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new account admin approval hurts discussion


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The requirement for not only the standard captcha and confirmation email, but also for an administrator to manually check off on any new accounts, seems likely to cut down on active discussion in these forums. I know that when I started creating my account, I planned to comment in an ongoing discussion, but I don't even remember what that discussion was any longer, let alone what I wanted to say. In most forums, I can go from registering to posting in 5 minutes or less.

I've run forums, and mailservers, and mailing lists, so I'm aware of the huge problem spam presents. Having run them in the past, it seems unlikely that it will help much; the captcha and confirmation email are usually enough.

The goal of spam prevention measures is to stop spam while blocking as little ham - that is, legitimate messages - as possible. The requirement for manual approval seems like a step too far.

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Michael, thanks for the direct feedback, I don't get nearly enough, believe it or not.

While I understand your point of view, the main issue is that we typically see 3-5 new registrants every day who have made it through CAPTCHA and even confirmed their email address somehow, caught only by my hand-filtering... This would equate to an average of 100+ spammers on the forum every month, cleared to post.

Also, Revolution's forum is handled the same way, and there's no measurable impact on the level of activity, they're pretty busy all the time.

The few spammers who still sneak through my filtering every now and then take quick advantage of the opportunity... I might conscience dealing with some level of "generic" spamming (internet companies, directories, etc), but even one pornographic post while moderators are offline poses a tremendous problem as we do have several regular visitors who are underage.

Again, your feedback is appreciated, I hope you understand my position. :D

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Wow, that's a lot of spam! I guess it's gotten even worse for forums since I last administered one. Good job on keeping the forums so spam free. :D I wonder if there's any other settings changes that might cut down on the number of posts/users you have to hand filter? For instance, one of the many DNS blacklists.

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Aye, the trick is, we see SO many different IPs and email addresses (we do ban our fare share on both the server and forum level), just doing manual approvals every couple of days has proven to be far easier than trying to ban or filter every single spammer.

As for activity on this forum, I can tell you that there are TONS of lurkers actually reading here, and we've seen a reasonable increase in posting over the past 6 months or so.

As I said before, I don't disagree with your sentiments at all, but based on my experience with the several forums I manage these days, manual approval has been the most straight forward method we've found.

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I know that the times I've "babysat" the forums while John has been jetting around, I've been stunned with the sheer volume of mostly obvious spammers that try to get onto boards. It's most definitely increased over the past years.

For others reading this thread, the reason why that these people continually try centers around Google rankings. The more their URL shows up in stats on Google, the better those spam sites will do.

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Aye, the trick is, we see SO many different IPs and email addresses (we do ban our fare share on both the server and forum level), just doing manual approvals every couple of days has proven to be far easier than trying to ban or filter every single spammer.

As for activity on this forum, I can tell you that there are TONS of lurkers actually reading here, and we've seen a reasonable increase in posting over the past 6 months or so.

As I said before, I don't disagree with your sentiments at all, but based on my experience with the several forums I manage these days, manual approval has been the most straight forward method we've found.

Ah, by blacklist I meant one maintained by someone else. We use one for the IRC network I co-run (Foonetic) which catches the vast majority of spammers, since they're mostly coming through open proxies and botnets. The particular bit of software that does it is specific to IRC, but maybe there's something similar. Such systems are also used for email, e.g. the Spamhaul XBL. Sadly, it doesn't look like such a system exists for IP board, but maybe I just missed it in my cursory search through their forums.

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Right.....spammers are constantly registering.

Until John fixed/changed my format, I was getting about 25 new registered spammers a day. Yikes! It's a terrible issue, and it really is a mess. Especially when they would post web links that went to porn drugs gambling etc.

Thankfully, John has found a format that is must easier to screen for spammers.

Even still, a few get through. Thus, I appreciate the manual admin activation switch. But that also means I have to read the profile and make a decision to activate or not. If there is nothing kite related in the new profile I delete it. I have posted that as fair warning, hoping to not intentionally delete a real registrant, but there is really no other way that I know of.

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