Spam Stopper: Delay Forum Posting After Signup

18 replies
SBNation is a very popular collection of sports blogs. One of the admins has said they were able to eliminate almost all spam by not allowing someone to post until 24 hours after they register.

If you have a forum it might be something to consider. It is a little irritating because usually, when signing up, that means one has something they want to say. But after you're a member it doesn't matter and it is nice to have a spam free place for a good discussion.
#delay #forum #posting #signup #spam #stopper
  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Banned
    Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

    SBNation is a very popular collection of sports blogs. One of the admins has said they were able to eliminate almost all spam by not allowing someone to post until 24 hours after they register.

    If you have a forum it might be something to consider. It is a little irritating because usually, when signing up, that means one has something they want to say. But after you're a member it doesn't matter and it is nice to have a spam free place for a good discussion.
    I would consider a forum like Warrior Forum being able to do so though it would really depend on the activity and age of your forum. With the amount of available communities online you don't want to put too much barrier to any potential real users contributing to your forum.

    Especially with forums, it's hard to get it kicked off. I would rather have some spam than reduce the activity of users. Having other users motivates more individuals to join and post themselves so even if it isn't perhaps the best quality content it would still work well.

    I would assume WF module to doing so (paid membership) is a better option for established forums.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    I think it's a good idea to get rid of spam but not a great idea to encourage interaction. As you said, when someone first signs up to a forum it is usually for a very good reason. They have something they want to say or ask right then and there. If you make them wait even just 24 hours before they can post then you lose that initial interaction and it's quite likely they may not come back.
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    • Profile picture of the author cbcnygynqlki
      Banned
      [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I think it's a good idea to get rid of spam but not a great idea to encourage interaction. As you said, when someone first signs up to a forum it is usually for a very good reason. They have something they want to say or ask right then and there. If you make them wait even just 24 hours before they can post then you lose that initial interaction and it's quite likely they may not come back.
      That is the downside. You may need a forum with good ongoing content, where someone is already reading it, even if not registered. The WF fits in that category. So do sports forums.

      The WF is getting pounded with spam since going back to a free registration, which is what made me think of this solution by another forum network that also gets a ton of traffic. It is possible a delay shorter than 24 hours would be sufficient to take care of spam - especially the automated kind.

      If you have a forum that does not fit in that category, losing a user who never comes back simply because they cannot make one immediate post may not be a big deal.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        The WF is getting pounded with spam since going back to a free registration,
        .
        Ah, that explains a lot. I'd missed that and thought the spammers had somehow found a loophole. Some days it feels like you come on here just to report posts. I was using the WF a lot less until it went over to paid. I think I'll be using it less often again.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

          Some days it feels like you come on here just to report posts.
          Indeed.

          Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

          I was using the WF a lot less until it went over to paid. I think I'll be using it less often again.
          Even I might. And that's saying something.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by rosetrees View Post

          Some days it feels like you come on here just to report posts.
          Now you mention it, I actually started a thread about this, earlier today, in the Suggestions Forum (just in case anyone wants to add their support to the suggestion, heckle with me, or whatever): http://www.warriorforum.com/suggesti...uggestion.html
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    • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I think it's a good idea to get rid of spam but not a great idea to encourage interaction. As you said, when someone first signs up to a forum it is usually for a very good reason. They have something they want to say or ask right then and there. If you make them wait even just 24 hours before they can post then you lose that initial interaction and it's quite likely they may not come back.
      That's right. It looks like a good idea but if you consider everything, overall, it probably does more harm to the forum than good.

      EDIT:

      Also this is a forum not a blog. The purpose of a forum is discussion and while discussion is important to a blog it's not its main purpose. Restrictions such as this would probably have a negative effect on new members.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        In my forum, I have "admin-activated profiles", rather than "member-activated".

        When new members join, they receive an automated welcome email including a link to the forum's rules, and a request please to read them and confirm by email reply that the rules suit them. When they reply saying "yes", a moderator activates their profile, enabling them to post.

        It doesn't appear to put anyone off joining, but I almost never have a spam problem.

        (We once, over the last 3 years, had an email back saying "no - they don't suit me, please delete my profile", which of course we did).
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    • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      I think it's a good idea to get rid of spam but not a great idea to encourage interaction. As you said, when someone first signs up to a forum it is usually for a very good reason. They have something they want to say or ask right then and there. If you make them wait even just 24 hours before they can post then you lose that initial interaction and it's quite likely they may not come back.
      I'd tend to agree but I'd argue it a better solution than charging for new members as WF did for a bit.

