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Opening Up Communications (Updatedx5)

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Script kiddies can't get their way

Diversity

Summary: Script kiddies made it impractical to manage comments and forum posts; we are trying to tackle this issue today

IN ANOTHER attempt to restore user registrations, this time on the new server which has just been configured for mail, we are enabling anyone to quickly self-register (takes less than a minute and requires no verification), then immediately post comments, forum posts, etc.

For well over a year it has been hard to leave feedback in this site and it's all the fault of script kiddies. This site is ranked 40126th for traffic in Netcraft (without us using the toolbar, which helps one game the numbers, extrapolated from a relatively tiny sample set), so it's a shame that people can hardly leave a comment. We occasionally hear from people who want to but can't (simply cannot register), so hopefully we can resolve this issue. New software has been set up to mitigate the problem of spam, so hopefully this latest attempt to open up communications is here to stay.

Update #1: Spammers are hitting the front page with story submissions from newly-created accounts. This gives us no choice but to stop story submissions by arbitrary registered users.

Update #2: Comment spam gets past our filters, but for the time being it seems manageable with standard moderation.

Update #3: Now it's blog posts that get exploited by spammers (faster than we can cope with). And yet another feature is killed by them.

Update #4: Forum posts are now being targeted, with about 50 spam threads started last night alone. Maybe we should explore some kind of CAPTCHA mechanism for signup and posting rather than suspend abilities one by one.

Update #5: Spam in the forums is now too much to bear (nearly 100 per day), so the spammers killed that too.

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