Why UtahMountainBiking.com deletes some registrations -- our spam-prevention policy

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.

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 spam? If 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 username.)

Why Montreal and Quebec? Same reason. Not that there's anything wrong with speaking French.