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Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:43 am
by UltraMantis
Our Anti-Spam forum system seems to have caused some confusion recently.
Let me explain how it works:

New users are automatically placed in a "new users group" that has several forum features restricted. Among them are Private Messages, signatures and most importantly topic/post moderation.

When a new topic or post is made, it will be checked by an automated system. If it is made by a user belonging to the new users group, contains links, or is otherwise suspected as spam, it will not appear on the forum. Instead it will be sent to a moderation queue where it will stay until a forum moderator approves it, or in cases of spam rejects the post. Except for the involvement of a human moderator, the process is automated and impersonal.

Once a post is approved it appears on the forum at the correct time and place where it was posted. Please remember that editing an existing post will cause the system to once again check the post. If the edited post is sent to the moderation queue, your enitre thread may dissapear from view. Moderators as a rule never delete user content, so if something you posted dissapears, it has been sent to moderation. Simply wait and a moderator will come along and ok the post.

This is an inconvenience we dislike putting users through, but it is an effective way to combat spam. The forum attracts very high levels of spam and the use of moderation prevents spam posts from appearing and from being crawled by search engine bots, which is very important to spammers.

Users are moved from the new users group to the normal user group automatically once they make enough posts on the forum. Once this happens there is no notification, the restrictions are simply lifted. All features of the forum become available and new posts are less likely to be subject to moderation.

I hope that clears up some of the confusion. On behalf of the staff here, i once again apologize for the inconvenience.

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:31 am
by 5thHorseman
First off, it was the height of irony (and very amusing) that when I checked this thread, the very first reply was a spam post. I thought it was a joke, but the user only had one post.

Secondly, thanks for posting this, I didn't know this policy and hadn't come across it yet, but it surely would have confused me if my posts suddenly disappeared for minutes or hours at a time.

Thirdly, thanks to the spammer for bringing this up to the top of the "new posts" search :)

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:13 am
by UltraMantis
Yep. Sometimes they are amusing. Now it looks a bit weird since the offending post has been removed, but at least the thread got a bump.

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:10 am
by romavia
(spam)

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 3:26 pm
by terrybiel
Can someone smarter than me explain why a bot would exist that posts messages that are not even advertising? Just to establish an identity before later being used to post more traditional spam?

Or was that somebody being funny?

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:09 pm
by 5thHorseman
terrybiel wrote:Can someone smarter than me explain why a bot would exist that posts messages that are not even advertising? Just to establish an identity before later being used to post more traditional spam?

Or was that somebody being funny?


Nope, you got it the first time. This is not the only forum that puts users in a newbie group for a while before they can post links, and this is a way - if the mods aren't vigilant - to overcome that.

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:19 pm
by boa13
Another technique popular with spammers is to post a few inconspicuous messages, and update their signature to include spam links 5 or 7 days later. :roll: Updating the signature does not mark the posts as modified, so it goes completely under the radar...

... except as you have seen above, most of their messages are not inconspicuous at all, and we keep an eye on them. :twisted:

That said, don't hesitate to report spam links in signatures, because they are the hardest to catch.

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:48 pm
by iceburg333
So what qualifies as a spam link?
My signature has a link to my facebook page, because that seemed to me the proper thing to put in a signature, as it's a modding page. Should I remove something like that?

EDIT: You know it would be sweet, though I don't know how difficult to do, if posts that were waiting for moderation could be seen by the newbie somehow. As a newbie I fight the probably unreasonable fear that my post has been lost; if there was a "view posts awaiting moderation" option under the "find my posts" option in the user control panel, it could help fight the confusion.
Though I could understand how that could be more work that it would be worth, as some people seem to stay confused perpetually, no matter how clear things are lol.

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:34 am
by UltraMantis
Delayed posts have flags that keep them hidden which is very usefull since 99% of them are annoying spam. Once cleared, they appear as they were posted with correct time and date. There IS supposed to be a notice that a post will have to be reviewed, but it doesn't do enough i guess.

BTW, the same approval requirement applies to editing posts. Which causes "hillarity" when it's the OP of a thread, and then the whole thread dissapears.Image

Unfortunately spammers are very aggresive and make it neccesary to place restrictions. :(

Re: Forum restrictions for new users!

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:55 am
by iceburg333
Hey Ultra Mantis!
Thanks for your pm. I got it but couldn't respond. It totally makes sense; spam bots can wreck a forum. So I get it. :D
Hey, ironically, now that my posts have cleared, they've become somewhat spammy. I wrote one large post in the FTL Editor v16 thread, and then reposted it a bunch before I understood what was going on, trying to figure out why they weren't showing up. I've gone back and edited those to say 'double post' and what not, but if you'd like to delete them, I'd be totally fine with that.
By the way, the Mantis race is definitely the coolest. :D (Though I'm really starting to like the slugs as well).