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Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by timeconsumer, Dec 25, 2017.
It's almost hilarious at this point.
After nearly two decades of running the site, the staff must not think this policy change would be beneficial for their volunteer jobs.
Why would there be blowback from users about something that pretty much no real user would actually run into?
I don't see it that way. While this is just my personal opinion, I think the current mechinism works fine. I think it has more affect of negatively impacting actual users then hampering spammers. The spam tools we have delete all posts at once and bans the user, so its not like the moderators have to individually delete each post or thread, its all taken care of at once.
I've joined (and left) forums that imposed posting restrictions on new members, I felt it was not the best way to welcome new users looking for help, and so I left.
For me, its how do we want to present Macrumors, a site that welcomes new members? Or one that tells them they are not worthy to interact with us yet? I cannot think of any positive that can come from dissuading discussion and interaction.
This below is why it is hilarious...
...as if they were diametrically opposed. No one, in any way, is suggesting anything that would dissuade discussion and interaction among actual members, new or old. You can't think of one positive that would come from this? Are you kidding me? How do you want to present MacRumors? How about as a forum that doesn't have an entire page filled up with spam links r e g u l a r l y?
"Hey guys, here is an idea that would make your jobs a bit easier."
"No thanks. We're fine. We've been doing this for 20 years."
"How things have always been" is the enemy of progress and, in other situations, is gravely dangerous.
@Krayzkat is right. I'm done with this conversation before it causes me a headache.
I've also bowed out, as I simply can't comprehend how some of the suggestions above would do any harm whatsoever.
They would only make mods' jobs easier and prevent the PAGES of flooded spam that pop up every other week or so (sometimes more).
Yet it's being argued against? I simply don't get it.
All I said was that it really doesn't make our job easier, and it does present certain negatives. I'm not saying we've never done that in 20 years so we shouldn't, but rather I'm not seeing the positives out way the negatives.
You're entitled to your opinion just as I am.
I guess I don't quite follow how a mechanism to prevent flooding of new threads that essentially no real user would run into would affect any users if they won't run into it in their regular use?
I honestly can't see how putting a new thread limit on new users would dissuade discussion or tell people they aren't worthy of interaction. A new user to the site probably doesn't have five separate issues they need to create new threads for in per hour. There's a post requirement before posting in PRSI or the Marketplace, so there are places that new users "aren't welcome".
Either way, it doesn't affect me. I don't use the new threads tool. I don't use forum spy. I don't go to most of the product forums. So I don't really see any of the spam.
Because the vast majority of members make only one to five posts, - they come with a problem - and, as someone who was once a very raw newbie, anything which makes it harder, or less welcoming to make that initial post - and any follow-up posts, can be very off-putting.
Not everyone is as comfortable with social media as some of those who have been long time members here; I certainly wasn't, as this was the first social media site I joined, and I joined solely because I had a question or two about an Apple computer I had bought.
And a newbie's first experience of the forum - and how they are treated when they first post - is likely to colour their perspective and view of the forum. Newbies can take a while to find their way, and anything that serves to make them less welcome, will simply serve to ensure that when they leave they won't come back.
Well said and I agree with you.
Well, again, how would appropriate flooding limitations affect any of that given that typical users would essentially never run into them (and basically more than likely wouldn't know that they even exist)--effectively nothing would be different for them?
Your discussion of post limitations is muddying the waters. We’re (or at least I’m) suggesting a new thread creation limit for the the first 24 hrs or so to help prevent forum spam flooding from “someone” who just registered.
In what circumstance have you ever needed to create more than 5 threads in an hour? Or even 3?
Even something more unusual, like 10 threads in the span of half an hour--which basically no real user, new or old, should really ever run into under normal circumstances--would probably do the trick based on some of the recent spam flooding examples that happened here.
Just to add a technical viewpoint...
If the forum software doesn't already have this feature available simply to be turned on, then it would have to be added. That means designed, developed, integrated, tested, and deployed in a safe manner. Plus if there are any problems, there will have to be debugging and fine-tuning. All of those cost money.
Since the proposal is a rate-limit for each user, then the design must add at least one per-user timestamp for the last thread created. A typical way to add per-user elements is by adding a column (or table) to the principal user database. That's not something one usually does lightly.
