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Thread: PM permissions modified

  1. #1
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    PM permissions modified

    Due to a flood of PM spam, I've modified the forum configuration so that members who have posted fewer than 10 times can't send private messages. If anyone sees any problems with their PMs, let me know.

    ToSeek
    BAUT Forum Administrator
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    ... If anyone sees any problems with their PMs, let me know.
    By sending a PM?

  3. #3
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    Should we resend recent PMs?

  4. #4
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    If it worked the way it should have, no one with more than 10 posts should be affected other than they probably can't send a PM to someone with fewer than 10 posts.

    If two regular members would like to verify this to be sure, that would be good. I've already verified that I can send a PM to myself and that a moderator can send me a PM.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  5. #5
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    I sent a PM to Paul Beardsley, who will presumably let me know one way or another if he got it. We'll see.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  6. #6
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    ToSeek, I've noticed that I'm getting timed out this morning after just a few minutes of inactivity. Also, the Currently Active Members list seems to be acting strangely -- members aren't listed as being on-line yet the green light is on next to their username in posts. Are these related to the changes you've made today? Just curious.

  7. #7
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    There's been several of times where the currently logged in people list has been reset and slowly populated again.

    It may be related to a massive spammer attack we've been under lately.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABR. View Post
    ToSeek, I've noticed that I'm getting timed out this morning after just a few minutes of inactivity. Also, the Currently Active Members list seems to be acting strangely -- members aren't listed as being on-line yet the green light is on next to their username in posts. Are these related to the changes you've made today? Just curious.
    It shouldn't.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  9. #9
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    Spammers....yuck. Someone down in the Untrue Fact thread made a post about spammers being designated war criminals or somesuch. I'm thinking that maybe that's a good idea!

    As for the untimely timeouts, if it wasn't related to the spamming/antispamming activity, perhaps I went through a time warp or two. I seem to be doing that a lot since my second kid was born. Sigh.

    Thanks ToSeek and Henrik.

  10. #10
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    Talking

    [QUOTE=ABR.;1456976]SNIPPET:As for the untimely timeouts, if it wasn't related to the spamming/antispamming activity, perhaps I went through a time warp or two. I seem to be doing that a lot since my second kid was born. Sigh.
    ABR. When my second kid was born, my friend Ed said" Now you've done it...you're gonna realize..kids are a form of birth control."...within a few months I knew exactly what he meant!...pete

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    If it worked the way it should have, no one with more than 10 posts should be affected other than they probably can't send a PM to someone with fewer than 10 posts.
    To check this out, just create another account and send a PM to it.

    And then, of course, ban yourself for sock puppetry.

  12. #12
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    He has, and we have, but he just keeps coming back.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  13. #13
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    ToSeek - Good for you!

    I've never received any spam via PM, however, so I'm curious as to the nature of the issue.

    If you required moderator confirmation of new members before they had any posting/PM privalages, would that help?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    ToSeek - Good for you!

    I've never received any spam via PM, however, so I'm curious as to the nature of the issue.

    If you required moderator confirmation of new members before they had any posting/PM privalages, would that help?
    I'm not sure how we would tell good posters from bad posters at that point.

    The issue is that people were registering and then sending private messages advertising a particular website - in the hour before I shut that door, I got five such messages.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  15. #15
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    Mugs - If you required moderator confirmation of new members before they had any posting/PM privalages, would that help?
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    I'm not sure how we would tell good posters from bad posters at that point.
    Well, when 95% of the spammers pick usernames like QR33726, spotting them is

    The issue is that people were registering and then sending private messages advertising a particular website - in the hour before I shut that door, I got five such messages.
    That's indeed a problem, but I'm sure your PM restrictions help. Have you considered also requiring moderator approval for the first couple of posts? Probably take less time than chasing spam...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    Well, when 95% of the spammers pick usernames like QR33726, spotting them is
    Is only 'twas so.

    Of the suspected spammers I checked the last couple of days based on user name, about 10% were longstanding regular members.

    If you can write an algorithm that, without any false positives, can identify the spammers in this list: ngc3314, stapo3, tdvance, jmarcusm, Elukka, mugaliens, trinitree88, m74z00219, BenissaMo, cjameshuff, SMacB, JESMKS, DiMuntari, ABR. and ajv, then I'll be interested.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    If you can write an algorithm that, without any false positives, can identify the spammers in this list: ngc3314, stapo3, tdvance, jmarcusm, Elukka, mugaliens, trinitree88, BenissaMo, cjameshuff, SMacB, JESMKS, DiMuntari, ABR. and ajv, then I'll be interested.
    hheb09'1, kilopi, milli360

  18. #18
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    Well, can one really trust any username that contains a punctuation mark?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABR. View Post
    Well, can one really trust any username that contains a punctuation mark?
    Good point. *heads for the mod panel's ban page*
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  20. #20
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    One obvious rule of thumb: if the member name is all numbers, the messages have got to be spam.
    0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 ...
    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  21. #21
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    Good point. *Heads off again to the ban panel*
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Good point. *heads for the mod panel's ban page*
    Too late!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    ... people were registering and then sending private messages advertising a particular website ...
    Just for your peace of mind, it's not just on BAUT. This, or something similar has been happening on many forums over the past couple of weeks.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    Is only 'twas so.

    Of the suspected spammers I checked the last couple of days based on user name, about 10% were longstanding regular members.

    If you can write an algorithm that, without any false positives, can identify the spammers in this list: ngc3314, stapo3, tdvance, jmarcusm, Elukka, mugaliens, trinitree88, m74z00219, BenissaMo, cjameshuff, SMacB, JESMKS, DiMuntari, ABR. and ajv, then I'll be interested.
    stapo3
    jamarcusm
    BenissaMo
    DiMuntari
    ABR

    Just a guess....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    ABR

    Just a guess....
    And that's the problem with that type of detection.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  26. #26
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    You didn't get it...

  27. #27
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    I understand the reasoning behind the "less than 10 Posts"/no PM rule. But I will offer up the thought that it makes it tough for us newbies to get a hold of a Moderator for some reason that we don't necessarily wish to become a public discussion.

    To emphasize: Not complaining, but wanted to ask a question of a moderator, and it is not possible to do until I have 10 posts. This is not the end of the world, and I will cope.

    TJ

  28. #28
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    Yeah, we mods are finding it equally inconvenient when we have to get a hold of a new user via PM and can't. (Same reason.)

    Just goes to show why you should all listen to Bob Barker and have your spammers spayed or neutered.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJMac View Post
    I understand the reasoning behind the "less than 10 Posts"/no PM rule. But I will offer up the thought that it makes it tough for us newbies to get a hold of a Moderator for some reason that we don't necessarily wish to become a public discussion.

    To emphasize: Not complaining, but wanted to ask a question of a moderator, and it is not possible to do until I have 10 posts. This is not the end of the world, and I will cope.

    TJ
    I understand the issue, but I don't see any way around it that doesn't put a hole in the dike. Considering what was happening at the time I put the fix in, I really don't want to do that.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Yeah, we mods are finding it equally inconvenient when we have to get a hold of a new user via PM and can't. (Same reason.)
    Just curious, since a user has to supply a valid e-mail when registering, can the mods e-mail someone, even if they have that option turned off?

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