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Spambot pre-screening

Discussion in 'Community Suggestions' started by Cuttleshock, 5 May 2019.

  1. Cuttleshock

    Cuttleshock Shuffle Champion

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    Hi all, long time, first time, great to be here.

    In recent times the proportion of New Member posts made by spambots has just been on a steady incline. They're always dealt with pretty quickly (tho not fast enough that some people don't notice!) so it's not a pressing issue or anything, but I wondered if it could be worth tidying up more.

    First, the obvious idea:... do you need to clear a Captcha to make an account here? If not, would adding that mitigate almost all the ones that get through whatever other filtering systems are in place? Or are spambots just getting too clever for that these days? A better Captcha?

    If for any reason the above isn't sufficient, could it be worth considering changing the whole membership system to 'invite-only', where you simply need to send an email that's vaguely human-looking and has something to do with UKofE and you get a one-time link?

    Points for:
    - Actual new members are down to a rate of like one a month, so this hardly forms a bottleneck
    - The moderator(s) of the email don't even need to check UKofE to deal with it
    - It would potentially prevent people who follow the New Members forum from getting disappointed by spambots forever.

    Points against:
    - It could be off-putting to potential new members
    - Maybe spambots really can be convincing enough (or people are weird enough) that it wouldn't be 100% reliable?
    - Could be hard to implement, not worth it for the eyesores it saves
    - The inbox of this email may need to have some level of public accountability, to ensure that real people actually are getting through.

    Am I overdoing this? Thoughts?

    EDIT: I just realised that it would make about 2000% more sense to just have newcomer threads display privately until approved, or something similar. Most of the above still applies to that idea.
     
    #1 Cuttleshock, 5 May 2019
    Last edited: 5 May 2019
  2. Alteran

    Alteran Scissors + Running = Ouch

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    I've made some tweaks to make it harder for spammy messages to appear from new users - certain keywords are now being blocked, and they won't be allowed to post links until they've made a few normal posts.
     
  3. Cuttleshock

    Cuttleshock Shuffle Champion

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    Much simpler solution! Thanks for the response.
     

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