December 6, 2020
When I first started the site, I was worried about spam bots finding the activities or comments sections and flooding the site. I remember a friend of mine from university who ran a blog on his own platform and had to shut it down because every post was getting hundreds of spam comments. Up until the unplanned domain switch, about 70-80% of the accounts that signed up for ALTopedia were spam bot accounts. They'd have pretty predictable username and e-mail patterns, and a quick Google search on the username would usually give a bunch of hits at sites like "Stop Forum Spam." For some odd reason, they haven't found the new domain yet. I don't know exactly how it all works, but there's a big underground industry of spam-related promotion designed to sell shady products or pump up search engine rankings for some phrase or another. The big purpose of the activity and comment approval process was to stop that before it could ever get out of control.
Now that I've had more time to look at how people use the site, I think that this is starting to become a bit of a roadblock to users who submit a lot of their activities or revise them when they want to add or change something.
I've updated the site code so that if a user has posted more than a few activities, they can post and edit activities and comments without having to go through moderator approval. New users and users that haven't submitted anything yet will need to go through the normal moderation process, but anyone who's demonstrated that they can contribute positively to the site (which is just about everybody who's signed up) can get this switch set on their account. I'm hoping that it can make posting things on the site a little easier without leading to any more spam.
There's just a few more weeks left until winter vacation, so good luck in this last stretch! Stay safe!
That's awesome. Thanks Jake. By the by. How do you post a link to another page in a comment?
I haven't ever enabled the Markdown code (the code that activities and these posts use) for comments. Maybe I should do that at some point!