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Author Topic: Can we restrict user registerations somehow?  (Read 610 times)
AverageGlabella
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December 02, 2018, 10:32:25 PM
Merited by Welsh (2), The Pharmacist (2), Jet Cash (2), LoyceV (1)
 #1

I know I know. This sounds like a terrible idea at first glance because we paint the picture that this is some sort of premium forum and exclusive forum but we have a real problem on our hand right now. Spammers are every where and have no fear of getting banned. If they get banned they simply get as new VPN using some of the public ones people host and create another account to spam on.

Currently we are dealing with:

1. Advertisement spam.
2. Trolling
3. FUD spreading
4. Ref spam and general spamming.

Most of these things seem to get newbies banned but by the time they are banned their spam has already been read by a few hundred people. Sometimes the spam goes unmissed when it hasn't been reported or spotted by a moderator and sometimes people like the bump this topic by criticizing the OP for posting garbage which in effect bumps the thread and hurts legitimate threads in that sub forum.

That gets me on to another point. Can we please stop this backseat modding? What I mean by this is instead of reporting the topic you just post what they should of done or attack the user for spamming and all you are doing is promoting their spam by bumping their thread. Just report it and move on. They are likely a bot account and won't even see the reply anyway but by bumping it you are exposing it to a lot more people.

The quality of this forum is good when considering the amount of moderators and how they have to deal with the mass onslaught of users caused by the unstable market right now. But its still not good enough and I think more moderators need to be added to keep this place under control. More moderators doesn't mean over moderation if you get the right people.

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December 02, 2018, 10:50:36 PM
 #2

Can we please stop this backseat modding? What I mean by this is instead of reporting the topic you just post what they should of done or attack the user for spamming and all you are doing is promoting their spam by bumping their thread. Just report it and move on.
I'm guilty of this sometimes, and I know damn well it's a waste of my time to do so--but it's just so emotionally satisfying.  However, I'll keep your suggestion in mind because it's a good one.

I voiced support (likely in a fit of rage about something) for closing the forum to new registration a while back, but I don't really think that should happen as it would deny legitimate new members the opportunity to discuss things on the best crypto forum in existence AND it would likely lead to someone creating a competing bitcoin forum (assuming they could implement signature campaigns, of course).  I don't want to see either of those things happen.

There are some very good solutions to the spamming problem, but Theymos is just taking his sweet ass time about changing things.  At least we got the merit system and then the 1-merit requirement to rank up to Jr. Member.  That's progress at least.

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December 02, 2018, 10:54:33 PM
 #3

I agree that restricting registrations completely would be a little overkill. Its just frustrating seeing users not care that they will be banned because its so easy to just go make a new account with the numerous vpns which are coming up every minute.

The backseat modding I think everyone might be guilty at that at some point during their lives whether thats on the forum or off it. But it really doesn't have any point except for being off topic or bumping the thread.

If you are telling someone how to move their thread your reply is off topic. If you are moaning about them spamming it might be on topic because your pointing out to others that its spam but it just bumps the thread when reporting it would get rid of it and not expose it to other members of the forum. I don't know I just find back seat modding annoying.
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December 02, 2018, 11:16:13 PM
 #4

Currently we are dealing with:

1. Advertisement spam.
2. Trolling
3. FUD spreading
4. Ref spam and general spamming.

None of this is that bad really, just inconvenient.
What actually is bad is what is happening with new accounts creating fake ANN threads in attempt to infect users with malware in their wallets and downloads. This is actually damaging rather than just annoying.

I'm half of the notion that people should just know better and if they get got by it I hope they learn from their mistake, but many don't know any better and expect the forum's scum to be cleaned up by moderation.

The more you moderate the more you have to moderate so I think the next reasonable steps be more new account restrictions such as only member and above accounts will be allowed to post topics in certain sections and/or a similar threshold to be able to self moderate topics.

If they get banned they simply get as new VPN using some of the public ones people host and create another account to spam on.

This has already been made quite hard to do.

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December 02, 2018, 11:21:19 PM
Merited by Jet Cash (2), Welsh (1)
 #5

I think something needs to be done about registration but not completely shutting it down (very bad idea)
For example i noticed that when you register on this forum, There is no confirmation link sent to your email address, i really don't know what the reason for this is but it certainly is a contributing factor to increased easy creation of fake spamming accounts ( i could just use random emails to register as many accounts as possible)

- My suggestion would be to intergrate some sort of SMS verification/Email verification per account. Once a number has been associated and verified with a given user id, one can not use it for creating another account.

- Restrict use of disposable email services for new registrations
I really don't know how easy it is to implement any of the two  but those are just my thoughts
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December 02, 2018, 11:29:19 PM
 #6

I think something needs to be done about registration but not completely shutting it down (very bad idea)
For example i noticed that when you register on this forum, There is no confirmation link sent to your email address, i really don't know what the reason for this is but it certainly is a contributing factor to increased easy creation of fake spamming accounts ( i could just use random emails to register as many accounts as possible)

- My suggestion would be to intergrate some sort of SMS verification/Email verification per account. Once a number has been associated and verified with a given user id, one can not use it for creating another account.

