ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

General discussion about the RAILROAD.NET site, forums, or content ONLY. Please do not post your general railroading questions, please choose an appropriate forum. For help using the site, please post in the Help Using RAILROAD.NET Forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8512
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:01 pm

In my continuing battle against spam, surreptitous back-links, phony profiles, etc., I will be deleting member accounts who have zero posts beginning on Friday, August 12th. It's a large number involved, so I may do this in bite-size chunks, starting with the oldest inactive users. Once I'm caught up, I will do this on a weekly basis.

Thanks to actions in the past taken by Otto and Mike in new user moderation (all newly registered users are moderated for five posts), spam detection is much easier. Spam posted by newly registered users are visible only to myself and to the forum moderators. I check spam almost daily. I delete anywhere from a dozen to a hundred spam posts or more a day. Thanks to tips I've received from members on detection, I also delete many spam accounts who don't actively post but whose profiles linger out there.

I do not do this to punish "lurkers". I appreciate those folks who took the time to register and follow railroad.net. I will try to minimize the "collateral damage" to those who appear to have valid railroad.net accounts.

How does this affect you as a member of railroad.net?

If you have 1 post or more, it doesn't.

If you have zero posts, you should post something before August 12th.

If you have zero posts and do not post before August 12th, your account will be deleted and you will have to re-register.

As always, I thank our members who have helped make railroad.net one of the premiere forums for railfans and railroaders!

Best,

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8512
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by Jeff Smith » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:04 pm

Some clarification: while I am going to look at zero posts as frequently as daily or weekly, depending on how busy I am, I know some members like to register and lurk until they see something they want to post.

Once I'm done with the major pruning, I'll probably only prune the obvious spam accounts, and leave those silent railroaders alone.

Also, I'll leave this thread open, so that if you're a "lurker" who wants to get your one post in here, in this topic, go ahead.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

User avatar
toolmaker
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:41 pm
Location: Scranton, PA

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by toolmaker » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:34 pm

I came across this message by browsing the forums. Would it not be better to just PM targeted users with "zero" postings to make sure they are no longer using the accounts?

-Gary
-gary

“If practice makes perfect, and if nobody's perfect, why practice?"

The EGE
Posts: 2599
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Waiting for the N Judah

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by The EGE » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:52 pm

That's a lot of PMs, for not a lot of gain. Especially because there's not going to be very many lurkers given that (unlike some other forums) I believe you can see all content even while not logged in.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22257
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by DutchRailnut » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:53 pm

The user list shows pretty much last time visited I believe, a lot f accounts are dead and have been dead for years, forgotten passwords and even forgoten handles.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

pnaw10
Posts: 520
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:41 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY - formerly New Hamburg

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by pnaw10 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:55 pm

I registered so long ago, I can't remember the process, but I'm not surprised there isn't a "Captcha" or something similar that can't be fooled by spammers, to help authenticate a new user is really a human being.

I run a WordPress-based website where people must register an account in order to post comments. After noticing many weird-looking new registrations from people who never bothered to post a comment (or maybe they did, but my spam filter caught it for me), I decided to install a plugin that makes people decipher a captcha and answer a simple math problem in order to authenticate their "reality" before the account can be created.

phpBB is just as popular in the "forum" community as WordPress is in the blog/CMS community -- I don't know the back end of phpBB, but I would imagine there must be something similar out there. Just thought it might be worth a mention, because it might save you the hassle of having to manually weed out fake accounts all the time.
.

User avatar
Otto Vondrak
Posts: 20285
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: New York

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by Otto Vondrak » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:21 pm

pnaw10 wrote:I registered so long ago, I can't remember the process, but I'm not surprised there isn't a "Captcha" or something similar that can't be fooled by spammers, to help authenticate a new user is really a human being.
There is already a CAPTCHA for new user registration.
----------------------------------------------
Moderator: New York State Railfan :: New York Central :: Toy Trains
NYW&B Fan Site :: A Magazine I Read Often :: A Museum I Volunteer At

justalurker66
Posts: 2341
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 11:20 pm

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by justalurker66 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:26 am

Jeff Smith wrote:Once I'm done with the major pruning, I'll probably only prune the obvious spam accounts, and leave those silent railroaders alone.
That is a good idea ... not all lurkers are bad. Some may be unable to post for various reasons.

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8512
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:47 am

I thought about a blast email to all users advising them, but that would just alert the spammers. PM capacity is limited on the forums, and again, you're just alerting them so they'll come back and set up new accounts. Plus, that would be incredibly time consuming.
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

litz
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:39 pm

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by litz » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:17 pm

What about requiring a post to the "welcome aboard forum" prior to the 5 moderated posts?

At least then you know 1) there's an actual person involved (since they have to post to that specific forum) and 2) you eliminate the 'no posts' problem ...

Any spambot is going to sign up and just start flooding msgs.

Amtrak7
Posts: 2190
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 4:39 pm
Location: Long Island / Pittsburgh

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by Amtrak7 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:39 pm

litz wrote:What about requiring a post to the "welcome aboard forum" prior to the 5 moderated posts?

At least then you know 1) there's an actual person involved (since they have to post to that specific forum) and 2) you eliminate the 'no posts' problem ...

Any spambot is going to sign up and just start flooding msgs.
I do NOT like "introduce yourself" forums and never participate in them unless it's required. Not a good idea for Railroad.NET.

parailfan312
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:20 am

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by parailfan312 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:41 pm

No spammer here! ;)

28 years old from central Pennsylvania, specifically MP 99 of the Norfolk Southern Harrisburg Line (Hershey, PA aka Chocolatetown USA).

Tim
Tim Herman - parailfan312
MP 99 - NS Harrisburg Line
Hershey, PA USA

User avatar
charlie6017
Posts: 3128
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:42 pm
Location: Rochester, New York

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by charlie6017 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:21 pm

parailfan312 wrote:No spammer here! ;)

28 years old from central Pennsylvania, specifically MP 99 of the Norfolk Southern Harrisburg Line (Hershey, PA aka Chocolatetown USA).

Tim
Welcome.....you're in! :-)

Charlie
~Charlie Ricker

jgallaway81
Posts: 605
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Milepost PT236 on the Pittsburgh Line - Altoona, PA

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by jgallaway81 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:35 am

parailfan312 wrote:No spammer here! ;)

28 years old from central Pennsylvania, specifically MP 99 of the Norfolk Southern Harrisburg Line (Hershey, PA aka Chocolatetown USA).

Tim
One down... 12 billion left to go!
_________________
__ J. D. Gallaway __
http://me.fccorp.us" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

CannaScrews
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:44 pm
Location: Across the river from BALDWIN's on the Naugy

Re: ANNOUNCEMENT! Users with Zero Posts to be Pruned

Post by CannaScrews » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:07 am

One of the railroad forums requires a valid e-mail address and with reply e-mail for validation because one of the "moderators" wanted to be able to identify any "dissidents" - read active censorship.

Naturally, all it did was to change that forum to a little more sedate and boring place.

The management of spammers et al, through activity seems like a better method.

Too bad it is real work.....
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance -
Baffle 'em with bulls**t...

Return to “General Discussion: About RAILROAD.NET”