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bedessen's Journal: Details of new "max posts per 24-hour period" feature 4

Journal by bedessen

A few days ago (7/12/2002) there were some new checks added to the slashcode CVS. Here are the comments from the code:


comments.pl:
# New check (July 2002): there is a max number of posts per 24-hour
# period, either based on IPID for anonymous users, or on UID for
# logged-in users. Logged-in users get a max number of posts that
# is related to their karma. The comments_perday_bykarma var
# controls it (that var is turned into a hashref in MySQL.pm when
# the vars table is read in, whose keys we loop over to find the
# appropriate level).

defaults.sql:
'comments_perday_bykarma', '-1=2|25=25|99999=50', 'Number of comments allowed to be posted per day, by karma score.'
'comments_perday_anon', '10', 'Number of comments allowed to be posted per day, by any one IPID, anonymously.'

So what does this mean?

K >= 25: you get 50 posts per 24 hrs
-1 <= K <= 24: you get 25 posts per 24 hrs
K < -1: you get 2 posts per 24 hrs
anonymous: you get 10 posts per 24 hrs per IP address

So, for the majority of non-troll users this shouldn't have much of an effect. I'm sure the troll accounts will have to adapt, and I'm pretty sure that's why this was implemented.

BTW, if you're not familiar with the IPID business: stored with every post is a hashed value of the IP and (class C) subnet from which the post was received. These are integrated into the admin user interface, and through the beauty of databases, the administrators can cross reference user IDs with IP/subnet addresses. So, if you use multiple personalities but access the site from the same IP address or subnet, your actions are rather clear from the standpoint of investigating abuse. You can read more about this issue (and some possible privacy issues) here and here.

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Details of new "max posts per 24-hour period" feature

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  • I guess there goes posting anonymously from anonymizer.com.

    The aim seems nice. I just get a bad feeling about this. I'd much rather that slashdot provide information rather than make decisions.

    I'll go a bit crazy with an example here. Imagine that besides your karma, there was a second number that was the result of an equation. The equation being the number of the comments the user posted in the last 24 hours, or whatever.

    Slashdot is trying to do two things.

    1) Stop stupid trolls from overrunning the system.
    2) Help people read only what they want.

    The focus needs to be there. If a certain thing is protecting the system, it is fine if the user is prevented from posting. But if it is the user, the system shouldn't really make decisions for them. Instead provide the information and let them choose. Of course defaults can be put in place.

    Imagine a user starts a journal and a friend who never really posts decides to post to that journal and a discussion ensues. It won't go anwhere since the user will be prevented from posting. In fact, this'll happen anytime something controversial is posted. Imagine a user posts his own journal, and then is prevented from responding to other people!

    Take this [slashdot.org] comment, for example. I mentioned a word, and ended up posting 18 comments after that as followups. Slashdot has to allow controversial statements if it means to allow free speech.

    If users are not allowed to choose for themselves, maybe removing a point from the post should happen instead. That is, after x amount of posts, users/ips automatically post at zero.

    • I mentioned a word, and ended up posting 18 comments after that as followups

      Yikes, that is quite a thread isn't it.

      And the point about proxies or anonymizers is a good one: what if you read/post to slashdot from an organization that uses a web proxy for everyone behind the firewall? I guess the answer is "log in to post." (Or, tell your coworkers to stop posting so much.)

      The way I see it, this change will affect the two extremes of the user base: the trolls and the very active posters. The trolls will deal with it like they always do, by finding a new way to troll. Multiple accounts would be one way to go about it -- as it is many of them have gobs of accounts, so that's nothing new. It's a constant Spy vs. Spy thing, and I think that's part of why they do it.

      The active posters will probably be inconvenienced every now and then, but hopefully not very often. Worst case, spirited threads will just go a bit slower.

      But, I can't really see the overall gain of this change. As it is, if you read at 2 or above you're pretty insulated from the trolls so in that sense "it ain't broke." But, when you cruise at -1 it is apparent the amount of crap that's down there, so I suppose this is an effort to reduce the general system overhead. I dunno. I'm not an admin so it's easy to play armchair quarterback on this one.
      • Yikes, that is quite a thread isn't it.

        Don't get me started. :-)

        And the point about proxies or anonymizers is a good one: what if you read/post to slashdot from an organization that uses a web proxy for everyone behind the firewall? I guess the answer is "log in to post." (Or, tell your coworkers to stop posting so much.)

        In either case, it's bad.

        The way I see it, this change will affect the two extremes of the user base: the trolls and the very active posters. The trolls will deal with it like they always do, by finding a new way to troll. Multiple accounts would be one way to go about it -- as it is many of them have gobs of accounts, so that's nothing new. It's a constant Spy vs. Spy thing, and I think that's part of why they do it.

        Just adding discouragement here and there. But you're correct. It's unlikley to stop anything anyway.

        The active posters will probably be inconvenienced every now and then, but hopefully not very often. Worst case, spirited threads will just go a bit slower.

        Right! And I cannot believe that is what they want.

        But, I can't really see the overall gain of this change. As it is, if you read at 2 or above you're pretty insulated from the trolls so in that sense "it ain't broke." But, when you cruise at -1 it is apparent the amount of crap that's down there,

        True.

        so I suppose this is an effort to reduce the general system overhead.

        Could be. Though isn't the tradeoff great enough? If they can't pay for it, that's one thing. Otherwise, I'd be afraid of limitations.

        I dunno. I'm not an admin so it's easy to play armchair quarterback on this one.

        You're a good source of information. :-) So, I figured I'd post here (and wastes my 24 hour comment limit).
  • A single half decent discussion can go through 50 posts a per person day easily, if not more, yeesh.

    I remember back on the BBSs that 200 posts a day was the norm, ugh. This is getting nuts.

    Hmm, incentive for keeping Karma up there though, LOL! CmdrTaco needs to learn that tieing bonuses like this to the Karma system will only make Karma seem MORE important and not less!

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