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Spammers

I'm glad to report that we have no spammers in our database... our current user count of 1009 users, I'm glad to say, are all weather enthusiasts. Stormtrack's longtime policy has been to aggressively weed spammers out of its membership rolls.

A common spam problem we have to deal with are shady companies that sign up and put profiles linking to their businesses in order to increase their search rankings. We dislike this as it pollutes the membership list, and often brings inappropriate content in the listings (such as "all teen [pick an obscenity]"). A small fraction of them will actually spam the website, though this is rare since that wipes them out and they lose their account, too.

We routinely check all homepages and email addresses for links to prescription drugs, ringtones, porn, and gambling sites. Also since we require real names and these signups are often automated, using nicknames, they stand out like a sore thumb in our "new signups" administrative listings.

We do have some individuals who link to bands, and that's fine.

At any point if you see any spammers in the user listings, let us know and we'll investigate. There's no need to report brand new users though as we typically weed them out as soon as we log in.

Thanks,

Tim
 
Also I should clarify that we don't check YOUR homepage for links to prescription drugs/ringtones/porn/gambling sites... we just check the link to make sure it's not a shady link. We're not the morality police!

Tim
 
Tim,

Have you looked into turning on the verification option on your BB? Any recent version should have it. It forces the user to type in some combination of letters/numbers that they see in a "tweaked" image next to the entry box.

Because automated bots cannot "see" or interpret this image, they cannot generate a valid join request. My SPAM requests went from nearly 10 a day to zero immediately.

Evan
 
We've used captchas since 2004, however they most definitely have been rendered ineffective. Spammers are subverting them by farming out the work to teams of humans. In phpbb we finally went to a system where users had to find a password in the rules & regs to enter, and that completely shut off the problem. I don't think we got a single spam application for many, many weeks.

In vbulletin we're only getting 1 or 2 spam applications a week. No problems right now.

Tim
 
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