In the end, this measure will only "shrink" SPF, which, I believe, is the first step towards obliteration.
One word. Content. Filters.
These 3 sound like a good idea to me.
# No signatures at all in problem areas (like the SEO forum)
# No company or product names in usernames
# Block open proxy registrants
Not so sure about the Karma system though, like someone else already mentioned. New users might have a good SEO question, and I for one would never bother to reach a certain karma limit before I'm allowed to ask a question. I would just go somewhere else instead. I also think that the IP banning of whole areas should be the very last option to use.
IP banning the majority of a country is extreme, even if it is identified as a source of the problem it seems rather discriminatroy to me.
Are they bots or real humans? If they're bots they probably behave differently to normal humans, e.g. posting very quickly. Couldnt any posts where the person was on the new topic/reply page for under 5 seconds go into a moderation queue?
I remember there being a karma-type system on here, although it wasn't put to much use.
The only way I can see us truly getting rid of spammers is to moderate ALL posts from the beginning. After ten posts, if the posts are of a reasonable quality and the user is actively looking to participate in discussion then they should be granted karma, with each forum requiring a certain amount of karma. Karma should be given by moderators and other users in a position of power.
This would require a herculean effort from the moderators, but it would definitely stop spammers, and would give the community an opportunity to grow and produce a good level of discussion.
Like most of the others, I agree with Rudy's suggestions.
I find it distressing that you would even consider blocking a whole country. Like mentioned above, if you block India one month then the next month you can also close the road to China. Get a couple of spammers from the US (a couple? That's a dream) and block the US in the next month.
The Internet is global and that is the beauty of it. Much of that beauty transcends to places like SitePoint. Don't censor someone because they were born "on the wrong side of the tracks". I would much rather see us continue to deport and exile the lawless who come here to pillage.
Furthermore, I really like this idea. I'll give it some thought. Thanks.
I personally think signatures should be point based. IE You can't have one until reaching 100 posts or something.
IP bans sound like the answer initially before you consider the consequences of blocking half the planet from connecting. Clearly they work if you have a very serious problem with a few IPs which continue to abuse the site but if its a drive by hit then the next user of that IP could be genuine.
I'll do anything to avoid working on my own code
Are you using: if (isset($_POST['submit'])) ?
IE has a bug and does not always send the value.
I think we need to sort this out at source. There are guys just promoting their business and skills which I think is legitimate and potentially useful if they do it by providing information. Then there are the posters putting up to get inward links to rubbish websites.
I don't believe you can stop that at the forum level. As a development community we need to talk to Google about the algorithm. It's not good for them either because I am finding that the first page of a search is rarely useful. Incoming links are just no longer an indicator of popularity or a good site.
The Google guys are smart - if they downgrade any links off forums and comments (as opposed to text body), people will stop doing it?
On a more practical note, I am finding www.stopforumspam.com very useful.
My idea goes a lot further than just signatures though, in that ALL posts should be moderated and judged on quality before they are shown. If a user can prove themselves to be a worthy member then they can have restrictions removed.
Regardless, Google ARE changing their algorithm to cut out the same spammers that litter this forum with their terrible websites.
We shouldn't have to give in to these scum who ruin forums. The point of this is to find the most effective way of getting rid of them.
I agree that a country IP ban would be bad - can't people in the "know" fake their IP address anyway?
People using poxy servers always give me the impression they have something to hide so could be prevented.
On this sort of forum I would have thought that all users have a website so deny people signing up with hotmail, yahoo and gmail type accounts? They can hide their email address from everybody except admin so they should not be worried about it being abused - opening a can of worms with this statement ?
I do not see a lot of spam on the sections I visit and the moderators are quick to remove any. If users find any report it.
Points systems seem a waste of time as who would bother leaving feedback - I must have nearly a hundred people on my ignore list that have not said that my answer to their question was any good or not.
There is already a "points" system in action with the amount of user posts although I can not belive some users have hundreds of questions but have never helped another user with a problem - another thing that anoys me.
Whenever I build a site that has any kind of comment or forum, I ban Romania, Malaysia and China before I even launch the site. Those countries don't ever buy products, don't contribute and take advantage continually. As entire communities they need to deal with their own issues - by punishing everyone perhaps they will have the will to do something about it.
The rest of Eastern Europe I wait for the first registration from a listed spam IP address or email. They are getting very clever by registering and waiting about a week before posting the first comment. Then you suddenly realise that you have 30-40 members already registered that come from similar IP addresses. I ban the country as soon as the first one registers. If you wait about a month, you get off their list for 1 year. They seem to have an annual cycle before trying again.
The real problem is that I get a lot of fake registrations from the Netherlands and the US, but one can't really block the entire country.
Please don't block gmail. I use my gmail account for forums :-)
Not all forums are trustworthy!
The country can be another factor (along with many others e.g does post contain link, how many user posts, email address vendor, post length,user posts deleted) that can contribute to a scoring system used in a moderation queue filter. These posts would still be visible to the logged in user that made them so they aren't immediately aware their post has been filtered to make it harder for users to react against the filter.
http://www.ryanreese.us -Always looking for web design/development work
Regarding your question, I don't know if a post written in less than 5 secs can go into the moderation queue. Right now, the moderation queue filters certain terms used by spammers, or any post that need to be previously checked for certain conditions.
the best part is, we already have a full staff of mentors, whose job is to, um, mentor the members, and who, in doing so, are required to read and monitor all new posts in their areas, so they are the ones best suited to making the decision to allow good members to have signatures
I think r937's idea (along with my own =p).
We don't want to punish all new people outright for something because there are a lot of people that have been doing this stuff for years that just happen upon this site.
When I joined years ago I definitely wasn't as experienced as I am now, but I did have a few good things to say here and there. If I couldn't have said them because I was "new", I probably wouldn't still be here.
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