Consider restricting a new member’s ability to post a thread

TiggrToo

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2017
2,836
5,983
Out there...way out there
You should consider restricting new member’s from being able to start threads right away. I think it would help cut down on the spammers ability to spam the forums again and again, as has been the case today.
I seem to remember this was mentioned a while ago and discounted. Can’t remember the thread in question but it ended with the mods stating that there’d be no change.
 

TiggrToo

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2017
2,836
5,983
Out there...way out there
If that is the case, that is a shame because the spammers are able to get away with a lot of needless spamming across the forums.
Here’s a previous thread for reference:

 
  • Like
Reactions: ericgtr12

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
52,986
36,215
The Far Horizon
You should consider restricting new member’s from being able to start threads right away. I think it would help cut down on the spammers ability to spam the forums again and again, as has been the case today.
Off-hand, I cannot recall the exact percentage breakdown - perhaps @Doctor Q might know, but my memory is that the vast majority of those who join this site make one post, and an extraordinary further percentage of the total membership make between one and five posts.

These are not spam posts, but instead, are people who join the site in good faith, motivated by the fact that they want an answer to a question, often to do with the fact that they have just bought an Apple computer - or product -and have questions that they would like to have answered.

Most of those who have just joined the site will not know enough to post in a thread that may already have addressed the question they wish to have answered; and, for the few who do manage to resurrect such a thread, the occasionally unfriendly responses (necro thread; zombie thread) may discourage further engagement.

I joined the forum - my first ever online community - because I had bought a Apple computer, a MBP, for myself as a belated birthday present twelve years ago, and, as a "switcher" and totally unfamiliar with Apple, I had questions I wished to have answered, and a search revealed that this site was a good place for that.

In common with many others, I lurked awhile before opening an account, and, had I not been able to pose my questions (and have them answered), I doubt that I would have lingered long.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: mw360 and JAYSON20

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors P6
Original poster
Sep 21, 2012
15,393
15,519
In the middle of several books.
Off-hand, I cannot recall the exact percentage breakdown - perhaps @Doctor Q might know, but my memory is that the vast majority of those who join this site make one post, and an extraordinary further percentage of the total membership make between one and five posts.

These are not spam posts, but instead, are people who join the site in good faith, motivated by the fact that they want an answer t a question, often to do with the fact that they have just bought an Apple product and have questions that they would like answered.

Most of those who have just joined the site will not know enough to post in a thread that may already have addressed the quest they wish to have answered; and, for the few who do manage to resurrect such a thread, the occasionally unfriendly responses (necro thread; zombie thread) may discourage further engagement.

I joined the forum - my first ever online community - because I had bought a Apple computer, a MBP, for myself as a belated birthday present twelve years ago, and, as a "switcher" and totally unfamiliar with Apple, I had questions I wished to have answered, and a search revealed that this site was a good place for that.

In common with many others, I lurked awhile before opening an account, and, had I not been able to pose my questions (and have them answered), I doubt that I would have lingered long.
Have you notified the forum has been hit hard most of the day with spammers creating threads in almost every forum? That is the kind of thing my post was speaking to. Preventing a new forum member from creating a thread until after x posts or moderator vetting wouldn’t be that bad, in my opinion. It would help prevent the kind of thing that has been happening today.
 
  • Like
Reactions: millerj123

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
52,986
36,215
The Far Horizon
Have you notified the forum has been hit hard most of the day with spammers creating threads in almost every forum? That is the kind of thing my post was speaking to. Preventing a new forum member from creating a thread until after x posts or moderator vetting wouldn’t be that bad, in my opinion. It would help prevent the kind of thing that has been happening today.
I report a spam thread/post whenever I see them.

Over the years, I have reported many such posts.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
49,560
18,100
Some sort of new thread creation rate limits can potentially be useful, in particular for newer users, but perhaps even beyond that.

Something like no more than one new thread every few minutes and/or perhaps if some number of new threads have been posted by the same user in a short period of time then a longer period of time would be needed to post the next new thread for the next day or so (kind of along the lines of how iOS devices deal with incorrect passcodes).

Something along those lines could at least considerably slow down mass spammers providing more time for any needed moderation before too many sections are flooded with too many new threads. At the same time regular users wouldn't really be inconvenienced as the vast majority, if not pretty much everyone, would more than likely never run into those limitations in practice.
 
Last edited:

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,923
5,935
You should consider restricting new member’s from being able to start threads right away.
I don't think that new members should be restricted from posting a thread, as I am sure many new members become members just to post a thread to have a question or problem answered or solved.

But, I could see having a restriction on the number of thread a new member could create to prevent spam. Maybe have the number increase after a short waiting period.
 

laptech

macrumors 6502
Apr 26, 2013
446
663
Earth
Fortunately some moderator was awake to deal with the recent spam. I used to be a moderator for a online game company a few years ago and it was very common place to see forum spam posts appear at specific times of the day in the hope that there would be no moderator awake at the time to deal with it. The forum was covered 24/7, majority of mods were around during day time hours and one person would cover the night time, just to cover any spam stuff.

