Potential Member not allowed to register

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Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby jheaton5 » 2014-11-18 16:59

To whom it may concern
this was posted on debianuserforums.org
so, my attempt to register on forums.debian.net end up like this:
http://i.imgur.com/yUmxHff.png

first of all i am not spammer, what happened is when they caught spammer they ban all range of his country ISP
i wanted to register there in a first place because as newbie, i would probably get my answer faster because of number of active users.
so innocent people get completely cut off not able to register or even contact admin
i understand this is another forum and it is not concerned what happens on another ones,
the reason i'm writing this is i hope someone from here who is already registered there would let them know they are doing it wrong.
it makes me even more angry seeing how proud they are with "new anti spam measures"
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby saulgoode » 2014-11-18 18:17

I don't know what to do about such situations. My (limited) understanding is that the forum gets its IP block lists from about ten different services. There are apparently some PHPBB mods available that permit whitelisting, but I don't know whether they are installed (and I do not have access to them anyway).

Perhaps one of the other members of the staff can shed a brighter light.
Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. -- Brian Kernighan
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2014-11-18 18:21

stopforumspam.com has a removal application page here - http://stopforumspam.com/removal

Not sure what other lists are used.
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby Flemur » 2015-01-22 17:07

Hi, new forum member here (first post).

I had the same problem and many thanks to Paul W. for contacting admin*; apparently they've removed the spam check - so I could register.

*I tried the forum/admin emails for several days with no joy; he contacted them thru IRC.
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby v&n » 2015-04-16 09:06

Another victim here. Using a Mobile Broadband connection at the time of registration, my IP changed everytime I disconnected/reconnected. But all of them came up as blocked for spamming.

Then I sent an Email to the admins hoping for a resolution. Getting no replies for next two-three days, I tried a proxy server, and was IN !!

As such, to me this spam prevention mechanism seems inefficient and irrelevant, and therefore unnecessary as well. From whatever little I have learnt (from moderation experience on another forum), any spammer's first choice would be proxies to continue their activity.

After registration, I was able to login and make posts without proxies, using the same connection.

So this arrangement seems to prevent mostly innocent users from registering, probably doing more harm than good.
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby acewiza » 2015-04-16 21:07

The problem with some of the spam reporting services is they accept spam reports from anybody and/or anonymously.

So the logical question for people claiming innocence is: Who did you piss off?
Nobody would ever ask questions If everyone possessed encyclopedic knowledge of the man pages.
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2015-04-17 01:16

v&n wrote:probably doing more harm than good.

I'd have to disagree.
For the couple of months prior to it's introduction, myself and the other spam hunters did nothing but ban bots and delete spam as fast as humanly possible and the board was still pretty much useless for any q & a.
It's regrettable that it impacts on some legit users, but such is life...
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby v&n » 2015-04-17 02:55

dilberts_left_nut wrote:It's regrettable that it impacts on some legit users, but such is life...

Understood. So are better alternatives not available for this forum software or not feasible?

I'm no expert in any way but considering a few ongoing trends these days, I believe the number of Debian users is going to increase much more rapidly than it would have been 2-3 years back. For example, Ubuntu is attracting new users but can't offer the stability of Debian, and in its attempt to offer 'latest & greatest', it is losing some experienced users as well who can easily switch to Debian for good (myself being one such user).

Even if a very small part of my assumptions is true, I think Debian users of both kinds - those who will have questions, and those who would be able to answer - will increase much faster in the coming days. Probably you know better if this is already happening and hurdles such as this thread's topic make them feel unwelcome while trying to register here.

Not trying to impose my views or desires, just curious what others, especially admins here, think about this.
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2015-04-17 06:26

It was discussed and evaluated at the time and the chosen system was deemed the best available option.
I'm not an admin so have no input or control of the actual setup of the board, but from this side of the fence it has improved the situation rather dramatically.
I understand your concerns, but as you've discovered there are reasonably easy ways around it for those that few that are adversely affected.
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby GarryRicketson » 2015-04-17 20:55

Understood. So are better alternatives not available for this forum software or not feasible?

