neptronix wrote:AW: I can't believe there are that many "sleeper cells". How long do those accounts lie dormant until they post? If it's over a month, a simple database query hooked up to a daily cron job could delete unused accounts over a month old. If they hang out for even longer than that... great!
There is a Prune Users funciton that would let me do that easily. BUT: there are real members out there that don't post but do read the forums.
What I think is that if we REQUIRED an intro post at the time of registration, but also had the autobanning system setup based on keywords and links and whatnot, so that spammers posting their crap would be nuked automagically, it might be practical to do autodeletion of unused accounts.
But at a guess, there are probably a few thousand zero post accounts, and I am sure some large portion of them are actually real members that read but don't post. So rather than a simple pruning of all zero-posters, we would need to do it as:
--IF post count = zero
--AND joined date = >2 days ago
--AND last visit date = >6 months ago
--THEN prune user
Another thing I'd like to do in lieu of better ideas, but would require a script written to do the notification part:
--notify all NON-BANNED members via the email they registered at ES with that a policy change in profile usage will take place that WILL result in their account removal if they do not act as notified, within one month.
--Implement a policy change that says during registration that if you put anything into the Website field of your profile, your account name and IP will be automatically banned and your account will be deleted.
--Once the notifications have gone out, and members have had the allotted time to make changes,
I would also like a tool that will generate a list of names and IPs for zero-post banned members and the "reason" field for their banning (because I choose "no spamming allowed" in that dropdown when I ban them, except for the last two days of "emergency hack'n'slash" I've been doing), and sorted by that field. Then I could copy/paste that list into the Prune Users page, and remove them completely, including all the links and crap in their profiles.
Moderator pre-approval would seem to be a turnoff for new users and also require some manual labor. One forum i joined up on would corral it's new users into a newbie form until they got X amount of posts. That worked pretty well!
If we made that forum invisible to anyone except members so that no bots can crawl it, it might work ok. However, it would then require the mods to read everything that gets posted there to determine if they are real people or not. A spammer would be able to just script it so their bot always posts at least x number of posts, and easily get around the protection, though.
For those spammers that don't go out of that forum, I guess it doesn't matter, and if it was not visible to the outside or search engines, we wouldn't even *have* to delete it. But their crap would still be in it, and that would certainly bother *me*, and time would still have to be spent cleaning it up. (or i'd go nutz knowing it was still there and I couldn't do anything about it
Having a *single* intro "post" required that goes to the mods for preapproval would be less work, and I don't see how it would be a turn-off for new users. Many of the people coming here have projects or problems that they'd like to talk about right away, and it'd be a chance for them to talk about it very first thing without the distractions of the rest of the forum.
But I think the Automod Spam Hammer stuff would obviate the need for either of the above, most of the time.
Really, though, we won't know how well any of them work until we actually TRY something.
FWIW, a slightly similar method to the newbie forum is using a "honeypot" forum, invisible to the outside and only visible to a member. A warning is plastered all thru that forum "DON"T POST HERE!" and that "If you post here you'll be bahleeted and banneded instantosimultaneously and automagically", which of course a spambot isn't going to (be able to) read. Then a script can be run periodically that wipes out anything in that forum including the members that posted it.