Sign Up Requirements

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Allan
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Sign Up Requirements

Post by Allan » 21 Nov 2012 18:55

It really sucks, but I see no other alternative; the spammers are out of control. I've been forced to change the registration page to read the following:
WE'RE CURRENTLY ON LOCK-DOWN BECAUSE OF SPAMMERS!
For the time being, if you want an account on modified.in, you need to continue with this application normally; once you've submitted the form, you then need to separately send an email to allan@footbag.org with a very brief introduction. You need not go into much detail; just say something like: "Hi, I'm Sara from Paris, France. I just registered on modified with the username "sarashreds." I'd like to be part of the modified.in community. Please approve my request."

I think it really sucks that I have to be a gatekeeper to the forum like this, but we're currently getting 60+ applications a day from spammers and I just can't personally verify each one. Most accounts have pretty obvious spammer names; I attempt to contact the non-obvious ones, but even then the task is overly-burdensome. Please be aware that if you create an account with a username like "berry652," your chances of being noticed by me are slim-to-none if you don't also send me an email.

On behalf of the modified community, we're stoked you're here, and really appreciate your patience with this process.

If you can't figure out the answer to the question on the next page, just send me a message at the above address and I'll hook you up.
I've also had to change the question on the actual registration form from "What sport is this?" to "What's the most common shoe for footbag freestyle?" It seems that spammers get actual people to go in and figure out the answers and then add them to their scripts since the first question stopped being effective after a couple of weeks at most. Honestly, I've just been ignoring new user applications for the past couple of weeks (yikes!), because I can't keep vetting dozens of email day. If I've neglected to ask for help in doing this, let me rectify this now: PLEASE SOMEONE ELSE BECOME AN ACTIVE ADMIN AND HELP ME! Now that I've changed the question, the torrent has stopped again, but it's only a matter of time before they crack this answer and it starts again.

A) If you have edits to the above text for the registration page, speak up.

B) I need suggestions for new questions to ask that are appropriate (I think the system actually supports multiple questions that rotate randomly); obviously the things need to be short/brief and answerable by newbies. My latest question isn't even a great example, as some newbs may not (probably don't?) know about the shoes yet ...

C) If you know about spammers and phpBB and how to stop them, or have some alternate suggestion rather than going this route, then please do speak up :) I know enough to do the standard low-hanging fruit stuff (all done), but maybe there's other stuff that could be done ...

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sen
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by sen » 21 Nov 2012 20:18

Not sure I can help with this at all, but I wanted to say thanks for handling this and keep spammers at bay. The one thing I think I could help with is acting as a gatekeeper with you (or even for you). Let me know if you'd like the help and more of what it would entail.

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Jeremy
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Jeremy » 23 Nov 2012 03:18

Couldn't he question just be something simple and non-footbag related that cycles or is updated frequently? What is the third word in this sentence? Etc.

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Outsider
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Outsider » 23 Nov 2012 12:20

What is the third word in this sentence?
Thats kind of footbag-related...
"The time has come to convert the unbelievers..."

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Allan
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Allan » 23 Nov 2012 12:35

sen wrote:The one thing I think I could help with is acting as a gatekeeper with you (or even for you).
For anyone wanting to do this: it would require you to become an admin. Once you're an admin, the application emails should start coming to you. Unfortunately, the email that you get does not include the users email address, so once you get notified, you need to click the link to see the users profile, edit it to see the email address, then copy and paste it into a new email that you send to the user with some text like:
Hello.

I'm an admin at modified.in footbag community forum. Welcome! You signed up, but because we've been having issues with spammers, we've recently started to vet new members personally. Could you please reply to this email and let me know you're a real person who doesn't intend to spam our board? We really appreciate the extra effort.

I hope to see you on the forum!

Allan H
(I used the "Canned Response" feature of gmail ...)

Then you wait for the reply. If it comes, you approve the membership ...

Sucks, right? Still interested?
Jeremy wrote:Couldn't he question just be something simple and non-footbag related that cycles or is updated frequently? What is the third word in this sentence? Etc.
Well, yes, it could be non-footbag related, but what fun is that? Footbag-related questions are perhaps more durable, as they can't (likely) be unlocked by an algorithm, and even some spammer-humans might get frustrated and give up on an answer that isn't immediately obvious. I suppose I was looking at the feature as a sort of "secret password." I mean, shouldn't people who want to post in here know *something* about footbag? I can easily see the flip-side to my argument there, so please don't look at this as me saying that the questions should or shouldn't be footbag-related. I honestly don't care, as long as the spam stops and it doesn't cost a lot of time.

My point is mostly that I don't want to write the questions, and I don't really want to be in charge of this frequent updating you advocate ;)

Can someone just please post some questions for me?

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Allan
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Allan » 28 Nov 2012 12:04

So, no help on the questions then?

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Outsider
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Outsider » 29 Nov 2012 14:06

How about:

"What is it called when you catch the footbag on your foot instead of kicking it?"

I think most casual kickers and newbs will be able to come up with "Stall."

I'll try to think of some more easy ones.

Is that what you had in mind, Allan?
"The time has come to convert the unbelievers..."

Jonathan Schneider --- sometimes showers with his Lavers on (to clean them)
The Ministry of Silly Walks
NYFA
BAP

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Allan
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Allan » 29 Nov 2012 21:12

Outsider wrote:How about:

"What is it called when you catch the footbag on your foot instead of kicking it?"
I like it :)

Outsider wrote:Is that what you had in mind, Allan?
That's exactly what I had in mind, thank you :)

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Outsider
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Outsider » 02 Dec 2012 08:01

Allan,

I don't really know much about how these things work --- can one question have more than one acceptable answer? Or are these questions only going to recognize one answer each?

If either one of two possible answers can be used, I can think of another good question (but I just haven't thought of how to phrase it yet...).
"The time has come to convert the unbelievers..."

Jonathan Schneider --- sometimes showers with his Lavers on (to clean them)
The Ministry of Silly Walks
NYFA
BAP

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Allan
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Allan » 02 Dec 2012 08:47

Outsider wrote:
can one question have more than one acceptable answer?
Yes. There can be as many answers as necessary :)

Thanks J!

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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by C-Fan » 03 Jan 2013 13:59

Tennis is to ping pong, as BLANK is to hackysack.

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Allan
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Allan » 12 Jan 2013 13:49

You mean *Table* tennis? Good one, I like it. Added.

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Allan
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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by Allan » 21 Feb 2013 17:04

These new questions seem to be working; I've not gotten a single spammer application in many weeks now. As a result, I've taken down that horrible notice about asking people to manually send me an email after they register.

I am still personally vetting each new member request (there have been a spat of them in the past couple of weeks, which I'm stoked on) with an email that the new user must reply to before I activate the account, but at least now it's not so scary and complicated ... again.

Yay interwebs!

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Re: Sign Up Requirements

Post by C-Fan » 05 Mar 2013 12:10

Good jorb, Allan! Thank you for all your work on the site.

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