Rules & Notices - July 2013

For Q&A's about the website structure and performance
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Global Moderator
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 9:59 am
Location: Sydney CBD

Update - July 2013

Post by nimdA » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:10 am

Hi, just a bit of an update for everyone.

Membership application

We have had a great deal of Spam or malicious applications for membership over many months. These amount to approximately 150 per day. I have to examine each application and decide whether it is valid or just an attempt to gain access to post advertising, malicious information or just be a general nuisance. In the past any membership application could not be completed with passing the Captcha test. That is the applicant is presented with some hard to read letters or numbers that only a human can understand. This process is supposed to fool computers but is easily completed by a human.

As so much Spam was getting through I didn't know whether this was because there were lots of people willing to make manual applications and pass the Captcha test each time or someone had developed clever computer processes that could decipher Captcha images. I decided to make a change and turn off Captcha and turn on the simple question and answer alternative. To make it a bit harder I wrote some questions that would be easy for an Aussie to answer but harder for non-locals. Nearly all Spam comes from outside of Australia and during our overnight period.

After a trial period of 9 days I am extremely pleased to report that Spam has dropped to zero. That's right, instead of receiving approximately 1300 malicious applications in that period it dropped to none at all. The rate of legitimate new member applications continues at about 125 per month. You can check this yourself by clicking here ... &sk=c&sd=d

If you click on the column heading Joined it will reverse the sort order to oldest first. This applies to other columns. Username will sort in alphabetical order and Posts will sort in post count. By clicking on Joined so that the most recent is shown you can click on Next in the bottom right hand corner. Keep doing this until you find the same day but in the previous month. For example today is the July 19 and when you find June 19 look to the left and you will see a member number of about 125. So this means 125 new members have joined in the past month, or about 30 per week.

Edit timeout

After you create a new post there is a limited time that you can edit that post. When Simon was Admin boss he set that to 5 minutes. I thought that was too restrictive and a few months ago reset it to 15 minutes. I am also looking into why the delete post option is not available but need help from the IT guys. When working this also has a 5 minute timeout but it allows a poster to delete a new post but only if there have been no replies.

Reporting a post

Recently I congratulated members on their good form in that for many months no posts have been reported for the reasons of bad taste, inflammatory, etc. I did say that a few were regularly reported for administrative reasons and nearly always because they were placed in the wrong area. I thought the existing report reasons did not properly reflect this so I added a new one called "Wrong Topic area" and made it first in the list.

Clancy (Global Moderator)


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