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Our approach to new forum posters


Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
4 Jul 2012 12:40PM
CB asked a question in another thread which deserves an answer and is good subject for debate.


Quote:Is this a new approach to dealing with spam, Pete.


I sometimes wonder if we are to hard on the first posters. So I'm just trying an experiment and assuming the poster is a genuine, helpful person. I know most who post a message about a service as soon as they join are spammers, and most posts (like one earlier today where a question was posted by one new member and answered with the perfect product by another new member minutes later) do need to be removed.

But from personal experience I know sometimes I've seen a thread on a forum when looking for something and thought - I know the answer to that, or I know a place that can do it. But I don't post because I either don't have time, can't be bothered or think someone will shoot me down.

But if someone does to take the time to register and post a genuine helpful advice we are A) being extremely rude, and B) reducing the chance of that person becoming a active member of the community.

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Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
4 Jul 2012 12:52PM
It is a bit tricky when 99%+ are spammers. Any new sign-up which mentions a product or service has got to be treated as spam unless proved otherwise, I would have thought.

Yes, you may lose the odd new genuine member, giving an independent view of a product/service, but it will be very rare indeed perhaps not worth agonising too much over when we have already got thousands of members......... how many thousands, of course, depends on how you count them. Wink

FWIW, on the site I run they would never even get as far as the forum, because they are pre-vetted for any suspicious characteristics; obviously the security is a much more relaxed on EPZ. On my site we just accept we may lose the odd genuine member, once in a while, but the tiny minority of innocent have to suffer for the huge majority of guilty! Such is (internet) life. Smile
4 Jul 2012 12:59PM
How about not being able to post links for the first 5 or 10 posts? Yeah people can still type it out but if it looks like spam we are less likely to copy and open it.
keithh e2
11 23.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
4 Jul 2012 1:06PM

Quote:because they are pre-vetted for any suspicious characteristics


Does that include a home visit?
I normally have a look at most the new posts on here for things of interest and a lot of them are just people looking for answers. Normally, you can spot the spam (like the one i reported this morning when someone posted they were selling a d700 with 24-70 and sb900 for $2500 and the picture was of a Canon 300mm f2.8).
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
4 Jul 2012 1:09PM

Quote:Does that include a home visit?


Only if they've included a photograph which is to the admin team's liking.

...................... didn't take long for this thread to degenerate did it! Grin
keithh e2
11 23.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
4 Jul 2012 1:11PM
I just wondered how you pre-vet for suspicious characteristics and what framework you base it on?
4 Jul 2012 1:14PM
I always liked the "participate in other ways before posting" system, where all new members must have a full and complete profile, and have uploaded 7 images before being allowed on the threads, or sending PM's. It may dissuade a few new likely members, but it works with preventing spammers, who are a pain in the bottom, lets be honest.

One site i am a member of has dozens of spammers every day, mostly using the blog features which appear on the homepage, spamming everything from discount websites, to textiles from india. Thankfully most of these spammers call themselves something like xyang chang or some other oriental sounding name, so are easy to spot, but it also helps that the members actively report these spammers by using the report button responsibly. Sadly the web host has no interest in really stopping the spammers joining and posting, so there are no limits to what new members can do, but i have seen the above system working successfully elsewhere.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
4 Jul 2012 1:28PM

Quote:I just wondered how you pre-vet for suspicious characteristics and what framework you base it on?


We have a huge database of blocked email domains, plus specific types of email addresses which use common email providers, which works automatically; this has been built up, manually, over about 10 years.

If they make it through the email block, the registration has to be approved by the admin team. Spammers will often give a link to the product or service in their proposed 'signature' - that is a dead giveaway. There are other more subtle things that you pick up once you have a nose for it, so to speak. The nature of the email address - even if not blocked, and even if they use (say) Hotmail - is another.

I can say, hand on heart, say no spammer has actually made it onto the site for at least 5 years. Yes, in that time we may have prevented one or two genuine people from joining..... but we're not going to lose any sleep about it. Wink
Nick_Hilton e2
9 562 2 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2012 1:49PM
I have noticed an increase in the number of new posters who have no images in their portfolio. I know people use the site for different reasons but surely some kind of requirement to contribute images to a photographic site should be considered.

Rightly or wrongly I use a person's portfolio and images to validate any kind of advice given.

I'm now waiting to be shot down Smile
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
4 Jul 2012 1:59PM

Quote:but surely some kind of requirement to contribute images to a photographic site should be considered.


I feel quite warmly towards the idea of auto-deletion of membership if they have not put up at least one image within a specfied period -say 30 days of registration. They will need to be warned they cannot participate in any forum activity until they have done so.

There should be a further period which elapses after the photo as been uploaded. This can be quite short - maybe a week.

Only the most determined spammer will put up a photo and then revisit a few days later to do the spamming, IMO.
Nick_Hilton e2
9 562 2 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2012 2:09PM
Carabosse,
I agree thats a good way forward. I know members pick and choose what they use on the site but feel its a basic requirement to post images.

Nick
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
4 Jul 2012 2:18PM
Yes, basically all new registrants to get the site in read-only mode until they have posted their first photo.

Actually..................... this wouldn't be a bad idea to apply generally and might be easier, IT-wise. I.e. if you have nothing in your pf you get the site as read-only.
Nick_Hilton e2
9 562 2 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2012 2:26PM
Thats an even better suggestion - Carabosse all you need is the boss to agree now Wink
answersonapostcard e2
10 12.7k 15 United Kingdom
4 Jul 2012 2:28PM
How do they post if its read only?

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