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Gav
-18th May 2006, 11:34
Hi guys,

We've had some spam on the board for the last few days. Thankfully it's not a major problem on this board, but it could be so I had a wee think.

I have a suggestion to further reduce (possibly eliminate?) spam. Charging for membership of the forum is an obvious, and unpopular solutionm, however it need not come to that.

How about we place a limit on when you are able to post links? I suggest that a member contribute a minimum of somewhere between 5 and 10 posts before they can post a link. This should be sufficiently infuriating that it will stop the spammers. Of course, it may be infuriating for members who join up to promote something (e.g. a fencing tournament; which is partly why the board is here).

In any case the mods are here to help and we can help new members out in that regard.

What do you think?

Hudson
-18th May 2006, 11:38
I think it's a good idea. Also if it's to promote an event a message can be posted directing you to the calender, where the details can be put on display

Jumile
-18th May 2006, 13:53
A subscription cost is a Bad Idea™. Implementing it will result in tumbleweeds rolling through the forum...

The numerous forums I've used have employed varying strategies of dealing with this:
Better validation of new member email addresses ("sdfoiuysdf@hotmail.com" is a dead giveaway).
New member recommendations (an existing member vouching for a newcomer).
Time period before posting privileges are granted (you're read-only for a few days before you're granted posting privileges).
Limitations of posts (or just link posts) that's directly proportional to the time you've been a member (or the number of posts you've made).
Full moderation, and have a team of moderators approve messages as they arrive.
Some other recommendation system (e.g. "you're a good boy/girl/other on 'x' forum, so we'll give you a chance here, too").
Confirmation of membership (or involvement) with a real fencing club.
Token payment (say 5 pence via Paypal) when signing up. What spammer is going to provide a link to a Paypal account to someone they're trying to spam?

None of them are foolproof (they keep making better fools), but at least you have plenty of options. :)

Gav
-18th May 2006, 13:59
I'm not suggesting a subscription cost.

I specifically ruled that out.

Barry Paul
-19th May 2006, 07:43
How does the spam appear? Does some one log on and make a post about XXXX?

Gav
-19th May 2006, 07:46
How does the spam appear? Does some one log on and make a post about XXXX?

Yes or attempts to sell slimming pills and the like. It's not that common, but this is a suggestion that sprang to mind when I thought about it.

Sumerian Haze
-19th May 2006, 11:44
The trouble with any anti-spam measure is that it will potentially inconvenience legitimate users just as much as the unwanted spamalots. You have to decide on where to draw the line between board functionality and militant anti-spam measures, based on the level and scope of the problem. If, as you say, there is not currently much of a problem, then I would suggest leaving things as they are for the time being. Should the problem become worse then of course you can re-evaluate.

Disallowing people to post links until they've been validated by a moderator would seem to be the next logical step if the problem increases - the flip side is that it will increase the moderators' workload. Still, foolproof or not, it should raise the bar sufficiently that most spamalots will take their undesirable habits elsewhere.

Aramis
-19th August 2006, 00:31
Seeing as there's some lovely spam in Off Piste this evening, any progress?

Spider5
-19th August 2006, 01:28
Yup, no links allowed until say 20-50 posts with different content have been accumulated. Won't stop a determined spammer but hopefully 20 posts of crap without links should be enough to alert the mods to shut the account before any links are put up.

Aramis
-19th August 2006, 21:25
20's a bit high - I'm for 10.

Hudson
-20th August 2006, 09:24
10 should be enough

Dragonfly
-20th August 2006, 11:02
What about links in our signatures? Are they going to be ruled out too?

Aramis
-20th August 2006, 15:54
What about a limit before posting a new thread too?

rpryer
-20th August 2006, 16:24
What about a limit before posting a new thread too?

No, for the same reason I don't like the idea of a minimum number of posts before a link can be added.

It stops people coming on to ask a question (which many people do as their first post), or to promote an event - a number of comp organisers have joined to give a link to their next event.

Although we've had a couple recently, this forum doesn't have a bad spam problem.

It might be worth getting a couple more moderators, so we're not relying on Gav to keep on top of things outside office hours.

ChubbyHubby
-20th August 2006, 17:29
How about requiring new members to supply a verifiable email address and be approved by a moderator before the first post?

Aramis
-20th August 2006, 19:36
It stops people coming on to ask a question (which many people do as their first post), or to promote an event - a number of comp organisers have joined to give a link to their next event.

Fair point about asking a question (I don't think the mods would want to be having to help almost every new member out), but as Gav said in his earlier post, for those who want to join to publicise a competition they could help with that. It's true, there isn't very much spam on this forum, but, frankly, unless something's done it'll probably only get worse.

husy
-20th August 2006, 22:19
Some of Jumile's idea's are good and i think will help alot.

Baldric
-20th August 2006, 22:29
There really isn't very much of it. Unless it gets much worse, I would suggest:

a) dont answer the spam post - this just keeps it bumped up the list. Other people are more likely to waste their time reading it if the most recent post is from a well known contributor.

b) report the post to the mods. It saves them wasting time looking for it.

c) stop worrying. I would rather have easy access for the 95% of first time posters who are genuine, than lock them out to stop the odd spammer.

wingnutLP
-21st August 2006, 13:49
There has been a big leap in junk members recently so I think the forum must have got on some list in the same way e mail's do.

I went and checked the registration process and found that the previously enabled character recognition was disabled (presumably in the upgrade). I have re enabled it so hopefully this will help.

Alex

fencingmaster
-21st August 2006, 14:25
report the post to the mods.

They're not difficult to spot because the poster will have '0' previous posts.

Ulrika
-22nd August 2006, 09:36
How about requiring new members to supply a verifiable email address and be approved by a moderator before the first post?I think this is the best idea, and it should certainly be implemented over at the US fencing forum too...

husy
-24th August 2006, 16:51
look at this: http://fencingforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7721