User pruning and registration changes

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've removed a large number of users that registered and then never came back, so the actual user count is now more accurate. Spammers were registering, and editing their profile to include a spam link.

I've tightened up the registration process to try to cut down on this. Hopefully without breaking anything.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's the sudden surge in registrations:

Probably because I switched from using a security question (how many legs does a cow have) to captcha, which seems to be hacked.
 

cosmic

Senior Member.
What Trigger Hippie mentioned caught my attention last night because there were multiple new users listed online, all with similarly spammy profiles.
 

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
@Trigger Hippie, how did you notice this? Just the "latest user"? Something else?
I always take a quick look at the "Members Online Now" section, just to see who's doing what. I noticed a bunch of new users whose screen names were a bit unusual. They seemed to follow a pattern... A real name followed by 3 or 4 random characters.

A few weeks ago I installed a peronal wiki on one of my test domains. I was lax with the secuity because I didn't think anyone would notice a small wiki page in my obscure corner of the internet. Within days I had thousands of hits and hundred of registered users, the wiki was flooded with spam. Amazing stuff, it was all done by scripts.
 
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Steve Funk

Senior Member.
is the total number of members public information? One comment I get sometimes is "Our sites have ten times the traffic of yours."
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There's a "Forum Statistics" at the bottom right of the home page, currently:


(test7 was me).

"Traffic" is a bit more complicated than just registered users though. One way of checking traffic (relative to other sites) is to use similarweb.com:

http://www.similarweb.com/website/metabunk.org


I also record stats myself, and the similarweb estimate of 170K visitors in November matches up:


So you can fairly accurately compare against other similar sites:
http://www.similarweb.com/website/metabunk.org#/#forums.randi.org,abovetopsecret.com


So AboveTopSecret.com has 14x the traffic of Metabunk, and the JREF forums (forums.randi.org) historically have been about twice as much, but in the last few weeks have been a bit more similar.
 
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