Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

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Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

CART Web Monitor
Hi Guys and girls,

I run this forum using Nabble. http://www.coleshillhouse.com/coleshill-house-forum.php

Every day I get spammers signing up as a member then posting spam comments. We want everyone to be able to view the content but we need to be able to approve members before they post comments. Is this possible please and if so how?

Also is it possible to turn of commenting completely on the forum but leave it up for archive reasons?

Thanks in advance...
KBO
Kind Regards,
Tom Sykes - CART HQ
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

GregChapman
CART Web Monitor wrote
Every day I get spammers signing up as a member then posting spam comments. We want everyone to be able to view the content but we need to be able to approve members before they post comments. Is this possible please and if so how?
Careful how you use your terms. In Nabble! :-)
You need to distinguish between "Users" (i.e. absolutely anyone!), those who are "Registered" (i.e. have provided an email address and confirmed they control it) and those that you appoint as "Members".

As an Administrator you have no control over who joins the first two groups, but you can give/remove "Member" status to people. You can control what people in these various groups may and may not do:

Options > Users > Change permissions

Don't forget to click the "Save" button at the bottom of this long screen. As your forum is embedded in a page that is quite narrow you may need to use the scrollbar that allows access to further columns on the right of the page.
Also is it possible to turn of commenting completely on the forum but leave it up for archive reasons?
As an administrator you can go to any topic and select:

Options > Lock topic

This will prevent any further replies on that topic.

You can also remove the "Create_topic" and "Reply" permissions on any sub-forum, which effectively locks the entire area.

You may also find this post helpful:
http://support.nabble.com/Moderating-free-forum-tp6873076p6873871.html
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

Gary Lewis
Greg - I got my first spam attack last night and moved the three topics to an admin-only/deleted posts topic - as you'd suggested previously.  But, I'm worried that this is the tip of the iceberg and I don't want to be like that big ship that left Southampton a hundred years ago.  

So, do I need to set up a process whereby people register, which sends me an email.  I respond and when I hear from them I make them a "member"?  And, set it up so only members can post?
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

CART Web Monitor
Yes thats what we need
KBO
Kind Regards,
Tom Sykes - CART HQ
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

GregChapman
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Spam is a problem and I have wondered if Nabble have dropped some of their spam protection techniques in the last week weeks as I have certainly seen an increase. However, past experience does suggest that spam posts arrive in waves several weeks long and then they disappear again for a much longer period. So I tend live with them, just deleting the spam posts while they come.

Having said that I did set up one forum with an "Introduce Yourself" area. It is the only area in which newly registered users may post and the Description field explains that they need to say something that explains their interest in joining the forum.  Members can neither post nor reply. The description explains that too. Provided the new user says something that indicates they do appreciate the topic of the forum, then I make them a Member. It certainly does stop the bots from posting on the rest of the forum and human trolls have never been bothered to sign up.

Existing users seem to accept this process as reasonable. The only complaints come from the new users who are not used to a manual joining procedure that requires me to visit the forum regularly to approve them. Not everyone posts immediately after registering, so the registration notification email often comes 24-48 hrs before their first post by which time I've often forgotten about the notification so forget to visit and approve as quickly as they would like - even though the Description warns them of the manual process for approval.
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

GregChapman
I should add if the introductory post is really full of good material, I move it to an area where members can reply, so good posts don't go to waste and have to be repeated.
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

Gary Lewis
In reply to this post by GregChapman
Greg - Thanks for the response.  I've implemented this process, which I think is three steps from the user's viewpoint:  (Oops, I was going to use indentation to denote each step, but this isn't my site with the neat coding someone provided me, so I can't.  )

  Step 1: A user registers and I get an email.  I then respond with a request to read the guidelines and reply.

  Step 2: User reads the guidelines and responds that he has done.  Then I anoint them as a Member and send them a message saying they are good to go.

  Step 3: They read the email and start posting.

I think I like this better as your way gives the spammer the ability to flood the "Introduce Yourself" area.  And, I don't think your approach is any less steps for the new user, they just get to post something more quickly.  However, my users are used to posting in the "Introduce Yourself" area, and preventing them from doing so would be confusing.

However, your adder of moving the writeup to a place where others can respond might make it workable.

Anyway, thanks!
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

Gary Lewis
I'm running a poll on my site to see what others think the sign-up process should be, and while it is "early days" the vote is 9 for the 3-step process and 2 against.  So it seems likely we will be staying with that process.

Given that, is there a way to modify the instructions to the person registering to let them know what the process is?  I don't want them thinking that they'll immediately have access and then find they don't.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

GregChapman
Gary Lewis wrote
is there a way to modify the instructions to the person registering to let them know what the process is?
The obvious and simple way is to add the instructions and warnings to the Description field of the home page or "Introduce yourself" page (if you have one). That's all I have ever done.

After that It's a matter of editing the required macro. You could do worse than try editing the "Login_page" or "send_registration_email" macro. However you do need HTML coding knowledge to do that.
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

Gary Lewis
I’m afraid people will miss the instructions on the home page, or anywhere else in the forum for that matter, if they’ve been reading some topic and want to reply. That’ll give them the Register screen, which I think would be the ideal place to put the instructions. So, I’ll see about editing the macro.

But, I don’t know HTML. However, I do have a book on it and may be able to figure it out. 😉
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

GregChapman
Hi Gary,

Here's what I have achieved:

Amended Instructions
And this was how I did it...

1. Login with my Administrator email address

2. Click the "Edit this page" link
(The screen changes to show the current macro code)

3. Click the cogwheel beside the Macro name
(A menu opens)

4. Select the "Search Macros" option
(The Search screen loads)

5. Enter "registration_fields" (without quotes) in the input field and click the SEARCH button
(The results screen appears)

6. Click the "registration_fields" link
(The Macro screen appears)

7. Click the "Override this macro" button
(A panel with an editable version of the macro appears)

8. Scroll to where you find the structure:
         <tr>
            <td></td>
            <td class="weak-color" style="margin-top:1em;font-size:80%;padding-bottom:1em">
                <t>You will receive an email with a link to activate your account.</t>
            </td>
        </tr>
9. Replace it with the following:
         <tr>
            <td></td>
            <td style="margin-top:1em;font-size:80%;">
                <t>You will receive an email with a link to activate your account.</t>
            </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td></td>
            <td style="margin-top:1em;font-size:80%;">
                <t>An additional note on registration and posting rights.</t>
            </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td></td>
            <td style="margin-top:1em;font-size:80%;">
                <t>A further note of joining the forum.</t>
            </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td></td>
            <td style="margin-top:1em;font-size:80%;padding-bottom:1em;">
                <t>A final additional note.</t>
            </td>
        </tr>
10. Click the "Save changes" button
(A yellow message appears indicating successful change of data)

BACKGROUND NOTES:
1. I discovered which macro I needed to edit by using the "Macro source contains" option on the Macro search screen and using the terms: "receive an email" and "activate your account". Registration_fields was the only result to appear in both searches.

2.  The registration form is built using a table structure
In the structure to scroll to the HTML tags represent the following:
<tr>...</tr> Beginning and end of a table row
<td>...</td> Beginning and end of a table cell
             (The empty one would hold a prompt for the data field in other rows) 
<t>...</t>   Beginning and end of what I have discovered is a NAML specific
             structure that seems to be required to define text.
Just a Volunteer Nabble Helper - because the nice folk at Nabble have helped me!
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Re: Stopping Spam Members - PLEASE HELP

Gary Lewis
Greg - Perfect!  Thanks. Here’s what mine looks like now: