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FEATURE REQUEST: Replying to old threads...

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    FEATURE REQUEST: Replying to old threads...

    I don't know if this is possible, but if it is, I'd love to see it...

    PROBLEM: It seems we get a lot of new, trial accounts (cough spammers, cough) who post on old threads for some reason. Some of these people might be legit, but... it's a pattern. It's not terrible but it is noise.

    Possible Solutions:
    Aside from letting it go, I can see three options:

    1) Close threads after X time (6 months, etc). Downside of this is that if a paying member search and finds an old thread and wants to ask a question etc... they couldn't do that. I'd rather live with the noise we get than do this, personally.

    2) Close threads after X time to trial accounts. Normal paid accounts could post in these. This preserves the ability to post relevant things in older threads for legit Pitmaster folks but eliminates the spammers.

    Alternatively, remove trial accounts, but I assume they bring in enough legit folks that you would not want to do this.

    EDIT: See 3rd option idea below.
    Last edited by rickgregory; August 16, 2021, 03:31 PM.

    #2
    (2)

    Comment


      #3
      +1 to #2 if possible.

      Comment


        #4
        Yeah, I would only go with option 2, if at all possible. I.e. limit the age of a thread that a trial account could post to. I know I've resurrected threads that were a couple of years old myself.

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          Nuthin wrong with bringin ol topics into th discussion, in my eyes; Ah'm jus here to learn, an am quite prone to ask Stoopid Questions, even if a Topic is from Day One...I constantly find ol posts that interest me, an jump in...bump em... This is how we all accumulate knowledge, Yes?

          Wood Fired Diogenes, am I
          Last edited by Mr. Bones; August 16, 2021, 12:42 PM.

        #5
        Actually, there's a 3rd option:

        #3: Allow trial accounts to view content but not post at all.

        My preference would be 2, followed by 3, followed by leave it as is. I added #1 because it IS an option if the software allows threads to be closed at all, but I think it does more harm than good.
        Last edited by rickgregory; August 16, 2021, 12:08 PM.

        Comment


        • Steve R.
          Steve R. commented
          Editing a comment
          I vote for #3. If only old threads are closed to trial members, they will just start posting to newer ones, making them less easy to spot. But #2 is a close second choice for me.

        #6
        Another vote for option #2 ... assuming it's both possible and a reasonable thing to do ...

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          I reckon #2 is a good fence straddler, Amigo!

        • Bbqmikeg
          Bbqmikeg commented
          Editing a comment
          I’m new and confused about a lot of things on the site, but if I read a post stream that said “read only” or “posts closed” I could read it without caring about posting myself.

        #7
        With a little effort, one of these options could be implemented.

        But...

        It will not stop the spammers. It will not stop the "noise".

        Spammers will adjust. They will post wherever they can.

        So the spam posts will just end up in the topics/threads where they are allowed to post.

        Comment


        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          I mean, sure. But that's kind of like saying "why ever lock my car, people can break a window?"

          The more I think about it, the more I'd be in favor of #3, simply not letting trial accounts post. That way, you're not playing whackamole with the age of threads where they're allowed to post, etc.

          Legit trial users could still browse around and see the kind of stuff that is posted and decide whether or not to join. I mean, how many trial accounts from legit people a) are created and b) post?
          Last edited by rickgregory; August 16, 2021, 05:44 PM.

        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          Hit char limit...

          I guess I'd also ask the team to consider if trial accounts are useful at all. I'd hope you're tracking conversion rate to paid accounts, so you should be able to figure out if the hassle of trials is with the $$.

        #8
        We can't not allow Trial members to post, the legit ones want to ask questions and if we stop them they won't be happy here. We will just have to watch those topics for spammers and clean house as often as we can.

        Comment


        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          Look Huskee, I want a convoluted solution to a simple problem that solves the simple problem but has new and unforeseen issues, m'kay???

          OK, seriously, I just don't notice real questions from real trials, so it didnt occur to me that we had that many of them.

        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          rickgregory Lol! We do have a few legitimates ones who post. Not a ton.

        • jhoskins
          jhoskins commented
          Editing a comment
          I posted a good amount when I was a trial member because I wanted to see how helpful the community was in answering questions. I also was more prone to resurrect old threads than start new ones because in the “newbie” reading material, it says to search for old threads to see if a topic is covered before posting a new one.

          Generally, the helpfulness of the members, with the exception of Panhead John of course, was a big reason why I joined.

        #9
        Maybe I’m the only one this happens to but I don’t always discern an old thread (some old threads’ titles are hard to pass up so I click on them) revived from a spammer or a legitimate poster because I don’t always check the original post’s date. If it was possible to change the appearance of a thread that has that kind of gap it may help give the post that revived the thread a second look.

