Vetting newcomers

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Wes
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:58 pm

Vetting newcomers

#1 Post by Wes » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:41 pm

I notice a lot of spammers around here lately. That go me thinking why not give permissions to the regulars around here to decide whether newcomers are to be allowed to post. First posts/threads by new members get inspected by a trusted bunch of selected members with the special permission and decide at their discretion whether to allow the new person to post here or not. I'd volunteer to help keep this place tidy and free of spammers but since I have a life to deal with maybe the task could be distributed between those who visit frequently and wouldn't mind keeping an eye on the new members.

Oliver Kim, as the owner and creator of this wonderful place gets to have the final say on that of course but I see it is a great opportunity to keep unwanted posters away form the forum. What do you guys think?

BR
Wes

mnmyco
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:03 pm

Re: Vetting newcomers

#2 Post by mnmyco » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:44 pm

Or at the very least a quick way to report posts and/or users that are spammers.

MicroBob
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#3 Post by MicroBob » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:03 pm

Hi Wes,
I could offer to help in this case.
But as far as I know (not much unfotunately) the forum software is able to suppress spammers automatically by allowing to post links only after so many posts.
So the best soultion would be somebody who could help Oliver get the forum software adjusted better. Is here somebody who is knowledgable in this area?

Bob

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mrsonchus
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Location: Cumbria, UK

Re: Vetting newcomers

#4 Post by mrsonchus » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:03 pm

Tricky-one there Wes, seems at first-glance a good idea..... in principle certainly. It seems perhaps that the mechanism, in terms of how quickly the personae non gratae are removed, banned etc.
Perhaps an automatic (i.e. without Oliver's attention required) removal or maybe suspension pending review, after a certain number of 'post reports' have been received? The exclamation-mark button is a very quick & handy means to report a post.
The spammers and the self-diagnosers do seem to be on the increase over say the last quarter?
John B

Chris Dee
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:02 pm

Re: Vetting newcomers

#5 Post by Chris Dee » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:20 pm

The Akismet extension allows to run phpBB posts, registrations and forms through the Akismet anti-spam service.
https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/extension/akismet/

Originally developed for preventing spam in Wordpress, but the above phpBB plugin will work here. Here's the Wikipedia entry for Akismet:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akismet

HTH.

mnmyco
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#6 Post by mnmyco » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:34 am

mrsonchus wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:03 pm
Tricky-one there Wes, seems at first-glance a good idea..... in principle certainly. It seems perhaps that the mechanism, in terms of how quickly the personae non gratae are removed, banned etc.
Perhaps an automatic (i.e. without Oliver's attention required) removal or maybe suspension pending review, after a certain number of 'post reports' have been received? The exclamation-mark button is a very quick & handy means to report a post.
The spammers and the self-diagnosers do seem to be on the increase over say the last quarter?
The ! Button. Damn. I should pay more attention.

Hobbyst46
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#7 Post by Hobbyst46 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:11 pm

I wonder if there is no automatic software filter that can remove spam before it is even posted in the forum. Not my expertise, but perhaps a filter that identifies material that is not related to the micro world at all, and on the other hand provides links (to commercial promotion of any sort), or is signed by an executive/representative/salesperson, or is otherwise visibly irrelevant, could be temporarily frozen. Until decision is made by our Admin.

Is that what the above-mentioned Aiksmet does?
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

charlie g
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:54 pm

Re: Vetting newcomers

#8 Post by charlie g » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:02 am

I sense the: ! button works if utilized. Regarding a recent spam post to forum: 'ammo directory', good forum folk played with this spam intrusion with wit and glee, no use of the : ! flag tool

I was tempted to enter in the fun by comments on need for better 'electron-guns' for our areas SEM units.

Regarding a total ban of posting rights...well that tetters on thought control/ free speech suppression...a very tough call to temp-ban a poster IMHO...err, an 'A-hole' senior gent from Texas/US a while back intruded on a forum thread of mine...he defined my formal occupation as perhaps sub-par, he demeaned me, all in an intrusion to a microscopy thread I shared in forum!