- Restrict use of disposable email services for new registrations
I really don't know how easy it is to implement any of the two  but those are just my thoughts

We have to let legitimate anonymous users register here and have multiple accounts.

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December 02, 2018, 11:35:39 PM
 #7

We have to let legitimate anonymous users register here and have multiple accounts.

How many alts does a legitimate user need to have 10? 20?
In my opinion 3 or 4 alts are more than enough and it's quite easy to access 4 phone numbers or non disposable emails in reality but for an account farmer or spammer, this would be a real pain to them as it would be so hard to get 100+ numbers for every new account
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December 03, 2018, 06:49:38 AM
 #8

Yeah trolls are the worst i feel that we have a lot of cyber bullying in the forum. We are all men but still is anoying

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December 03, 2018, 07:42:56 AM
 #9

We have to let legitimate anonymous users register here and have multiple accounts.

Emails can be hidden and not exposed yo public view, having a confirmation requirement does not reduce anonymity of a user or the number of alt accounts they can own.
And for the security of your account, it's best to have access your the registered email. Although implementing this would only raise the difficulty a little for the bot account creators but it's still easy to go around it.
For now we can only report such posts when we see them, and maybe a report profile option (or post history) should be made available, this would give the mods a list of suggested profiles to ban
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December 03, 2018, 08:11:48 AM
 #10

I'm a bit ambivalent about anonymous members. I might be mobile, but I don't try to conceal my identity (ies), and it wouldn't be too difficult to track me down. However, I'm in England, and I understand the limits here. Members in countries like Venezuela have a lot more of a problem, and they have to be circumspect in their comments, and I can understand their need to remain anonymous.

I believe that anyone promoting an investment programme, or looking for payments from other members should forfeit their anonymity though.

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December 03, 2018, 09:58:50 AM
 #11

My suggestion would be to intergrate some sort of SMS verification/Email verification per account. Once a number has been associated and verified with a given user id, one can not use it for creating another account.
Email verification of accounts won't be as good as SMS verification. Like what the OP said banned members know how to create new accounts with new email addresses via a VPN network so email verifications at this point is useless. SMS verification although it might be more effective I don't think that new users would like the idea giving away their number to register an account in a forum, it might even discourage potential good members to even join the forum. Honestly I really don't have any good idea on how we will separate the spammers from good members when it comes to account creation without sacrificing the convenience for all of them, including the people who are not spammers in the first place.

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December 03, 2018, 09:59:25 AM
 #12

In my opinion restricting user registrations might help but I should prefer on bitcointalk.org to promote the website for the cryptocurrency enthusiast that until now do not have the idea of this website for cryptocurrency discussions. I bet we can gain more especially on pumping bitcoin market price. I myself can attest to this because at first I do not want to invest in bitcoin and just will do bounty hunting but later on I decided to invest on BTC.

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December 03, 2018, 10:14:24 AM
 #13

We have asked several times to solve this problem but so far apart from requesting a merit to reach the junior level, nothing has been done.
A solution to this problem could be to remove the possibility of posting without limits (apart from the temporal one based on the activity) for the newbies.
Yes I know that it's not just them the problem and not only they are the spammers and not only they try to scam but I think 90% of the problems are caused by them.
An additional step also this suggested several times could be to raise the minimum merit to reach the rank of junior, one merit is a lot for they majority of newbies but it is also a low amount at the same time and apparently reading here on the forum can be easily bought.

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December 03, 2018, 11:18:48 AM
 #14

The thing is that there are so many already unbanned inactive registered accounts, that even if you wanted to restrict accounts from registering, setting into motion whatever set of verifications or restrictions, we’ll likely get a lot of already inactive registered accounts coming back to life with a market for them.

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December 03, 2018, 11:47:42 AM
Last edit: December 03, 2018, 12:03:47 PM by LoyceV
 #15

Read this:
Limiting newbie participation is very harmful for a community. Newbie jail will never return: I consider the newbie-jail period to have been extremely damaging to the forum. When barriers to participation are too high, then the best people often just won't go to the trouble of joining, and the people who are willing to jump through the hoops are often people who aren't good for the community: people with nothing better to do, scammers, get-rick-quickers, etc. Having a permanent newbie jail policy would improve things a lot in the short-term, but would end up being a fatal poison to the community.
I'd love to have less spam, especially from bots, but I don't expect theymos to add more restrictions to new registrations.

I would like to see much more bans. If I check some random spammers on BPIP, many of them have many deleted posts, but aren't banned. Even posts reported for plagiarism don't always lead to a ban. The chances of getting caught for plagiarism or spam are low, as it's humans fighting against bots. If those spam bots get second, thirth ... and even tenth chances, it feels very demotivating to report them.

