Capellini wrote:In order to keep the server clean, from now on, accounts that are more than 6 months old and have no posts will be deleted. There will be no prior warning.
Recent members with designs on lurking, please be aware you must have one post to enter the majority of the site, so make sure you introduce yourself in the Standards and Practices section, thus killing two birds with one stone.
Note: this is not applied to accounts that have been inactive for 6 months but have previously been active, only accounts that have no posts attributed to them. Also note that log-ins do not register as activity.
This update is for the benefit of members who may not be familiar with the history of this board, and have complaints about member count and the phony accounts (appearing most flagrantly in the Birthday list).
I don't have the stats for member count and rate of phony account creation when Cap first posted this message, but spamming message boards with no intention of participating has obviously been a long-term problem, here as well as elsewhere on the web. There are tools to screen out bogus accounts, some of which are in place here. Every forum looks for a balance of gatekeepers to discourage phony and/or spam accounts, and openness to encourage new members. It's been my observation that no matter where a forum falls on that continuum, there will be a chorus of complaining offset by people who can figure it out and be active members for as long as they wish. <--- Sort of like any other endeavor in the real world, yeah? The balance here is the one selected by Bobby when he created this forum for your enjoyment.
So, after a few months' rather dedicated work (this calendar year) in weeding out accounts which had never posted in Start Here First, let alone making a single post anywhere else on the board, the "member" count dropped from 41,091 to 29,746. Phony accounts were being created at the rate of about (4) pages of new members per day, at (40) members per page. In addition to the stats above, between 25-50 accounts are deleted every day by admins, because those "members" attempt to post spam to the board and are removed before you see them.
At the end of July, 2013, there were complaints that the member list stood at 31,426, and that obviously phony accounts or accounts associated spam sites were visible each day in the Birthday listing, along with demands that something be done about it. I explained what was being done about it, and was met with further, conflicting demands. For the benefit of members with future queries about phony and inactive accounts, a test was run for August; accounts attempting to post spam to the board each day were removed. Those formed with the intent of being inactive or holding links to assorted spam sites were left alone. The result was a "member" count of 31,718 at the end of August. Of the 16 new members who posted in the introduction thread, 8 never bothered to post elsewhere on the board or check in again. 4 managed 1-2 posts, and 4 have participated elsewhere on the board.
So, 1 out every ~123 new "members" (or 1 in every ~183, if you include the immediately deleted for spam new "members") bothered to make an introductory post. One in 4 of those are active. That's about the percentage we've seen for some time...
Now that August is past, resume weeding out accounts which (1) are inactive after 6 months with zero posts ever; (2) inactive and recent, but created with user info or IP #s flagged as spam by reliable reporting resources; and (3) inactive and recent, but featuring spam and/or porn websites in their profiles. This task takes time, and with so many new spam and phony accounts being created each day, it takes even more time.
The housekeeping is for the active members -- past, present, and future -- who enjoy the board and participate. You're all welcome and appreciated. Those who do not wish to participate courteously -- or for that matter, at all, ever -- will not be burdened with membership, just as it's always been.