I’m head admin at a little, 2000 member-or-so message board. Our members are mostly well behaved, and even protective of their little community, but occasionally some one breaks the user agreement, and depending on how severe the infraction or how often they’ve done it after being warned, their accounts end up suspended.
Part of our user agreement is that creating new accounts to post with after your old account was suspended, is an offense that merits being banned by ip, so you cannot even read the forums. IP banning prevents any more accounts from being made, naturally.
Normally, this is peachy. Few people get suspended at all, and few of those are willing to risk being banned more severly for a longer time by ban-dodging with a new account. Very very few are actively out to cause trouble and make repeated accounts to post naughty things, and these generally get nailed by ip bans.
AOLl users are different. AOL assigns completely dynamic ip’s. At best, the first digit is a constant, and that digit is shared with dozens of innocent users who’d end up banned if we blocked that static digit and used wildcards for the rest of the ip. Effectly, if an AOL user wants to attack our forums, making new accounts each time we suspend them, we cannot stop them without banning a large chuck of our community along with them, or by suspending registration ( not really an option with several new users coming by every day).
Is there any way around this? Our tech guy had the skills to create our forums more or less from scratch, making them unique…but finding a means to keep out a single problem user from AOL without keeping everyone on AOL out is beyond him. Does anyone here have a solution?