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Poll: Should New Members have limited posting abilities?

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  1. #1
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    New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    As a new member I found ODN to be fairly easy and inviting. I was inspired by a Facebook "discussion" to find a medium more appropriate to my interests. I was not looking for Formal Debate like college. I was looking for new ideas and the rationale behind them. Other sites had subscriptions, or flaming, not my idea of recreation.

    I was surprised to find how easy it was to sign up and how much freedom I was given as an unproven member. Someone that could potentially create a bunch of unwanted posts or cause other trouble. I was further surprised to find the restrictions that did exist. Some made sense, others made no sense. Here is a link that supports their argument but you cannot follow because you have not posted ten times. Here is a picture that... a video... How can the unproven newby cause problems in viewing content?? Then when I go to post there were almost no restrictions. In my opinion that is backward. I think new members should be on a short leash until they have shown they can behave (10 posts?). Perhaps with a couple of stages, 10 posts and 20 posts? Granting more freedom as the likelihood for trouble goes down.

    SHOULD ODN limit new members and in what way? Or perhaps should ODN reward contributing members and in what way? Further what limitations will the system allow?
    All men SHOULD have equal opportunity to live their life to the fullest. Be as happy, productive, carefree, and content as possible. The trouble is we are NOT created equal.

  2. #2
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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    Thank you for your feedback Mehkael.

    ODN is a dynamic community. It is ever changing. Our rules and features are no different. They change depending upon need.

    At one time we were bombarded with spambots. We decided to integrate an anti-spam system that restricted a number of features and abilities to new members.

    The thinking at the time, was that since new spambots primarily create new threads (vs posts w/i a thread), we'd restrict new members to posting in existing threads before creating their own threads. Also, for those spambots that got around the system and posted links and videos (sometimes explicit), we wanted to decrease the likelihood of legitimate new members to see such content and thus be put off by what they perceived to be a less reputable community.

    However, our staff has proven to move quickly on such violations of spammers, and we have a solid community who reports such spammers pretty quickly.

    I've since disabled all restrictions on viewing links, images/video and attachments, and even signatures.

    As of this time, the only restrictions that should exist are the creation of new threads (which still requires a few posts in order to do), creation of social groups (requires 10 posts), and posting of links/multimedia (to a few posts).

    In short, almost all restrictions have been lifted. I must keep the restriction to new threads however to decrease the workload of the staff in their fight against spammers. But I don't think that 2-3 posts is too much to ask of our new members (if they wish to start their own threads/discussion).
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  3. #3
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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    I shouldn't have to prove myself.Some of the members that get into trouble in the forums are the ones who feel comfortable enough and that take libertys with other members and the site because of familiarity( it does breed contempt in some people).All I am saying is 1.Spam controls. 2. Report tools.3. I see no problem with more established members being allowed to maintain more control in the community by having exclusive areas that are off limits to junior members.

  4. #4
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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    Quote Originally Posted by blarset View Post
    I shouldn't have to prove myself.Some of the members that get into trouble in the forums are the ones who feel comfortable enough and that take libertys with other members and the site because of familiarity( it does breed contempt in some people).All I am saying is 1.Spam controls. 2. Report tools.3. I see no problem with more established members being allowed to maintain more control in the community by having exclusive areas that are off limits to junior members.
    Prove yourself how exactly? You mean you shouldn't have to post 2 posts in an existing thread, before you can post your own thread...thus proving you are not indeed, a spambot?

    Or do you mean you shouldn't have to show the group leaders of X private forum that you are planning on sticking around at least a day or so by posting 10 posts?

    What is it specifically that you think is overly restrictive here?
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  5. #5
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    Quote Originally Posted by blarset View Post
    I shouldn't have to prove myself.
    Yes, you should. You should to the precisely the extent that Apok described.

    I can speak to this to some extent given that I personally contributed to the development to some of the mechanisms put in place to help with spam and so on (and I was by no means alone in this). They weren't things that we just made up to be a pain in the ass and to pre-judge anyone. There were and are very real circumstances where such restrictions have helped to mitigate the amount of time and attention we've had to commit to the forums over the years.

    I can only speak for myself, but I can say that there have been many instances over my 7+ years here where I have spent time maintaining trouble caused in the forums by people who also didn't feel they need to prove themselves, instead of tending to arguably MUCH more important, personal things. I don't regard the sacrifice of that time as a trivial thing to be brushed off as the product of some snobby, elitist agenda. These were all weighed and considered decisions that we collectively felt were decent solutions to the issues we have had over the years, because many of the things that were happening were at cross-purposes with what we all felt ODN was meant to be.

    I agree that there is room for improvement (and the staff has ALWAYS been open to positive, productive suggestions), but the language I've seen you use in this thread and in others suggests that the staff is some sort of bullying entity consumed with their own hubris and arrogance and who is indifferent to the concerns of its members. My experience (and I can say with some degree of confidence is that my experience is considerable) is that ODN's staff's chief concerns has been the preservation of the site's atmosphere of debate, and to maximizing the positives to be gotten from the experience.

    But maybe I'm misunderstanding you. What do you mean when you say that you shouldn't have to prove yourself, particularly in regards to a privately owned and operated forum policed by a completely volunteer staff? Is there some remaining restriction with which you still take issue?

  6. #6
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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Yes, you should. You should to the precisely the extent that Apok described.

