Max replies from an established user


(Gee) #1

Hi there. I’m loving the Discourse forum and we’ve just hit the 4000 members mark on our forum.

We are having an issue with a user who is spamming. He’s sometimes making 60 or 70 replies in one day, often dragging up old topics, or replying on topics with just trivial, unhelpful responses. It seems that he’s really just trying to get attention, rather than actually adding any value to the topics. It seems as if he’s just trying to be the poster/member with the most number of posts/replies etc - but leaving a nasty taste in the mouths and minds of other forum users.

It’s got to the point now that other members of the forum are complaining.

I’m aware that the forum settings offer a limit for max number of replies by new users on their first day. But is there, or could there be, a setting for maximum number of replies (or replies and new topics added together) which could be set to prevent such a member annoying other members. The setting would ideally not effect Staff/Admin, who would need to reply to any number of posts, any time.


(Bart) #2

Are his replies actually contributing to the conversations or are they just ‘empty’? Did you try talking to him about his behaviour? To me this sounds like you need a community management solution, and not a technical one.


(Gee) #3

Generally, his comments are wordy, but mostly irrelevant. He used to post dozens of posts with just a smiley, or a “LOL” etc, but we managed to counter that with the discourse settings for minimum character numbers. The guy has been suspended two or three times in the last few months by community flagging, but that brings the problem that 3, 5, or 7 days later, when he’s unsilenced, he’s posting like crazy to add all the replies that he’s “bottled up” over his silenced period.

He’s not swearing at anyone, or dissing others opinions, but his over-bearing presence is causing other users to send private messages to myself and the other admins, and is slowly cultivating negative responses to his abrupt and empty posts.

He’s a bit like some TV commercial that you cant get away from, even when you change channels.

Discourse already offer a Max Topic Creation limit, so I’m hoping that a Max replies limit (regardless of trust level) could be included in the forum settings, which would generate an automated message to the user saying "You have reached the daily maximum number of replies. Please continue to read other users topics and replies in the meantime. " (or something like that).

We’ve tried PMing him about how others feel that he should wait until he has sufficient information to add a truly valuable reply to a topic, or to give other users fuller responses and answers to a post, but his replies to those PMs have been just nonchalant “Sure, no problem” but his incessant posting continues un-abaited.


(Bart) #4

Yeah I know the type. The problem with your suggested solution is that it would impact on valuable, contributing members as well, which could negatively influence the engagement levels and quality of your community as a whole on the longer term.

If I were you I wouldn’t be so gentle with someone who’s continually disrupting the conversation. I’d make one last firm statement to him, explain clearly what he can and cannot do and tell him that if he crosses the line again, you’ll silence him for good. Once this happens document this case and explain to your community why you made this decision.

You should be spending your time and energy on your other 4,000 users, not on one single person.


(Gee) #5

I know what you mean.

At the moment, the gap between his post count per day (often over 20 posts), and even the most active other members is significant - the next highest post count from a non-staff/non-admin member, is normally around 10 posts daily max. So a threshold of 10 or 12 posts would help differentiate his “input” from genuine, valuable replies. However, as the forum continues to grow in size, I could see how that gap between “useful” and “useless” posts could get less and less distinct, and eventually “trip” other users.


(Mittineague) #6

Have you considered locking the account at trust level 0 New? It is more servely rate limited so it might be a way to do damage control.


(Gee) #7

This is what we’ve had to do… The guy is absolutely blitzing the forum; it’s like he’s trying to graffiti the forum and have every display (Latest, Top, Recent ) etc,etc with his username in every slot. Other users have starting calling him out over his behaviour, flagging his posts etc. He’s even finding topics that have reached their natural conclusion and have lay dormant for a year+ and re-kindling them, adding little, if any, value to the original topic. It’s as though he’s trying to get his post count higher than anyone elses… like being on the top of the Arcade machine high scores…

We could really do with a user-by-user Max replies/posts/new topics per day setting… but it’s probably alot of coding just to try and keep a very very tiny percentage of users.


#8

I think you’d be better addressing the problem.

“Hey, we don’t want this kind of behaviour in our community. Please stop now or we’ll ask you to leave.”


(Jeff Atwood) #9

You can lock the user at trust level 0, which will have fairly strict post and reply daily limits. But a PM communication and a possible one day suspension would be preferable to start with.