About the registration on the zdoom forums...

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Rachael
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Rachael »

Kinsie wrote:I don't think I'm being too unreasonable. Consider that the post that revived this thread has proven that this is a legitimate concern for actual humans, I don't think painting it as otherwise is either helpful or constructive. This community needs fresh, new blood to survive, and the current registration situation is actively warding them off. That's not a healthy situation, bots or not.
This is MUCH more reasonably worded and much more rational than anything you've posted on this topic so far. Why the fuck can't all your posts be like this? This post is good. I wish more of your posts were like this. I wish you always talked like this. I really do.

That being said - yes I agree it does need fresh blood to survive - but not at the expense of making things a nightmare to manage. We can't seem to get active moderators if our lives depended on it and the ones that we have get spotty activity, at best. (Not their fault - this is purely a volunteer thing, they aren't getting paid, and real life or social life always comes first anyhow)

I don't think it's too unreasonable to ask people to come to Discord for help. If we get a feel for them we can tell pretty quickly if they are a bot and whether they genuinely want to be a part of the community or if their only intent is to advertise. I know talking to an actual human is not everyone's thing - but unfortunately that's just going to have to do for now.
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Rachael
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Rachael »

Caligari87 wrote:I'm not as dialed-in to the nuts-and-bolts of the forum backend software, but I believe Rachael when she says this is the best solution with the limited and outdated tools we have at hand, and upgrading the software really isn't viable at this time.
This is not an issue that an upgraded forum software will help with - bots work around bot-catching tools all the time (in fact it's a fairly good paying full-time job for some folks to find ways around anti-bot verifications) - the only way to fight them effectively is to be esoteric in your approach. You can't be a part of the already existing mold because that's always going to be the attack target, you have to form your own - and even then it's not over because you have to hope you won't ever become a big enough needle in the haystack that someone deigns your target to be a viable paid opportunity.
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cowsay
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by cowsay »

If I may propose an idea...

It would be a bit of work to set up, but you could use slightly easier questions just to prevent *most* bot sign-ups (and make it more accessible to real humans) .. and provide a randomized registration key during account creation (e.g. 7DktfT88dZWR or n4ErRpwFWuj2). For expedited account activation, the user could send a PM to a discord bot with that key to auto-approve the account. New users who didn't activate using the registration key could be restricted to posting to a designated "New Users" subforum for, say, 48 hours. Introduction posts in the new users subforum could be used for manual account approval by mods.

I wouldn't make discord mandatory since not everyone uses it.. hence the designated subforum alternative.

Any bot farms would need a unique discord account for each forum spam bot, or the bots would get stuck in a subforum and need to write an introduction about themselves. Introductions could be based on a "tell us about yourself" template in a sticky post. "Favorite build engine game?", "Have you modded a game before?", "Where did you find out about ZDoom?", etc.
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Caligari87
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Caligari87 »

Rachael wrote:This is not an issue that an upgraded forum software will help with - bots work around bot-catching tools all the time (in fact it's a fairly good paying full-time job for some folks to find ways around anti-bot verifications) - the only way to fight them effectively is to be esoteric in your approach. You can't be a part of the already existing mold because that's always going to be the attack target, you have to form your own - and even then it's not over because you have to hope you won't ever become a big enough needle in the haystack that someone deigns your target to be a viable paid opportunity.
I meant more that upgraded software might have easier access to robust 3rd-party solutions like reCAPTCHA (or whatever the flavor of the day is, I know some people dislike Google's implementation on principle). The idea being that we'd be able to let someone with more resources worry about varying attack vectors.

Of course the endgame there is that bots will sometimes simply forward the request to a human in a 3rd-world country, or a microwork website like mTurk, to register the account for a few cents. We're already almost there, which circles back to relying on esoteric knowledge as a filter to raise the barrier to entry so it's not worth someone's time trying to get in unless they actually want to be part of the community.

We already allow anonymous bug reporting, so the more I think about it, the more it seems like Discord's quick turnaround is indeed probably the channel of choice for people that just want quick in-and-out questions, and the forum for the ones that want to hang around in a more permanent sense, in which case some pain to pass registration is a feature, not a bug.

I hate that sounds kind of elitist, but this is a fairly niche and very aged community after all. Having a constant supply of "fresh blood" is less important than having a dedicated core of people who've shown they're willing to put in a little legwork to stick around.

8-)
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wildweasel
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by wildweasel »

Honestly, I'll agree it sucks that we're potentially blocking out eager new users with what we've got. But I don't ever want to see this happen again:


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Kzer-Za
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Kzer-Za »

Is it possible to contact the team via email? I did not have any problem when I was creating my account, but if I had, and if the only means of contacting the team was via Discord, then I wouldn't have registered here: I don't use Discord on principle.
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Redneckerz
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Re: About the registration on the zdoom forums...

Post by Redneckerz »

Kzer-Za wrote:Is it possible to contact the team via email? I did not have any problem when I was creating my account, but if I had, and if the only means of contacting the team was via Discord, then I wouldn't have registered here: I don't use Discord on principle.
It would require setting it up and maintaining a new portal of entry - And who is to say bots will flood that too.
When i arrived here i found the questions rather tough but eventually managed in. The questions themselves are solvable, but they aren't Dark Souls bosses of unwinnable.

The opposite alternative is actually how that other big forum does it and just allow filler threads by new users to exist, along with the ability to have those zero post users have thread making rights.

It was decided there that As long as it is harmless, it is fine. Which imo is a very thin line of fire. Because what is harmless?

People asking dead-obvious things (Do you think Doom is more advanced than Wolf 3D? or rants Why does BD.pk3 not load up on GZ? Screw this port, are there any others? both exist.

In that regard, ZDoom has had a far better policy to it. Maybe its because i am getting older. Or maybe its because threads need to have a certain degree of usefulness applied to them, even when its interesting but ultimately dumb idea. :)

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