Why don't we activate new registrations straight away?

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Why don't we activate new registrations straight away?

Post by miriam »

Why is there a delay?

We have intentionally introduced a delay of 2-14 days into the process to reduce the incidence of spammers. Our new registrations are manually activated by our forum administrators, and none of us have paid time to spend on the forum, so this is done in spare moments outside of our day jobs. It is also quite time consuming, as we get 6-10 new registrations every day, and each one needs to be compared to a database of spammers. So checking two weeks of registrations can be 30-60 minutes of work. If I am unwell, on holiday or very busy with work it may be that I don't get an opportunity to check and activate new registrations for a few weeks.

Should I chase up my registration by emailing if I haven't heard right away?

When you register for the forum it says repeatedly that your account will not be immediately activated, and you are asked to be patient and to allow for this delay, which is typically 2-14 days. Nonetheless, every month we get people complaining that their account has not been activated - sometimes within minutes of them attempting to register! So please don't do that. The delay is there for a reason, and applies to everyone, and chasing up will not make us activate registrations faster. In fact, if we haven't had time to activate registrations, we probably haven't had time to check the forum email account either!

Are there really enough spammers signing up to prevent all accounts being automatically activated?

Yes. We typically have at least one spammer sign up every day. More than 50% of international accounts come from spammers. Today, 8 out of the 10 accounts that had registered from outside the UK and Ireland over the last two weeks were spam accounts. If we didn't manually check registrations we would get spam posted on the forum at least once a week. This way we get a spam post about twice a year, and it can be deleted within 24 hours. That makes a big difference to our regular visitors, and we think it is worth making new registrations wait a few days to prevent it.

What is so bad about spammers?

Spam can take multiple forms - gibberish posts that contain links to dodgy sites, weird PMs sent to multiple members, or even posts containing images or text that is entirely inappropriate and might cause the site to be blocked by work servers. Forum spam is horrible, and spoils the experience for users of the forum, new and old. At worst, some spam contains images that breach UK law and it can even be a criminal offence to load them on screen (eg pornographic images that contain violence or implicit threat of harm or mutilation, bestilaity or child pornography). Even if the content is seemingly harmless (eg posts that say something generic with a link to a site advertising kitchens or supplements) it generates income for spammers and reinforces the industry that signs up fake accounts to forums and tries to get their content posted (to either advertise something, or give credibility to their website by back-linking it to a high traffic and well regarded site with a high google score and prominent search presence like this one).

Why can't you check and activate registrations right away?

We could if we had paid staff. But the forum is currently run entirely by volunteers, and the small amount of advertising that we host does not always cover our running costs (so feel free to contribute the cost of a cup of coffee if you have found the site useful). To have any paid staff we would need to charge for membership and/or show much more prominent and intrusive advertising.

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
This forum is free to use. If you find the site useful, you are welcome to contribute the cost of a cup of coffee to our running costs.
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