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Thread: Ideas to limit spammer member signups

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    Andy101's Avatar
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    Ideas to limit spammer member signups

    I was thinking that an effective measure to keep the robots out of a webmaster forum may be to insist on a unique email domain per user registration.

    Any webmaster must own a domain name or 10, so it is easy for them to create a forwarding email @ their domain in order to register with sites.

    But the bots may tend to use free email services. And if they use the domain of their master, then he/she may be concerned to be hunted down and dealt with accordingly.

    A further step might be to use the rep score of a user to determine if their posts are visible to the public, and encourage forum users to use the rep system to inform the community that the member is ok and unlikely to be a bot. So the up and down votes would be totaled, and each user would only be able to adjust their vote between -1, 0, and +1 per member that they voted on. So no one user can ramp up the rep of another. Then there would be a rep threshold to enable public visibility of the member's posts.

    So if the good bot later turned into a bad bot, their posts could still be blanked out at a later date if their rep sank below the threshold. Or their signature links were blanked out along with their recent posts. Moderators could maybe revert their status to noob if they turned bad, allowing for a period of reflection and to be given another chance.
    KatOh9 likes this.

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    The unique e-mail domain could be a good idea, but there are a lot of people who like to stay anonymous through the use of GMail and Hotmail accounts. We could discourage legitimate member signups if we did that.

    We have not identified too many that we think are bots, but there are some that obviously are bots. There is a signature link threshold, but some new members are somehow circumventing it, and they do not all appear to be bots.

    It appears that about 90% of the current spammers are located in India. Amateur link builders seem to think that spamming forums is a good way to build backlinks. That just shows how little they know.

    Other forums do have a point system where members can rate other members' posts. That might work if we set up some rules for what threshold of negative points will get a bad member booted out. That is something for the Trail Boss to think about.



    Quote Originally Posted by Andy101 View Post
    Moderators could maybe revert their status to noob if they turned bad, allowing for a period of reflection and to be given another chance.
    We do have a temporary ban status, but most of the clowns who are banned are so useless or ignorant that the permanent ban is used most often--and more appropriately. I don't think that being demoted to noob will get anything more than a brief chuckle out of a typical black-hearted spammer. These people have a goal in mind, and rules and status are not likely to deter them.

    I think you've given the Trail Boss some things to think about. Forums walk a fine line between allowing too many spammers and poor quality posters who eventually destroy the forum, and building membership by encouraging the good people to sign up while discouraging the bad players.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    Andys suggestion would probably work, though it'd probably slow me down from joining since i standardized on a gmail account several years ago. Literally havent used a unique domain account for a coupla years... Just prefer not to.

    TDs right about our biggest source... But ftr we have a number of IPs blocked entirely from a few other countries, and they'd be a problem if they were here. We dont have any country blocked entirely (and yes, they could still use a proxy)... But known sources of spam are regularly blocked. Just a waste of the mods and members time not to. Havent blocked that many in india, but that will change if need be.

    Got a hillarious email in the feedback system yesterday. Guy said he was blocked but would like to register. Admitted he's a spammer, but in his defense hadnt done it HERE yet.

    [psst: blocked quite a few based on my experience elsewhere... A spammer is a spammer, and whether they've *already* proved so here isn't the point.]

    Right now we've got the spam largely under control. We hit the ones that slip thru once reported, so the need in here is more a matter of building quality members, which may actually be easier as word seeps out you can discuss stuuf here without wading thrunposts by these dipsticks posting idiot threads for sig value.

    Amazes me that forums put up with some of the scripted timewasters... Giving them infractions at most and hoping the tigr will suddenly change its strpes. If someone with an SEO company sig pops in here to ask "what is google and how can it help me promote my website?... He doesnt get 10 chances to do it, he gets the door prize. Our policy is to shoot the dogs and feed the tigers.

    Looks like TD is suggesting a rep system. I'm not opposed if y'all want one. They may generate a little extra work for mods, but they have value. If that's what you want we can do it.
    -- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup. --

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    The unique e-mail domain could be a good idea, but there are a lot of people who like to stay anonymous through the use of GMail and Hotmail accounts.
    Why? Because they want to spam or are criminals? Their e-mail is not displayed on the forum is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy101 View Post
    Why? Because they want to spam or are criminals? Their e-mail is not displayed on the forum is it?
    I used a unique email domain for a decade but standardized on gmail basically cause it was easily portable. Never been a spammer... and whether I'm technically a criminal is, um, a secret.
    -- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup. --

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    and whether I'm technically a criminal is, um, a secret.
    To be fair.....the Police did drop the charges against you and technically, the animals were not hurt and they didnt complain.

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    I never use a domain email.
    Just because.

    Always used my ISP email.
    One, the ISP does a stellar job on blocking spam for me!
    Yes, only now and again does one slip through their filters.
    But I just pound it back to the ISP and they are in the system as spammers.
    Most times, some times, once in a while, I do look at the list they generate to see if there is any legit email.
    But I figure, if an email is tagged spam and not delivered to my inbox, then not worthy to do business with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snooks View Post
    To be fair.....the Police did drop the charges against you and technically, the animals were not hurt and they didnt complain.
    Rob bribed the police mate.

    FYI, you can take all the precautions to prevent spammers from joining but they will always slip through the cracks or find ways to get in. Now if the spammers see Snook's avatar, they will never come back.

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    Hell, i saw it and i almost didnt come back.
    -- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup. --

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    Now if the spammers see Snook's avatar, they will never come back.

    Well i can see it and im in love Damn ive got a nice butt

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