Topic: ALERC Forum users

I have been watching the tumble weed roll across the forum for the last couple of days and apart from the odd post, not much seems to be happening.  One of the activities that I have noticed happening, is the occasional addition of new users.  Unfortunately, these people don't seem to be members of the LRC community, but instead random other people who possible have another agenda.  The last couple of people to join have not provided any personal details, other than a signature in Arabic.  Although I'm sure ALERC welcomes people from any culture, so long as they have an interest in LRCs, I am not sure if we want these people to remain members of the forum.  Realistically, I don't think there is any damage they can do, but if we are ever interested in the statistics surrounding the number of forum members we would find that these random members may distort them quite a lot.

Regards,

Tom Hunt - ALERC National Coordinator

Re: ALERC Forum users

In the last few months there has been a huge increase in dodgy forum sign-ups. They seem to be humans as they're getting past the anti-spam measures. From what I've read on the matter, it's likely they're people from India and the like who get paid pennies to sign up to as many forums as they can. The credentials then get passed back to the spammers to hold in a database for them to use as a way of posting large amounts of spam to many forums. The usual tactic if for these dodgy sign-ups to lay dormant for a long time before they're used.

To tackle this problem, I'm probably going to implement something similar to the scheme I've set up on the NBN Forum:

http://forums.nbn.org.uk/viewtopic.php?id=1693

Re: ALERC Forum users

Spammers please go away as I am bored of deleting you and your tiresome posts.

(If only this would work! Maybe we need to move to approving new members before they can post Charles? Is that possible?)

Teresa Frost
WeBS National Organiser, BTO. NFBR Council Member.
ex-ALERC/CBDC/KMBRC

Re: ALERC Forum users

This was discussed at the recent BOD meeting and think we have a way forward - which is basically what you've suggested!

Aisling May
Data Manager - Cofnod   www.cofnod.org.uk

Re: ALERC Forum users

Tim Corner raised this issue at the Directors meeting last week.  He suggested his Inbox gets filled with Spam which causes a major problem so I have asked him to forward everything he receives to me so I can work out where its coming from - he receives traffic from the [email protected] email so it could potentially be that as well.

Regarding Forum spammers, we could change the setup so the default level when you register (Public) allows nothing more than viewing posts not in the Private part of the forum (basically the same as a non-registered Guest) and add a new level that new registrations would need to be upgraded to before they could post - Public Contributor/Non-ALERC contributor, something like that.  If we implemented this, it would mean everyone who was not an ALERC member would become a read-only registered user and would need to contact us to upgrade to be able post to the forum.

The downside to this is that it would create a lot of work for the Admins  to approve people & upgrade them.

Mark Wills
Director, ALERC
Ecological Information Officer, N&EYEDC

Re: ALERC Forum users

Mark's solution is probably the best way of doing it, but it's true that it does add a burden to the admins. Worth a try to see how it goes.

Re: ALERC Forum users

I'm happy to give it a go - we can then see which is less work for us.

Teresa Frost
WeBS National Organiser, BTO. NFBR Council Member.
ex-ALERC/CBDC/KMBRC

Re: ALERC Forum users

OK, I've locked down the public group. New legitimate members should be added to the 'verified' group.

Re: ALERC Forum users

Thanks very much Charles - good to see your post rather than the spam I was expecting to delete this morning! How will I know someone wants to go in to the verified group so they can post, will I get an email?

Teresa Frost
WeBS National Organiser, BTO. NFBR Council Member.
ex-ALERC/CBDC/KMBRC

Re: ALERC Forum users

I was thinking we should put a note in the signup terms box that advises the new user to send an email to x address (Craig or Darwyn could create one that goes to all admins, like the ALERC address) requesting access rights. It's a burden on the user and on us, but the payoff is worth it I think.