2019-03-16 18:08:48

Hi all,
I've noticed in the user list there are many users registered, even three months or even years ago, with zero posts.
I am not sure what stance to take. Logic says that surely most users in their right mind would post fairly quickly after registering, and a lot have had plenty of time. Not to mention there are those users who are just spambots sending private messages.
The admin panel has the ability to search for users who posted before a certain date and who have a certain number of posts, in this case, less than 1. We as mods and admins will have to still issue the bans individually as far as I can tell.
My question to the rest of you forumights is:
Should we dare take this approach? Please note, this is not going to be a constant thing, but I have certainly noticed a lot of users with 0 posts while browsing the user list.

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2019-03-16 18:40:48

I'm all in favour of trimming the detritus. Slash and burn away. If they were real forum members, they'd probably have at least 1 post already, since (in general) people usually only sign up because they want to chime in or contribute.


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2019-03-16 21:17:37

I'm also for clearing out the unused accounts, but I'm not sure how banning them helps anything.
It seems much better to delete them.
Banning them would leave all the unused accounts around, continueing to clutter the user list, but it would stop them from posting, which obviously wasn't a problem to begin with.

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2019-03-16 21:26:25

I'm with deleting those accounts. Banning them will do nothing since they would stay in the list.

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2019-03-16 21:27:28

yes, with criteria six months ago

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2019-03-16 22:14:14

Clearly they didn't introduce themselves. I think a good spring cleaning is always a good idea. However, one potential use case of an account without posting would be to have 75 posts/topics per page tongue

Reading is one form of escape. Running for your life is another. ― Lemony Snicket

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2019-03-16 23:33:43

I agree, purge them.

Pain is life and life is pain.

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2019-03-17 00:19:09

I agree with deleting them rather than banning. If it is a legitimate person and not a spambot, that way they're free to sign up again and hopefully contribute.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

2019-03-17 03:05:11

should delete accounts without posts at least one!

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2019-03-17 04:58:07

Nah, I see the logic, but say someone gets an account mainly to give karma, that or they mean to post but just don't get around to it. That is why we have restricted accounts at first.

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2019-03-17 08:32:37

banning, nah
deleting, yes

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2019-03-17 15:47:17 (edited by Dark 2019-03-17 15:48:32)

I fully well agree that there is no point keeping accounts  that have zero posts around, provided the respective account holders have had ample time  to actually make posts on the forum, E.G six months.

In terms of banning or deleting though, I am more in favour of banning the accounts.
I suspect a large proportion of those accounts will be spambots anyway, who either attempted to post on the forum and failed, or use the accounts to send spam pms to people.

If the accounts are deleted, then the same spambots could reregister and do the same thing again, and we'd be in exactly the same position.
If the accounts are banned though, then not only the spambot accounts themselves, but also details like their IP ranges are banned too, which makes further spambot registration from the same source less likely. This is why, even though we used to delete all topics and posts by spambots, we'd still ban the accounts, rather than delete them.

The only down side with that approach, is that you do risk accidentally banning someone who say created an account, forgot what email they created the account with and so made another one, though how great this risk is, being  the accounts in question are after all completely inactive ones I don't know.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2019-03-17 18:30:38

Exactly, agreed with Dark. I also created an account many years ago, absolutely forgot the name and the password, and nearly everything, so if they banned my ip, they would probably ban this account as well, together with that one. So at the beginning they should take the bans one by one and check the details of the accounts. And it wouldn't be a good idea to ban those who didn't post in the last 6 months, cause many developers have their accounts too, and if they post only when a new game is released by them, um well, you just can't tell them like ey, make up something in every month.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering."

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2019-03-17 20:34:57 (edited by Mayana 2019-03-17 20:40:33)

What exactly would banning those accounts accomplish? They're not posting anyway, and if you ban them, they'll still be in the database as unusable names. So you won't cut down on spam and you won't save space in the database. If one of the mods could provide even just one good reason for this, I'd be very thankful.

Deleting, meanwhile, seems more reasonable. At least that way the name will be available for use again. It can either be used by some new person, or the previous owner if it turns out they want to start participating on the forum. It's unlikely accounts take much space up on the server, but if there's plenty of them, it might still be a good way to save a few megabytes. Every bit helps, right?

