The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Announcements and Obituaries > The Barrow-Downs
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-26-2019, 08:52 AM   #1
Huinesoron
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 1,601
Huinesoron is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
White-Hand Are new Downers getting blocked?

I've been wondering this for a while now, and I think it's worth asking: are all the new people regularly appearing on the 'newest member' ticker at the bottom of the front page being blocked?

When I signed up to the Downs almost two years ago, I had quite a tricky time doing so. My initial signup told me it needed moderator approval, but after a couple of weeks the pending userpage (which looks like this when logged out) had transformed into an Invalid User page (like this). I had to hunt around for an email address for the Barrow-Wight, since non-members or pending members can't send private messages. I think I found one on the non-forum part of the Downs - remember that?

The reason I'm wondering whether this was more than a one-off is that it's very rare to see a new user posting, but the current Newest Member, 'CowboyDumpsters', is #18723. I'm #18210, and while I'm not positive that number goes up by 1 for every registration, I think it comes pretty close. I'm not going to look through every userpage between those numbers, but a cursory check shows that the last few are pending, and most before that seem to be invalid.

It could well be that the 'new users' are actually all bots or spammers; 'CowboyDumpsters' doesn't exactly have a Tolkien connection, and could be a company name or two random words shoved together. If so, I salute the Barrow-Wight and any other moderators for their service. But if there's just an error in the sign-up function, I figured it was best to say something (after all, with the Amazon series coming up, the Downs may well experience a revival next year!).

hS
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2019, 12:40 PM   #2
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,561
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
When I signed up to the Downs almost two years ago, I had quite a tricky time doing so. My initial signup told me it needed moderator approval, but after a couple of weeks the pending userpage (which looks like this when logged out) had transformed into an Invalid User page (like this). I had to hunt around for an email address for the Barrow-Wight, since non-members or pending members can't send private messages. I think I found one on the non-forum part of the Downs - remember that?
I knew the signup process requires some vetting. That was instituted, if I recall rightly, about 4-5 years ago due to a massive number of spambots.
Some of them used to post, in the effort to show of their sketchy links. Some of those were actually pretty amusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
It could well be that the 'new users' are actually all bots or spammers; 'CowboyDumpsters' doesn't exactly have a Tolkien connection, and could be a company name or two random words shoved together. If so, I salute the Barrow-Wight and any other moderators for their service.
I'm no admin, and never have been, but I'm always suspicious of User Names that do seem randomly selected, and have nothing to do with Tolkien. It's those that I never seem to see again after the "welcome" mention at the bottom, while others (like you) do go on to active participation.

Since you mentioned the coming Amazon series, I do wonder also if we'll see a glut of new members on its release. If it stimulates interest in the books, it'll at least (like the PJ movies) have one positive asset.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2019, 03:18 AM   #3
Huinesoron
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 1,601
Huinesoron is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I'm no admin, and never have been, but I'm always suspicious of User Names that do seem randomly selected, and have nothing to do with Tolkien. It's those that I never seem to see again after the "welcome" mention at the bottom, while others (like you) do go on to active participation.
I'm not honestly sure there's been anyone new start posting since me. No, I take it back: we had merrymatt post 13 times, mostly on the RP subforum. Given how often the ticker ticks over to a new name, that was the cause of my concern.

However, doing a slightly more in-depth check of the last 30-odd user numbers, it seems a fair number of them have been approved, so everything is functioning as it should be and I should have checked before posting. Once again, I salute whatever the current moderation team looks like; they're doing a spectacular job.

hS
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2019, 01:37 PM   #4
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,561
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
I noticed that the visit stats in the What's Going On section now say:

Quote:
Most users ever online was 2,604, Today at 12:58 AM
Really? That seems highly odd, considering the relative dearth of posts.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2019, 02:07 PM   #5
Huinesoron
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 1,601
Huinesoron is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I noticed that the visit stats in the What's Going On section now say:

Really? That seems highly odd, considering the relative dearth of posts.
Would it be overly ominous to suspect a bot attack? Given the... interesting post out of Ivriniel, it seems at least somewhat plausible.

Though any bot which gets its claws into the Downs is going to be completely wasting its energy.

hS
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2019, 02:39 PM   #6
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 7,561
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Would it be overly ominous to suspect a bot attack? Given the... interesting post out of Ivriniel, it seems at least somewhat plausible.
I recall from years back some spammers cut/pasting from various threads in an attempt to seem legitimate. They usually betrayed themselves by obviously sketchy links in the body of the post, though.
Since that was from an established member, I would think nothing of the sort is likely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Though any bot which gets its claws into the Downs is going to be completely wasting its energy.
It's gotten pretty rare here, likely because of the previously discussed safeguards.

On an oddly coincidental note, yesterday I received around two dozen calls with Caller ID spoofing my own number. That's happened once before, but I only got a couple then.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2019, 07:21 PM   #7
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 8,052
Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I recall from years back some spammers cut/pasting from various threads in an attempt to seem legitimate. They usually betrayed themselves by obviously sketchy links in the body of the post, though.
And also by copying people's signatures into the body of their posts by accident. And one time Rikae's account went haywire and she had an unintelligible postscriptum added to all her posts. But you're right - I haven't seen anything like that for a looong time now.
__________________
"I have no great fondness for the universe, but I do live there." - Eliezer Yudkowsky
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2019, 04:26 AM   #8
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,859
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Ah but there were highlights.. tombot...
__________________
I see dead people.
Mithalwen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2019, 04:22 PM   #9
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 8,052
Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.Galadriel55 is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
Ah but there were highlights.. tombot...
Oh yes, TomBot and his friend LucyBot... I don't even remember what they posted about but they were a star-crossed couple...

The good old days when spam was a matter of norm.
__________________
"I have no great fondness for the universe, but I do live there." - Eliezer Yudkowsky
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:23 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.