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About registering on this forum

Postby steve » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:51 am

We try to avoid activating fake participants who just want to post spam on the forum. When we see someone’s requested screen name, we have to decide if it is a real person, or a computer-generated spammer name. If you give as your requested screen name some unpronounceable sequence of characters, like the following:

"rvdgiobt6"

"DVyuKAcbzo"

then you will not be activated. Such random strings of letters are a dead giveaway to those charged with activating potential users that the name is a fake.

It is a little more difficult for us if you use more-pronouncable screen names, but which are not readily recognizable as a name or a real word, such as “AHeermath.” On the other hand, such screen names may simply be legitimate words with which we may be unfamiliar (like Don's Greek word, Paidion). We sometimes risk activating such unrecognized words, and it turns out fine. However, we have to make some difficult guesses.

Even more difficult to discern are screen names that seem to incorporate a real person’s name with a few characters added at the end, like:

"BrenneisOn"

"MaryTc"

"JoshuaOt"

I usually tend to accept these as genuine, though I made a recent mistake in activating such a user and it turned out to be a spammer clever enough to use a real-sounding name.

The best way of getting a new username activated is to use a real-sounding name, or recognizable word or phrase.
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Re: About registering on this forum

Postby backwoodsman » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:49 am

Does the forum have the capability to set new users to 'moderated' by default? That way, new members could be activated by default, then upon their first post could be deleted (if it's spam) or manually set to 'unmoderated' (if it's legitimate). I don't know how hard all this is to do in phpBB, so I don't know if it would increase or decrease admins' workload, but it works great for a Yahoo group I run. It eliminates the possibility of guessing wrong and either giving a spammer posting capability, or deleting a legitimate new member.
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Re: About registering on this forum

Postby steve » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:10 pm

Jarrod will have to answer this question, Dan.
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Re: About registering on this forum

Postby jarrod » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:18 pm

Yes I believe the forum has that ability, but I would prefer to leave the default to admin activation just because the majority of signups are spam... even ones that appear to have a "normal" name.

Jarrod

backwoodsman wrote:Does the forum have the capability to set new users to 'moderated' by default? That way, new members could be activated by default, then upon their first post could be deleted (if it's spam) or manually set to 'unmoderated' (if it's legitimate). I don't know how hard all this is to do in phpBB, so I don't know if it would increase or decrease admins' workload, but it works great for a Yahoo group I run. It eliminates the possibility of guessing wrong and either giving a spammer posting capability, or deleting a legitimate new member.
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Re: About registering on this forum

Postby backwoodsman » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:32 am

Jarrod, I'd suggest you reconsider having new members set to 'moderated' by default. It would've prevented what's going on as I type this, the forum being flooded with spam by a brand new user, 47 posts so far, and apparently still growing quickly. That renders the forum essentially unusable until one of the admins gets around to stopping it and deleting the spams.

Alternatively, having a few more admins would spread out the load and make it more likely that this sort of thing gets stopped sooner rather than later. I'm sure at least a few of the long-timers would be happy to help.
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