Security Alarms, Fire Alarms, CCTV & Access Controls Stockport

Author Topic: Forum abuse  (Read 5614 times)

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admin

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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2005, 10:10:43 PM »
Cool it Mr. Sadman, you've been annoying me too so I've had a bit of a tidy up. You're welcome to contribute constructively to the forum but please think about whether what you are posting is of any real interest to anyone else.
Mark Whittaker

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Pink Panther

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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2005, 09:08:50 PM »
Sadman?

On one topic complaining about taking his kids to the park and getting insulted, next thing saying he is only 13 and cant sign up for a website.

I think you do a really good job on this website, and its a shame that its getting abused by the likes of sadman, child or prankster, it comes down to the same thing...timewasting.

Its a public forum for the people of marple, there are serious issues and also fun issues, people agree on things and also disagree on things, its what the forum is all about.

I was going to hold my tongue sadman about you, but why should I,  what you are doing is not fair on the people who share an interest in where they live, and also appreciate the hard work that goes into making a site like this.

Shame on you!
I'm not up to no good, it only looks as though I am!     8)

Aslan

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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2005, 08:06:29 AM »
I agree with the opinions below - please leave the areas available to all, but maybe only registered users post.

Or, is there some way you could have unregistered users postings going into a holding area for you to check out? That way you could always post a general 'I've had a post about ................. - anyone else heard anything?' Then the registered users who may know something could reply, without 'directly' replying to the ego-maniac!

I don't 'log in' to read the board (the computers at work and doesn't allow 'automatic' log in, so it's a lazy thing!'<img'>, but I always do to post anything.

Howard

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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2005, 12:19:08 PM »
Actually, I belive that have been a number of incidents recently. They have been unrelated but both would not have been possible if the forum required registration through a validated e-mail address in order to post.

The first was a few postings of "Forum Spam" where an unregistered user either posted links to a website or advertised goods (I can't remember which). These were fairly obvious spam and as the postings seem to have disappeared then I imagine that Mark removed them.

The second incident was the multiple postings ergarding the "flasher" topic. Banning IPs is not the answer to this. This is for several reasons:
1) Most IP addresses are allocated by an ISP by DHCP which "leases" you an address for a period of time. This is less likely to happen with bradband than dialup but is possible that by connecting and disconnecting from the Internet one can obtain different IP addresses fairly easily. As a tech-savvy user I could do this by intention rathe rthan randomly.
2) Fixed IP addresses are more likely to be used in places like colelges and libraries which provide INternet access to the public. Note I say "more likely" - these institutions will still use DHCP to allocate addresses but will probably then reserve these addresses permenantly. If you ban these IP addresses you will prevent people who do not have PCs or Internet access at home from using a valuable local resource.

My own opinion is that we currently do not need to stop unregistered users from posting to the forum. However, if the burden of removing postings or monitoring this situation becomes too much for Mark to deal with then I suppose that going for a validated registration will have to be the only way.
Howard

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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2005, 07:33:35 AM »
You don't sound petty Rachael and it's a option I'm certainly going to keep open. At the moment I don't think the abuse we've had (this is the first I can remember for months if not years) outweighs the disadvantages of restricting certain areas of the forum to new visitors, or genuine users who don't want to sign up. However, If the problems do get out of hand I think one of the first things I will have to do is make certain sections exclusive to members, as you suggest.
Mark Whittaker

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Pink Panther

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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2005, 10:52:58 PM »
Mark, I dont mean to sound petty, and really i mean it, but unregisted people can view the "System announcements" should this page be for registered users only, maybe this would "Filter" bogus guests, I know you said REGISTERED people could only  post topics, but maybe it should be "exclusive" to members........... might help things...........might not,..........just an idea.
I'm not up to no good, it only looks as though I am!     8)

tricky

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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2005, 08:05:15 PM »
Mark,

May I add my support for the 'leave things as they are' answer.. and yes continue to closely monitor it.

I think Iona, Alan, Dave and Alison have said it all really
meh

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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2005, 07:54:54 PM »
Yes Rachael, the person responsible for the multiple postings did register, as green_river, although they did not complete the authorisation process and can no longer post under that name because I have blocked it.

With the current settings anyone can view all sections of the forum, even if they are not signed in, although only registered users can post messages in this Systems Announcements section. So they will be aware of what has been said here and I hope it will make them realise that this behaviour is unacceptable.