    I can speak to this to some extent given that I personally contributed to the development to some of the mechanisms put in place to help with spam and so on (and I was by no means alone in this). They weren't things that we just made up to be a pain in the ass and to pre-judge anyone. There were and are very real circumstances where such restrictions have helped to mitigate the amount of time and attention we've had to commit to the forums over the years.

    I can only speak for myself, but I can say that there have been many instances over my 7+ years here where I have spent time maintaining trouble caused in the forums by people who also didn't feel they need to prove themselves, instead of tending to arguably MUCH more important, personal things. I don't regard the sacrifice of that time as a trivial thing to be brushed off as the product of some snobby, elitist agenda. These were all weighed and considered decisions that we collectively felt were decent solutions to the issues we have had over the years, because many of the things that were happening were at cross-purposes with what we all felt ODN was meant to be.

    I agree that there is room for improvement (and the staff has ALWAYS been open to positive, productive suggestions), but the language I've seen you use in this thread and in others suggests that the staff is some sort of bullying entity consumed with their own hubris and arrogance and who is indifferent to the concerns of its members. My experience (and I can say with some degree of confidence is that my experience is considerable) is that ODN's staff's chief concerns has been the preservation of the site's atmosphere of debate, and to maximizing the positives to be gotten from the experience.

    But maybe I'm misunderstanding you. What do you mean when you say that you shouldn't have to prove yourself, particularly in regards to a privately owned and operated forum policed by a completely volunteer staff? Is there some remaining restriction with which you still take issue?
    I mean people who join the forum should not have to prove themselves to other members. As long as they meet the minimum requirements of the forum and aren't spammers is what I am talking about. I don't have any issues with ODN's staff I think they do a good job. I do think ODN is ridgid and that there is room for relaxing the atmosphere. My suggestions are for the forum- this and the other thread about ads, so ODN can operate more effectively. My suggestions were based on the assuption that I was giving constructive criticisim. If I come across as a smart ass I apologize to you and the other members.

  7. #7
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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    Quote Originally Posted by blarset View Post
    I mean people who join the forum should not have to prove themselves to other members. As long as they meet the minimum requirements of the forum and aren't spammers is what I am talking about.
    But how specifically? I still haven't seen any specifics that can be addressed blarset. Be as specific as you can. In what way are members having to prove themselves to other members?

    I do think ODN is ridgid and that there is room for relaxing the atmosphere.
    How specifically? What would you change?

    You do understand that saying "I'd make it more relaxed" really isn't an answer, right? Let's say you owned the site, or "inherited" as-is, and now you could make any change you wanted. What would you do specifically that relates to the rigidness/relaxing restrictions here at ODN?
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  8. #8
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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    When i had just joined the forum, i didn't even notice any limitations.
    Could you describe some (except for the ones in the OP) of them?

    But, yes, anything on the internet has to be closely monitored if misuse has to be prevented.
    How could you argue with me?
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  9. #9
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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deva View Post
    When i had just joined the forum, i didn't even notice any limitations.
    Could you describe some (except for the ones in the OP) of them?

    But, yes, anything on the internet has to be closely monitored if misuse has to be prevented.
    I notice your join date is only a little newer than mine, but it sounds like ODN recently received changes so that the minor restrictions I saw are no longer in place. I think my Opening Post covered all the restrictions I noticed. Which it seemed weird to me that I was limited in viewing content but not in creating content.

    -----

    I would go so far as to say the first 1 or 2 posts could require approval screening, but that would mean MORE work for the moderators which is counter-productive. Perhaps limit the number of posts per day until some level (time? post quantity?) Perhaps limit the ability to include external content links, pics, or vids. I definitely agree with the idea that new members cannot create their own threads until proven. It seems like all of these would be possible in the system and are all intended to show that new accounts are real people interested in real debate.

    Still being new I would find these all to be good steps to protect the quality of a free/volunteer site. Knowing that a site has these kinds of screenings in place makes me MORE interested in joining. I so dislike flaming and pointless bickering, these limitations are a happy price to pay to avoid them. Simple minor barriers that are easily overcome.

    Of course the point in screening is to keep out the riff-raff. Therefore reducing the overall membership from a larger potential. Is that larger potential desirable? Just because it is larger does not make it better. How populated is Facebook? There is not much valuable discussion/debate there.
    All men SHOULD have equal opportunity to live their life to the fullest. Be as happy, productive, carefree, and content as possible. The trouble is we are NOT created equal.

  10. #10
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    Re: New Member Restrictions/Limitations?

    I was an admin on my gaming clans forum a few years ago (back when PC gaming was still big). We literally had 100's of active members on our website, and 100's of regular public visitors.

    Of course we had our share of former members who were banned coming back to make trouble. Our approach was this:

    1. Besides the initial "are you human" test we monitored that person activity and where their IP address was coming from. If it was coming from a city a banned member lived in, we watched it a little more.

    2. We never limited if they could post, or how many posts they needed to post pictures or something.

    3. They were only limited to their user group. So if you were a public member you could only view public forums. If you were a clan member you could view member forums. And officers of the forum had their special forum.

    There were no formal rules in terms of "if you join your on probation". Only the general rules of what you could do on the forum.

    Recently a number of new people have come here, and some of them have been trouble makers. But, all trouble makers are eventually taken care of. I think as it stands right now, whatever system is in place works fairly well.
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