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View Full Version : problem with old accounts on the site rearing it's head & encouraging spam



Bicarbonate
11-09-2011, 08:59 PM
I'm looking for players to join my campaign & running into a problem due to old/stale accounts.

Originally I started looking at the profiles of individual nearby people with recent logins, then I started noticing a couple likely duplicates with identically worded profiles & decided I had probably reached the point of usefulness & gave up.

Now that I've lost another player and started looking again. I see the same folks with recent logins... then they trail all the way back to early/mid 2007! Now I can safely assume that anyone who has not logged in for over 5 years is probably not around to get my message asking them to join, but somewhere between 12-24+ months and 5 years you can assume there might still be a person on the other end of the attached email... and most of those people, you can safely assume that the availability is likely to no longer be accurate. Heck, you can't even really say the game interest is accurate given how many common games were not even around that far back. You can't even assume they are still in the same area/state!

Basically the problem is that A desperate GM might as well just send each and every person in 50-100 miles an identical message hoping for the best, maybe some still have email accounts, maybe some of the more distant ones happened to move closer.

An occasional "you haven't logged in for a while, please login & check your profile details to ensure your account does not get marked as stale" email would vastly improve the site. It's worse than useless to have the option to find nearby players when more than half of them have not logged in for years. Even trying to see if they are interested in joining a game with individual messages is a huge waste of time, is the non-answer lack of interest, or lack of valid email address to even know about the potential invite? If that really desperate GM who spams identical invites with no responses getting no response because it was a spam'd form invite, because of lack of interest, or because of lack of human?

edit: I think the recently created ones ones with a zipcode for favorite world/genere have a better than average chance of not being a human as well :(

cplmac
11-11-2011, 11:12 AM
Old/stale accounts is not just an issue here. I have seen this same thing on other gaming sites as well. That is where looking at the profile of people nearby is part of the process of finding players when a DM/GM is searching. Just because they have not been on the site for awhile, even possibly over a year or more, doesn't mean that they are written off. Over the past month, there have been members that haven't been on for over a year or more that have suddenly logged back on. Usually the problem was that they had things that prevented them from being able to and fortunately the issue was finally resolved and they were now able to come back.

Actually, when I first posted my table top game, it was 8 months before I even got a reply about someone interested in actually being in it and were actually in the local area. I would send invites and wait until the next month. If someone was still active, I would inquire with them again. Best advice I can give is to just keep trying. Also watch for new members that are just joining and looking for a game/group to get in on. That is actually how we were able to replace people that had left the group.

As for the profiles with wrong answers to profile information, the staff here at P&PG does watch and if spamming starts, we deal with it as soon as we are able to. Sometimes those profiles actually turn out to be rather active members in the forums. On the other hand, sometimes a spammer actually fills out a complete profile with all the "proper" answers, usually as a way to try and not be noticed.

If you have any other questions or need assistance, please don't hesitate to let me know.

cplmac

moderator

Claive
01-24-2012, 12:28 PM
It would still be nice to be able to perform a player registry search for an area and then sort by when they last log in. When I attempt to sort by last log in (inside of my previous search results) it defaults to the whole list rather than my search results.

yukonhorror
01-25-2012, 08:00 AM
I agree with claive. In terms of the 7 "fit" criteria, an 8th one regarding recent login would be nice (with a pull down menu for w/in a day, a week, a month, 3 months, a year, 3 years). Seems like a function that could be added in easily. Out of like 30 PMs I sent out, only one got a reply.

But a mass email/PM thing would be bad. I think just narrowing the search would be sufficient and would not impinge on anyone too much.

cplmac
01-26-2012, 08:37 AM
What Claive & Youkonhorror are proposing would require Farcaster to look at. Most likely would depend on if changes can be made to that part of the software or not.

Skunkape
01-27-2012, 08:55 AM
What Claive & Youkonhorror are proposing would require Farcaster to look at. Most likely would depend on if changes can be made to that part of the software or not.

Also what kind of a coding effort to make the change as well!