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Changes to the MPTT Registration Process

As those of you who are MPTT authors very likely already know, we have been fighting the good fight against comment spam for several months now. The pattern is the same: a bot registers for a new account, cleverly bypassing all captcha and other obstacles we try to throw in its way, and immediately spams dozens if not hundreds of stories with link spam in comments. This is obviously distressing and annoying to our members--who have been wonderful and patient with us through each attack--and can take hours for the mods to repair.

As a result, we have decided to begin manually registering members. If you already have an account with MPTT, this will not impact you. For new members registering for an account, instead of self-registering using a form that automatically creates the account, we now require new members to email us with the pen name they want, and we will set up the account for them.

Yes, this will create a minor inconvenience for new members, who will have to wait a couple of hours before they can beginning posting stories and commenting. But we hope it will save our authors much frustration in believing they have a new comment on a story only to find they are being peddled Rolex Watches and Cheap NFL Jerseys from yet another Internet shyster.

ysilme and I (dawn_felagund) have spent today making the changes to the MPTT site to reflect this new approach to registration. As always, we welcome all questions or comments at manypaths@lotrgfic.com or on this post.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
shirebound
Apr. 18th, 2016 12:43 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you have to go through this extra work, but greatly appreciate the love and care being put into this lovely site.
dawn_felagund
Apr. 18th, 2016 01:16 am (UTC)
Thank you. *hugs* Today was an example of putting forth a little extra effort to hopefully save ourselves a lot of effort in the months/years to come--and to save our members from being constantly pestered by spammers.
lin4gondor
Apr. 18th, 2016 01:53 am (UTC)
Bless you all! If I were a new person registering, I would certainly not complain about waiting a few hours to be approved, knowing it meant safety against spammers. Thanks for trying to keep up ahead of those rascally spammers -- I think this is a good way of handling it, though it means a bit of extra work for the mods.
lignota
Apr. 18th, 2016 03:02 am (UTC)
That seems reasonable to me -- especially since I've just discovered a few more lurking spammers on the archive! I'll email you with the details. I hope no one will be discouraged from registering, but I'll be very glad to be free from the spammers.
ysilme
Apr. 18th, 2016 11:51 am (UTC)
Just to reassure others who might read this: the seemingly lurking spammers are previous spammers whose accounts have been locked, but stay in place so they can't use this login info again. The mods have dealt with every spammer who left spam reviews as soon as they were made aware of them, although spammers who registered leaving only spam content at their profiles may have gone unnoticed.
dawn_felagund
Apr. 18th, 2016 10:09 pm (UTC)
On the latter point, now that I am off hiatus, I will be reviewing all profiles in the database over the next few days and removing any spam that I find.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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