Limit amount of threads new members can create

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,899
34,411
The Far Horizon
Can we get a limit of how many new threads a new member can create in a set amount of time? It may help prevent spam as in the attached image. Currently this user is up to 25 threads in about 20ish minutes.
From what little I can see of the threads - and their titles - they strike me as a clear example of spam, a scatter-gun spam attack hoping to seed (and get responses to) as many threads as possible.

Rather than a blanket proposal suggesting that the number of threads made by new members be limited, I would recommend instead that any such thread be reported. And report the OP - the member - I cannot read the name on your screenshot, or I would do it myself.
 
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RecentlyConverted

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2015
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From what little I can see of the threads - and their titles - they strike me as a clear example of spam, a scatter-gun spam attack hoping to seed (and get responses to) as many threads as possible.

Rather than a blanket proposal suggesting that the number of threads made by new members be limited, I would recommend instead that any such thread be reported. And report the OP - the member - I cannot read the name on your screenshot, or I would do it myself.
I agree. No point penalizing all new members because of a few rogue members. New members may be new to Apple devices and have a lot of questions. I report spam when I see it.
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,426
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Behind the Lens, UK
Can we get a limit of how many new threads a new member can create in a set amount of time? It may help prevent spam as in the attached image. Currently this user is up to 25 threads in about 20ish minutes.
Did you use the report button? I did. I always do when I see spam to help the mods out.

I think they do a good job in clamping down on spammers most of the time.
However if it was possible to limit the threads you can create in a day, it might reduce their work load.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,899
34,411
The Far Horizon
Did you use the report button? I did. I always do when I see spam to help the mods out.

I think they do a good job in clamping down on spammers most of the time.
However if it was possible to limit the threads you can create in a day, it might reduce their work load.
Exactly.

Whenever I see anything that could be construed as spam, I report it, and it is invariably dealt with by the mods in due course.
 

timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
1,773
1,475
Portland
Rather than address all of the replies individually, I'll try to compose a reply that covers all of them. This new member who created all of these threads I believe got up to 36 or possibly more threads. I reported each individual thread which required me to wait approximately 30 seconds between each report. I understand that you don't want to limit new members, but does somebody really need to create more than 30 threads in an hour? This has happened on multiple occasions and I've gone through at least 3-4 times reporting each individual thread. Here's another thread in this forum in which the reply is to just "report". Is there a better way to mass select threads to report all at once?

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/ios-11-forum-spam-issue.2096741/

Perhaps maybe restrict new members to say 10 threads per hour until they get to 100 posts and then allow this restriction to be lifted?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,207
9,910
California
Is there a better way to mass select threads to report all at once?
Are these all spam posts from the same account? If so, there is no need for you to report every post. Just report one and mention you noticed the person has made 12 posts or whatever that all look like spam.

There is no harm in your reporting each post, but you don't need to.
 

timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
1,773
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Portland
Are these all spam posts from the same account? If so, there is no need for you to report every post. Just report one and mention you noticed the person has made 12 posts or whatever that all look like spam.

There is no harm in your reporting each post, but you don't need to.
Yes, in the instances that I've noticed it was all from the same user account. That's good to know that each individual thread doesn't need to be reported separately.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,899
34,411
The Far Horizon
Rather than address all of the replies individually, I'll try to compose a reply that covers all of them. This new member who created all of these threads I believe got up to 36 or possibly more threads. I reported each individual thread which required me to wait approximately 30 seconds between each report. I understand that you don't want to limit new members, but does somebody really need to create more than 30 threads in an hour? This has happened on multiple occasions and I've gone through at least 3-4 times reporting each individual thread. Here's another thread in this forum in which the reply is to just "report". Is there a better way to mass select threads to report all at once?

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/ios-11-forum-spam-issue.2096741/

Perhaps maybe restrict new members to say 10 threads per hour until they get to 100 posts and then allow this restriction to be lifted?
When I see a thread that I suspect is spam, I will always check the profile of the OP; almost invariably, it is a "newbie", with one post (and thread) - who has often just joined the forum that very day - and the post will come with the usual suspicious links to websites elsewhere advertising stuff. Therefore, I report it - always.

If, on a rare occasion, there are two or three posts in that account, I check them - and they are pretty much always the same thing - a cloned replication of the thread I first noticed. And so, I report it.

This doesn't take long, and - once you recognise the signs that spell 'spam' - it becomes relatively obvious.

The vast majority of spam accounts are by 'newbies', yes, and those with multiple threads simply haven't been picked up.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that all newbies should be considered potential spammers, not least when you consider that the vast majority of members - genuine members that is - of MR make between one to five posts.

Personally, I would be loathe to see measures instigated that would serve to make the forum more stringent in this regard.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,899
34,411
The Far Horizon
The other thing is that we are just now in the middle of the Christmas holiday; therefore, when I report posts/threads at this time of year, (and I reported a few today), I assume that it will take mods a bit longer to get around to dealing with them than might normally be the case.
 
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timeconsumer

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
1,773
1,475
Portland
When I see a thread that I suspect is spam, I always check the profile of the OP; almost invariably, it is a "newbie", with one post (and thread) and the usual suspicious links to websites elsewhere advertising stuff. I report it - always.

If, on a rare occasion, there are two or three posts in that account, I check them - and they are always the same thing - a cloned replication of the thread I first noticed. And so, I report it.

This doesn't take long, and - once you recognise the signs that spell 'spam' - it becomes relatively obvious.

The vast majority of spam accounts are by 'newbies', yes, and those with multiple threads simply haven't been picked up.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that all newbies should be considered potential spammers, not least when you consider that the vast majority of members - genuine members that is - of MR make between one to five posts.

Personally, I would be loathe to see measures instigated that would serve to make the forum more stringent in this regard.
You're correct that these threads were from a "newbie" and yes it was obvious that it was spam. I was just trying to suggest an implementation that would help out the moderators. I don't want to restrict the new members to how much they can post, just how many new threads that can be created in an hour. I believe the politics forum has a requirement of 100 posts and 1 month of membership, perhaps something similar could be implemented within that rule to help prevent spam. Normally, I'm not a fan of implementing restriction but if it could benefit the site as a whole then it might not be too bad.

Also, to really find the best number, somebody could probably run a SQL query to determine how many instances where a new member has created more than X amount of threads in 1 hour to see if my suggestion would be feasible or not.

I just looked at your reports from last night, and your poor mouse finger must be worn to a nub! :eek::D

Thanks for your help with the reports.
Indeed! And now that I know the trick is to just report one and note that they've posted more than one thread it won't be so bad in the future!

The other thing is that we are just now in the middle of the Christmas holiday; therefore, when I report posts/threads at this time of year, (and I reported a few today), I assume that it will take mods a bit longer to get around to dealing with them than might normally be the case.
To be fair, they did have them removed in a reasonable amount of time. I'd probably say within an hour of being reported. Hopefully it doesn't sound like I'm complaining about the mod team, because that's not it at all! I feel they do a great job on here, I just wanted to open a discussion.
 

millerj123

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2008
1,883
1,402
The other thing is that we are just now in the middle of the Christmas holiday; therefore, when I report posts/threads at this time of year, (and I reported a few today), I assume that it will take mods a bit longer to get around to dealing with them than might normally be the case.
It must've been a busy morning. I know I reported at least one today, too.
 
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06tb06

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2017
122
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2,711 miles from Apple Campus
Can we get a limit of how many new threads a new member can create in a set amount of time? It may help prevent spam as in the attached image. Currently this user is up to 25 threads in about 20ish minutes.
Weird. I saw these posts when I logged in yesterday. I thought it was someone posting in a forum under the wrong language/location. I remember thinking "Wow, there must be a Chinese forum on MacRumors."
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,132
16,778
Helloooooo! Rate limit!

Nobody can post that quickly.
I don’t understand why anyone would be against this, honestly, and it would help out the moderators. I can’t think of a scenario where anyone, newbie or otherwise, would need to create 20 threads in an hour.
That's basically it--it's not really about new users per se, but about rate limiting new thread creation basically to prevent flooding. Normally people don't need to create even half a dozen, let alone more, threads in the span of something like half an hour. If there are rate limits of some sort in place it can help only have a few spam posts from a poster in a period of an hour or two, rather have some forums flooded with dozens of such threads in a short period of time.

Reporting is all good, and is definitely the main thing to do, but limiting the impact of it all in the time that it takes someone to look at reports (especially during holiday periods or something similar) would certainly be helpful as well all essentially without any effect on limiting regular/normal users.
 
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ericgtr12

macrumors 65816
Mar 19, 2015
1,289
7,891
Not sure about the this particular board software but in most of the others you can make it so new members can "reply only" for either a set amount of time or until they make so many replies, or both. So for example, a user must be registered for 5 days and have a minimum of 5 replies before they're allowed to "create" a new topic. As the owner of some very active boards (not MR active but active) I found this quite effective at curbing spam. Yes, a user may post junk just to reach the limit but I found that to be pretty rare and in most cases they were not spammers.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,899
34,411
The Far Horizon
Not sure about the this particular board software but in most of the others you can make it so new members can "reply only" for either a set amount of time or until they make so many replies, or both. So for example, a user must be registered for 5 days and have a minimum of 5 replies before they're allowed to "create" a new topic. As the owner of some very active boards (not MR active but active) I found this quite effective at curbing spam. Yes, a user may post junk just to reach the limit but I found that to be pretty rare and in most cases they were not spammers.
As far as I know, you need five posts before you are able to DM someone on the forum.

I've seen the stats for this forum - @Doctor Q does an excellent job of putting stuff together twice a year - and has tabulated this in a pie chart, if memory serves.

Anyway, if my recollection is accurate, something in excess of 90% of members made only one post, or between one and five posts, and, obviously, - while some were spam, many, if not most, were not.

My sense is that most 'genuine' individuals join the forum because they have a question they wish to ask about an Apple product that they may have bought, and personally, while I think your post (and point) is well made and argued, I'd hate to see something brought in which discourages the participation of those who have joined in order to get answers to questions they may have, or which may serve to make them feel less welcome.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,426
25,237
Behind the Lens, UK
Not sure about the this particular board software but in most of the others you can make it so new members can "reply only" for either a set amount of time or until they make so many replies, or both. So for example, a user must be registered for 5 days and have a minimum of 5 replies before they're allowed to "create" a new topic. As the owner of some very active boards (not MR active but active) I found this quite effective at curbing spam. Yes, a user may post junk just to reach the limit but I found that to be pretty rare and in most cases they were not spammers.
Most newbies come here to get a problem sorted. If they can't post a new thread, I suspect many simply wouldn't come.
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
50,899
34,411
The Far Horizon
Most newbies come here to get a problem sorted. If they can't post a new thread, I suspect many simply wouldn't come.
Exactly. Agreed.

That is what prompted me to join the forum - I had just treated myself to a belated birthday gift of a MBP and, as someone who had 'switched', I had some questions.
 
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