I am still pretty new to this forum, but had read this thread a while back, when I first joined,Since then I have only seen 2 or 3 spam posts, which I reported, and they were gone the next time I logged in, so really, I think what they have is working pretty good.
I also am a moderator at "stopforumspam" (SFS),
I understand your concerns, but as you've discovered there are reasonably easy ways around it for those that few that are adversely affected.

When some one is genuinely innocent, and not a spammer or associated with using malware that runs various types of spam bots , they can and do get removed from the data base we use.
Then there is a bunch of "not sure what to call them", but they insist they are not "spammers", but "marketing engineers", these are the most difficult to deal with, in my opinion, they are "spammers", nothing more, but they are the ones that get angry and offended anytime they encounter a secure site or forum, and find they can not register, and they always insist that they are innocent.
The whole thing on spamcontrol and site security can get rather complex, but in the long run it is worth it, there does not seem to be any 100% guaranteed way to avoid occasionally someone that is innocent, falls "victim" of the spammers and spam bots, but the 1,000,000s or more that are real BOTS ,spammers,and other forms of mal-ware, or nuisances that are blocked, make it worth it.
If one does the research, there are many ways to help insure you don't end up on a "black list", too.
Ok well I am almost kind of "rambling", I mostly just wanted to mention, there is a rather new "captcha" method available, called "FUN CAPTCHA",
https://www.funcaptcha.com/
I use it on 3 forums and my website, we also started using it at SFS for the search options, we had a whole bunch of trouble with a DOS attack, spambots trying to over load the search, used to check the database, anyway, it works really well, I have been using it for about 6 months, and not one single spam bot has registered. A human can easily solve the captcha, and if they turn out to be a spammer, and actually post some kind of spam, well , they end up getting deleted, and also added to the data base at SFS, so then they are "caught", and any other site/forums using the SFS data base, has them blocked. So far I have never had any that tried to get removed, but, I also do submit the "evidence", copy of the spam post, just in case they try to claim they did not post spam,..
For additional security, I use a php script, "ZBBLOCK", http://www.spambotsecurity.com/
Not only does it keep the spammers out, it also keeps out a lot of known malicious bots, scrapers,hackers,etc. (not to say all "hackers" are bad, but there is a bunch that spend all their time looking for sites they can hack and vandalize), delinquents I guess one would say.
When I was testing the new "funcaptcha", I disabled ZBBLOCK, because nothing gets past ZBBLOCK, they never even get to the registration page, so I disabled it, but still, not one spambot registered, my logs showed that several 100 tried , per day for about a week, but none successfully solved the captcha.
This is not to say, I think there is anything wrong with system Debian Users Forum is using now, the contrary, it seems like what they are using works fine, but the "Fun Captcha" might help make it a little easier for people to register, and combined with zbblock, the moderators might have less work to do.
Guess for now that is about it,..
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby dasein » 2015-04-17 22:15

v&n wrote:So this arrangement seems to prevent mostly innocent users from registering, probably doing more harm than good.

Without hard data behind it, this statement is merely opinion masquerading as fact. Relative harm would depend entirely on the false positive (FP) rate and the cost(s) of misclassification. I know of no data to suggest that the FP rate on FDN's spam filter is anywhere near as high as one per month. And the false neg rate is at least one per day. Thus, FPs would have to be massively "expensive" even to reach a break-even point, much less support a claim of disproportionate harm.

Spam-friendly ISPs are the problem, not FDN's spam filters.

v&n wrote:...I believe the number of Debian users is going to increase...

This is another instance of opinion-offered-as-fact that is directly refuted by the best available data. Predictions exactly like this one have been floating around for over a decade, and yet every year, desktop Linux adoption remains remarkably constant, when measured as a percentage of total desktops. (And by some remarkable coincidence, that number always hovers right around the percentage of people who become "enthusiasts" about almost anything, from operating systems to automobiles to postage stamps.)
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby GarryRicketson » 2015-04-18 03:41

Spam-friendly ISPs are the problem, not FDN's spam filters.

