Spam posters, etc.

Discussion in 'Site Suggestions, Help and Announcements' started by Varjak, Nov 24, 2010.

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  1. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    I was wondering if BH had considered limiting new accounts to ONE post per 24 hour period until they build up 5 or 10? That should be enough to post questions; yet prevent them from quickly resurrecting 5 old threads to build up their post count.

    I'm so tired of having to sort through the people who seem to pop up (especially at holidays and weekends) to inundate the forums with throwaway posts.
     
  2. JRakes

    JRakes NOT your Average Joe

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    Yeah, I'm usually here early in the morning, typically while having my first cup of coffee and am not yet fully awake and :eek: There they are!

    [ASIDE]
    My apologies, Mods, if some of my "Spam Reports" seem a bit incoherent. It's because I'm usually incoherent first thing in the morning... :rolleyes:
    [/ASIDE]

    IIRC, this was reviewed a few years ago. The rationale at that time, again IIRC, was that TOO much of a limit would prove very frustrating for new users who are legitimately looking for assistance or info - They could post a question, see replies from others, but not ask or contribute further until the next day.

    While I don't like the spammers (no, I do not, at all,) it's one of those balancing acts between making the experience useful and beneficial for new users vs tolerating a few more spam bombs.

    All that said, I'll take the opportunity again to thank our Mods and Admin Team for keeping our BH Community a truly enjoyable place to visit, hang out, and learn / help others - It is definitely a cut above! :cool:
     
  3. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    JRakes hit it on the head. It's a balancing act. We cannot afford to overly burden new legit users. The user count, and readership determine the budgeting for the paid staff of this website. Crank up the security too high, we lose new members. That's not good! Turn it down too low, we're drowning in spam. Readership declines. That's not good!

    The admin have constantly kept an eye on how our security vs readership is. Right now, it's at the best possible balance, according to their metrics.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    In a different position, I think that any new restriction will hardly add value to the community. New legit users, just as already pointed out, will not find it appealing to stay on a forum that has to get convinced they're not bots. OTOH, the very position that any new member is potentially a bot can be considered offensive by any of said new members. IME, spam incurrence here is not higher than in other sites and boards. And IMVHO, frontal deterrence to spam can be useful to enforce the community spirit, just as it works here. I don't think there is a single forum on the Web that can currently afford surveilance 24/7. Everybody is doing their best to keep on business. Well, I sometimes log in late at night and I can fend off a couple of spammers. Joe usually logs in very early in the morning, and does likewise. Lauren is usually doing something around midnight, and the same thing. And so on. As long as we find the broom at hand (so to speak), we all can do a bit for the forum.

    I have noticed that balancing act. From the outside it could seem that the whole board takes care of itself, but I know it doesn't. Somebody must be tweaking levers and greasing gears here and there. BTW, speaking of readership, I think that the recent make overs to the main page were a good thing. The place feels more "updated", if you know what I mean. That marquee with the sliding news is a thing that pulls a lot of attention.
     
  5. lelisa13p

    lelisa13p Your Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Everyone, please keep reporting them whenever you see them. I have a Gmail popper that tells me as soon as a spammer is reported and if I'm online, most times I can drop what I'm doing to toss the bum out and then go on about my biz. ;) I stumble over quite a few in the wee hours but after I leave there is a lag that the early morning crew must sweep up after.

    You guys are the first line of defense and I really appreciate your diligence. :)
     
  6. wozofoz

    wozofoz Time Traveller

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    Here, here, the layered defence of members and Mods is the key :newpalm:

    This surge in spambots has been a problem all over the forums for reasons that are best not discussed in public.

    My suggestion, for vBulletin, (aside from the obvious of making the Registration security measures better) would be to add a Trusted Member category. Obviously the Mods would choose these Trusted Members.

    When a Trusted Member sees spam they can click on the Report icon and they then have the choice to either Report (as they do now) or Report and Hide which means the post becomes invisible to members (but not Mods and Trusted Members)
    The Trusted Member writes why they thought it should be hidden EG: Porn spam or possibly dangerous links.
    Mods check the post and if they agree with the Trusted Member they Ban the member and permanently delete the post, if they don't agree with the Trusted Member they restore the post to visible and send a PM to the Trusted Member explaining why.

    Well, I can dream can't I ? :p

    All the best, woz of oz
     
  7. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Good idea, Woz. It's like adding a few dozen low level moderators who can hide a post as they are reporting it.

    I've gotten spoiled by the responsiveness of the mods around here at BH. If I report spam at Crackberry or Macrumors, it sometimes takes days to disappear or it never goes away. :eek: Most distressing, the spammer's links remain active. While there sometimes seems like a bit of a delay around here after reporting spam, I must point out that the mods at BH are very responsive.
     
  8. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    I'm not convinced. I think legitimate users are likely to have a basic question, and they can be patient to wait for an answer. Maybe the 'counter' could be moved to a 12 hour span or something.

    Hiding new posters/posts doesn't help, because I suspect the spuriously 'updated' threads would still show up in 'new posts' searches.

    Recalling my first visit to BH, when I was first contemplating buying a Lifedrive, I found the thread on viewing video (one of my primary intended uses at the time), and posted my question and looked it up the next day. I don't see an imposition in having to wait for my answer until the next day. I think I then posted one other thing before a long layoff (not because of posting limits or restrictions).

    If a new poster comes to BH, it's likely they have a basic, single question that is hardly an emergency. It seems that the burden is more on regular BH users than on sporadic new posters who come, build up 5 posts, spam or ask a question, and then disappear.

    Just my opinion.
     
  9. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    You might be right that most new posters do come with a single problem, but the resolution of requires a "conversation" which would be difficult to have if limited to a single post every 12 hours. It would be very frustrating to ask a question, only to find that it can't be answered because something wasn't clear or more information was needed. Spam isn't such a big problem that it warrants such drastic measures.
     
  10. wozofoz

    wozofoz Time Traveller

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    I agree with jig, the 'conversation' is an integral part of any support forum and should flow as easily as possible and as quickly as necessary.
    "Thanks for the quick reply :) " is very often seen and you can 'feel' the relief in those words. Not being able to continue the conversation would cause frustration and drive the member to another forum or a quick answer/help website like Yahoo Answers :eek: rather than a 'specialized' forum or website.

    When the post is Hidden (or Unapproved as it is sometimes called) the thread would revert to the position it had before the post was made.

    A while back there was a flood of porn spam with images, AspireOneUser forum was hit very hard by this. Many members were upset by the images they saw when they opened a thread and complained bitterly to the Mods. The poor Mods were working overtime on this trash but the spambots were neverending. It's times like these that Trusted Moderators would be handy.
    It's been fixed now, not sure how though.

    Most times though, Trusted Moderators would be sitting around, drinking coffee and playing A or B :D

    All the best, woz of oz
     
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