In the last few months we are witnessing a continues cyber attacks on this site in the image of new topics that promise us a cheap Viagra nude picture of various people, saving costs and so on. While usually I have nothing against these topics it is (surprise surprise) not the reason why I visit this forum.
In order to stop this cyber attack I suggest that gh will establish a status of a golden member. Only golden members will be allowed to post new topics whereas regular members will only be allow to post replies on existing topics.
All users that joined the community before the cyber attacks begun will automatically become golden members. New members will have to wait two months and post at least 10 posts (T&F related) before they receive their golden status. By then gh can weed out most of the trolls.
Even putting on a 10-post minimum (or two) before starting a thread would help. However, there is also a string of comments with links as well. This actually creates the problem that I do not know if a topic with new posts includes real or ad postings, even if I look at the most recent poster.
Maybe a broader group of posters could be given authority to suspend a topic into a waiting bin where the true mods can ax them, but that might not be feasible on this kind of software.
How about a waiting period to be able to comment on posts. And a longer one to be able to create your own threads. And, since the software is not likely to be real smart, passing some sort of track and field exam before doing so.
Please keep in mind that the message board software is just a standard phpBB package and most of those ideas are not possible within the software. It's always hard to find the right balance between things that will keep bots away, versus driving the existing users crazy.
polevaultpower wrote:Please keep in mind that the message board software is just a standard phpBB package and most of those ideas are not possible within the software. It's always hard to find the right balance between things that will keep bots away, versus driving the existing users crazy.
I'm currently involved in a cricket messageboard which is a phpBB package, and we had a two-post or three-post pre-moderation facility for new posters. It just meant that mods and admins would busily trawl through new posts to either approve them or disapprove and ban spammers. But it does make the messageboard much cleaner for its users....
The first has changed its policy so that all new posters have to be approved by admins before they can start posting. The second has an automatic registration, but the first two posts have to be approved by admins before they appear on the board. Both strategies have effectively prevented spam from appearing on the board.
I can offer further advice if needed, because this is my favourite athletics messageboard....
CAPTCHAs do next to nothing against bots. We have one in place at registration. They just annoy humans. Adding custom programs is risky because they often don't work when you upgrade the bb software.
Requiring admins to approve new members is a LOT of work when there are probably over 100 bots attempting to join the board daily, the result is that there would often be a big delay for new members, and frankly it's not always easy to tell human from bot, it's not a foolproof system.
It's not _my_ message board, it's up to gh how he wants to deal with things. I just help delete the spam and the bots. Just trying to give you all some insight as to why it's not always as simple as do this or that.
as pvp notes, it's a multi-layered problem with no easy way out. One company we have been working with on other things on the site steadfastly refuses to have anything to do with phpBB because they say it can consume far too much of their time.
So we muddle on. Stricter signups coming into play; hopefully not without alienating people.
The sad reality, of course, is that so relatively few people avail themselves of chatting here, it's not worth throwing a fortune in the way of our meager resources at the problem.
At another board I am on, the administrators made a few people moderators that had the power to delete posts. These guys were trusted to delete objectionable material and it works very well.
I would be happy to volunteer, but I don't know that I have established the kind of trust required. I haven't really posted much even though I was on the board back when it was blue. I have had to create new idenities twice on this color as my name vanished/stopped working (losing about total of 200 post count for Pentathlete and Pentathlete2). I'm usually on in the evening PST. I see at least one good post that needs deleting right now.
Marlow wrote:speaking of these boards, why does my left margin ad (a city street) take up 1/3 of the monitor now?!
Yes, it is annoying. Far more than those silly bots. You have to keep centering it each time you change a page.
are you saying that the Ad doesn't appear on both sides of the forum? If so, it's obviously platform dependent. No problem on my Mac in either Firefox or Safari.
It we're talking IE on a PC, which I think is still the largest single group, then we def. have a problem.
gh I am on a Mac with Safari and the ad is taking up 1/3 of the left of my screen, making the board off-center. It does appear on the right as well, but smaller, and I have to scroll to see it. This is new since this morning and pretty annoying.
Latest Firefox; centered but if I make the size larger it gets asymmetric; narrow on the right. Maybe the people might try doing Control -, to zoom out. [or View/Zoom....]. I do have a large screen [it would list as a 23" but is 19" wide, 1680 x 1050 for the Display, Default Size (Small)]
26mi235 wrote:Latest Firefox; centered but if I make the size larger it gets asymmetric; narrow on the right. Maybe the people might try doing Control -, to zoom out. [or View/Zoom....]. I do have a large screen [it would list as a 23" but is 19" wide, 1680 x 1050 for the Display, Default Size (Small)]
Sorry but that doesn't work at all. Yes, it is centered at a screen font that is so small I can barely see it. Zoom in and it all shifts right. This only started a few hours ago. Is it this ad doing it?