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What do the following web sites have in common?

What do http://www.popjustice.com/, http://www.alienexperience.com/, http://bbs.freetalklive.com/, http://forum.virtuemart.net/ and http://www.btiteam.org/ have in common? Need a further clue - the things that's in common is not shared by http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/. Still not got it ;-) ?? Try adding the following to the "common" list. http://pixelation.wayofthepixel.net/, http://www.vwdiesel.net/, http://forum.ubuntu-nl.org/ and http://www.rotorwashinternational.com/ . They all run online forums where a leonardbritter has registered today, and (with the exception of /www.firstgreatwestern.info ) his registration has been accepted.

Busy Forum Signer / SpammerI do some of the admin work for the First Great Western Coffee Shop - that's the exception, and I was the one who decided to reject Leonard's application. Why did I choose to be a goat rather than follow the masses and be a sheep?

Firstly because I believe that if someone registers for eight very different forums in a day that I can see - an probably many more that haven't been trawled by Google yet, he / she isn't going to be a very active poster with us. But that's not the only reason - we have other markers / indicators as to whether a new application should be approved or rejected, and this potential new member gave me two other strong indicators against membership. So I can say that there was a strong probability that the request for an account was not being made to allow someone called Leonard to post to the forum about our subjects ... but rather was for other reasons. Perhaps tha applicant wanted to post adverts? Or perhaps the applicant wants to cream off user contact information to add to his / her mailing lists? We'll never know, because I rejected the account (not even worth sending an email - it was that definite!) and I don't suppose the registrar will even notice.

Even allowing for captcha technology, in which the user has to retype words from a graphic, there are a very large number of signup requests to forums these days which are for purposes other than those that the site moderation team intends, and it's become an increasing job to filter them out. And as well as more signups coming along, they come along more cleverly too - the people who are looking to reap and spam are learning about the triggers that have them rejected, and are sidestepping those triggers. Leonard's was quite a clever signup, which ticked a number of positive boxes that many others fail at - if he had failed several of the initial tests (and not just one or two which caught me attention), I wouldn't have bothered to ask Google and provided me with confirmatory evidence that he should not be allowed.

Part of me wants to tell you about our marking scheme (if you can call it that). But my head tells me that I shouldn't give too much away, so I won't do so. Let's just say that a custom written piece of code does wonders for us, as a casting vote that triggers acceptance or suspicion when the request is finely balanced, and being a custom piece of code that's not shared with any other forums on my list above, it's unlikely that anyone will actually plan and code around it in turn to pass our test.

(written 2011-03-03, updated 2011-03-07)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G909 - Well House Consultants - Spam, Spamming and Spammers
  [4520] No cold sales calls please - but delighted to hear from others! - (2015-09-29)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4135] Introducing your product to Well House Consultants - single, personally tuned email please - (2013-07-08)
  [3946] Moving from a warning system to a control system - PHP, forum spammers - (2012-12-07)
  [3912] Sand to Arabia, Coals to Newcastle or Woodburners to Russia - (2012-11-04)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [3661] Keeping forum and blog comments clean - (2012-03-19)
  [3506] Cold call contacts - preference services and turning off spam sales approaches - (2011-11-03)
  [3352] World Trade Register - Certainly NOT worth 2985 Euros. - (2011-07-09)
  [3316] Twitter Phishing Trips ... and a great new alert service - (2011-06-04)
  [3166] Well house is strong - confirmed? - (2011-02-11)
  [3016] The legal considerations of your web presence - revisited - (2010-10-26)
  [2884] Hotlinked images onto adult material sites - (2010-07-23)
  [2697] Email metrics and filtering - (2010-03-28)
  [2398] Websitemediasolution and a goldfish called Carl Johnson - (2009-09-06)
  [2276] Who is Marc Schneider of Multilingual Search Engine Optimization Inc - (2009-07-10)
  [2179] Offers that I can refuse - (2009-05-12)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2019] Baby Caleb and Fortune City in your web logs? - (2009-01-31)
  [1978] From spam to mod_alias - finding resources - (2009-01-05)
  [1817] Marc Schneider is still having email trouble - (2008-09-30)
  [1763] Co-operating to save, yet we dont - (2008-08-21)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1115] Unexpected visitors to our site - (2007-03-22)
  [1037] Impact Engineering and Backscatter - (2007-01-16)
  [872] Email metrics - (2006-09-20)
  [495] More spam - a success story - (2005-11-13)
  [417] Telephone Preference Service - we're registered - (2005-08-17)
  [347] Frightening and from-friend viruses and spams - (2005-06-14)
  [338] OO techniques are hard to teach - (2005-06-06)
  [276] An apology to Mr Boneparte - (2005-04-11)
  [268] Information request forms, cleaning up spam - (2005-04-05)
  [259] Responding to spam - (2005-03-27)

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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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