Unfortunately banning the IP addresses of these users is ineffective because they are changing their IPs with proxy services. I could ban all known proxy services from visiting the forum but there are legitimate users on the forum who use proxies for getting around school/work firewalls etc who would be affected by this ban. I could ban all of the known fake email generation sites from being used in registration but there are thousands of possible domains and I could not possibly ban all of them - this would be just as time consuming and ineffective as banning their accounts one at a time like we are right now.
As a result the only way to stop these people is to put limits on every single new account registered on the forum. This is a proactive solution to the problem instead of a reactive one, and should be more effective as a result. Obviously this is going to affect more legitimate users than it will spammers, so we were very careful in choosing what limitations we impose on new forum accounts.
New users on the forum can expect the following limitations to be placed on their account:
- You will not be able to make any topics or replies on the forum without a site moderator personally approving them first. When you try to make a topic or reply it will save your topic/reply for a moderator to approve or deny. Once it is approved it will appear on the site publicly - if it is ignored or denied it will never appear on the site. This prevents new accounts from spamming rule-breaking replies to all the recent topics on the site while still allowing legitimate replies to be posted on the forum.
- You will be limited to 2 topics or replies a day. This prevents spammers from spamming the approval system which would continue to annoy the staff members of the website.
- You will not be able to send Private Messages.
- You will not be able to modify any of your topics or replies - if you need to make an edit a moderator will have to assist you.
We apologize to all new members who have no intention of spamming our forums, but until the issue of spamming is resolved this system will have to remain in place. You can thank the spammers for ruining the registration process for legitimate users.
If anyone has any suggestions or comments on this new forum feature please feel free to reply below.