Anti-spammer measures -- re: Congratulations! You have joined a new role
In an effort to stem the tide of spam on V is for Voltage, I've installed a new feature that will prohibit new accounts from posting content with no review.
V is for Voltage has obviously gotten the attention of spammers, and every so often a load of spam gets posted on the site. There's a tradeoff between making it easy for new legitimate users to join and jump into the conversation, and making it hard for spammers to join. We've been leaning towards making it easy to join and get started posting right away but that's obviously left the door too far open for the spammers.
The new feature prohibits new comments (without review) for accounts that have less than 10 points, and prohibits forum postings or new blog posts unless the member has earned 30 points.
What this means is someone with a new account will be able to post comments, but those comments will be invisible and will require moderators to review the comment. That will let the moderator staff detect a spammer without the spam being visible to anyone. Once the new member earns enough points they'll be able to post comments automatically, and when they earn enough more points they'll be able to create forum or blog posts.
I'm regarding this as a promising experiment but if it turns out wrong this feature will be backed out.
In the meantime those members who already have enough points to do all this, you will have received email from the site congratulating you on earning a new role. These emails are based on the above description.
Just an FYI - the system above is working in that we've caught a few spammers without any posting getting published for anybody to see it. This means that spam isn't making its way into subscription notifications sent by V is for Voltage.
There is a clumsy bit where it did not automatically turn on the roles required for posting w/o moderator review, even for people with lots of points. I've gone and manually granted roles for a bunch of people. Additionally, as you make postings if you already qualify (on points) for one of the roles the role(s) gets automatically granted. However it's meant that one posting you make won't be immediately posted, but that once a moderator reviews that posting the roles will grant and you'll be good to go.
It didn't go off as smoothly as I hoped, but the main desired result is achieved, that we're preventing spam from becoming visible.