However, I disagree with the criteria for banning. I personally think it shouldn't be based on when the account was created, since as posts #6 and #10 already pointed out, a person could create an account just to have the handy perks of being able to easily check new posts, having 75 posts on one page, giving thumbs up to posts they like, sending private messages, etc. I used to lurk for quite a bit before I found a topic I wanted to post in, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Instead, if mods have access to that info, they should check when the user last logged in. If that was a long time ago, then it's probably safe to delete the account. That time should be at least 6 months, though I'd prefer 9 or even 12.

This, of course, doesn't apply to spambots. Any account that's already banned stays banned and shouldn't be deleted. But we can probably assume that those accounts that have 0 posts but aren't banned aren't spambots, since they'd likely be banned otherwise. Of course, a spambot or two might end up getting deleted this way, but if they could make it this long without spamming, they're bad at their job anyway. So if they end up recreating the account to continue being a silent, useless robot, that's fine. I won't judge ... much.

Other websites that delete accounts after a long inactivity usually send the user a warning first. So if it would be possible to modify the forum's code so it would send an automatic email once someone with 0 posts has been inactive for long enough, that'd be cool. However, that seems unlikely to happen.

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2019-03-17 20:48:36

There are over 100,000 accounts in the database. I’m pretty sure 90% of those are spambots. They are merely taking up space, they should go.

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2019-03-17 21:01:31 (edited by Mayana 2019-03-17 21:03:02)

@#15 that's indeed a good point. Since most of these spambots spammed a long time ago, it's unlikely that they'll return even if their IP is no longer banned. And if they do, the new restrictions in place should prevent them from causing too much trouble. So there might potentially be a bit more work in the future if the spambots learn they're no longer banned, but some space will be saved and plenty of usernames will be available for reuse.

However, like I mentioned above, it's unlikely accounts take up all that much space. So even if the admins decide to keep the spammers banned to make sure they can't come back and spam in the future, I'll understand their choice. So I'm kind of neutral on this one, at least unless it turns out that accounts actually take plenty of space (unlikely) and/or there's not a lot of free space on the server left.

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2019-03-17 21:26:32

Delete them.

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2019-03-18 04:04:02

What's the point in joining a forum if you're not going to post. I say delete them.

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2019-03-18 05:06:02

I'll say just delete them, if they have not been active for 6 months. By saying "active," I mean if they have not visited their account for 6 months, not if they have not posted for 6 months.
Reason: Some members might use their accounts to quickly check for new posts since their last visit. One of my friends is doing that, and he only make like one post of the year. Other people might use their accounts for private messages.
Then I'll say delete, not ban, because that might not make people able to make an account in the future.

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2019-03-18 09:23:03

Agreed, SLJ.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering."

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2019-03-18 11:19:26

Agreed with deleting inactive accounts that have 0 posts. In order to get unrestricted you must have made at least one post in the intro topic, so if an account has 0 posts for 6 months they are probably not going to be used. If banning an account would affect someone who made another account because they forgot a password, then it's maybe not the best option.

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2019-03-18 19:50:36

I would delete all 0 post accounts which are older than 6 months.
However, I'll have to disagree with SLJ about deleting all accounts that haven't been active for six months, because for example some develepoers might post about a game they have in the works, then they might not post about it for a while but then come back with an update.
I imagine they'd be pretty annoyed if they find their account deleted.

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian
BTW, give me a thumbs up if you like my Posts!

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2019-03-18 23:41:10

Aren't we talking about only deleting accounts which have zero posts, though? I fail to see how a developer's account, of all things, would go inactive, since presumably they would have posted about a project they had either released or which was in the works, thus it wouldn't matter if they hadn't visited the forum in awhile.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

2019-03-19 09:07:46

@Juliantheaudiogamer: Good point. big_smile

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2019-03-19 16:52:47

@Turtlepower: I might have misinterpreted SLJ's post.
I thought he suggested deleting all accounts that didn't log in to their account for 6 months, which, as I said in my last post, is problematic.

Greetings and happy gaming, Julian
BTW, give me a thumbs up if you like my Posts!

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