That gets me on to another point. Can we please stop this backseat modding? What I mean by this is instead of reporting the topic you just post what they should of done or attack the user for spamming and all you are doing is promoting their spam by bumping their thread. Just report it and move on.
You can report the posts that quote spam or off-topic posts too (that's what I do) Smiley

The thing is that there are so many already unbanned inactive registered accounts, that even if you wanted to restrict accounts from registering, setting into motion whatever set of verifications or restrictions, we’ll likely get a lot of already inactive registered accounts coming back to life with a market for them.
Considering the fact I've seen "incidents" where there are suddenly 6000 more registrations than usual on one day, I wouldn't be against banning all Brand New accounts that are more than a month old. Make this a one-time thing, so spam bots don't get a reason to start spamming with their new accounts, and this won't hurt many real users, while disabling hundreds of thousands of sleeping spam accounts that are waiting to be activated.
As an alternative, it would be good to add "units of evil" to existing Brand New accounts, even if the IP wasn't evil when they registered. That means a spam bot that registered many accounts at once will be punished on all accounts if some of his accounts get banned.

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December 03, 2018, 11:53:59 AM
 #16

~That means a spam bot that registered many accounts at once will be punished on all accounts if some of his accounts get banned.

Is not clear to me how this thing works in the case of a person with a dynamic IP (when they can change IP simply by resetting the router).
The unit of evil in the case of one user is banned is calculated on the old ip (the one which he made the infraction) or with the new IP of the new connection?
If the case is the second a simple change of ip after each session is the easiest way to avoid this punishment, you will get 1 account banned ant the others without EVIL IP.

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December 03, 2018, 12:06:48 PM
 #17

This is a forum firewall package for SMF, and it is one that I am considering using for the Fit to Talk project.

https://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=2815

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December 03, 2018, 12:07:53 PM
 #18

Is not clear to me how this thing works in the case of a person with a dynamic IP (when they can change IP simply by resetting the router).
It's not a perfect system Wink This explains it a bit:
When you register, the IP that you used when you submitted the registration form is used to calculate your evilness. The more frequently this IP or its neighbors were banned, the more evil is associated with your account. The amount of evil associated with an IP decays slowly over time, but the amount of evil associated with an account does not. You must pay or be manually whitelisted to enable posting on one of these "banned" accounts.
My suggestion would be to add evilness retroactive. This too isn't perfect, but might help a bit too.

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December 03, 2018, 12:11:57 PM
Merited by dbshck (2)
 #19

1) Theymos isn't going to do this (and nor should he) and 2) Restrict them how? I agree we have a huge problem with spam here but there are better ways to tackle it and without penalising everyone else. Any restrictions you put in place will just scare off genuine users whilst the ones who are here to abuse the forum will jump through whatever hoops you put in front of them time and time again because they are financially motivated to do so. Imagine you're new user and you come here and you struggle to post or are banned straight away (or restricted heavily in some way)  and all you wanted was to get an answer or genuinely talk about bitcoin. Those users will think fuck that and likely leave to never return. For those users who come here solely because they've been told they can earn good money here those are the ones that won't be stopped by a few hoops and will continue to create accounts and evade rules and bans etc. There are ways we can tackle the spam and many have already been suggested but heavily restricting users isn't really the way to go and it's futile even discussing it because theymos is dead against these sorts of restrictions. We can start by tackling the cause of the spam which is lazy campaigns. Requiring more than one merit to get a signature would also help (I think it should be a minimum of ten).

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December 03, 2018, 12:33:16 PM
 #20

We have been chewing this topic for more than a year now. It is clear that more restrictions will not come any time soon ( or at all).
Basically you have two main problems :
-Money from advertising.
-Scammers.

When you have money involved like for advertising the genuine idea is really brilliant but also very utopian. It's almost impossible to stop those who try to abuse them and there is no way to control anonymous entities to follow some rules based only on moral values.
The only way to fight them back is just to scratch them off the forum. The Ann section has to go, together with the bounties,airdrops,and sig. campaigns, then the bots will be gone (almost, part of them will move to service section, but just for a while, keep reading).
Then your spam, bot and shitposting problems will be solved.

Then we have to focus on the scammers problem. Again, there is no way to stop the scammers (for the same reasons I mentioned above) if you do not take their playground away- the Markedplace, which will be a disaster for many people but again, this is the core of the problem, there is no way to go around it and apply some "fixes". They just gonna fail, again...

If those 2 problems are solved, the forum will turn into a quite place for discussions and development, and 99.9% of the active users at the moment will be gone. Ivory Tower will be blossoming again, and the Off-topic section will have only The Round- Earth Speculation thread active Wink

No money = No problem.

BTW some of the old users may return. Maybe satoshi will show up again, if he likes the new environment

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