Noticing a strange pattern. How high are profile views on your community?


I manage a couple of communities, they are both the same size (both member count and active members) and both run on Discourse.

In one of those communities we get ~100 User Profile Views per week and in the other we get ~17.5k per week.
That number is almost inconceivably different, so I’m curious to know whether anyone else is experiencing something similar.

For context, these communities both sit around the 1500 member mark.

Edit: This seems to be a relatively recent phenomenon. I’m suspicious.

Further edit: This could be merged onto this topic, which never reached a resolution but may be the same issue.

User Profile Views - Extremely High Lately
(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #2

That is indeed mighty strange. Do you have that site hooked up with Google Analytics or something similar so you could cross-examine this data? Maybe it’s just some search engine crawler gone bonkers.

If you suspect malicious activity please contact us privately and we’ll look into it.


Hi @erlend_sh
Thanks for the response.

Yeah, I do have GA hooked up but I’m not smart enough with it to cross examine. Help?

What I can see is that for the same time period covered by the graph above, there were only ~100 views across the two highest ranking profiles (assuming I’m querying the right URLs). It doesn’t add up.

(Pad Pors) #4

we have a community of 900 users resulted in 80 profile view per week. profile view is not allowed to anonymous users in our forum. maybe this option has been set differently in those forums.


We do have that setting left on, for a number of valid reasons, but I’ll turn it off as an experiment and see what happens!


Updating for future posterity. Changing the above setting made no difference.
18766 profile views in the last 7 days.

(Bcguy) #7

Its interesting that at almost the same day - my user profile views have gone through the roof - sounds like a systemic / spammer issue:


Agreed. I’m only seeing it on one of my instances.

(cpradio) #9

Out of curiosity, are they on the same Discourse version? Different versions? If so, which ones?

Are they both using SSO? What differences between them can you deduce?


The one with the issue:
Hosted with Discourse official hosting so always up to date. (1.7.0 beta1)
WordPress SSO

The one without the issue:
Hosted with a third party and still running 1.5.3
Also running WP SSO although very differently to above

(Bcguy) #11

Yes - same with me. I have two forums hosted with Discourse and they are both having the same issue. Here is the other forum stats:

(cpradio) #12

This is the most likely reason as to why it isn’t exhibiting that behavior, as IIRC most of the discussion on this topic has been a “notice a spike in profile views after recent upgrade”, but I may be simplifying that some.


It would be interesting to see how many people that are Discourse hosted and on the latest version are experiencing this.

(cpradio) #14

Ah, here is the other discussion I was thinking of, which indicated it didn’t only impact hosted discourse instances.

I do know at SP, we noticed the spike too and for the record, we are Discourse hosted (and on or close to near latest as of yesterday).

(Jeff Atwood) #15

Can you audit this profile view increment code tomorrow @eviltrout and see if anything could be up with it?

(Robin Ward) #16

I took a look at the code and it was last changed in February so I am skeptical that it is code related. Most of it looks pretty straightforward, so I don’t see why this would happen.

It does use the ip address of the user when anonymous to prevent knocking the count up too high, so it’s possible that the IP is not being passed in correctly anymore due to a change in proxies or something. However, I suspect we’d see that on all Discourse sites we host, not just some of them.

(ljpp) #17

I am on 1.5 stable, and I notice there are occasional days when the number of profile views are 5-10x higher than the usual level. But not constant increase like yours - single days, few times a month.


Is it definitely not on all?

(Mittineague) #19

AFAIK there are 2 Settings that might be involved.

hide user profiles from public [default not checked]
Disable user cards, user profiles and user directory for anonymous users.

user profile view duration hours [default 8]
Count a new user profile view once per IP/User every N hours

The first could be tried if you’re willing to experiment at risk of upsetting non-logged-in visitors. But if it drops that would suggest that a lot of views are coming from anons.

The second might be if you had tweaked the setting lower, or maybe there’s a bug somewhere interfering with the timing.


Yeah, I did that several weeks ago. No change.[quote=“Mittineague, post:19, topic:46833”]
The second might be if you had tweaked the setting lower, or maybe there’s a bug somewhere interfering with the timing.

This is still on the default.