Stopping spammers from signing up

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Stopping spammers from signing up



Would it be possible to require a mod to ok a new sign-up before they can post? It's not as if we get huge numbers every day.


Sign up today for XXXviagraXXX


Approved! - The Management.

Wait a sec... joining a union is a better way to get a raise...



Darn.  I thought I was going to get that in before your second post.  Oh well!

I remember a few years ago, we set it up so that mods had to approve new accounts.  It was a way to deal with troll infestations occasionally, but as a normal thing, it's not great.  Those people who were interested in posting signed up and then had to wait until we got around to approving their account sometime in the next 24 or 48 hours.  Doesn't make for a great welcome to new people, especially in an internet world where people can sign up for sites practically instantly and start using them.  If sign-ups actually are down, as is your impression, that would only make them drop further.

Also, it was a pain in the butt having to monitor yet another queue.  Mods have enough to do in their very limited time, and they already put in far more hours than the ones they're paid to work. 

Finally, when people sign up with an account, it's not just for babble anymore since the site moved to Drupal.  It's for the entire site as a whole, and making them wait because of spammers on babble would mean also making people who want to sign up to do other things in other areas of the site wait as well.  And you would be surprised just how many people sign up every day - way more than actually post on babble right away, or at least that used to be the case.

Spammers suck and so do trolls, but I don't think the benefit of screening them out would outweigh the time that screening memberships would take, nor the harm caused by making genuine would-be members wait to sign in.  When people want to comment on something, they won't necessarily want to come back in 24 hours to do it.

I don't work at rabble anymore, so I have no say in this, just putting in my 2 cents based on past experience trying this.


I have no clue whether something like this is possible with Drupal, but I've seen sites where a certain number of down-votes will "hide" a comment. If it were possible to implement something like that, it would become less urgent for the mods to deal with spammers, without impeding legitimate new accounts from posting. If a certain post was flagged 3 or 4 times, it could be made to disappear. I think longtime babblers could be trusted to use such a feature for its intended purpose, and not use it to hide comments for the wrong reasons - especially knowing that it would always take multiple flaggings before a comment would be hidden.


Good points, Michelle. Hadn't thought of all that. When I moderated a discussion board, new sign-ups came straight to whatever mobile device I was using, and I'd just hit "approve" unless it was obvious spam. Not talking about trolls. They can take a few posts to suss out. I'm watching you... Frown

ETA: For example, "onlinediscountanvils" would be an obvious commercial venture. Never make it past me.


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Ha. Our managing editor has already banned onlinediscountanvils once for suspicion of spam! And I almost did it myself when s/he signed up in the first place.

To answer your question, what Michelle said. The only option currently at our disposal would be to return to CAPTCHA after each post -- and we all know how that was received. It's actually pretty easy for me to remove a whole whack of spam posts at once now (one of the benefits of the upgrade) so as long as you're patient, just flag them and they'll get removed in short order.


Catchfire wrote:

It's actually pretty easy for me to remove a whole whack of spam posts at once now (one of the benefits of the upgrade) so as long as you're patient, just flag them and they'll get removed in short order.

"Short order", eh?? I flagged Caissa and oldgoat long ago, and they're still around!

I think your short order's cooked.





You have stop using a flag of convenience, Unionist.