritized, so please keep submitting your ideas! They are so incredibly beneficial, and we greatly appreciate the feedback (good or bad)!


Here is a sneak peak of the new global navigation. We will send out a system announcement shortly informing you of the time we plan to start this update tonight, but in the meantime, feel free to leave us your comments or feedback on the below updates!


Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 10.32.49 AM.png

The drop down for the Product Forums will remain the same, but we added a new tab to encompass many of the Blogs and Groups you have missed!


Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.16.14 AM.png

*Note: thwack Talk has been renamed to Community Conversations to make it easier for our new members to know what this forum is all about.


We hope you are as excited about these changes as the thwack Community Team, and we hope this will help you find what you want more easily in our community!

10.14.2015- UPDATE: ISSUE HAS BEEN RESOLVED. If you have any issues uploading your scripts, templates, reports, etc. to the Content Exchange from the product, please don't hesitate to DM me.


If you are attempting to upload files to the Content Exchange from a SolarWinds product, you will encounter a 500 error. We had some of our servers upgraded over the weekend (October 10-11), and we ran into a few hiccups. We are diligently working on getting this resolved, and I will post an update as soon as we are back online. In the meantime, you can upload your files directly to the Content Exchange within thwack and should not run into any problems. We apologize for the inconvenience; if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly.



Rachel Morrill

We finally did it! We built our own spam filter plug-in since we were having so many challenges with the existing spam filters, and we released it just last week! Being the geek that I am, this new plug-in has made me absolutely giddy! In my true, Boston-like way, I announced it to our internal team and told them I was "wicked excited", to which my boss replied, "You're such a nerd"! :-) I can't help it! The ability this plug-in gives us is far more intuitive, will give us the opportunity to identify patterns and adjust the filters, as needed. What a concept! With that being said, I want to break down what we've done so you are aware of the new requirements.


  • Users must have (#) piece(s) of published content to avoid moderation
    • One of the first things we did was set a limit to the number of posts a new user can create before they are able to bypass moderation. If you're a brand new user, your first three posts will be sent to our moderation queue for us to review. It's not that we don't trust you, but it will help us to ensure your question, document, discussion, etc. is placed in the correct forum, as well as make sure you're a real person! :-) This will also help us with false positives that we were receiving from the other spam filters...these false positives were why so many of you were getting moderated on practically EVERYTHING you posted! We don't want you to have to experience that again!

  • Users with accounts (#) hours old will be moderated
    • Another thing we have added was a timeframe associated with the account. This last spam attack we saw something different. We had users that were creating accounts days, sometimes weeks in advance, posting one thing that seemed ok and then much later nailed us with a script to post all that spam. By having this feature, I can say "Any user that is newer than 30 days will need to be moderated". I have this disabled at the moment because I intend to use this only when we really need it. I think having the 3 pieces of content moderated is enough for everyday filters.

  • Flag users based on patterns using Java regular expression syntax
    • Finally the best part to this new plug-in (and my personal favorite) is the use of Java regular expressions. With each attack, there was always some kind of a pattern, whether it be in their subject, email addresses, names, etc. Once the pattern is identified, we will have the ability to add a Regular Expression to flag those accounts so they can't even be created; they will go into a "Flagged User" group where we can bulk delete them once and for all before they even have a chance to send out content! WOOOHOOOO!!!!

Now that this new plug-in has been running for about a week, there are a few small changes that we want to make that will make our jobs a little easier, so we are going to take the site down for about 1 1/2 hours tonight.  Don't be alarmed if you see a maintenance page tonight between the hours of 10pm CDT and 11:30pm CDT; it's all good stuff!

We hope that you guys are enjoying the new spam filters as much as we are, but if there are improvements you think we should incorporate or something we've forgotten, please don't hesitate to let us know! We love feedback!

*Side note: There are a few random posts that are holding on to some of the previous spam filters, so if you're moderated and it doesn't seem to make sense, don't worry! It will soon fade away and shouldn't be moderated anymore in the future (unless you post something on our banned keyword list ).

Over the past several weeks, we have seen a drastic increase in spam; in fact, this is the 2nd major attack in 3 months! We wanted to let our community know what we are doing to help tighten our security and alleviate further disruption from these annoying spammers, but first, we want to sincerely apologize for the email notifications many of you received when these spammers made it through our filters and into the community.


About 3 weeks ago, we started to see an uptick in spam accounts being created. Our filters from the last attack were catching them and giving us the ability to delete their accounts, as well as any of their content that was placed into our moderation queue. We identified the location and had a span of IP's banned; however, the more we attempted to dissuade them from joining our community, the smarter they became. They started routing their IP's so now it looked like they were hitting us from the US; we increased our filter threshold's but they were starting to attack at such a fast rate, they were actually breaking through the filters. We have been working with our vendor non-stop, and we've fixed a few bugs and buckled down even tighter on account creation. Each and every person is now sent through an approval process before they are allowed to create an account. This is temporary as we are working with a developer to create a plug-in that will allow us to set an "age-limit" as a requirement for posting without moderation needed. We hope this will help catch a majority of spammers without introducing further restrictions on our existing members.

For example:

  • New user rach356 has been a member for 1 week and never posted anything. She creates a discussion, but her content will be sent into a moderation queue before the community sees it so an admin can make sure the discussion is not spam. Once rach356 has been approved, future posts will not need to be moderated.


Also, we have enabled our 3rd party spam vendor, and if you recall from the last time, they are rather strict at first with what they consider to be spam, but give it time to "learn" and much of your content will start to filter into the community without being sent to moderation.


Finally, the other filters we have enabled will place content into our moderation queue simply because you are replying to a post that was initially moderated, even if you are an "old-timer". We know this can be a slight annoyance, but until our new plug-in is fully built, this is how the existing spam filter works. We are hoping to have the new plug-in ready by the beginning of August.


Thank you for being so understanding and patient during these times; we really appreciate the support you give to us, especially during times like these! As always, if you have questions, comments, suggestions, etc. please don't hesitate to reach out to one of us. ( DanielleH, maria.bungau, mrs.alterego)

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