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Thank you.

Your dignity , honor and ability to mend and mold to the current situation is what makes this forum great. It's people like yourself that keep this forum running smoothly and without distress.
 
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My new thread (Will Federer be remembered as the Pandemic Champion) wasn't even moved to The Ruins, it was just disapproved / deleted. Nice "quarantine measures"...
 

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"The Pandemic champ" sounds quite right for The Ruins, where much worse things are written.
 

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My new thread (Will Federer be remembered as the Pandemic Champion) wasn't even moved to The Ruins, it was just disapproved / deleted. Nice "quarantine measures"...
Its a ruins worthy thread IMO... but this Virus is a sensitive subject for many people right now and people's lack of observation and emotional intelligence is what get threads erased... that's the most diplomatic way of putting it.

If you would like to discuss further feel free to PM me.
 

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Just as the ATP has to consider drastic measures to help contain an epidemic originating in China, so too does MTF have it's own epidemic to address - the recent problem of spam that's been plaguing the forum.

Accounts have been registering with increasing frequency and posting threads advertising dodgy services - particularly at certain times of the day you may have noticed the forum fill up with these threads, often in Chinese or Korean. The forum does have spam filters that stop some posts, and accounts with IP or email matches to existing spam accounts are caught and blocked on registration, but obviously this isn't preventing accounts from registering and spamming the forum.

Moderators can easily ban and remove all posts of these accounts, however since they can register and start posting threads immediately they can post dozens of threads in just a few minutes, and at certain times of the day it can be an hour or two before a mod gets to them. These spam threads make viewing the forum pretty useless as it's hard to find any legitimate threads.

Vertical Scope (the company that owns and hosts the site) have said they are working on improving ways to block spam. We've asked them to help us in the meantime by putting stricter requirements on registration or new users (such as new users requiring mod approval or only members with 50+ posts being able to start threads). However, they haven't done this yet, so we mods are doing the best we can to block it with the tools available to us. We can't change the permissions of new users to post threads without VS's help - but we can change the permissions on each forum section to require new threads to need moderator approval. We have enabled this option on some less used forums for a few days now, and we have now decided to try it on General Messages and the other main discussion forums.

So in the coming days, General Messages may require new threads to be approved by a moderator before they are viewable. We may adjust this option on or off depending on the amount of spam the forum seems to be getting.

The disadvantage is that if you post a new thread, it won't be publically viewable immediately and will need to wait for a moderator to approve it (it will appear in an Approval Queue, similar to an Alert for a regular user, for any mod of the section the thread is in). At certain times of the day there might not be any moderator online so it could be a little while before new threads are approved. However, hopefully the times when few moderators are online coincide with when fewer regular users are online and wanting to post threads.

The advantage is that you should no longer come to the site and find General Messages an unviewable mess thanks to spam. Discussion can go on ahead at all times in existing threads, and we hope that new threads are rarely delayed for long. Also, if need be members with access to The Ruins can always post threads there if they don't want to wait for approval (we don't need to combat spam there since only members with 300 posts can access the forum). The fact that current ATP events are cancelled also mean we don't need to worry about match threads as much - hopefully by the time the tour is going ahead as normal we will have had a better resolution to the spam issue and can remove this measure.

This is quite an extreme step, and not one we'd consider except for the persistent high levels of spam on the forum. We've decided to try enabling this option on GM to try to make the forum more useful for discussion. I understand it's an inconvenience to have to wait for a new thread to be viewable - the trade-off is that the forum should always be filled with legitimate discussion threads, rather than them being buried by spam threads at certain times of the day. We're going to try it out for at least a short time, and we want to go with the option that's best for the community. Is it worthwhile to block these spam threads at the cost of all new threads waiting for mod approval? Please feel free to give your opinion on this
About time. I know we all have lives and this is just a passtime. But as long as people behave childishly then they should be repremended. Lossing their rights to start 1001 threads a day.
 

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Are there really still spam threads? This quarantine thing is a bit over the top, guys mtf is so boring with it
 
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Are there really still spam threads? This quarantine thing is a bit over the top, guys mtf is so boring with it
Yeah we purge probably 7-10 spam bot users a day.

They keep on coming back. They are trying to sneak through with more realistic usernames and then they create their spam threads
 

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Yeah we purge probably 7-10 spam bot users a day.

They keep on coming back. They are trying to sneak through with more realistic usernames and then they create their spam threads
I once had 10 pages with thread of spam on my forum. Since mtf uses the same software I will tell you how to keep them from posting spam. Disaprove members with 0 posts from posting links, make them go through approval first. You can allow member with 0 posts to post without links, rarely bots make spam without links.
 

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I once had 10 pages with thread of spam on my forum. Since mtf uses the same software I will tell you how to keep them from posting spam. Disaprove members with 0 posts from posting links, make them go through approval first. You can allow member with 0 posts to post without links, rarely bots make spam without links.
good advice mate
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
The thread approval requirement effectively killed the problem of spam threads filling up the forum and, while I'm sure it was a bit annoying, we found that it was fairly easily manageable for us to approve all legitimate threads and the response from the community seemed to be that it was fine compared to the negative impact of spam problems. So we have kept the thread approval requirement on basically all forums for the past few months.

We still do get attempts to post spam and advertising threads (that members don't have to see thanks to new threads requiring approval), but it has been far less than the amount of threads that were blocked when we first started requiring thread approval. And, since then the forum software has been improved somewhat so more spam accounts are blocked or flagged for approval on registration.

So with ATP tournaments resuming it seems like a good time to start relaxing these measures. We have removed the new thread approval requirement in GM for now. We will see if this results in a significant increase in spam threads that disrupt the forum, or if it stays at levels that are easily handled by moderators. Depending on how things look we may even switch thread approval on and off at different times (e.g. off during times tennis is being played, and on during times of the day that we previously saw a lot of spam threads). New thread approval is still currently required for most other forum sections but if it seems like spam threads aren't as much of an issue we will remove it there too.

This will mean that spam threads that would previously have been removed by moderators before being visible to members will now appear. We will be keeping an eye out for spam as usual, but if if you do see any spam threads then please report it as that makes it even more likely it will be seen and removed quickly by a moderator. Also feel free to let us know if you start to notice spam reaching levels that you would prefer new thread approval back on (even if it means a slight delay in legitimate threads being posted), as we want to do whatever is least disruptive to the forum.
 
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