Bulletin board administration issues

I hope to get some advice from other bulletin board owners/admins on effective ways

  1. to discourage individuals from creating multiple accounts; and
  2. to prevent banned users from returning.

Below are some ideas I found earlier by trawling the Web and I am wondering if anyone has tried them and has some feedback, positive or negative, to share:
a) block new membership applications from free email accounts;
b) pre-moderate all posts from new members;
c) don’t worry about it(!!)

Thanks in anticipation,

I guess it all depends on the context - a thousand users or a hundred, the subject matter and the likely demographic it’s going to attract.

I’ve personally never fired up a board that ever required anything beyond option “c” but have been around enough and run enough to think that “c” is always your best options if you as the board admin can get into that mindset. Seems the more you worry about such things, the more it happens, especially if your worry is visible to the users in question, jerks :slight_smile: If nothing bothers you, they usually don’t try.

Can you give us an idea why someone might sign up for multiple accounts at your board (forgetfullness, imaturity, trolling)? And maybe why you have this paranoia or bad experience?

Sorry to be so wordy and of so little help, but I find the psychology of online communities fascinating.


G’day, Jason. Thanks for replying!
The board I am looking after now is dedicated to an old, but still popular comic book series. Members (400+) are from all over the world and are of different ages.
Troubles started a few months ago when several (or perhaps just one person with multiple IDs?) trolls decided to join in and ruin the fun for everyone else.
The moderators and I do not talk to the trolls, we just delete their posts. Cleaning up after the trolls is no fun and takes up an awful lot of time. The existing trolls will probably go away eventually, but I just wonder if there is a more effective and efficient method I can adopt to protect my board from future abuse.

bleh, the human element :slight_smile: The best way to combat that stuff in my opinion is with the human element, that is more along the lines of option B above. Things that are automated like disallowing free email accounts are spotty at best, you’ll certainly be blocking legitimate users and who wants to try and maintain a list of free email accounts to check against?!

Premoderated even seems a bit drastic to me but you’re the one doing the cleanup and disciplinary action, if it’d save you time on those kinds of duties then I guess it’d be mighty attractive. Then again, it would tend to annoy people and drive them away if they ever bothered signing up. I’ve personally not stuck to any community that did such things, or required rewards to post in certain more attractive areas etc, that annoys me.

I would suggest patience, IP logger, and IP/Email address banning facilitation (don’t ban ranges!) and the human touch!

Trolls suck, but I’ve always managed to ignore them, same with spambots that sign up accounts and spam the boards, delete, ignore, then eventually the cycle turns and they quit coming around.


Many thanks for your advice, Jason.
If the nonsense does not stop next week, I’ll probably have to give the premoderation option serious consideration.
marsbar… hates trolls!