Thank you very much to everyone who has responded with their views on this. The concensus at the moment seems to that I should leave things as they are for now, but obviously I am keeping a close eye on things.

Any registered users who have not responded yet, I would welcome your views too.
Mark Whittaker

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Pink Panther

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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2005, 07:02:06 PM »
Also Mark, isnt one of the people concerned a registered user just recently? They would be able to read the posts on this page wouldnt they?
I'm not up to no good, it only looks as though I am!     8)

Pink Panther

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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2005, 06:54:16 PM »
Im not sure really what would be the best solution, yes, it is a good thing for non registered people to be able to use the forum, but maybe to post topics and answers they should be registered, with a genuine postal address, Im just not sure, because I browsed the web site before I was "On line" myself, and any responses I have done unregistered have been light hearted and only fun, and would in no way offend anyone, but I just feel that this person posting items is a different ball game all together! I live near the area where the problems are happening, it gives me a total feeling of unease, and it sickens me to think that someone would find it amusing to report anything false on the issue which is of a most serious one, but also I feel that replying to the posts that this person has sent, probably only amuses him/her and may encourage the person even more... its a tough one, I want to read any updates, but I dont want to read any info from some mindless individual who is probably attention seeking and loving it!
I'm not up to no good, it only looks as though I am!     8)

Iona

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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2005, 12:31:10 PM »
I agree with what has been said to date and value the opportunity to discuss the matter.

 Whilst it is clearly essential to monitor the forum carefully it would be unfortunate to exclude many who would not otherwise be able to take part.

alan@romiley

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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2005, 08:39:14 AM »
I also tend to agree that you might consider "holding back" just at the moment Mark. And if it's possible for you to ID the source of Malicious or Mischievous messages , then perhaps you might consider a list of  "excluded" past subscribers/members.

I read the forum and website every day I find it a great source of information and I would very much regret the exclusion of anonymous messages especially if on a delicate matter or indeed as you say in a "spirit of genuine light hearted" fun.

Before my retirement I worked with the Home Office, I was able to read the website from our Intra net and so I was somewhat surprised to learn from the Police Officer who I spoke to on this subject, that out local station does not have "outside access" to sites like this forum.

If they did it might encourage more  people to subscribe to the "crime topic"
“Every process in your organization has a customer, and without a customer a process has no purpose. "

Dave

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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2005, 08:42:30 PM »
It's not an easy call, Mark.  But having read the 'flasher' thread I can see the problem.  On balance I'd be inclined to leave things as they are for the  moment, for all the reasons you give, but if the problem recurs maybe you'll need reluctantly to restrict access, at least for a while.   A pity - free speech and all that........

alison

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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2005, 08:36:59 PM »
It is a pity when this happens as it does spoil things for other genuine respondents, some of whom are unregistered.

I think the way you are dealing with it at the moment is appropriate - ie point it out so people have the full picture, remove any offensive or potentially libellous stuff, and encourage people to use the forum sensibly - and encourage as many as possible to register, its quick, simple, and your details are kept secure - I have been registered for ages now and it does make posting simple and quick (and you can add cute faces!!'<img'>.

Blocking IPs would only work if you could be sure they were private PCs - some people only have internet access away from their home.

If the problem was escalating then only allowing registered users to post would be an option, and one that is increasingly used elsewhere. It may stop some genuine people posting, but it may also encourage some regular unregistered users to register.

Alison

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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2005, 06:10:12 PM »
This week the forum has been busy with a lot of interest in the very serious topic about a flasher at Rose Hill and also one on Brydges Road, possibly the same one, although likely not to be.

Unfortunately this topic has been abused. By this I mean that a single individual has been pretenting to be different people by posting messages using multiple personalities.

I can usually tell when this is being done. Occassionly I overlook it, when I think it's harmless or done in a spirit of fun. I don't understand the motives in this case but it is certainly neither of these.

At present I've left the offending messages in place because they have been responded to by genuine, and well intended, registered users. Also you wouldn't be able to see what I'm talking about here if I deleted them!

I would very much appreciate the advice of regular users on what they think about this.

How do you think I should deal with this situation?

What do you think of the way I'm dealing with it now?

Do you think I should close the forum to postings from non-registered users and accept the down-side of this, which is possibly a very quiet forum?

Do you think I should try to expose who is doing it?

Do you think I should try IP banning?

This is your forum and without your input it would be dead. So please help me to improve it by telling me what you think about this situation and how you feel I should deal with it.


Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website