That sure is true, in fact quite often, that is what happens when some one that does not know better, and uses a bad ISP,
usually once they are "enlightened" so to speak, they get a new ISP.
I do realize in some countries it is hard to find good ISP s , and in some countries there are not much choices. So that complicates it some what, but there are allways solutions, and ways to get off a "blacklist", but it does take some effort on both ends, the site admin and the user or wanna be member.
There is a unix forum, I joined years ago, they will not even except registrations from anyone that uses : Hotmail, yahoo, gmail, or any of the "free e-mail" services, because of the high percentage of the users of those services are spammers, or problematic.
Some times if one wants to participate in a forum,they need to make adjustments , and some effort to register and join.That in itself helps turn away many spammers, trolls, and other undesirables, they really don't care to take the time or make the effort, to show they want be a contributing member.
Recently I looked at the arch linux forum, I like their "captcha question", and if some one is using windows, they can not solve the question, very easy, they would need to at least be able to switch to a unix,linux, or debian, (linux based) commandline, so after all said and done, FDN makes it pretty easy to join.
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby holocen » 2015-06-25 22:01

Several years I had the problem described above, and finally registered few hours ago. I'm from Serbia, the ISP is the biggest in country. I suspect that problem was, lets say, political.
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby GarryRicketson » 2015-06-26 00:04

Don't know that it is really "political", and I hope not to turn this thread into a "political" flame thread,..
Many ISP's seem to not care to do anything, to help,
Spam-friendly ISPs are the problem, not FDN's spam filters.
Some of them are the only ISP in some countries, and the "biggest" is not all ways the "best".
In fact for people that are sending out "spam bots", "scrapers", all sorts of "intrusive" and abusive bots, a "big ISP". is more convenient, it is harder to detect, and weed out the ones doing that.
It is a very complicated issue, maintaining data bases that are used to block, not only spammers, but malicious "hackers", and even infected PCs, and servers, all though perhaps the "user" has no clue, his/her machine is infected, they can be spreading viruses,mal-ware, and also helping spammers, by carrying viruses produced by "botnets", that are used to "seed" .
I wouldn't say it is "political" , it is a world wide problem, coming from all parts of the world, and from countries with various "political" cultures, not knowing a better word.
On some other websites/forums, including my own, we have it set up in a way that gives the person the info needed to contact a admin, if they are "blocked", some admins do not like to do that because they are afraid
it will result in tons of e-mail spam. I have never had that problem. But that is up to any site owner or administrator,
Of course it also takes some effort on the registrants or Potential Member part to contact the admins, and
explore ways to get "white listed".
The ones to blame,if anybody is the so called "SEO" experts, and "marketing engineers", the tactics they use to
try to force their way into forums and websites, blogs. etc. trying to use them as a "free advertising" medium. These people, are the reason so many forums are using stricter "spam" prevention methods, it is unfortunate occasionally innocent people get "blocked" and hurt, but they don't care, who they hurt, nor who gets blocked.
Nor do they care if they fill a forum with their unwanted trash, and all the members stop using it, because it is impossible to find anything ,buried under all the "spam and garbage". Politics have nothing to do with it.
So,
Let's please not turn this thread into a "flame thread" and go into a political discussion.
Edited:
From:Forum guidelines. Please read before first post!] The following might get your post REMOVED
- Advertising/ Spamming
- Obviously racist/ sexist/ hateful content
- Obviously political/ religious content
- Obvious pornographic content
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Re: Potential Member not allowed to register

Postby Randicus » 2015-06-26 08:11

You may not consider blocking ISPs based on countries of origin political, but people in places like Russia, India and China might disagree with. As someone living in one of those places, I know first-hand how harmful what I call ethnic ISP banning is. Is not being able to access many North American and European websites simply because of one's location political? Depends on whom one asks.

Oops! I'm turning this thread into a "flame thread" and going into a political discussion.
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