Why is there automatic approval of new members?

Comments related to the operation of NitrateVille.
User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6377
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Why is there automatic approval of new members?

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:09 pm

Yes, I realize that a lot of new members want to say hello immediately. And yes, I realize that to require approval is asking more work of the administrators. But over the last week or so I have notified Mike Gebert of three or four spammers. Would the people here prefer to avoid the spammers by having one of the administrators approve a new member before he can post -- assuming that this is a possible option -- or simply go through the task of notifying the administrators?'

As I see there is a polling option, let's see if it works.

Bob

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:29 pm

My concern when the forum was brand new and unproven was that if it was a hassle to sign up, the well-known AMS folks I wanted to attract first off would be put off at having to wait for approval. Or even if they weren't put off, they might never come back if that impetus to make an initial post is delayed. I think it's important still that we make it easy and welcoming for new folks-- who knows, we might get a little bump this week from folks at Cinefest finding out about us. I'd be sorry if half of them didn't come back because their first experience didn't actually let them post, but made them wait.

I hope that in the next week or so, a friend who knows PhpBB better than me will be able to install an antispam mod which has significantly reduced the number of them my food board gets, and hopefully will do the same here. (Though I think their claim of going from 20 a day to 1 a week is a bit high; more like 20 a day to 1 or 2 a day, which is still a vast improvement.)

However, spammers, like telemarketers, squeegee men at street corners, etc. can be discouraged but probably can never be eliminated entirely. The best approach for individual users is, don't open any threads that don't seem like they're likely to be about classic film (since they're called "hot free asian sexxxx v!agra"). I appreciate the reporting, though I also check the board multiple times a day, and know others do too, pruning the member list and checking to see if there's anything funny in the new posts. So even if they do manage to post something, it doesn't last for long.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

User avatar
larrys66diner
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:22 pm
Location: Hannibal, Missouri
Contact:

Unread post by larrys66diner » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:47 pm

I must attest that Membership Approval can be a deterrent, when you're trying to attract new members. I have had that same experience over on my board, as well. There have been times in which I've had the Approval option activated, but for the most part, I like an open forum.

I have a very great Staff at my board, who are constantly "policing" it to make sure nothing gets out of hand; fortunately, we've never had any major issues at the Diner! :wink: In addition, we seem to do "shiftwork", because I have two members of my Staff that are off and on during the wee hours of the night when I'm in bed; during the day, another couple of my Staff members and myself are off and on quite a bit. So that works out well too! :wink:

Richard P. May
Posts: 552
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Unread post by Richard P. May » Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:41 am

I made my first post today, with some information about Technicolor history. After submitting it, I was notified it was being held due to a "forbidden word" having to be reviewed by a moderator.
I have no objection to this, but after carefully looking it over, can't figure out what word could be considered objectionable.
I hope you let me know.

RPM
Dick May

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:52 am

Yeah, we're still learning how the antispam thing works and adjusting it. It even looks for portions of words-- someone recently got dinged for "Specialist" because it contains "Cialis." The good news is, it only does this for your first two posts; once moderators have let two posts go by, it assumes you must be legit and leaves you alone. So I'll go approve your other one, it will appear, and then you're over the threshhold. Welcome!

Update: done.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:01 pm

I suppose I should clarify for the purposes of the original post: there is no longer automatic approval of new members, but neither are they automatically held back from posting. The antispam software evaluates their posts and the homepages they link to in their profiles to see if there are banned words there. However, almost anybody with a decent-sized site will probably end up getting flagged, just by the law of averages. So some folks will get held up for no apparent reason that they can see.

However, the moderators can then review the posts and pass them, and as noted, once you're past two posts, the antispam software ignores you.

I think overall this is the better of both worlds-- people have a reasonable chance of getting the instant gratification of posting immediately, if not they shouldn't be held up too long (though I realize they may be frustrated by multiple attempts to sign up or post), and the porn spam and spammer registrations-- which until this was installed were a continuing feature of this site-- have been deterred completely, so far.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

Richard P. May
Posts: 552
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Unread post by Richard P. May » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:50 pm

Mike,

I am well past two posts. I entered some background information in the "Who Are You" thread and got bounced again.
You might want to look into this.
Dick May

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:55 pm

Hmm, I will do that.

Update: Okay, I think I see the answer. I had forgotten that the setting was "At least 2 posts and member 1 day(s)." Which you haven't been yet. So I changed that to member zero days, I think the 2 post threshhold will keep spammers at bay (spammers might be able to get around it by quickly posting innocuous stuff, then posting spam... we'll see if they really do that).

I'll send you your text back in a private message (located just to Miriam Hopkins' left, that is, your right), please try posting it again and let's see if that was the cause. Thanks.

Update 2: I see that worked. Now we'll see if that change has opened the door to any malefactors; hopefully not.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

Post Reply