This site was archived on 24 April 2012. No new content can be posted. The mailing list remains online and the site will stay in this archived state for the forseeable future. If you find any technical errors on the site, please contact Callum.

Changes for new users

We had our first spam post on OpenCS today. Our WordPress settings allowed anyone to register and immediately publish posts. Until now, it was never abused (at least not that I noticed). Today it was. In response, I’ve switched all new users to have only “Subscriber” level permissions on the blog. I’ve also deleted the offending user and the post.

There’s no easy way to combat this type of spam. New user signups are pretty constant. We have a great deal of “spam” users already on the database who have not yet posted anything. Let’s hope they remain dormant.

If you have other ideas about how we can respond to the spamming, please contribute in the comments here. I’m happy to change the settings back if that’s the consensus. My feeling is that because this site is so quiet now, it’s ok that new users need to ask on the mailing list before they can write posts here. What do you think?

There is no change to comment settings. Comments work just as they did before.

4 Responses to “Changes for new users”

  • It is a good idea to put the shields up, if there is a current persistent issue, but I think in the interest of openness and freedoms, it is better imo to use the default unrestricted mode.

    I was going to say that, if this was the first, then statistically, its a rare occurrence and not worth limiting freedom for.

    But then I noticed Akismet on the dashboard. It has blocked over 200k spam comments. 200k to 1 isn’t bad going.

    Use the extra restriction for as long they have a worthwhile and noticable benifit and return to normal asap.

  • Callum, thanks for being alert and responsive.

    You’re the most knowledgeable WordPress guy I know, and I know you want this to be inclusive, so do what you think is the right thing.

  • I’ve been killing spam from December to October, and the website /should/ be clean right now.

    Maybe a quick “spam” button next to each post would help?

  • Thanks, Diederik!

    I don’t know that much about WP, maybe Callum knows a plugin that can help with manual spamfighting.

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