What to do? Both of these users have been IP banned several times. As of now, I don’t think The_Edge is back, but I’d put good money that he will be. challa is Monkey.d.luffy plus at least two other accounts that have been banned. He doesn’t waste much time creating a new account.
Problem: IP banning doesn’t work and anyone can make a new account with an anonymous email address. Those that continue to come back after being repeatedly banned are highly toxic to the community and need to be permanently lanced from AF like the boils they are.
- New users must register with a valid work or student email (like we did way back in the day). People already here using a free email account would be grandfathered in, but any new members wouldn’t be able to use free email providers.
- Does this site have the ability to shadow ban users? That is, can we ban a user so that their comments/threads are hidden from everyone else but they think they can be seen? This highly annoys the trolls and would provide some relief, though still only temporarily.
- Me (and other mods) going around deleting every thread/comment made by a repeat offender that deserves another ban but we know it won’t do anything (e.g. challa). Not censoring individual posts, but deleting every single thing they post. A mod-ban, if you will. Takes a bit of work, but seemed to be pretty effective with The_Edge.
- An ignore feature. Would be nice, but as Chad pointed out a while back, advertisers would still see the content so not ideal (though would be nice for users and the lack of replies may make the trolls so bored they may wander away on their own).
- Stop feeding the trolls. I’ve been a bit more proactive with those that are guilty of always feeding the trolls. But, I’d rather not spend time slapping the wrists of otherwise good AFers.
- A voting system. For the love of god, a voting system. Once your comment has netted -5 votes, your comment is automatically hidden (yes, exactly like reddit). You know why subreddits like gonewild (you know you’ve been there) aren’t full of creeps and jerks in the comments section? Those trolls get downvoted to oblivion and after a while they stop even trying. If AF is to remain a completely accessible forum (i.e. anyone can sign up using a free email provider) then we need more community enforcement. I’ve pointed out the positive aspects of a voting system before so I won’t belabor this too much, but think of a user like Purealpha. He doesn’t deserve a ban but he’s one hell of annoying poster in the WC. However, he does actually provide decent content in the Investments forum, so voting would work particularly well in his case.
That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Thoughts AF community?