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Post Before Registering - HUGE MISTAKE


ibaker
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I had the Post Before Registering turned on and have just looked at my data and found my site is saturated with spam posts. In one forum every single thread has a spam post at the end of it...over a couple of thousand spam posts.

I have now turned off the Post Before Registering but can anyone tell me what happens to the spam posts now...luckily they don't show in the site for users to see but how can I get rid of the ones that have already been made now that I have turned this "non-feature" off...thanks

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I have it activated. Haven't had a single incident of spam, but that's because I have to manually approve each registrant. 

I do look at my online users list and find it amusing to see some user busy posting a topic in a forum where I know we will never see his post. Why? Because he won't be approved, or he won't even bother registering after trying to post, because he's a spammer lol.

Edited by tonyv
I fixed a typo!
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You didn't see spam posts - you looked in the database and found them. The very nature of allowing guests to post prior to registration can open up spammers to try to submit content, however unless they actually complete registration those posts are never displayed and will be appropriately pruned.

In other words, the topic here is a bit hyperbolic. 😉 There is no need to clean these posts up, the software will do it automatically.

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Well @bfarber you may be correct but one site now has over 20,000 spam over just the last couple of days...that is hurting my site performance, storage capacity, site backups etc so sorry to say but as I said HUGE MISTAKE ever having this non-feature turned on at all. If it takes a rolling week before the software deletes some I have a site with 5,000 real posts and possibly over 100,000 spam posts...yea great idea and very funny to say hyperbolic.

Now @bfarber if I turn this site destroying feature off now, will the software keep deleting the spam posts for the next week or by turning it off does it also turn the delete function off as well?

Edited by ibaker
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2 hours ago, ibaker said:

Well @bfarber you may be correct but one site now has over 20,000 spam over just the last couple of days...that is hurting my site performance, storage capacity, site backups etc so sorry to say but as I said HUGE MISTAKE ever having this non-feature turned on at all. If it takes a rolling week before the software deletes some I have a site with 5,000 real posts and possibly over 100,000 spam posts...yea great idea and very funny to say hyperbolic.

Now @bfarber if I turn this site destroying feature off now, will the software keep deleting the spam posts for the next week or by turning it off does it also turn the delete function off as well?

I am sorry you are frustrated, but your site does not in fact have "20,000 spam" posts. Your database may contain 20,000 additional temporary records, but your initial implication was your community was being overrun by spam suggesting the feature is allowing a moderation nightmare to occur and that, respectfully, is the very definition of hyperbolic. 

The feature is intended to promote engagement and reduce the initial barrier of such. I can understand if you are on shared hosting or a micro VPS with minimal resources how a bout of increased traffic and PBR submissions may present different challenges, but 20,000 - even 100,000 temporary records that will be removed if not authenticated should absolutely not pose an issue under normal circumstances. If 20,000 rows in the database is causing your site to noticeably choke, backups to be impacted and a concerning amount of storage to be consumed, I really believe there are deeper issues at play than PBR. 

We determined the maintenance period to be a reasonable amount of time between content submission and final authentication before determining the account is spam. You are welcome to suggest modifications to this in the feedback area. 

To answer your question, yes, you can shut the feature off and the cleanup of accounts and content will still occur. 

If you have any suggestions for improving the feature, you are again very welcome to post them in the feedback area. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what we can offer for your concerns at hand as again, the feature is intended to allow a path for guests to... post before registering. The posts are completely behind the scenes until they complete the registration, which requires validation and if that is not completed, the posts are removed. 

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Thanks @Lindy on closer look I see the spam posts are in their own table so I presume one of my concerns is not valid in that this will prevent large holes in the IDs of the "good" posts table...I had thoughts that after a while my post ID would be up in the millions which would effect performance with extra storage etc i.e. post ID 12345 vs 123456789 (5 characters vs 9 characters). I have also found the Gallery is also saturated with spam posts.

Thanks for your explanation, I have turned it off on all my sites now

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On 1/23/2020 at 5:41 AM, Lindy said:

The feature is intended to promote engagement and reduce the initial barrier of such. 

I tried the "post before registering" once, but switched it off after a couple of days due to the spam entries in the records. I laud its intended idea.