If thread creation becomes rate-limited, then spammers will quickly learn this, and can easily change their strategy. Instead of creating threads, they'll just start adding posts to existing threads. So instead of someone visiting the website first thing in the morning and seeing a bunch of new single-post threads that are obviously spam, one would see a bunch of existing threads with new posts. Given that new threads display a title, one can often tell whether it's spam without reading it. That's less true for existing threads, where all you can see is the identity of the last poster and a post timestamp. So discovering that an appended post is spam is more difficult than discovering or inferring that a new thread is spam (in my opinion).
This isn't to say it's a bad idea, just that there are tradeoffs to consider, as there are with any change to any system.
This is indeed what I've noticed in the past. A few weeks ago I woke up early and noticed a slew of Spam posts but these all had different authors - think I counted about 15 odd posts from 4 or 5 'authors'.
Not sure how you'd block that. And that's the issue, it's a war that cannot be easily won.
Why should anyone care but the administrative team? They have an easy way to deal with it in one click and you can’t get much more efficient than that when dealing with humans. Even if they throttled a user, they still have to moderate using the same method.
Throttling users does not lead to less work so why even bother?
If flood limiting affects someone's user experience, that user is not one you want to welcome. If done right, it's a restriction that 100% of your standard users who are good citizens will never ever notice.
There's certainly at least some of that that would need to be figured out. There's a good chance that some of these things are supported by forum software or perhaps might have some existing add-ons for it, as flood protection type of things are something that have been around for a long time and are far from unusual for something like forums.
As far as technicalities as to what the actual limits are and how they can be applied, that can likely be figured out as well. They don't have to be on some sort of per-user basis, and don't even need to apply to just new users. There are existing thresholds already in place for various things, like not being able to make a new post or even report a post for something like 30 seconds after the last one, so it sounds like some things of this nature are available and are already in place.
--- Post Merged, Apr 30, 2018 ---
It's more of a helpful measure not to get some forum flooded with junk that essentially overtakes it, even if temporarily before the spammer gets taken care of, so to say.
--- Post Merged, Apr 30, 2018 ---
OK, so let's say the limit is, 3 per new user. Next move by the spammers: create a new account per 3 posts. Rinse and repeat.
Oh wait, that's already happening...
That would still avoid a single account completely drowning a forum of choice in a matter of half an hour to an hour, which has already happened more than a couple of times just in the past few months. Sure, something like that won't solve all problems, but it can address some actual known ones that have popped up more than once or twice without really any effect on actual users (again, any limitations when it comes to forum configurations not withstanding as that can be somewhat separate from that).
It doesn't stop what I noticed where one spammer created 4 accounts and 15 odd spam messages. Net effect was still 15 messages, only this then required 4 difference spam reports and 4 deletion actions by the admins.
It's an arms race, you stop one avenue, they create a new one. Remember they've got all the time in the world on their hands; they can create accounts in the blink of an eye.
Agreed, there are certainly methods that are in play that won't be affected by something like this. But there are those that are quite more visible/disruptive--like a single user creating over 80 threads in a couple of hours pretty much taking over a couple of sections of the forums by flooding them, which is something that has happened not long ago--which could be taken care of by something like that.
And right on schedule. We've just had one spammer, with two accounts, who's made three spam posts so far. Need I say more...?
(I swear I didn't rig this, it truly was coincidental!)
And just saw another one that made a couple of threads just a few minutes apart in the same section. Not that big of a deal and probably wouldn't be caught by flood protection, but should that spammer behave like a number of other recent ones that prompted this thread and have been discussed here and posted a dozen such threads in the same section over a short period of time then perhaps some flood protection would have kicked in preventing the user from junking up the section.
As I mentioned a few times, a measure like this by no means will protect from everything or even most things or anything like that, but it can take care of something that's more noticeable/disruptive. Examples of other problems that could still be around don't necessarily diminish the value of taking care of some of the more obvious/simpler things that can be taken care of that can actually be more visible and disruptive when they do happen.
I think the point is, why bother, since the net result will be the essentially the same number of spam posts but users now having to do more reporting to capture them. At least this way by not having a throttle most spammers can be caught by a single report.
All throttling will do is make it harder to report them. And that means the spammers win.