I think perhaps this forum should use the Newly Registered Users group, so any new poster has to post a sensible post that gets signed off by a moderator, before being allowed to post freely.

I personally think that’d be too harsh, but someone new to the forum seeking for help should maybe cope with one post only for the first… 15 minutes or so.

If you ‘view new posts’ you will see that some loony called pseupssigue has just become a member and sent 21 junk posts in half an hour.

It’s safe to guess that that’s what Campbell is referring to. You just have to keep two types of people in mind - the spam-o-bot nobody wants and the guy who’s new to IF and has a question.

The spam accounts are probably a big pain for the administrata to deal with (and pretty annoying to some live human users, although I find them mildly amusing most of the time) but whitelists, waiting periods, and that kind of thing can be huge, huge deterrents for new live human users, even on forums much more active than this one.

Grueslayer’s solution is probably the safest one I’ve heard of, but I think it’s still a really big risk.

Looking at the Register page, there’s not even a CAPTCHA set up. I know they’re annoying and also aren’t 100% reliable, but the combination of CAPTCHA and simple question (on my forum, simply “Type the number 7 in this box”) has dramatically reduced the amount of spam on my forums.

I should also add, blocking spammer IPs works well too. I’ve found they often come from the same limited IP ranges.

Well, there’s this: … f=31&t=941

I’m pretty sure there’s also a Honey Pot mod.

reCaptcha is built into phpBB3, but it’s been cracked already. Plus if it’s a human registration, that won’t help.

The only thing that I’ve ever had to stop 99.9% of spam traffic is to put a question on the forum that only someone interested in the forum’s content would know or care to go find out. I believe that idea has already been shot down.

It’s a shame there’s no way to auto-ban anyone who fills in an ICQ address.

It might be time to change the secret question, at any rate. The spam problem has gotten markedly worse here in the last two weeks.

One issue is that although we moderators can ban accounts, we can’t delete them altogether. So those accounts still show up in the members list, along with a link to whatever site they are hawking.

That may make this board relatively more attractive as a target.

Possibility that it may be time to re-evaluate some things…? Including mod permissions.

Related: Happy birthday, Merk! And a bunch of other people apparently!

…That is going to be the most awkward mass birthday party EVER.

Where dd all the birthdays go?

Robert Rothman

I banned them all - around 80 new accounts. Wish I’d taken a screenshot first.

Aww, man, you just made the average age around here about a decade older.

With the recent responses of ying-whatever, it’s safe to say that the forum spam has officially taken on a personal approach.

Moderation needs to be stepped up. Permissions need to be adjusted. What we have here is effectively a default phpbb3 install. (See the logo.)

This forum is obviously popular and becoming increasing more so. It needs to be run like a forum and moderated like a forum, not an offshoot of the IF community. Take the guys and gals who are here all the time and who are willing to take on the responsibility and make them moderators. Not only that, make them moderators with the ability to actually do something besides delete some posts.

I’m familiar with phpbb inside and out. I have been for years. It’s my favored “forum platform”. I’d make a horrible moderator here, because of the lenient nature of the community. I wouldn’t recommend myself, but I can point to a half-dozen people who would be fantastic if they were so inclined.

The spam hasn’t reached intolerable levels yet. But it will if some changes aren’t made. The more popular something becomes and the fewer safety nets that are in place, the more lucrative an avenue appears. We can ignore the spam, in its many forms, but we shouldn’t have to.

And for the love of Zork, please install Tapatalk. It’s just a Javascript include. It doesn’t cost anything. It won’t be painful at all. Modify the overall_header and flush the cache. Then it’s mobile goodness for anyone who wants to drop five bucks.

I’m starting to agree. I don’t know anything about phpbb, but I would happily volunteer to moderate for the purpose of zapping spammers’ accounts, if that could easily be done. (And that’s all I’d do.)

Yeah, spam is getting out of hand. We really need Merk to make any changes to the board, though.

It’s understandable if Merk isn’t paying too much attention to the board now after the horrific health problems he had; maybe one of the mods could petition him for an upgrade to administrator status? (There’s another adminstrator, rioshin, but I don’t think he’s active anymore.)