        Comment


          #10
          Originally posted by rickgregory View Post
          I guess I'd also ask the team to consider if trial accounts are useful at all. I'd hope you're tracking conversion rate to paid accounts, so you should be able to figure out if the hassle of trials is with the $$.
          Man, I use a thermometer probe to cook hotdogs, you think we don't keep track of something as important as Trial membership conversions!?!?

          In all seriousness, yes, we track everything. We average just over a 16% Trial-to-paid-membership conversion ratio. Might not sound huge but that's about ~15-20 paid memberships per week signing up from Trials! So Trials are important to us. We want those who do sign up as legitimate Trial members, and who want to participate, to be able to. Even if it means we have to swat the flies at the picnic.

          And like I mentioned in the Spammers topic, I get an email every hour from the system when a Trial member has posted a link (aka spammed us) so y'all can relax and take it easy knowing we're on the case! You can just skip on by and be as happy as the green beans in Panhead John's chili.

          EDIT: I misspoke in the above stats, I adjusted it.

          Comment


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            Panhead John puts green beans in his chili? Off with his head

          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            For the record it is not green beans….it’s canned English peas. Geez, you guys don’t remember squat.

          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            Panhead John You put squash in your chili?

          #11
          I'd rather put up with the minor annoyance of a spammer lighting on an old topic than give raywjohnson a request that may not solve the problem anyway. I figure he has enough on his plate.

          I've learned a lot from old topics that are dredged up and revitalized with comments besides the spammer's. Sometimes I'm reminded of a technique or recipe that I forgot about in the ensuing years. That gives it just as much heft as a new topic, for me. There's a lot of gold in them thar hills.

          Kathryn

          Comment


          • surfdog
            surfdog commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep. I especially love an old topic that pops up with a recipe or some such that I hadn’t even thought of. (Read: never searched for) There’s some real gems hidden away in these “archives.”

          • pkadare
            pkadare commented
            Editing a comment
            +1. While we've recently seen a small uptick in the behaviour described here, I don't think that it is enough to require any action at all.

          • klflowers
            klflowers commented
            Editing a comment
            +2, 3, 4 and 5

          #12
          rickgregory "why ever lock my car, people can break a window?"

          That is not a fair analogy.
          This is more like adding an extra lock over the existing one.
          However, the person has many avenues to get around your extra lock.
          Break the window, pick the lock, use a "slim jim", or wait and mug and/or just car jack you.

          The real issue here lies in the numbers.

          Setting up the restrictions effects legitimate trial members more that it prevents spammers.

          By example (these are made up numbers to illustrate the problem).
          Let's say there are 50 new trial memberships a week.
          And we block them from posting in old threads.
          Let's say 10% of them are spammers, so 5.
          We block 45 legitimate people to try to stop 5 spammers.
          Who will just post somewhere else.
          Resolution:
          Spam not stopped, 95% of legit members cannot post in old threads.

          Comment


            #13
            Oops! Forgot to mention. I already have a daily scan for these posts in place.

            Scan for trial members with fewer than 5 posts. More than that and they would get reported by membership. Then scan the posts for links.

            The spammer trick here is that the post will initially not have any links. But, after a few days, the post gets edited and the link added. The daily scan finds and reports these.

            ---

            I am also looking into a way to auto report any post in old threads/topics. In older versions of the forum software (vBulletin) this was a built in feature. If you tried to post in an old thread/topic, you got a message telling you it was old and you had to click a check box and agree that you know that. All before the post would be accepted.

            I will see if I can find a plugin that will do this. And report these. Or better yet, put them in the moderation queue. Letting the moderators decide to allow them.

            Comment


              #14
              Seriously? You guys need a hobby if you feel a need to stewie about spammers. I flag and move on, they are effectively, and permanently, dealt with in a few hours.

              Comment


              • Jerod Broussard
                Jerod Broussard commented
                Editing a comment
                I'll take a flagged spammer over a flagged flame fest 8 days a week (we have leap weeks in Texas)

              • GolfGeezer
                GolfGeezer commented
                Editing a comment
                But reporting these and flagging them IS my hobby!

              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Jerod Broussard Texas is so big you need a leap week for the sun to catch up getting across it in a timely fashion

              #15
              Picky, picky, picky. I don’t really give a rip about resurrected posts. It’s sorta fun goin over somethin that my expert memory has somehow failed on me. Yeah, once’t in a while its an annoyance by a spammer, but a lotta times it’s not. Hey, shoot, there are some posts I find plumb boring & they’re new. AND there are some posts I haven’t the foggiest what is bein discussed & read it anyways. I DO have the freedom of usin my fingers to move on to somethin else I choose to read.

              Comment


              • Murdy
                Murdy commented
                Editing a comment
                I tend to agree. Sometimes its a bit annoying. Sometimes, an old post will get dredged up that I find interesting and may even provoke some more discussion. Any cure would probably be worse than the disease.

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