Password Poll: Please read
OK, everybody. I've intentionally left our forums as wide-open as possible, because I don't want artificial or unnecessary barriers to healthy discussion. Most of the spam we've received has been minor, filterable stuff. But the recent stuff has been pretty obscene.
We have a few options here.
To help us decide, please respond to this poll:

1. If the City's Edge forums were password-protected for all posts I would
a) probably never post again. I hate passwords and refuse to memorize them.
b) post considerably less than I do now
c) post about the same: I am used to logging in

2. Should the City's Edge forums be restricted? If so, should we
a) Restrict new discussion creation to logged in users. (All known Spam has been new discussions, not replies)
b) Restrict all discussion creation and replies to logged in users.
c) None of the above. Leave 'em open. I am smart enough to tell spam from legitimate posts, and I will proactively notify Annette when spam appears.

Please also let me know if
3. I am willing to be an anti-spam delegate with deletion privileges
4. I do not have a user ID or I have forgotten my user ID and password.

Thank you!
ROUS  Annette Collins, Wednesday, 6-27-07 11:55 AM
re: Password Poll: Please read
1- c) post about the same: I am used to logging in
2- a) Restrict new discussion creation to logged in users.
3- i'm willing to be an anti-spammer

ROUS  Christina Reagan, Wednesday, 6-27-07 12:02 PM
re: Password Poll: Please read
1. c
2. a -- at least for now to see if it works.
ROUS  Zach Brumbelow, Wednesday, 6-27-07 12:05 PM
re: Password Poll: Please read
The problem is, the only folks that will vote in the poll will likely answer c :-) Most people are substantially deterred from posting a first time if they have to create a user name and password, whereas they might participate if they can post without one.
Here are a couple thoughts from our discussion at lunch:
1) Can we set up a whitelist of IPs (take all the IPs from the database that legitimate comments have come from in the past and allow comments without moderation only from those IPs)? All non-whitelisted comments could then be individually moderated, and if approved, could be added to the whitelist if they're actually legitimate comments
2) It occurs to me that legitimate comments very rarely have more than one hyperlink whereas obscene spam almost always does. Perhaps we could make any message with more than a single hyperlink require moderation approval.

In the meantime I'm praying to God that the spammers might know his terrible swift sword :-)
David C, Wednesday, 6-27-07 2:50 PM
re: Password Poll: Please read
and cook thier hard drives!

1. c
2. a

ben , Wednesday, 6-27-07 3:49 PM
re: Password Poll: Please read
Yes, you're right on your voting complaint. Especially since you can't create your own user ID and PW: you have to ask me. :)

The IP white-list idea has some promise. I can't extended it back in time (to immediately clear all existing legitimate IPs), but I could make it so any logged in user's IP is automatically white-listed when posting.
I may explore this idea further.

A second option is to place all messages from non-logged-in users in a "pending" status, such that a moderator (and I would have to appoint several!) would have to manually approve it before it would be displayed to the public.

Pros: Simpler to implement. Cons: More work going forward to maintain than the IP whitelist / graylist / blacklist.

As to the multiple link idea... I don't think its granular enough. There are plenty of legit messages w/ > 1 link, and at least the potential of very illegitimate ones with only one link. Or no links, for that matter. I don't think I want to get into the business of automated content censorship or even moderation. Too easy to defeat, too hard to write.
ROUS  Annette Collins, Wednesday, 6-27-07 3:51 PM
re: Password Poll: Please read
1. c
2. ? I don't really like the idea of restricting posts because I think it would prove a barrier to more timid posters or city's edgers who aren't regular enough to have a user ID. Your second option has merit. Maybe in conjunction with David's idea you could only impend non-logged in posts with links attached. I think that would make for a lot less work for you.

I do not have a user ID
Lisa, Thursday, 6-28-07 12:39 PM
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