Suggestion: No links for new members

Aug 25, 2020
434
301
770
Saw my 2nd spam post in 2 days containing links which made MalwareBytes throw a hissy. Visitors without real-time anti-malware protection could get stung.

Perhaps consider:
Not allowing members to have links anywhere—post, profile, sig—until they have X posts and been members for X days.

While I'm here:
Big kudos on the features and running of these forums. There are some lovely QoL features compared to what I'm generally used to in vBulletin—eg post quoting, link making. Great job!
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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1,835
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Not allowing members to have links anywhere—post, profile, sig—until they have X posts and been members for X days.
Might work, but it might also result in people simply making a new account, sitting on it for X days, then spamming X posts that just quote or flat out repeat text from earlier posts in a topic or from various online magazines. It's a lot easier to report one post than X.

I've been wondering if it might be better to just white-list a few websites. PCGamer, IGN, and various other well known gaming websites; Amazon, Steam, Epic, Newegg, and various gaming stores; EA, Ubisoft, and various well known publisher sites, some image hosting sites, and so on. Definitely NOT including YouTube which would be a sad thing for a bunch of videos that I posted, but it's responsible for the majority of the spam I've seen. There would be accusations of favoritism, I would think, but would it be worth it? Maybe there would be a way to request sites be added to The List?

Of course, if the software can't do it, the point is mute.
 
Aug 25, 2020
434
301
770
might also result in people simply making a new account, sitting on it for X days, then spamming X posts
If I recall correctly, on a vB forum I used to admin we had both Xs set to 10, and there was very little of what you mention—but of course that's possible. My guess is the main bad traffic is one-time drive-by merchants, never to return.
It's a lot easier to report one post than X
True, but there's no need to report all X, just one will do. vB admin had the facility to delete all a user's posts when banning or deleting the member—so that's a good reduction for the mods, deleting all in one go.

if the software can't do it
I'm not familiar with the PCG software—looks like ZenForo, is it?—but I imagine it has a lot more tricks than the vB I used to use a decade ago. If it's XenForo, the devs are led by Kier Darby and Mike Sullivan, the 2 stalwarts of vB's rise back in the day—they were top guys so I'm sure XenForo is very sophisticated these days.
 

SHaines

Community Manager
Staff member
Nov 25, 2019
137
589
1,470
Saw my 2nd spam post in 2 days containing links which made MalwareBytes throw a hissy. Visitors without real-time anti-malware protection could get stung.

Perhaps consider:
Not allowing members to have links anywhere—post, profile, sig—until they have X posts and been members for X days.

While I'm here:
Big kudos on the features and running of these forums. There are some lovely QoL features compared to what I'm generally used to in vBulletin—eg post quoting, link making. Great job!
Hey there!

The whole team honestly appreciates you posting to show your concern for the issue. We absolutely share it. In this particular situation we do need some additional time. Specifically, the restriction you're requesting has to be added to Xenforo via add-on.

In the new year we're going to be doing additional dev work for our forums. This work will include:

  • Migrating older forums to the Xenforo platform
  • Upgrading to a newer, more feature robust version of Xenforo
    • This upgrade will allow us to remove many older add-ons that add features built into the newer version
  • Without older add-ons that may have conflicts, we'll be able to add additional features with newer and compatible add-ons, such as the posting restrictions.
That said, we're very fortunate for the features Xenforo provides which have made our forums more user friendly and yet also increased security. For every spam post that gets through there are dozens upon dozens that don't.

For the time being, we ask folks for their patience, and assistance, if you're willing. Whenever you see a spam post you can report it and one of our mods will be able to block the spammer, while we blacklist the URL so it can never hit the forums again.

Hopefully all of that makes sense. The plan is to make the upgrades happen ASAP, but we don't have an ETA just yet. Once we do know when this will happen, we'll get the word out though.

I hope everyone had a safe holiday and an incredible New Year ahead!
 

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