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boppa
2011-Nov-27, 11:28 AM
Just a bit of a Language about forums of all sorts...

Many forums are excluding yahoo/hotmail type addresses from joining (in fact you cant even send a message to them using such an address...)

The `excuse' is that people abuse such systems and ISP based emails are `permanent'


The fact is that many people change ISPs on a yearly (some like me may change some of my varying suppliers on a monthly basis)
I haven't had a single ISP for more than 2 years (and thats only because it's my mums and I can't be bothered talking her through the increasing hurdles such changes involve)

Many `grey nomads' dont even have an isp as such- they use netcafes to log on- or use fellow nomads communal connections (greynet) in caravan parks

hence there is an increasing number of people who do not even have a `real' net connection and rely on `fake' free emails such as Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail as their only `real' email addresses

I was an early adopter- I have had my `real' yahoo address since 1999- its the only email that can be trusted to be there year after year- unlike my `real isp' email which is often dead after a few months (I look for the cheapest isp that meets my demands- they usually go bellyup after a few months- capatilism at its best- rather than the `long term' isp which is usually 4 times the price- but it has been online as long as I have- but its owned by the government here- mostly)

the point is that what many forums consider a `permanent' email address- is these days usually isnt
and what they consider a `fake' or temporary email- often isnt

(what brought this on is that googlebots have a very high presence here and I have an account here- and a forum I just tried to sign up to doesn't allow `temporary' emails like my twelve year old yahoo account) So my attempt to sign up to find out info on rebuilding boat (a pontoon) at the first forum that springs to mind when you are rebuilding a `pontoon' if you were looking for a forum (that is to say if you were looking for a PONTOON place you where could talk about such things- say like a FORUM

if such places had a policy that excluded many older people that had such addresses- it would really hammer their google ranking if everyone who finds such forums starts `spreading the word' so to speak

They seem to forget that many of the people now in the grey nomads actually built the webs beginnings- and altho the grey matter may be fading, they know more than many of the new kids on the block

My question- does anyone here think that social engineering on this scale is wrong?
(ie q2 if you `know' how to stuff the system- should you if the system is `stuffed' in the first place IYHO?)

Solfe
2011-Nov-27, 02:42 PM
What sort of boards or services are these? Do they have a common factor such as being the same "engine"? I could totally see a "free system" having built in restrictions that the board operator may not be aware of.

I find that when a programmer wants to block or deny certain activities such as using a certain address or IP's, it comes from experience. The block/deny response is usually the most simple answer and the desire stems from one particular incident. Usually, they can be "talked down" and they will use a more targeted (and sane) approach.

I personally use a fictitious email address for all boards, websites, and services until I decide that I really like the service, then either create a new account or change the info if possible. I use "home@home.com" or "meow@mix.com" as my addy. Silly, but I don't spam.

Obviously I used my real address here for this board, there are a couple of others I wished I hadn't. One board I belong to sends an email notification for thread updates. This can only be turned off on a per thread basis, which is annoying because I forget to turn it off or can't find a renamed thread so I can't turn it off.

novaderrik
2011-Nov-27, 02:56 PM
i've run into a few boards like that- the theory seems to be that Yahoo and Gmail aren't good at catching spam and spammers like to spam people using those email addresses..or something spam related like that..
i had to open a Hotmail account to sign up at one board, and then after i was signed up i just changed the email address in the account settings to my trusty old yahoo address that i've had since sometime in 1999.

Moose
2011-Nov-27, 04:37 PM
I'll be honest (though this is personal opinion, not something the mod team has discussed), it's very tempting to block free mail sites. The problem is that the overwhelming majority of spammer _and_ serial sock registrations come from gmail, hotmail, yahoo, live, and a very few other sites. If we blocked free mail registrations, our forum spam load would drop to zero or near-zero. We could even stop blocking by IP address almost entirely, if not entirely.

I've been on the board twice today, for about two or three minutes each time. Sixteen spam in OTB, this morning alone. I haven't checked the other forums yet.

We're lucky right now. We have a relatively large mod team with halfway decent tools, and the mod queue has been stunningly effective this year (seriously, I want to bear its codelings), so it's nowhere near the issue it used to be, even if our spam load in the past year is higher by an order of magnitude and change.

But make no mistake, it's an arms race that you have to experience for a while to truly believe.


The `excuse' is that people abuse such systems and ISP based emails are `permanent'

People _do_ abuse these systems. Badly. If we (as in vBulliten operators) ban "imalousyspammer@gmail.com", they can turn right around and re-register on all vBulliten forums as "i.malousyspammer@gmail.com". (Also true for hotmail addresses.) They don't even have to re-register on gmail or anything. And it's not like gmail or hotmail registrations are hard.

And ISPs do give people a semi-permanent email address. Those forums don't require you to (nor care if you) use that ISP-given email address as your main address. Hotmail is convenient? Go to town. But those boards want to be sure new users are legitimate, and that if that user is behaving unacceptably, they can't come back with less effort than it took to get rid of them.

If you want spam-free forums, there's a price to pay. We (BAUT's mod team) have chosen to accept that price so you don't have to. Smaller forums with fewer mods and/or more fractious members may require you to 'chip in' a bit by using your ISP-given email address for registrations.

WaxRubiks
2011-Nov-27, 05:34 PM
digital spy forums let you use a free email address, but you have to pay 5....ISP email registration is free, or at least that was their policy last time I read about it.

Nick Theodorakis
2011-Nov-27, 07:51 PM
I've seen a related phenomenon pop up. I work tech support for a company that sells scientific products and equipment, and it seems that the majority of customers from academic institutions who are emailing us are using gmail accounts instead of their institutional email address.

Nick

Gillianren
2011-Nov-27, 07:53 PM
If you eliminated accounts that use Hotmail, I wouldn't be here. I've had the same Hotmail address since 1997, I think, or 1998. Somewhere in there, anyway. For a long time, I didn't have internet at home, and by the time I did, I'd had the same address for so many years that it would have been a nuisance to change everything.

Moose
2011-Nov-27, 08:02 PM
GMail has this thing where they'll let you route your domain's email through their servers. Basically, the university mail _is_ gmail. University of Maine does this, and so do many other institutions. And depending on how you set it up, your email address could be @gmail.com or @insitution.state.edu. They're basically equivalent in those setups.

Thankfully, Thunderbird had no real trouble dealing with that.

Speaking, another option, if you want truly portable email without resorting to web mail, is to buy a domain and use a dyndns company like ZoneEdit to manage/forward the email to your ISP's account. My BAUT contact email is my "permanent" portable virtual address, and has been for almost ten years now.

boppa
2011-Nov-27, 10:20 PM
Problem is that for many people they dont actually HAVE an isp
A lot of the grey nomads in particular (also common in seasonal workers) is to use the free computers available at any public library here or use netcafes

(I just thought some of you may not know what a grey nomad is??- a retired person or couple who either rent out or sell their house on retiring and travel extensively in a large caravan, usually for several years, often until they can no longer drive and go to a retirement village)

hence they dont actually have a isp of their own to use to register...