Charlie Guevara/ finger lakes-US

charlie g
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#9 Post by charlie g » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:17 am

...regarding temp-ban/ total ban of permission to forum post..IMHO this approaches mind control/ free speech suppression...a very tough call..leave this to Oliver Kim, IMHO.

A senior gent from Texas...suggested my formal occupational service sub-par, he went on to demean me ...all in his intrusion into my microscopy thread !

This clown now posts with little 'vented spleen'...and he was not banned from posting...a happy course Oliver directed. I used the: ! tool..his verbal-diareah(sp??) was expunged from the forum posts.

All to suggest...forum folk throw 'ripe fruit' in posts...if an 'A-hole post' intrudes a thread...then use: ! tool if desired, this better than off-screen thought police hawking this forum. Charlie guevara

charlie g
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#10 Post by charlie g » Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:31 am

So here we have it forum folks..what to do about this irksome senior poster...hmmm. all the best, Charlie Guevara who supports free speech...but forum manners and seniors not lapsing off their needed cognition-meds.

MicroBob
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#11 Post by MicroBob » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:06 pm

Hi together,
I guess that Oliver has enough work to do so it has to be unwelcome for him if we call for his attention all the time by means of the "!"-button. In my view most of these spammers won't get beyond a simple automatic barrier. Once there was a poster who always posted links to a certain microscopy - related software. This is probably one of the few cases where the automatic will fail. Oliver doesn't use the forum a lot himself, he might not recognize the suggestions we collected here. So how do we include him here?

According hate-posts: I had to put Bill on my "ignored" list after his other aggressive posts in the past. Which is a pity in a way as he often posted interesting links I wouldn't have found myself. But better no links than this aggressive behaviour.

Bob

tgss
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Vetting newcomers

#12 Post by tgss » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:58 pm

Well... I'm gobsmacked! I couldn't understand what was going on when I read billbilt's posts - thought there must have been some kind of malfunction on the forum, until I read the following posts and realised it was for real. Very, very disappointed - really undermines the forum and leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Tom W.

david_b
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#13 Post by david_b » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:37 pm

Has the account been hacked ?

Scarodactyl
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#14 Post by Scarodactyl » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:57 pm

I don't want to sound aggressive on this, but this has been a long-term and unfortunate lapse in moderation.

As to the spam issue, one tool that could be used against spam is requiring the first X posts (maybe 2 or 3) of new users to be manually approved or disapproved by a moderator. Yes, that does unfortunately add some work, but there are enough level-headed people here that you would probably find volunteers to deal just with that.
That being said, the spam problem here really isn't all that bad. Compared with the volume that any forum is constantly bombarded with one or two getting through a week is not awful.

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75RR
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Re: Vetting newcomers

#15 Post by 75RR » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:05 pm

Spammers are annoying but they are best flagged and then ignored until Oliver gets around to deleting them. Posting comments in the thread, even if supposedly funny, just keeps them active.

Best way to help Oliver is to follow the forum rules - it is his forum and he has put some thought into making rules that will keep it as he intended it to be.

Posting them here as a reminder to everyone - please read them carefully!

Rules:
1. No bad language of any kind.
2. No personal attacks of any kind. This includes ridicule, condescending remarks or threats.
3. No criticism of products that you are not satisfied with. This is for legal protection.
4. No plagiarism of any kind. This includes the upload of images that you do not own, recopying of text.
5. No posts that are not microscopy-related. Posts that have a connection to microscopy but can not be categorized elsewhere can be posted into the "Off-topic" section.
6. No posts with the only intent of advertising. Sometimes links are to products are useful for microscopy. In this case I will make a decision.
7. No abuse of the personal messaging system (no spam, no attacks, no nothing)
8. No false information or pseudoscience. Stuff relating to live blood darkfield microscopy will be removed, as it is medically misleading and therefore dangerous.
9. No medical advice should be given and posters should not ask for medical advice.

This is the link: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=4193
Zeiss Standard WL (somewhat fashion challenged) & Wild M8
Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four Thirds Camera)

Wes
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:58 pm

Re: Vetting newcomers

#16 Post by Wes » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:18 am

Interesting, mrsonchus' posts are being actively removed from this thread.

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