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Board index » System » The Imperial Senate » Senate V1

Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

[VOTE] Open up registration again?

Moderator: CmdrWilkens

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Should we open up registration again?
Poll ended at 2009-10-26 10:55pm
Yes 86%  86%  [ 30 ]
No 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
Abstain 9%  9%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 35
Author Message

Darth Wong
PostPosted: 2009-10-21 10:55pm 

Sith Lord

Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Posts: 70016
Location: Toronto, Canada
Many people have noted that with the lingering but inevitable death of the SWvST debate, much of the inter-forum hostility that once prompted invasions of our board is now gone. That does not eliminate the possibility of the occasional troll invasion of course, whether it be from ex-users who can't move on or trolls who have nothing better to do. However, it has been suggested that the benefits would outweigh the costs. Certainly, it would make life easier for the admins, who would no longer have to process registrations.

The downside is that we'll inevitably get certain people posting nasty material in an attempt to troll the board. Unfortunately, I do not have any mod installed to keep new users from posting images, and I'm not sure where I would get one. Therefore, the possibility of image trolling exists. However, the "Report" button should hopefully suffice to keep that under control if it happens. If someone posts unacceptable material like links to accident victims or explicit porn, report him and we'll take care of it.

Anyway, let's see what people decide.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:01pm 

Sith Apprentice

Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm
Posts: 14059
Yes. We need fresh blood, and more importantly we need (legitimate) targets to vent aggression on by their stupidity (IE discussion and debate not spammy BS).

Besides if for some reason it backfires we can just close it, restrict it or whatever.,
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PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:04pm 

Emperor's Hand

Joined: 2002-07-29 06:14pm
Posts: 6597
Location: Somewhere on Earth.
Indeed, let's re-open the registrations. If we get a troll invasion, or a massed invasion of spambots and representatives of African royalty, we can always lock it down again.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:04pm 

Rabid Monkey

Joined: 2002-08-23 01:20am
Posts: 12464
Location: The glorious Sun-Barge! Isis, Isis, Ra,Ra,Ra!
Yes, the one real invasion we had actually got handled very well, in retrospect, even if it caused a bit of a tizz at the time. We can open up the floodgates a bit but with vigilance, and be ready to close things again.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:08pm 

Sith Devotee

Joined: 2004-10-26 09:23am
Posts: 2935
Location: The military-industrial complex
I would strongly advise against opening up the board to indiscriminate registration. The reason is that spamming has now reached ludicrous proportions and the captcha/filtering systems used to keep spammers out are becoming steadily less effective. On HPCA we are getting something like 40 - 60 spam attacks per day (90 percent plus coming from Russia and the Ukraine). Now, admittedly only one or two of those get past the security system but those that did were causing quite serious problems. As a result, we're instituting a double-layered filtering program.

There is also a trend now that spam attackers are actually having the nerve to email the administration, complaining that they weren't able to register. With a high-profile board like SDN, I am afraid it's quite likely that an unrestricted registration policy will result in you being swamped with spam.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:15pm 

Carvin' Marvin

Joined: 2002-07-03 11:51pm
Posts: 14535
Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists
EDIT: I think this is the post in question (thanks, RogueIce)

RedImperator wrote:
Thanks to Xalev for those numbers.

Now, back to the debate: There's something interesting in those numbers. Mike implemented restricted registration around May of '03. '03/'04 sees posts drop by about 30,000 (that's misleadingly low, by the way: the board only opened in July of 2002, so between July and December of '02 we generated more posts than we did in the entire year 2003...more than any other year, in fact). There's a ~9000 post uptick the next year. Then the bottom falls out: down 120,000 in '05/'06, another 100,000 in '06/'07, 45,000 in '07/'08. Then another uptick in 2008. What else happened in '08? Mike upgraded the board and restored open registration. Then in January '09, we locked down registration again. Wanna take bets on where the number goes this year?

More fun with numbers. Ray, you might want to pay attention to this one:

As far as I can tell, Mike upgraded the board on 1 October 2008. There are no new registrations at all until the 10th; I'm not sure, but I faintly recall registrations being closed shortly after the upgrade while Mike worked the bugs out. Registrations are closed due to the invasion on 08 January; they reopen, restricted, on the 10th.

Between 10 October and 8 January, how many contributing members registered (going by the same criterion I used last time; that is, more than 1/2 of one post per day)? Fourteen; three less than have registered between 10 January and today. I previously counted Serafina with the '09 members, but she squeaked in the day before registrations closed, which leaves only 17 contributing members who have joined since registration was restricted again. And unlike my '09 count, I didn't spot any members who posted a lot and then went dark, nor are there any banned members, nor are there newbies on that list (obviously). Now, unless somebody wants to claim that conditions on the board, or conditions in sci-fi fandom in general have significantly changed for the worse in the last 10 months, there's very few factors which can account for the discrepancy, and restricted registrations has to be near the top of the list.

