Temporarily Suspending New Member Registration
Posted: 08 August 2011 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Due to the recent mass spamming from a yahoo.com mail account, I’ve turned off automatic member registration. All new members will have to be approved by me.

As soon as I figure out how to keep this robospammer from posting hundreds of messages, I’ll turn the auto registration back on.

This will not affect current members.

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Posted: 08 August 2011 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Okay, I’ve turned it back on.

Those wishing to post on the message boards must first send me an email convincing me they are a human being, then I will manually activate their account.

I’m hoping that this will have the dual effect of 1) eliminating robo-spammers once and for all; and 2) not discourage real humans whose pending accounts have been deleted because they were too slow in responding to the activation instructions.

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Posted: 08 August 2011 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m sorry you have to deal with this nuisance, and I hope this measure is effective.

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Posted: 08 August 2011 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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This one was particularly bad. Not only did it post about 75 spam messages on the board, completely drowning out all the signal, but as soon as I deleted the account, it came right back with a new registration and started again. Usually the spammers hit once and then go away. But this one was both a persistent and prolific bugger. I’ve never seen that before.

I think the “Turing test” I’ve implemented will work. The only drawback is there will be more of a delay before a real human can post for the first time. But it may actually reduce my workload as I can delete the old pending accounts at my leisure.

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Posted: 09 August 2011 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’ve created a post on the main site about the new procedure.

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Posted: 11 August 2011 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Seems to be working pretty well, at least from my perspective. There are a few human spammers out there that have emailed to request accounts. But like the machines, they’re pretty easy to spot. (I’m not going to say how, lest they are reading this.) I’m not sure if they are clueless small business owners, or cheap Indian and Chinese labor. (They all use gmail, hotmail, or yahoo accounts.) My favorite was from a human spammer whose message to convince me that he was human was “thanks for keeping the spammers out.”

The advantage to this new system is that accounts are held in limbo, unable to post or cause any damage. Then I can delete the pending accounts after a couple of days, knowing that any real participants will have emailed me. It takes the pressure off, and I don’t have to be constantly monitoring the board for spammers that leak through.

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