Dealing with web forum pests

A while ago I thought of a great way to deal with abusive users on non-techy Web forums. The problem with banning users from forums is that they just register another account and continue until they get caught again, and so on, and banning by source address tends to affect a lot of innocent folks.

The idea: If a user is “banned”, they are the only one who can see their posts.

I say “non-techy” above because I think users of tech-oriented boards would figure out what was going on, and when they did they’d just create another account. To the non-technical user that frequents boards like mine it’d just seem like no-one was rising to their bait anymore.

Think it’d work?

12 responses to “Dealing with web forum pests”

  1. The problem I can see with that is when that user is reading the forum anonymously. Say they don’t check the “keep me logged in” check box (as I believe many non-tech users do). They’ll quickly discover that their posts are not being displayed. Of course, it’s still a better idea than just banning them.

  2. I remember at one point Fmh fixed a mailing list so that it subtly inserted typos into the mail of the annoying guy, but sent the typo’d versions to everyone else and not him. And that was the best summer ever!

  3. or, even worse, they’ll write in to support or something and have a problem. it’s still a good idea, it just needs something else. if it’s done wrong, it’s ok, but the potential is greater, and it’s quickly wasted. Once it’s out there that if your banned the post can’t be seen, it’s out there. I have a thought though…..

  4. It’s quite a good idea, only with the flaw that technotronic pointed out it’ll only be really effective in a members-only forum. (Or at least, where the majority of the forum is members only.)

  5. Somethingawful Forums has done this before, although as far as I can tell it’s pretty rare. I think it’s called a “Hellban”. I’ve never been aware of it happening to anyone, although I guess it’d be impossible to notice since you couldn’t tell if they just decided to quit posting.