In light of this, I think we should definitely open registrations, provided we can avoid getting spammed

Have a very nice day.
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Darth Wong
PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:16pm 

Sith Lord

Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Posts: 70016
Location: Toronto, Canada
What kind of security do you use?
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Mr Bean
PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:19pm 

Lord of Irony

Joined: 2002-07-04 08:36am
Posts: 21388
I vote yes with the catch that I wish a trial period of some sort before having a second vote to close it. IE if registration is throw open for a week. If nothing bad happens that week, registration is open. However if we get X number of spammers, we stay with closed while looking for a better smart ID filter for registration.
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Connor MacLeod
PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:27pm 

Sith Apprentice

Joined: 2002-08-01 05:03pm
Posts: 14059
I think Spacebattles has open registrayion (at least more open than ours) and they dont seem to be excessively burdened with spammers, and they are a far bigger/longer running obard than we are.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-21 11:53pm 

Rabid Monkey

Joined: 2002-08-23 01:20am
Posts: 12464
Location: The glorious Sun-Barge! Isis, Isis, Ra,Ra,Ra!
Could we have "seasonal" open registration, or would that be a pain in the ass? Like June-July-August or something?

Would such a thing even make sense?
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 12:00am 

Rebel Leader

Joined: 2002-07-03 11:11pm
Posts: 18470
Location: San Jose, CA
We could try using reCAPTCHA - pretty much the gold-standard of CAPTCHA systems right now. I am not aware of any automated attack against it but spammers often manually register an account and then begin the flood afterwards.

Spacebattles' system requires that new users post to a "new users" forum first as a sort of CAPTCHA test. Again, this wouldn't stop a manual spammer from registering, posting to the new-user forum and then firing up the machine spamming but it should greatly reduce any incoming attacks.

EDIT1: StackOverflow has a number of threads on CAPTCHA techniques - some of them using some JavaScript trickery to try and make things transparent to the user.
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Master of Ossus
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 12:10am 

Darkest Knight

Joined: 2002-07-11 01:35am
Posts: 18212
Location: California
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Sea Skimmer
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 12:23am 

Yankee Capitalist Air Pirate

Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
Posts: 35833
Location: Passchendaele City, HAB
Open it up, we had mods and if things get out of hand it can just be locked down again. The vs. debate is dead as it could be given the near utter absence of new evidence let alone the general decline in interest.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 12:28am 

The Dark Messenger

Joined: 2002-07-11 12:05am
Posts: 19322
Location: AZ
Sea Skimmer wrote:
Open it up, we had mods and if things get out of hand it can just be locked down again.

Pretty much this.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 12:41am 

Emperor's Hand

Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Posts: 8569
Location: Florida USA
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 12:57am 

Federation Ambassador

Joined: 2002-08-11 07:28pm
Posts: 17490
Location: Montana, USA
Voted. I say we open it up. Worse comes to worse, we can shut it back down. Lets try a trial period and see what happens. Different techniques can be applied to see how effective it is.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 01:01am 


Joined: 2002-07-11 12:27am
Posts: 12067
Location: Helsinki, Finland
As far as I'm concerned, we could open it up. Given that registration from .ru domains is utterly impossible anyway, those spammers are not a problem. A few more domains added to the blocklist would eliminate spamming from those sources. No loss either, since there has never been anything other than spam registrations coming from there (e.g.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 01:20am 

Jedi Council Member

Joined: 2006-01-27 07:07pm
Posts: 2031
If people feel that any future troublemakers can be managed, then we might as well give it a go.
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Ghost Rider
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 01:25am 

Spirit of Vengeance

Joined: 2002-09-24 01:48pm
Posts: 27779
Location: DC...looking up from the gutters to the stars
I am a bit wary since the last time, but there are a few methods to tie down the most rampant, and if spammers get out of control, then back to the way things are.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 03:52am 

Emperor's Hand

Joined: 2005-01-20 09:33am
Posts: 10763
Location: Belgium
Abstain. I have no opinion on the rearrangement of Titanic's deckchairs.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 04:00am 


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 28303
I am in favour of this.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 06:32am 

Master Control Program

Joined: 2002-07-04 09:53am
Posts: 7435
Location: Ottawa, Canada
This may be impossible given my limited knowledge of these things, but would it be possible to open up registrations generally, but prohibit registrations from specific addresses? We could, say, disallow spammers and anonymous twits using free throwaway email accounts but let everyone else through unmolested save the skill-testing question.
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 06:41am 

For Those About to Rock We Salute You

Joined: 2002-07-03 06:16pm
Posts: 22124
Location: New York, the Fuck You State
Yes, despite my misgivings.
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The Yosemite Bear
PostPosted: 2009-10-22 06:44am 

Mostly Harmless Nutcase

Joined: 2002-07-21 02:38am
Posts: 35211
Location: Dave's Not Here Man

besides the automated spammers are already here lurking....
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PostPosted: 2009-10-22 06:52am 

Jaina Dax

Joined: 2002-07-08 05:08am
Posts: 4870
Location: Malmö, Sweden
There's been a slow shift in the board's purpose. It should be encouraged through new blood. Open it.
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