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I despair
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 Posted: Thu Dec 15th, 2011 08:47 am
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tarotcol
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Two days ago I reopened subscriptions to the Forum, clandestinely, without telling anyone about this.

Earlier this year I had to lock the Forum against people (primarily from China) subscribing to the Forum for the purposes of promoting non-existent goods and services. These criminals post a message about some service or item they purport to be selling and give an active link that one can click on. These links are dangerous. They are at least a means of phishing for credit card details, and possibly even ways of uploading trojans and viruses onto users computers.

Within two days of my opening the subscriptions again, one of these criminals had registered and was up to their games again.

These people are destroying discussion on the Internet. I have seen other boards buried in such off-topic postings. These are not robots, as the capcha step during the registration cannot be overcome by robots. So actual real people are registering and then posting these dangerous messages.

Sadly, there are people out there, watching this forum (and many others), who want to use it to further their criminal activities. Within two days of my opening subscriptions they were back. I can see no way to defeat them except by locking the Forum again to new subscriptions.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 15th, 2011 11:02 am
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debra
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Oh what a pain in the neck!

Can you require new registrants to answer a couple of questions? Their two favorite decks, and why? Something along those lines?

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 Posted: Thu Dec 15th, 2011 04:15 pm
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Markosias
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The only way I know around this is to require an "application" sort of form, where the applicant answers a few questions and why they want to be a part of the forum. Then you allow 4 or 5 trusted people to be administrators that can approve or disapprove the application. It's a PITA (Pain in the A), but it works - and will allow legitimate interested parties to join.

It's what I've had to do in Yahoo Groups that I mediate, and it's what my gaming friends have done on their "guild" sites. No one person has the time for this kind of overhead, but if you can deligate to a few trusted members, it can be done.

Just my .02
-M

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 Posted: Fri Dec 16th, 2011 03:22 pm
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tarotcol
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The boards software allows me to appoint some individuals as moderators. I will check if this will give them permission to handle subscriptions. If so I will see if anyone will volunteer to undertake this thankless task.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 18th, 2011 06:23 pm
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gregory
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I will. And I hope you let in a mate of mine who I directed to you the other day.

Or even a couple of questions with set answers that a more-or-less bot would hardly manage to get around....

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 Posted: Sun Dec 18th, 2011 08:49 pm
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tarotcol
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The board software is not sufficiently flexible to allow me to appoint moderators to directly approve new members.

I have, however, thought of a solution.

I will open the board to new subscribers for a short period each month, a few days, then close it again. The 'Chinese' cyber-criminals may be lucky enough to find that short window of opportunity but they will be easy to deal with and be quickly unsubscribed from the site.

Anyone wishing to subscribe will have to do this during that window of opportunity.

It would be best if these days were not advertised in advance, i.e I did not merely open the forum on, say, the first two days of the month, but were to gather a list of potential subscribers then email them to tell them when to subscribe.

Would anyone be willing to act as a kind of membership secretary, and accept requests for new subscriptions ?

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 Posted: Mon Dec 19th, 2011 09:52 am
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gregory
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I WILL - but I need someone to do it with me, as I am on the road a lot....

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 Posted: Fri Jan 6th, 2012 09:14 pm
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nicole
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I can help dear - this is such a nice forum to have I would be happy to do something to assist - I was too challenged to do much with the inventory Adam is collecting but this looks to be in my skill set. Let me know.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 6th, 2012 10:38 pm
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gregory
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When Adam answers, I will do !

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 Posted: Fri Feb 3rd, 2012 01:36 am
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bolaris
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If you need anyone else to help, let me know. This forum is a treasure, and it would be a pity for it not to be available to new members. I would be glad to assist.

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 Posted: Fri Feb 3rd, 2012 02:54 pm
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gregory
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It's working OK so far with me and Nicky...

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 Posted: Fri Jan 24th, 2014 02:56 pm
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paris_finley
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I've just come on board and had to go through the new "application" process answering questions about my collecting and so on. I found it easy, not at all inappropriate, and completely understandable in light of what is happening. It gave me the sense that this forum would be free from not only spammers but also the ubiquitous snarky exchanges that I have encountered on unmonitored sites. I'm thrilled to be here.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 24th, 2014 03:37 pm
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gregory
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I am glad !

I have had one person decided to jack it in, on the grounds that he had to do less to open a bank account... :ce:ce

Last edited on Fri Jan 24th, 2014 03:38 pm by gregory

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