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 Vetting to prevent spammers? 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 151
Location: South Cambridgeshire, UK
Post Vetting to prevent spammers?
Many of the topics in Sailing Navies carry comments on the nuisance caused by spammers attempting to join the forum. I assume that they try to join either (a) to post unwanted messages in the forum, or (b) to try to harvest other members' email addresses for mass email spamming later. I'm not sure how easy the latter would be in this forum. It seems that the moderators have to do quite a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the rest of us free of this nuisance.

What would members and the moderators feel about requiring every new applicant to include a few lines of text that explained what their naval/maritime interests are and why they wished to join? Applications would then be approved on an individual basis by the moderators and posting not permitted until approved.

I appreciate that the delay, probably a day or two, would be irritating to someone bursting to post something. Is the daily volume of non-genuine application attempts too large for individual vetting to be feasible?


Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:25 pm
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:32 pm
Posts: 2960
Location: Hawaii
Hi Martin,

Thanks for your comments.

Part of the problem, is that the forum software is an older version. Being a non-tech person, I have to rely on one of my friends to help me install any software and deal with database problems. I have asked him many times to upgrade it to a newer version, which has more anti-spam features, but there is only so much that I feel I can bug him as he is doing me a big favor by hosting this forum and my website for free on his server.

Usually, Mil and I are able to catch the spammers fairly quickly. It's fairly easy to tell which ones are fake users. I also use anti-spam websites to check IP numbers and email addresses to see if they are legitimate.

The volume was really bad before I banned the gmail addresses. Now, we get maybe half a dozen a day. Sometimes they do slip through and manage to post stupid/naughty stuff before I catch them. For that, I apologize.

I haven't had any reports of forum members being spammed via email by someone who has registered. If this happens, please notify me immediately.

Let me see what I can do, in terms of getting the software upgraded.

I have the honour to be, &c.

Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:56 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 151
Location: South Cambridgeshire, UK
Thank you, Susan, for your detailed reply and comments. I had not appreciated how much 'backroom work' went into running the forum. The smoothness with which it runs for most of us disguises how much the moderators have to deal with before the posts become visible.


Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:13 pm
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