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New Users/Registrations: Good things to know

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:06 am
by jacob
Lately, the forum has been swamped with SPAM account registrations.

I estimate that the spam account to real account registration ratio is around 5 to 1. As far as I can tell I'm pretty good at catching them so whoever person or persons are doing this are basically throwing their money away. I presume it keeps happening because throwing money away is cheaper than verifying whether the spam actually sticks to the site. The registration Q&A even requires answering a question that directly requires understanding/acknowledging that spam will be deleted. These people have zero shame.

However, my counter-efforts might create false positives for new users resulting in delayed account activation or account deletion.

Hence, some advice for those about to open an account and write their first post.
  • Don't use a throwaway email address to register (you can always change your email later). The easiest red flag is an address with some number in it that uses a free email provider, e.g. bobwilson07365 at
  • Don't use VPN to register (you can always use it later). A lot of the spam accounts come through VPNs. I check all IPs against spam data bases and if it shows up with multiple recent hits, the account won't be approved. This, unfortunately, also hurts legit users who share IPs with spammers, e.g. VPNs.
  • Recommend that your first post is more than a generic couple of context-free lines like "Good post. I agree!" or "This is very good information for me." Spammers are often on the clock and will rarely put much effort into writing.
  • Recommend even more strongly that your first post is not one that resurrects some long dead thread that's potentially related to something with commercial potential, e.g. bitcoin, mortgages, debt-service, plumbing, renovation, windows, etc.
  • If you have less than 50 posts, do not go back later and edit to insert specific product/service links in previous posts. These show up as red flags in the moderation logs.
  • Don't register an account and leave it inactive without ever posting. Those accounts are subject to regular garbage collection.

Sorry for the hassle. This is why we can't have nice things.

Re: New Users/Registrations: Good things to know

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 12:54 pm
by chenda
Many thanks for all the behind the scenes work you do Jacob.

Re: New Users/Registrations: Good things to know

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:06 pm
by Bankai
From my experience (sample size in millions), most people's email addresses include number(s) and are from free providers.

Re: New Users/Registrations: Good things to know

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:17 pm
by jacob
@Bankai - Yeah, but it'll usually be something like a plausible age or birth year, not a multidigit number with some garbageletters thrown in from a spam IP. But for sure, hence the PSA to the effect that if your new registration is held up then numbered addresses could be an issue---if you own an email that's not numbered/free, it would be less "risky" to use that.

Re: New Users/Registrations: Good things to know

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 12:51 pm
by binarybill
Thanks Jacob for all your time and effort. This is one of the best sites on the internet. I have discovered many life changing perspectives here.

If other new (non-spam) members are like me, they will have been reading the forum for months or even years before their first post, so any extra time or effort required to register is unlikely to deter them.

Thanks again.