      Another option I've seen used is a "Welcome Forum" section of the forum. The newly registered users are required to post there before having access to the "main" (rest of the) forum. Some require 1 posts (like a "welcome" post where the member says hello and describes their situation) to 5 posts (all in the Welcome forum, helping people, starting discussion, etc).

      This could help in focusing the spam to only the "Welcome Forum" (someone who has 5 posts there is way less likely to post spam in the main forum) without impacting new users too much. The "access" to the main forum could be manual or automated... as both have their benefits.


      Originally Posted by hustlinsmoke View Post

      We need alot more serious people in here anyways, so if they don't return then so be it..
      YES! We have such a problem with the "one thread starter" member who has joined within the last 30 days, starts 1-5 threads... USUALLY having to do with "X amount of money needed quick" then doesn't even come back to the thread to follow up.

      I've started to just ignore the generic questions (that could be answered by previous discussions / a search) from members with < 10 posts and < 30 days registered.


      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      In my forum, I have "admin-activated profiles", rather than "member-activated"..
      Where is this? Care to PM?
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  • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
    I've been to a couple of blogs like that and I actually forgot what I was going to say lol, but I did go back because I do like that alot and there was a lot less spam in there.
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  • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
    We need alot more serious people in here anyways, so if they don't return then so be it.
    I mean I am the tops with customer service but some things never change.

    You know our problem is actually our goal. Internet Information age.

    When I was 12 years old I would walk five miles to the library on a Saturday and had a llist in my pocket of everything I wanted to find out about. Now I just look it up and it is a fleeting image in my head lol.
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  • It is a good idea not to allow new member to post within 24 hours after registration. Another good idea can be, do not allow members to post links immediately after registration. Allow them to do so after posting 10 or 20 or 50 posts. Spammers will hate your forum and leave.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Originally Posted by Bonita T Josephson View Post

      It is a good idea not to allow new member to post within 24 hours after registration. Another good idea can be, do not allow members to post links immediately after registration. Allow them to do so after posting 10 or 20 or 50 posts. Spammers will hate your forum and leave.
      I think that's the key for a forum with free registration.

      1) Use CAPTCHA during initial sign-up (that will get rid of the vast majority of the automated crap right there).

      2) Don't allow any posts within the first X hours after sign-up, and/or don't allow any hyperlinks before X posts or before X days.

      ^ Neither restriction is going to hinder a legit new member who is looking for a community that they can contribute long-term value to, yet those restrictions would put off the vast majority of spammers, I would think.

      Another idea (which I've seen implemented quite successfully at other forums), is to require a *logic* CAPTCHA for every single post (which are about a million times less annoying than "traditional" CAPTCHAs). For example, it would display a handful of random image thumbnails, then say "click on the image of the sports car". Which of course a real human would be able to do in a split second, but a bot wouldn't.
      Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author nerdy88
    Yea that's not too bad because people want to speak freely not impulsively! Or at least people who are expert knowlegde seekers and givers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
    When Allen first started the "War Room" I was really hoping it would be a forum meant for seasoned/serious members to have deep discussions about marketing. Here is my first post there with a discussion starter with that idea in mind: http://www.warriorforum.com/war-room...ore-money.html

    But as of late the War Room has turned more into a free WSO promotion forum. Which is great I guess... I just wish we had more of a serious discussion forum too. Minus all the "I need $300 in 30 days" and "OMG the Promotion Tab in Gmail *KILLED* Internet Marketing" and "My Paypal account is banned but why?" threads.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    Many forums are already doing the same. Others doing like having a minimum number of posts to have signature, or at least 10 posts to create a thread.
    Signature



    Moderator's Note: You're only allowed to put your own products or sites in your signature.

    Signature edited.
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    • Profile picture of the author KenJ
      One tactic I came across recently in a car forum.

      You could not post until your profile included a self taken photo of your own car. I don't know how they knew that I had taken the photo. I love my car!

      KenJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohsin Rasool
    A client of mine had private forum, where members were only approved manually, and registrations page hidden from public.

    Spammers still use to find the page and register many accounts daily, it created extra workload to approve/delete those spam accounts...

    One thing which really worked and removed almost all spam was that a SIMPLE PERSONAL question on the registeration form...

    It just said...
    Whats the Name of the owner of this forum, yes just the first name, hint it is only 3 letters?

    And in the top heading and banner her name was right there... but spammers stopped
    getting through and no legitimate client had issue answering that question LOL

    -Mohsin
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