cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?

Champion
Posts: 2,187
Thanks: 463
Fixes: 22
Registered: ‎06-01-2017

Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?

For some time now I've been keeping an eye on new community members/users

(no, I'm not a stalker, just preparing myself)

And yes I know

  • these forums are open to non plusnet customers
  • you need to verify your 'account' before you can post
  • a lot more, but it's not relevant

 

However, why do certain humans (or are they) decide to register for these forums when chances are they'll never actually post on any subject?

I know the trigger point before they can PM any of us (I'll not mention how they unlock the PM function, just in case), but this is why I'm preparing...... Back in the days of the BT forums it was rare but some would register and PM the top several posters with the 'dear frend, i need munny urjentlee bekuz i need to pheed my familee, dont wurry I promiss to pa yoo bak' and thus I turned off the PM function.

I do still turn it off PM's on Plusnet too from time to time, when I see an influx of newbies, though this time I've not as for a while I've noted that they don't post so I know they can't PM me (or any other genuine forum members). I have and do still turn off the PM facility randomly but it's for other reasons too (again not relevant)

Thus, to stop newbies from sticking various websites in their profile:

(don't click these, as they all have different websites on their profile page)

https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66991
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66992
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66993
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66994
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66995
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66996
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66997
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66998
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/66999
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/67000
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/67001
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/67002
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/67003
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/67004
nothing pops out for this user, yet
https://community.plus.net/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/67006

 

Could parts of the profile page to locked down until either they post (and it doesn't get taken down) or they verify their account and then it allows them to include websites in their profile page?

(though should this also be approved?)

I guess having 67,000+ users looks impressive, but how many are genuine?

11 REPLIES 11
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 16,571
Thanks: 6,797
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?

Hmm, all consecutive user IDs.

Rather looks like someone might have a forum account creation bot.

Just knew that there were very good reasons why this forum's predecessor was tied in to the CRM.

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 3,461
Thanks: 5,798
Fixes: 116
Registered: ‎29-09-2011

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?


@DS wrote:

Could parts of the profile page to locked down until either they post (and it doesn't get taken down) or they verify their account and then it allows them to include websites in their profile page?

I don't think we can do that, but it does make me wonder why we dont have some kind of anti bot measures (like Captcha) our mods do a stirling job of identifying potential spammers and blocking their sign ups, as do the spam filters. 

 

I can't see what advantage these people are even gaining as who (apart from you Wink @DS) is going to go to a profile page of a user that's never posted and then interact with their URL? Maybe I'm missing something?

 

(though should this also be approved?)

I guess having 67,000+ users looks impressive, but how many are genuine?


We never publish registered user numbers, we don't actually view it as a good metric even internally. We use 

Page views, Unique Visits, Visits, Topics & Replies as a bench mark for community activity.  

 Jono H
 Plusnet Community Manager
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 16,571
Thanks: 6,797
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?

it does make me wonder why we don't have some kind of anti bot measures (like Captcha)

Or indeed a honeypot to catch bots unaware.

One for Lithium?

Champion
Posts: 2,187
Thanks: 463
Fixes: 22
Registered: ‎06-01-2017

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?

I don't think we can do that, but it does make me wonder why we dont have some kind of anti bot measures (like Captcha) our mods do a stirling job of identifying potential spammers and blocking their sign ups, as do the spam filters. 

It needs something imho

I can't see what advantage these people are even gaining as who (apart from you Wink @DS) is going to go to a profile page of a user that's never posted and then interact with their URL? Maybe I'm missing something?

Neither can I, unless they sit on their Id for a few weeks and then start spamming - IDK

Someones got to keep an eye on these so-and-so's. Though the main reason for looking is that I have had a couple of instances whereby the forums were a little slow and the common factor was several new users (in bulk).

I have no idea why those robot signups would slow things down briefly, but I couldn't see any other reason.

We never publish registered user numbers

Define publish ;):

how many are real.PNG

(but how many are genuine users....?)

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 3,461
Thanks: 5,798
Fixes: 116
Registered: ‎29-09-2011

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?


@DS wrote:
Define publish ;):

Sorry I meant as a measure of how the forums are doing. I've actually asked for a complete redesign of the home page as there is lots about it I don't like. That is one of the things.

 Jono H
 Plusnet Community Manager
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 24,566
Thanks: 4,418
Fixes: 1,128
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?


@DS wrote:

If Plusnet want to do anything with this or not?

 


What you can't see is if there has been any action taken against the users you've linked to, i.e. whether they have been banned or not. 

Customer / Moderator
If it helped click the thumb
If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'
Champion
Posts: 2,187
Thanks: 463
Fixes: 22
Registered: ‎06-01-2017

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?

Huh

<whispers> I understand what you mean Wink

(and if they can't post I can only assume this was done before I highlighted this?)

I've not click on the links since posting, and won't bother going back to check too Smiley

It has been going on for a while, but gave others a chance to mention it first, but nobody did!!

 

Best not mention 01:45 last night either....

not again 2.PNG

oops, too late Azn

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?

One option would be to set up a housekeeping task that deleted accounts that have not been used within (28, 30, 31) days of sign up. It shouldn’t be beyond the skills of the DBA to set this up, and adding this information to the sign up pages may well put some off, saving time and effort for others involved.

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 20,453
Thanks: 3,812
Fixes: 423
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?

To add to what @dvorak said; we have various tools to help us spot potential spammers and can take action before many are even verified.

 

One or two occasionally get to post but are quickly jumped on or reported. I don't think we have had a major spam issue for a long time.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Champion
Posts: 2,187
Thanks: 463
Fixes: 22
Registered: ‎06-01-2017

Re: Community sign up process .... time for a new approach?


@Anonymous wrote:

One option would be to set up a housekeeping task that deleted accounts that have not been used within (28, 30, 31) days of sign up. It shouldn’t be beyond the skills of the DBA to set this up, and adding this information to the sign up pages may well put some off, saving time and effort for others involved.


I actually put that very same 'solution' to BT when I used to be on there (when I got several unwarranted PM's asking for financial assistance).

 

I know the Toshiba site used to do the same, I once joined and after 6 months or so they asked me to either sign in to keep the ID alive, or do nothing whereby they'd 'kill' it off. I went with the latter.

 

we have various tools to help us spot potential spammers and can take action before many are even verified.

Glad to hear it Smiley

 

I don't think we have had a major spam issue for a long time.

Assuming you were tooled up before I started this topic, I hope you're right Smiley

(though the numbers of newbies - I had been 'watching them' for a while before mentioning it was a concern of mine - I was thinking they were getting ready to bombard us)

 

But it looks like we're in safe hands Wink