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  1. #1
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    Cool Message Board Security Question
    Ok gang, i've got a message board question/problem and I figured this place is as good to ask it as any..

    NO the problem isn't with this board.. It's with another board that I administer for a small group.

    They have been having all kinds of problems with some individuals posting very negative posts bordering on defamation of character but not crossing the line.

    Now, the board they use isn't the best but we can ban IP addresses.

    The problem is, they can just use a different name or system and post again. It's a game to them to see how long and how imbedded they can keep the messages out there.

    I really don't know what to do other them make EVERYONE ask for a user name and password manually. At that it wouldn't be 100% since it appears one or two of the posters are disgruntled organization members.

    My problem is if we switch to a board that requires e-mail verification like Invision or PHBB they can still create a fake freebee account for verification. They even use proxy servers to hide the original IP address on some of these.

    Personally I don't know enough about the message boards to know if there is a way to stop this but i'm guessing with the effort they are willing to put forth to bypass any security there isn't really a way.

    Any ideas would be appreciated???

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Change the forum's theme from conservative Pro-Bush to Long Live the Deanites. The bad actors will melt into the woodwork after a few Yaaahooos.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    Does the forum script have the option of putting all new members on moderation when they sign up? It would mean that someone would have to manually approve any good posts but this would be a way to keep the problem newbies' posts from showing. And after a while, when seeing that their posts never show, it might aggravate them enough to either stop or go elsewhere.

  4. #4
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    If it is a small community, use something like phpbb. Then put on manual activation. You can then sniff out the problem ones before hand. You can review each new user. Note the trouble makers, ips, email address etc. If the community is large, this can be an overwhelming task, so it dependson the size. Also if you do not get many new members, once you have your regulars set, just turn off activation for a while, the trolls will get bored and forget about you.

    And if they throw up their inappropriate comments, ignoring that there is an entire forum section created for it that is hidden so we can ignore it - ban them.

    Chet

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda
    Does the forum script have the option of putting all new members on moderation when they sign up?
    That's a good idea but I didn't see that in the setup of IPB which is the board I was thinking about switching to. I may have to check out some of the other ones out there like ChetF mentions..

  6. #6
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    That's probably your best bet hotspice. If someone is bent on circumventing an IP ban they will. Welcome to the world for forum administering.

  7. #7
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    Even though banning would seem preferable, some chat boards I am on have an ignore user option. Each person would have to chose to ignore that persons post and I'm sure they'll find a way to bash again. One way is to treat them may be just to ignore them. If they don't get any attention on the board they'll go away and find someplace else to harass. Not responding to the poster may be the quickest way to get rid of them. You reward them everytime you respond, especially if you attack back. It becomes a (sick) game to them and they'll push the line as far as they can.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlink
    If they don't get any attention on the board they'll go away and find someplace else to harass. Not responding to the poster may be the quickest way to get rid of them. You reward them everytime you respond, especially if you attack back. It becomes a (sick) game to them and they'll push the line as far as they can.
    That's what we've tried to do but they just keep coming back.. It's been since August when this all started. We delete the really bad posts and leave the ones that are tolerable and generate constructive feedback. For some reason it's just not enough.

    some people really need to find a hobby..

  9. #9
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    Just stop accepting new users for a few weeks.

  10. #10
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    Do you have the ignore user option on your site? Each member could make their own list. Or have buddy lists that only show the people you want to see. Or like Haiko has done give you 50 posts before you get in. One board I was on a few years ago just simple shut down, renamed itself and invited those members to join. Any new members had to be referred by an existing one. A lot of work on your part.

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately they don't have an ignore option. It's currently on one of the freebie services like BH since they are a not for profit org.

    I am looking at the boards that come with Fantastico, Yabb, IPB, and PHbb2 and so far IPB looks like it is the most configurable one of them.. VB looks very configurable but pricey.. I didn't see anywhere in them where I could hold a post till it's moderated. Just where you can approve the users manually..

    Anyone want to take over the role as a bord admin

  12. #12
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    AHA!!! I think I found something in IPB.. It's not in the actual board setup but in the setup of the forums individually.. "Moderate postings? (Requires a moderator to manually add posts/topics to the forum) has a "moderate new topics but don't moderate replies" " .. I think that's close to what Linda mentioned..

    So close that I am going to suggest they look at using this instead of the one they have now..

    Thanks for everyones idears...

  13. #13
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    How about charging a one time membership fee of lets say $20 then email the members who have been on the board awhile and have behaved themselves and tell them you'll waive the membership fee. I doubt a basher would want to pay to get on a board. You'd probably get a better quality member and one that is serious about being on your board.


    I'd pay $20 to be a member here. I have learned alot and hopefully I can contribute something of value in return.

  14. #14
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    You might make the board unattractive to many if you charge.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    You might make the board unattractive to many if you charge.
    Its a non profit board. It could be considered as a one time donation to the cause. Besides isn't it the unattractive they're trying to keep out?

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    You have their address - have Vinnie stop by and straighten them out?

    Seriously, ragers can never be fully tamed. It's some kind of outlet for some. Like the little hole in the pressure cooker lid. Just get the steam-hole to move on to greener pastures they can spew on.

    I'd stick with just regular banning as a daily routine. Having them change names removes their sense of continuity - makes them rethink their attitude each time. An outright IP ban, blocking new members for a while and other time consuming techniques seems to just rev them up even more (and steal your time).

    Flush them into anonymity with normalcy. Keep your work routine and worry-free and always stick to your standards. Keeps them from having a history and a corresponding response from others by having them constantly change names. They will tire of it and go somewhere they can establish a presence - raging requires a base - they instinctly know that. They'll move on. If you can, make them use unique emails by retaining their old shut-down accounts - adds to their admin overhead. Raging sucks when you have to stop and go apply for yet another hotmail account...


    I've had another thought at times, have a percent scale that says if >X% of your population adds them to their ignore lists, auto shut-down their account and remove their old posts and email them that they are banished from the kingdom. In small boards, watch out for the coup d’état.

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