Why UtahMountainBiking.com deletes some registrations -- our spam-prevention
Our anti-spam measures prevent most "spam
registrations." (See the discussion below for information on why this is a
problem for us -- and for you as a user of this website.) In order to register, you
must answer a two-step "anti-spam-bot" question selected at random. As soon as possible after you
apply for an account, it will be reviewed by our administrators. This usually is
done within 24 hours -- but we're active bikers, not computer-jockeys. The account
application will be deleted
-- without notice to you -- if it meets certain characteristics of a spam
registration. Assuming we've decided to take the chance that you're a legit
biker, the final step of registration is to activate your account by responding to the email you receive
from the board software.
SPAM 1: Bogus registrations
Small on-line businesses may contract with companies that promise to boost
their "search-engine ranking." The actual work is usually farmed out
overseas, most often Ukraine, Russia, and China. These commercial spammers use
"bots" -- software tools that search the internet for discussion
boards and robo-register as a participant. We use an anti-spambot tool that
intercepts the bots. For American spammers, it's usually not worth the expense
or time to use a human to answer a challenge question. That's why so many of our
bogus registrations come from technically sophisticated but low-income areas of
the world. Without heavy-handed anti-spam measures, there may be hundreds of
these automated registrations every single day.
The bogus registration itself usually contains a link to the business, in an
attempt to increase the "Google ranking." The idea is that the spiders
of search engines will see the link within the member list -- and after creating
hundreds of registrations on various forums, this will affect how likely a company is to pop
up in the first page of results from a user search. So that's Problem 1:
clogging up our server space with bogus registrations. Despite our anti-spambot
measures, only about 1 of 20 registrations is actually legitimate.
SPAM 2: Product or website promotion
Problem 2 is unwanted promotion of commercial products or of a website within the forum
itself. Once registered, a spammer will do one of two things. He may post an
obvious long advertisement for the company's products including links to the
website, hoping no moderator is looking. Or he'll get sneaky and post a generic
comment, such as "You make a good point. That is a very interesting."
and the post or signature line will contain a link to a website.
SPAM 3: Opinion manipulation
We were deluged with bot registrations from Russia during the run-up to the 2016
primary elections. And we continue to receive registrations from troll farms.
Once registered, a software "spider" from these operations revisits
the targeted discussion forum to "harvest" any mentions of politics
(or whatever it is they're pushing), then responds with a bot-generated comment.
WHAT WE DO:
Therefore, every registrant is evaluated: (1) Is the username suspicious for
"auto-generation" of unique usernames by a bot? (2) Is the email address
suspicious for a bot-created email account? (3) Does the email account's domain
extender indicate an ISP outside the U.S.? (4) Does either the username or email
address contain any text hinting at a porn site or self-promoting internet
business? (5) Is the registrant's IP address outside the USA or
English-speaking areas of Canada? or (6) Is the registrant's ISP known to be a source of
our administrator finds anything -- anything -- about the registration suspicious, your account
will be removed
without notice. But you're welcome to email us to let us know you're legit, then re-register.
Why are Las Vegas registrants not automatically approved? Unfortunately,
there's an active commercial spam operation through Henderson/Las Vegas ISPs. If
you live in that area, and are using the involved server, you may need to email us after you register. (Include your
Why Montreal and Quebec? Same reason. Not that there's anything wrong with