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Old 01-06-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
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Exclamation Forums Registration Is Re-Opened, Requires A Question/Answer

For one reason or another, there have been an obnoxiously high number of spam bots signing up lately and flooding the forums with their filth. I've been looking into what security and human verification options we have and what I've tried thus far hasn't seemed to have had much effect. So, for the time being, I've closed forums registration. People can still register, but their registration request will have to be confirmed by an administrator. This is something I intend to do every weekend until I find a more suitable solution to the increased bot issue.

Having said that, if you've brought anyone to the forums to sign up and would like them added sooner than the weekend, just shoot Profanity or I a PM and we'll do that when we can.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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Gonna give something new a try. I've re-opened the registration. It now requires a comic-specific question to be answered to complete. Hopefully, that'll slow down bots, and even people redirected from other sites to enter human verification information for bots. Only people who care about the comic, or at least care enough to sift through a load of it to get the answer, will be signing up. Going to have to likely keep changing the question periodically, but I think (if it works) it'll be better than not allowing anyone new to join.

I've also changed board permissions to allow people to reply to threads on this board, but not create new ones, unless they are a mod or an admin. Because, really, why shouldn't people be able to reply?
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:00 PM   #3
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After a couple of weeks of this experiment, I'd say this seems to be working out beautifully. If any bots begin to show up, just let an admin know, and we'll change the question and answer again.
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:50 AM   #4
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The question should be something about how great I am. Which is very.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:39 AM   #5
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Hardly.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:53 AM   #6
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Not going to lie, but that question was balls hard.

Even though I've read all of Fanboys over a year ago, I would never remember Sylvia's friend's name because she hardly ever shows up.

The Character Bio link didn't work either so I had to reread the archive until I found her again.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:59 AM   #7
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If that is the case I think making the question easier would be wise.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:43 AM   #8
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If it's a problem with bots signing up, truthfully, the best thing to do is really just to ask a question that everyone on fanboys would know and can answer.

Something like,
"Paul was a fanboy of this company before Sony: "
"Sylvia's boyfriend is: "
"True or False: A penguin and an anime chick in a bikini has battled in this comic"

The only thing that will get through are human-spammers and that's a rarity that can be dealt with pretty quickly.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:47 AM   #9
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That was probably the original intention.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Profanity View Post
That was probably the original intention.
I got the idea of the intent.

I'm just saying that a question based on a "side-character" that is hardly mentioned makes the sign up process extremely difficult because of how buried that character is in the timeline of the comic.

The other scenarios can be answered quickly because you would technically remember them because they had a lot more significance.

Like I said above, I read all of fanboys and I couldn't even answer the current question.

Sylvia's friend's name? Probably mentioned all of three times, max.
Her appearance in the comic, I can only remember two story arcs.
It's like asking, "What kind of job does Will have?"

It's more of a question of:
Would you sacrifice the growth of the community to prevent spam or would you rather have the community grow?
If the idea of community growth isn't of concern, then you can ignore my three posts here.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:59 AM   #11
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Well no, I think everyone agrees the question is a bit too obscure it's just. I think. ... Y'know, nevermind.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:13 AM   #12
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Funny you should mention that. I was just making changes.

There are several random questions now. I'll likely add more. If you don't know one, refresh, and you'll get another.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naoie View Post
Sylvia's friend's name? Probably mentioned all of three times, max.
Her appearance in the comic, I can only remember two story arcs.
It's like asking, "What kind of job does Will have?"
And no, I don't think so. She's shown up about as often as Will and been mentioned about as much. She's also been in more than just arcs. I have to wonder how many people even remember which one is Will and which one is Chess, 'cause I sure as shit don't.

I'm sure there are many people who have read the comic that will remember her name, though my main concern has been with the weird way it's spelled. So! There are more questions now.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:27 AM   #14
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I'm pretty happy that I know the answer to all but one of those. You should totally ask what brand of cigarettes Paul smokes.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:33 AM   #15
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Which one don't you know the answer to?
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:38 AM   #16
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I don't remember what series Lemmy and Sylvia played through
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:40 AM   #17
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Ah. Well, I'd name it here, but I dunno if that'd be wise. I don't know how them crafty bots work. Or hell, the people sent from other sites to bypass security for the bots.

But it's the series Link's famous for.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:48 PM   #18
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There was just a spambot. And he posted some spam. So that's not a good thing.

On the other hand I just got to ban a spambot so everyone get in line for high fives
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:49 PM   #19
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I already looked. The account signed up December 29, 2010. We're still good for now. We still have a lot of dormant bot accounts around. Best we can do is just swat them down when they decide to go active. A lot better than dealing with a flood of new ones.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:04 PM   #20
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If there's really that many dormant bot accounts, is it possible to just purge all accounts with 0 posts that are older than a few months? Between that and the new verification quiz, I think we'd be pretty spam free.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:18 PM   #21
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It's possible and I may do that. I haven't actually counted them, but I've looked through and seen several here and there. I generally delete them when I see them. They tend to all have patterns. For some reason they like to put "Man" in their bios a lot of the time and "12345678" in their WoW info.

This is the first time we've had a bot pop up in about a month, so I'll just see how it goes for now. We're not in any danger.
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:52 AM   #22
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But I feel dangerous.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:25 AM   #23
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You are the terror that flaps in the night.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:58 AM   #24
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I want to put Man in my bio now. Nice and brief. Gets right to the point.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:01 AM   #25
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Also a bit misleading.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:15 AM   #26
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:43 PM   #27
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awww yea

01-05-2011 was the join date of the bot I just banned

HOORAY!
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:50 PM   #28
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Addy is doing all sorts of moderating today
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:01 PM   #29
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I feel important!
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:07 PM   #30
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Oh. Well, that's good. Looks like it was registered just before I did all this.

Though, I have gotten rid of what looked like it was probably a bot account a couple weeks ago that signed up after I set all this up. It was never used, though. Just had links in its signature. Nothing since then.
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