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Old 08-27-2005, 02:03 PM   #1
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Bot Registrations?

I've suspected this for a while now, but seeing the rather illogical name of our "newest user"...

"wlbm@forum.interference.com"

...made me decide to bring this up. I've also seen "new users" with names like "ahnja;kldjfa." Of course, they can't post (and, hence, they can't spam, which is why they have "bot registrations" in the first place), because you require e-mail validation to post, but no validation is required to register probably leaving this forum with the thousands of "zero-post wonders" this place seems to currently have.

A relatively simple solution would be to add a PHP-generated "confirmation code" into the registration form, similar to this one:



This would force genuine users to retype the text in the dynamically generated image, and would thwart bot registrations, because they cannot read the text in the image. Ticketmaster.com also instituted this fairly common form of protection, and a code is probably readily available for vBulletin boards.

So here's my suggestion.

Melon
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:17 PM   #2
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And just to accent my point, only 9,255 users have made one post or more out of the 39,527 we have listed.

(I calculated it out using the "Top 50 Posters" function, which merely sorts users by posts and went back 186 pages or so to find the last poster who made only 1 post. I multiplied from there.)

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Old 08-27-2005, 02:35 PM   #3
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personally, i like the thought that robots could be among us. ive suspected a few posters to be robots for quite some time now, this may confirm my suspicions
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:41 PM   #4
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only 4,179 of the 39,527 listed have made more than 10 posts

thats not really relevant to anything, sorry
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chizip
personally, i like the thought that robots could be among us. ive suspected a few posters to be robots for quite some time now, this may confirm my suspicions
Should I be worried, Chizip?
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
And just to accent my point, only 9,255 users have made one post or more out of the 39,527 we have listed.

(I calculated it out using the "Top 50 Posters" function, which merely sorts users by posts and went back 186 pages or so to find the last poster who made only 1 post. I multiplied from there.)

Melon
I'm glad I'm not the only person who check out how many registered users have ever actually posted.
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:51 PM   #7
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Not entirely relevant to the issue Melon has raised, but what I really don't understand is why some people post to introduce themselves, and then are never heard from again.
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Old 08-27-2005, 02:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
Not entirely relevant to the issue Melon has raised, but what I really don't understand is why some people post to introduce themselves, and then are never heard from again.
Maybe they can't find anything else of interest to post about?

Actually that puzzles me also.
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Old 08-27-2005, 03:00 PM   #9
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I think a lot of people are just registering to get access to the Audio/Video forum.
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Old 08-27-2005, 03:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Man
I think a lot of people are just registering to get access to the Audio/Video forum.
Maybe then there should be a post restriction? Say maybe like 10 or 20 relevant posts in order to gain access to the audio/video forum?


But besides that, I didn't even know that Interland had so many residents (lurker and nonlurkers alike).
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Old 08-27-2005, 06:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chizip
personally, i like the thought that robots could be among us. ive suspected a few posters to be robots for quite some time now, this may confirm my suspicions
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Old 08-28-2005, 01:20 AM   #12
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We've been deleting those bogus usernames and Elvis said he patched a hole in some registration script to keep it from happening again, but I'll definately pass this thread along.
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:01 PM   #13
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Re: Bot Registrations?

Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I've suspected this for a while now, but seeing the rather illogical name of our "newest user"...

"wlbm@forum.interference.com"

...made me decide to bring this up. I've also seen "new users" with names like "ahnja;kldjfa." Of course, they can't post (and, hence, they can't spam, which is why they have "bot registrations" in the first place), because you require e-mail validation to post, but no validation is required to register probably leaving this forum with the thousands of "zero-post wonders" this place seems to currently have.

A relatively simple solution would be to add a PHP-generated "confirmation code" into the registration form, similar to this one:



This would force genuine users to retype the text in the dynamically generated image, and would thwart bot registrations, because they cannot read the text in the image. Ticketmaster.com also instituted this fairly common form of protection, and a code is probably readily available for vBulletin boards.

So here's my suggestion.

Melon

The bots have actually been using a script I wrote for simple U2 News registration, with little security, to register. I had modified it recently to try and prevent the bots... but that didnt seem to work. The script is now disabled.

As far as your observations on user stats, Melon, there are several factors you cant see in the members directory... such as how many people just read/lurk.
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:41 PM   #14
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I joined this site simply to be able to read all the forums. I think I posted only once, this should be my second time.

As a long time forum admin, I have several years of running vB forums. It is a very normal thing to have people simply register and never post. Some think it's helping the site get bigger but most just register to be able to read all forums. I have one vB forum that has over 30,000 posts and 3,000 members. Of those 3,000 members, maybe 200 of them have ever posted and maybe 50 of them are active members. I have found that people who register with nonesense screen names such as shsgd simply wanted to register in a hurry and never had any plans of coming back after they viewed the forums the first time. Very few of those people who verified the registration had nonesense screen names. Most people who didn't verify missed the screen telling them to check their email or they simply used a fake email address at signup thus missing the email altogether.
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Old 08-29-2005, 05:21 PM   #15
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I guess those of us who like to shoot our mouths off (and hence post quite a bit), find it weird that someone would have the self restraint not to post.
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