A proposal to cut down some types of undesirable posting

As I’ve noticed, most of the conspiracy theories, racist screeds, spam, trolling and people-who-obviously-won’t-be-with-us-for-long make their offending posts very early on. To the point where I usually skip the thread of anyone who’s joined within 1 month.

I was wondering if any forum has ever experimented with a waiting period between signing up and posting. The idea being that most undesirables won’t have the patience to wait and are only interested in expressing their particular message, not listening. It would also cut down on the amount of pest control the moderators have to do.

Does the software allow it?
Would it cut down too much on good posters joining?
Would it have no appreciable effect on the deleterious posters?

I like this idea w/ maybe the caveat of allowing someone to be referred by a current member (of good standing) to get the waiting period waived.

24-48 hours would probably be a long enough wait.

This proposal is made every few months or so. I expect the response this time will be the same as it was to previous proposals.

The overwhelming majority of new posters that come to the Straight Dope do so from a Google search.

They have a question they want answered.

They come here, ask their question, they get an answer or they don’t.

Some – maybe most – don’t come back after that.

Some stay. It’s those few that contribute to the greater community as a whole that help keep this place ticking.

If they didn’t get to post their query at the very beginning, why would they stay?

If they didn’t get to participate right off the bat, why would they come to care about the greater community and hang with it?

I understand that you’re unhappy with spammers and the like – we don’t like them either. But restricting access to people who newly register won’t do anything to help and will hurt this place.

I like this idea but 1 month is too short. I propose a 3 year waiting period. The OP can start posting in 7 months.

I don’t think I should be allowed to post yet. I mean, really, what have I managed to contribute of any worth? I should just shut up.

I agree with mods / admins on this one. We should want people to come here and participate. That means having to put up with some people who we might not rather stop by at all - but, honestly, those threads usually turn out to be hilarious anyway. Did you know that there is no such thing as an Austrian?

I think anyone who hasn’t registered yet should not be allowed to. Bang the gong, close the gates, raise the drawbridge, I say! Who needs new blood, anyway?

I know I do. Mine is mostly saturated fat and high fructose corn syrup at this point.

Drunky and Musicat,

Did you notice how TubeDiva and Darth Panda answered? That’s a great way to shoot down my idea and they’ve convinced me it was bad. They had actual arguments instead of the stupid shit you spewed.

MichaelEmouse: Drunky and Musicat were displaying what is known in these parts as ‘a sense of humor’.

As for new posters: While I agree that new registrants should be allowed to post right away, I think the ability to post a link (i.e., a working URL) should be restricted for twenty-four hours. Might that not cut down on spammers?

Waive that restriction for paying members; if they want to post spam links and be banned, well, just another $14.95 in the Dope’s pocket. (I’d call that a fair trade.)


That does seem like a good idea.

You have a good username.

I think the waiting period should be inversely proportional to the length of the user name…

hmm…there’s a poll in there, I think… But I’m lazy.

I’m not convinced I should be allowed to post either. Maybe we should limit it to people who lad letters published in the Dope prior to the establishment of the Usenet board?

Or maybe just not allow anyone to pose until they have at least 2000 posts. That way we can judge their intellect before they start posting. :slight_smile:

Now the question has been answered by the PTB and the OP has sort of agreed, I have a question I’ve been dying to ask MichaelEmouse: What does the E stand for?

Emouse: his last name. :stuck_out_tongue:

I wanted a name that sounds real yet is obviously fake not to mislead people. Hence, Michael (Mick) Emouse. Mickey Mouse.

I chose the classy route after considering Michael Hunt.

People who commnet on Cecil’s columns are expected to include a link to the column in their post. They are often brand new posters and couldn’t ask their question/comment and link to the column right away, if this idea was in place.

Of course I think it’s silly they have to link to the column in the first place. In this day where most comments on an article appear just below the article and are automatically associated with it, who would really expect they would have to cut and paste a link and that their comment would end up on a separate message board? Comments should stay with the article or a link automatically include when you click the “comment on this column” button.

But this is a message board, it’s not a blog, it’s not social media, and the format is different. People should be able to tell the difference.

Or maybe not. We had someone recently who wrote in to ask how “texting could be turned on” for them.