Personally I've taken a very different approach in the past year and it's high barrier, not low barrier

  • Visit my site and you get a fairly blank/minimalist home page.
  • New member applications are only taken one day a week.
  • All new registrations are admin approved and have to fill out a special profile field correctly first to help pass validation.
  • Erased from Google. Erased from The Wayback Machine.
  • "Word of mouth" beats any potential "drive-by" traffic.

So a high barrier, but I believe that the future of specialist communities (that forum software encourages) is security and privacy rather than "lowest barrier/truck them all in".  Though I suspect how effective that is depends on how established your site is.

The result is no spam, anyway (and a relative haven for users, who increasingly value privacy).

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11 hours ago, PoC2 said:

I tried the "post before registering" once, but switched it off after a couple of days due to the spam entries in the records. I laud its intended idea.

Personally I've taken a very different approach in the past year and it's high barrier, not low barrier

  • Visit my site and you get a fairly blank/minimalist home page.
  • New member applications are only taken one day a week.
  • All new registrations are admin approved and have to fill out a special profile field correctly first to help pass validation.
  • Erased from Google. Erased from The Wayback Machine.
  • "Word of mouth" beats any potential "drive-by" traffic.

So a high barrier, but I believe that the future of specialist communities (that forum software encourages) is security and privacy rather than "lowest barrier/truck them all in".  Though I suspect how effective that is depends on how established your site is.

The result is no spam, anyway (and a relative haven for users, who increasingly value privacy).

I use a similar approach. My community is exclusive, and my policy for years has been that you have to ask to join. I kept registration deactivated and had an announcement visible to guests telling hopefuls to use the Contact Us link to write to me. I would then temporarily re-activate registration so the prospective member could register. Lots of users joined that way, and I knew that spammers weren't going to write to me. Since activating PBR, I've been able to re-activate registration, and almost no spammers even try to register, because they're too busy "posting" ... or at least they think they are! 😉 With this feature and the spam control rating option, it leaves very few IP addresses, user names, and email addresses for me to Google and run through WhoIs, Project Honeypot, etc. It's working out great for me. :cool:

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6 hours ago, Square Wheels said:

I wrote a query that got the most recent 10 posts and added them to my newsletter.  The first few days it was great, i was unknowingly sending porn to my subscribers.  I was not pleased to learn this option was turned on by default.

You know you can use WHERE clauses in queries? 

I'm just kidding. Too soon?

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9 hours ago, Lindy said:

You know you can use WHERE clauses in queries? 

I'm just kidding. Too soon?

You're off my Holiday Card list.

2 hours ago, Mark said:

And you definitely want to prevent sending out hidden posts, posts in any forums normal users can't see, etc.

If you're using PHP, you can use the \IPS\forums\Topic\Post::getItemsWithPermission() function. Alternatively, use the REST API setting "hidden" to 0 and "forums" to the ones you want to include.

I am using Coldfusion and querying certain forums.  I retrieved the title, author, and the first 200 characters and sent that as an email newsletter (outside of IPS).  A couple of people told me about the problem and it drove me cukoo for an hour or so trying to find how these porn posts were getting imported since I could not click the link and find them.

Anyhow, problem fixed.  I just wish it were off by default.

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17 hours ago, Square Wheels said:

You're off my Holiday Card list.

I am using Coldfusion and querying certain forums.  I retrieved the title, author, and the first 200 characters and sent that as an email newsletter (outside of IPS).  A couple of people told me about the problem and it drove me cukoo for an hour or so trying to find how these porn posts were getting imported since I could not click the link and find them.

Anyhow, problem fixed.  I just wish it were off by default.

Coldfusion??? I think you may have already had a head start to cukooland before PBR came along. 😎

🧡

back to the future flux capacitor GIF

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2 hours ago, ibaker said:

What is the number of days before the spam pos5s get deleted as I have them going back to the 17th Jan so that is now 11 days...is there any way I can delete them all now

7 days but if it’s still disabled, it won’t delete, as I told you above. I’m not 100% sure, though. Have you checked this with IPS?

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7 hours ago, ibaker said:

Thanks @Adriano Faria however @Lindy advised above that the deletion script should still run even if the function is turned off so I have no idea what is going on with it

It in fact should, but it is not. Please submit a ticket and we will take care of this for you. There is also now an internal report to address this.

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Sorry to say this at this point but I don't understand why there is no feature for admins in the background to see the hidden posts.

For me it would be essential to understand where I can improve the customer journey on my site. We don't get too much spam but we have many people not being too familiar with online communities.

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