Phony Membership

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duncanpaul17
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Post by duncanpaul17 » Sun 14 Oct, 2007 13:21:46

Don't know if it would work, or how difficult it would be, but is there a way that after an application for membership is made
that a second password has to be given by the site operators before membership is accepted.

I know it has previously been suggested that anyone who hasn't made a post is withdrawn from the site, but again there may be some members who like reading comments but do not wish to post themselves.

Another thought, when a new member joins the site do they always asked to post an introduction or is this voluntary? these 'profiles' may be an indication to who may not be genuine.

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Post by Nick » Mon 22 Oct, 2007 12:16:40

The membership list is becoming ridiculous. Pages 16 and 17 is the only place where genuine Members have their details. I really think that Duncanpaul has the right idea. Lots of sites do this, you have to activate your membership by clicking on an link sent by E.mail. My worry is that the collection of Porno merchants who have registered may well put genuine DW fans off registering. Might is be an idea to start the membership list again? Or is it all too technical to do that?

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Spammer Horror

Post by gloomysundae » Fri 26 Oct, 2007 08:23:03

[quote="duncanpaul17"]

I know it has previously been suggested that anyone who hasn't made a post is withdrawn from the site, but again there may be some members who like reading comments but do not wish to post themselves.

[/quote]

That would still be my suggestion, duncan. It won't affect those who just like reading the posts in the slightest as you don't have to log-in to view the forum.

It's not that difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys, Charles. If they've not posted, delete their accounts. It will make dealing with the problem far more manageable in future.

I've seen examples of forums where everyone is required to make at least one post in the first week of membership or their account is deleted. The usual moan against this is that it's 'draconian'. I think that, if you were to adopt this policy, it's an idea to mention your reasons for doing so - too many spammers. Most people can relate to that.

If one good thing has come out of this thread its that it shows the genuine members take a pride in the forum.

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Post by Nick » Fri 26 Oct, 2007 11:52:00

That's a good idea as well. I'm sure something can be done. I remember mailing Bob with the idea of a discussion area, and whilst I am certain that he already had the idea, I agree that there is a degree of pride in the forum and also our continued involvment in an excellent site. I never spoke to Bob but by all accounts he was one of natures Gentlemen, and a clean up of the membership list should be a priority.

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Post by gloomysundae » Fri 26 Oct, 2007 12:23:46

Nick, I posted that before I'd actually checked to see if it has been cleaned up - and it has. Admittedly, not everyone posts (their perogative) but 66 members is going to be much easier to deal with than 66 plus 400 spammers so well done to Charles & his IT friend.

And, yes, from my all too brief dealings with Bob toward the end of his life, he certainly was "one of nature's gentleman".

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Post by duncanpaul17 » Fri 26 Oct, 2007 18:37:06

Just wish to add my appreciation to Charles and his IT guys for cleaning up the membership list.

It is now upto all of us to help keep the site interesting and hopefully help attract new genuine members.

I also agree with the comments about Bob, regretably, I only exchanged very few e-mails with him I wish there had been time for more.

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Post by Charles » Fri 26 Oct, 2007 22:46:14

Many thanks for your kind words. The challenges posed in 'cleaning up' the members list have been considerable.

My hazy recollection is that Bob started off with one set of software for the forum, and when that was defective, switched to another. The one he finally used (and which we are using now) is very common and is freely available over the internet, but it has flaws which have not been corrected, and which are common to scores of sites.

One of these is an inability to configure the registration process in any meaningful way (I had, for example, wanted at one stage to add into the registration process a simple question about DW, but was unable to do so); another is that clever and unscrupulous people have found ways to register without even going into the various sites - hence the large number of 'intruders'.

We have done what we can, but that said, continuing unwelcome registrations are almost certainly inevitable, even if we can cut down on the numbers. What we will do is continue to have periodic culls, but as you will appreciate, this is not something we have the resources to do every day, so there will almost certainly be build ups and then periodic crack downs. As one of our correspondents has mentioned, it would be most helpful if all members posted - that makes filtering out the undesirables easier !

I would add that we did discuss moving to completely different software, but this would be a major undertaking, and would almost certainly result in the loss of all the existing postings. Having fought so hard to retrieve past data when the site was brought back on line, I would be most reluctant to do this. I hope you will therefore agree with my decision to stick with 'the devil we know'.

Given that we cannot completely prevent registrations by non DW enthusiasts, I am however withdrawing certain services that could be misused by those with ill intent. The most noticeable one is the withdrawal of the 'private message facility', which was in any event hardly ever used.

I hope you will agree all this is sensible, and that together we can build up this wonderful site.

All good wishes to you all
Charles

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Post by Jim » Fri 26 Oct, 2007 23:25:34

If I may add something. Even as we're discussing this, a troll has gotten into the site and posted a mesaage offering Tramadol (whatever that is).

I'm sure no-one intends to buy from this spammer, but it would be best if no-one replied to the posting at all. If there's no response, it will (hopefully) discourage the troll from further spam...

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Post by duncanpaul17 » Sat 27 Oct, 2007 13:43:58

Agree with Charles to withdraw the private message facility, but I do have a private message that I did not access.

Therefore if it was sent by a fellow genuine member, please accept my apologies for not replying.

Interesting reading Jim's comment about the Tramadol.

Since Jim's posting thre has been another post also offering Tramadol, and both are from recent new'members'

It just goes to show what a hard job Charles is going to have weeding out false members if they are now trying to be clever
and make false postings too.

Still the bad guys never prospered in DW's books so they shouln't expect to prosper here either

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Post by Jim » Sat 27 Oct, 2007 14:04:22

[quote="duncanpaul17"] It just goes to show what a hard job Charles is going to have weeding out false members if they are now trying to be clever
and make false postings too. [/quote]

Actually, the "false postings" make it easier to weed them out. If they just sit on the list, harvesting e-mail addresses, they're harder to spot...

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Post by Charles » Sat 27 Oct, 2007 17:03:35

It's like trying to get a selective weedkiller to work if you've ever tried one of those - how to kill off the grasses without killing off the roses at the same time ...

Clearly I'll be asking my friends in the I.T. world to help try to find the right spray gun yet again ....

Putting postings onto our site is a step too far. I sense Canon Copely-Syle at work ....

Out with the Holy Water if anyone can lay their hands on some ....

All best
Charles

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Post by Jim » Mon 29 Oct, 2007 01:53:20

I just don't understand what they hope to accomplish. Surely no-one here is going to buy their Tramadol from a spammer. They're not trying to shut us down by flooding us with messages, and they must know we will eventually delete everything they post...

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Post by Nick » Tue 30 Oct, 2007 12:16:53

The problem is they are pushing genuine posts of the latest postings list!

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Post by Charles » Tue 30 Oct, 2007 20:06:35

Jim - I quite agree with your sentiments, and as you can see from the Memberlist, as soon as you cull them, others take their place.

Nick - that concerned me too. I have got my I.T. specialists to do a manual prune, but this is a real war of attrition. The word 'virus' was well chosen by the computer industry - as soon as you find an antidote, the **** thing mutates !

Onward and upwards as they say ... all the best !

PS I was going to post some feedback about a Convention, but wanted to wait until the spurious messages were out of the way ... it will follow shortly

All best
Charles

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