Spammers were always trying to find the right time to spam the forum but it never worked, because there was always a mod on duty :)
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,875
34,900
With a site of this magnitude, there’s just too many -loopholes and gateways- for new members to create a workaround for A thread (Rather if they create one or participate). I think the distinct advantage with the site like this, there’s moderators that are online with 24/7 coverage from all over the world with staggeredtime zones, and I just use the ‘report button‘ without hesitation for anything that I think is a violation, and let the moderators decide the outcome from that point forward.
 

ericgtr12

macrumors 65816
Mar 19, 2015
1,412
9,642
One alternative would be installing Content Creation Limits (from ThemeHouse and I'm pretty sure @arn is familiar with their work), this little addon is worth its weight in gold IMO. It can be used in conjunction with a simple usergroup promotion to move them on to the normal registered users group after a period of time.

Features
  • Control how many posts, media, resources and conversation messages can be made in a period of time
  • Determine the number of posts made in a given time period by forum
  • Limit how often conversation messages and other types of content can be sent or posted
It's hard to see a downside here, unless there's a specific need to allow new users to post unlimited new topics then applying rules like this makes sense, and as long as it's not abused the user will be none the wiser.
 

annk

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 18, 2004
14,093
5,766
Somewhere over the rainbow
Genuine question: Is this a big problem, other than the temporary irritation, as long as the filter and mods deal with spam within a reasonable amount of time after it's posted?

I'm asking because it seems a shame to put more limits on new users when the problem is spam, not the new users. I do see the logic behind the request, but the combo of any more limits on new users plus the potential problems of plug-ins for future updates seem a high price to pay.

That said, for all I know, the suggestion made by @ericgtr12 might not be experienced as inconvenient by new users or have any downside at all as far as updates go.
 

ericgtr12

macrumors 65816
Mar 19, 2015
1,412
9,642
Genuine question: Is this a big problem, other than the temporary irritation, as long as the filter and mods deal with spam within a reasonable amount of time after it's posted?

I'm asking because it seems a shame to put more limits on new users when the problem is spam, not the new users. I do see the logic behind the request, but the combo of any more limits on new users plus the potential problems of plug-ins for future updates seem a high price to pay.

That said, for all I know, the suggestion made by @ericgtr12 might not be experienced as inconvenient by new users or have any downside at all as far as updates go.
IMO this is THE question here and one for those who operate the board. In the end do you guys really need to implement a new solution if you can simply remove a few spam posts manually every now and then? Seems like it would be easy enough for users to report/ignore these posts.

Personally, I've never been disrupted by spam here, I just love the tech/solutions side of message boards so thought I would speak up with this suggestion.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
52,986
36,215
The Far Horizon
One alternative would be installing Content Creation Limits (from ThemeHouse and I'm pretty sure @arn is familiar with their work), this little addon is worth its weight in gold IMO. It can be used in conjunction with a simple usergroup promotion to move them on to the normal registered users group after a period of time.

Features
  • Control how many posts, media, resources and conversation messages can be made in a period of time
  • Determine the number of posts made in a given time period by forum
  • Limit how often conversation messages and other types of content can be sent or posted
It's hard to see a downside here, unless there's a specific need to allow new users to post unlimited new topics then applying rules like this makes sense, and as long as it's not abused the user will be none the wiser.
There are some very good ideas in this post, should the staff wish to take such a path.

Personally, I'm not at all in favour of anything that would prevent a new member from posting threads, because the vast majority of members join to ask a question or find help in solving a problem with their Apple devices.

As the stats show, most new members typically make one post, and many of these have opened an account and are simply because they are seeking help or information to do with their purchase of an Apple product.

Anything that would curtail this - and thus, most unfairly, punish a new user, or make it more difficult for him or her to use the forum for this purpose, is not something with which I would agree.

However, setting a limit on - or capping - the number of threads that someone with fewer than say, five or ten posts, could make in a day, or, setting a time limit (no more than five threads in an hour, or day) for someone with fewer than five or ten posts, would easily address the perceived spam problem.

Yes, I find them - the spam post - annoying - who doesn't? - but, whenever I see one, I simply immediately report it, and it is usually dealt with pretty promptly.

Genuine question: Is this a big problem, other than the temporary irritation, as long as the filter and mods deal with spam within a reasonable amount of time after it's posted?

I'm asking because it seems a shame to put more limits on new users when the problem is spam, not the new users. I do see the logic behind the request, but the combo of any more limits on new users plus the potential problems of plug-ins for future updates seem a high price to pay.

That said, for all I know, the suggestion made by @ericgtr12 might not be experienced as inconvenient by new users or have any downside at all as far as updates go.
Agree completely.

And very well said.

Generally speaking much of the spam is caught before members see it, and while we had some recent occurrences for a couple of types of spam they generally get zapped fairly quickly.
Again, agree completely.
 
Last edited:

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,110
1,256
St. Louis, MO
My old boss would call the IT department every. single. morning. to have them unlock his email account. It made me chuckle because I would have spent an hour or whatever to fix the problem so I didn't have to deal with it again–an hour now vs. 5 minutes every workday. I try to automate so many parts of my life, finding new efficiencies to free up my time. It is something I'm weirdly passionate about and I get that not everyone is that way.

But, just like how my old boss would call IT everyday blew my mind, not implementing such a simple solution to prevent spam confounds me. Limiting a new user to X number of posts/threads in a day absolutely does not have to impact any authentic user's experience here if X is the right number, and it is my opinion that it wouldn't even be that difficult to find X.

But, hey, it's not my forum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: G5isAlive
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.