Add a "max replies across topics in first day" setting


(Nathan Rijksen) #1

Currently the max_replies_in_first_day counts on all of your posts (even PM’s it seems), which can cause a lot of false-positives in that honest community members get blocked from posting in the name of anti-spam. To combat this I’d like a setting that would allow users to respond far more frequently in the “same topic”, and only starts blocking if the user posted many times across various topics. So if someone is reporting an issue and has a lot of follow-up questions in the same topic they do not get punished for it.


(Dave McClure) #2

Another thought would be to have a users trust level bumped to 1 if their post is liked by or they are replied to directly by a mod or by users with a certain trust level.

Basically consider using other indicators that this person is most likely not a spammer.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

Why don’t you just increase the value of the setting for your community?

Does open a slightly bigger window for spammers but the risk might be worth it in your case?


(Nathan Rijksen) #4

That’s what I’ve done. I’m just suggesting functionality that would improve upon this (imo).


(Jeff Atwood) #5

Posting many times in the same topic, done persistently enough, is indistinguishable from griefing.

I don’t see any difference there, nothing to hook a setting into.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

As the name of the setting indicates, this one is actually independent of trust level. It is limiting by newness, kind of like the user who signs up for gmail and then starts sending thousands of messages on the first day…


(Nathan Rijksen) #7

Here’s my use-case:

https://meta.discourse.org/t/docker-upgrade-failed-now-what/13838?source_topic_id=13923

By the end of that thread I was not allowed to post or PM anymore for 24 hours. I don’t think I did anything “wrong”, sure I could have edited instead of posted anew a few times but I don’t see anything there that should justify a user being blocked from posting.

Anyway do with it as you like, I’ve simply increased the limit of the setting for now, though in my opinion that is not an ideal solution.


(Jeff Atwood) #8

I see two three obvious opportunities for editing there – where you posted 2 times immediately in sequence, instead of editing the previous post. So that eats up 6 posts instead of 3 in that first 24 hour quota.

The default of max_replies_in_first_day is 10 which seems reasonable to me.

I guess the other thing we could do, but it is far more complex, is enforce an increasing amount of time between posts for new users. E.g. start with say 10 seconds of required wait time between each post after that 9th post, and keep doubling it as we go.


(Nathan Rijksen) #9

That is besides the point though. As I see it these restrictions exist not to limit your users but to prevent “bad” users from messing up your forums to the point where cleanup will take a significant amount of time. The restrictions should ideally never really expose themselves to honest well intended users, which is what I’m trying to eliviate with my suggestion.

Setting a limit to how fast you can post may again cause false-positives. If your intend is to encourage users to edit rather than post anew then perhaps you can simply show a helpful warning saying “hey, why not edit your previous post?”. Additionally the reason why many people post again rather than edit is because edits tend to go unnoticed, which can be alleviated by notifying users of edits the same way they get notified of new posts. You could explain this in the little warning box when someone posts anew shortly after having just posted.


(Dave McClure) #10

There was a cool thing that Google used to do when you could still SMS from the google chat app within Gmail:

You had a maximum number of SMS’s you could send to a particular person. This would decrement each time you sent a text. But if they replied, it would get reset back to the starting point.

(I know this is a bit of a tangent, but its another approach to rate-limiting that may be worth considering, probably more in the PM scenario)


(Kane York) #11

That actually sounds like what Mandrill does - you get what, 25 emails per something at first? But if they’re delivered, your quota starts to go up.


(Nathan Rijksen) #12

I like this idea, however I personally don’t see why end-users should be made aware of this limit unless they are close to reaching it.


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(Jeff Atwood) #13

Incorrect, cleanup is one click, but this would still cause a massive wave of ghost bounces where topics were inexplicably at the top of lists again with no explanation – because the bouncing post was deleted.

I’m sorry you ran into this limit, but you posted 3 times sequentially without editing your prior post. You were correctly limited from my perspective.

Also, edits to the last post bounce the topic anyway, so what you propose already exists.


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(Nathan Rijksen) #14

Oh don’t get me wrong, I was just using my use-case as an example. I wasn’t trying to justify anything or reacting strictly to my own experience. I was simply saying that what happened to me is likely to also happen to others, including visitors of your install and mine. If your intend is purely to limit honest posters then I guess that the limitations served its purpose, but personally this would not be the reason I would use a feature like this.

I don’t see any reason why a user with good intentions should be limited in their postings, to me the issue of repetitive posting should be solved at it’s root, rather than try and limit its effects. However that was not the problem which I was trying to resolve when I created this topic, I was approaching this purely from an anti-spam perspective.