User Profile Background only available for TL 1 and greater


(cpradio) #1

Okay, so we don’t get a lot of these, so consider this “theoretical” for now. But we just had a member sign up, alter their profile to have an advertising background, advertising about me, advertising user card (as well).

They then proceeded to make one post, which was an advertisement.

Granted, we haven’t destroyed their account (yet), we are close to doing so, but this got me thinking: “Why do we permit TL 0 to create such profiles? Should we prevent them from setting a User Card and Profile Background until they reach TL 1?”

I’m not against the profile existing, but the multiple opportunities they have to advertise themselves without showing they have any interest in being a part of the community. If the person truly is a community member, I can care less if they advertise their services via their profile/user card. But if they have no interest in being a part of the community, I have a great big problem with their advertisement potential.

Anyone else have this thought?


(TechnoBear) #2

The user who sparked this post is an extreme example, but not the first I’ve seen use an advertising profile background. And we only upgraded very recently to 1.2.0.beta4; prior to that, background images were not available. So not an isolated incident.


(cpradio) #3

That’s a good point. I forgot that prior to our upgrade we also removed the ability to set Profile Backgrounds. So now after the upgrade they can set both (as we ultimately decided the customizations to hide those features were more expensive than just allowing them).

So we’ll probably see these a lot more (now that the features are enabled again).


(Dean Taylor) #4

Perhaps TL0 should be changed from:
cannot post images
to:
cannot upload images or attachments - preventing avatar changes until they have become familiar with the forum (TL1).

It’s a bit worrying that they can effectively just host images on the system via the background / user profile…
… with no obvious visibility of these (posts are easy to spot and check).


(cpradio) #5

Just came across another “gem”.

This person, who has yet to interact with the community, posted this in their About Me

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Xin Chân Thành Cám Ơn Qúy Khách Hàng!

Công ty TNHH Dịch Vụ Văn Hóa Thông Tin Việt Nam Thân Chào.

Yes, they embeded an image in it too (and surprisingly, it actually shows the image).

It amazes me that they have the time to build such an About Me detail, but won’t spend a second browsing the community. They literally had a read time of 0m.

Granted, I realize the above would continue to be a problem even if we stopped TL 0 from uploading background images for their profile


(Kane York) #6

I just broke the links in that post, just in case.


(Jeff Atwood) #7

Just post it as code, don’t do that…

Anyway, this is what the “suspicious” tab is for on users. It’s users who have a filled out profile but haven’t read more than 1 topic and 1 post.

This idea of blocking new users from entering anything on their profile was discussed at some length in other topics, e.g. profile spammers. I suggest checking out “suspicious” every few days and cleaning up any users who fit the profile. It’s fairly reliable in my experience.


(Dean Taylor) #8

For anybody trying to find it - it’s called Suspect and is located here in Admin section:


(Tobias Eigen) #9

I also would like to prevent user profile background uploads but for a different reason - it’s a power feature that new users don’t understand right away. It’s hard enough to get people to update their profile picture and “about me” info without having to also tell people to ignore the background pictures which are optional but take a huge piece of real estate on the preferences page, and that between some other essential items that we are keen everyone fill out.


How can I move a user's profile background to their profile picture?
(Jeff Atwood) #10

Perhaps you can hide that with CSS?


(Tobias Eigen) #11

Well, we do like it as a power feature so don’t want to lose it entirely!


(cpradio) #12

You are reading too much into my request. I’m not asking to block the profile entirely, just the background images. TL0 can’t upload images in posts, why do we let them in their Profile?

I don’t mind them entering an About Me, website, etc. I definitely mind that they can upload images.

Our Suspect list is 200+ right now. ~12 in the past 8 days. So that’ll take us a while to work through and manually editing each one to remove the information will be painful too (unless we find enough information to out-right ban them).


(Dean Taylor) #13

You could probably do something with some simple JavaScript reading the currentUser's trust_level value and setting a class on html or body tag, then use that to hide the things via CSS as you want.


(Jeff Atwood) #14

Because their profile belongs to them, it’s personal. Posting an image in public is very different than adding a customization to your personal profile.


(cpradio) #15

Fairly certain it belongs to me, after all I can easily make it go away by banning them.

Plus their profile is accessible to the public, just hidden by a click.

We have non TL1 who abuse their profile pages have read time but not enough to make TL1 (yet). We really should have a way to control these things without having to monitor it regularly. My job as a moderator is to keep the public clean, defaults should automatically help clean places that are reachable by a click or two. Otherwise I’m spending my focus on less public areas versus what is front and center.

Oh and we do get a few that make a post or two that isn’t quite “spam” so no action is taken but still aren’t active enough to be out of TL1. So their profiles and user cards are more accessible.

I actuallly got to ban one of them today as they finally posted spam after creating their profile on Jan 3rd, initial post on the 4th (not spam, not very useful, but not useless enough to warrant the post removed/hidden) and their spam today.


(TechnoBear) #16

And the ones that make it to the “Suspect” list are the ones who have somehow evaded at least two moderators regularly checking “new” members. So not a trivial issue.