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Thread: What happened with the disappearing post?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    37

    Default What happened with the disappearing post?

    A post appeared on our Discussion Forum a couple of nights ago by a new user with a username that was not their real name ("7th Generation Townie"), and then disappeared. We got several queries about it, so I wanted to explain what happened.

    We have in the past had a problem with spammers trying to join our forum, which is why we have always had moderation for new members (that is, people need to be approved before they can post). But we solved the spammer problem through a new registration procedure that requires entering the name of a surrounding town. We thought that with our clear rules presented at registration that we could dispense with moderation for new users (that is, people could register and immediately post). But "7th Generation Townie" taught us that this is not the case. We have re-enabled moderation, so that users cannot post until they are approved (which is unfortunate, because it would be preferable for people to be able to immediately post after they register).

    We put "7th Generation Townie" and their post on moderation, and alerted them that they needed to change their user name to their real name, at which time we would be happy to approve their membership and their post. As we have not heard back from "7th Generation Townie", we have since removed them. Whoever you are - you are more than welcome to re-register with your real name and re-post your posting.

    We have several users who registered early on in the existence of the forum when we recommended, but did not require, the use of real names. We have contacted all of them and asked them to change their username. We have not deleted them, but in the meantime, we have placed them all under moderation, so they cannot post until they change their username.

    Kim Reichelt, Administrator
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 06-11-2008 at 12:48 PM. Reason: to add signature

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Default Validating Users

    Kim,

    Is it your policy that only current residents of Wayland can post?
    If so then the solution to this is simple...

    As for a first name, last name and zip code...
    If the zip code isn't 01778 then they can't register.

    The username would be autogenerated as
    FirstnameLastname and you can check with the residents list that is available via the town clerk.

    What do you think?
    Alan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    I'm all for identity, not necessarily residency. Or even citizenship (but that--and voting--is a topic for another thread).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Default Posting suggestion

    Jeff, well thanks for the response... I was asking Kim but have not received a reply ... yet.

    My question first was one of filtering on residency since the scope of the site is Wayland enews... but if the scope is larger then the zip code idea doesn't make sense.

    The auto-generated FirstnameLastname would take care of the identity automatically.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default Registration Requirements

    Hi Alan,

    Residency is really a question for the editorial board - I don't recall whether we've discussed this specific question. I know I've had in my head that non-residents should be allowed to register if they had a stake in the town, say, a town employee or a store owner. Certainly, we want to retain the Wayland-only aspect, so I don't want to start having discussions about whether we like Natick's signage laws.

    We can't auto-generate the usernames with the existing software - and I'm happy with letting users select their own names, as long as they are real names and they are identifying. I could require users to enter their street address and/or phone number as well, which I could use for verification. So far this hasn't seemed necessary, and I've been pleased to see how well-behaved posters have been.

    I have added more protections as needed - preferring to have fewer (I wish I didn't need to require approval of new members, for example), and will continue to make changes when needed to protect the integrity of the forum.

    I am interested in what others think - regarding residency, and how much identification should be required.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Others with an interest: former Wayland residents and prospective Wayland residents.

    As for topics, certainly all things Wayland, but I wouldn't rule out regional (e.g., championship Boston sports teams) and national (e.g., politics).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Jeff, agreed. I'm not out to limit the discussion topics (in fact, if a bunch of Wayland residents want to argue about Natick signage laws, I suppose they can go for it!). The point is that we want this to be a place to come and talk about things that matter to people who live here in Wayland. If that includes the presidential campaign, and state politics, great.

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