54 000!!

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zakblood
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by zakblood » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:34 pm

good question, as accounts are one thing, active is another

Gomez_Adams
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by Gomez_Adams » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:46 pm

Well, when you look at the board index and see just over 150,000 members but only 12 are active, then you can safely bet that the vast majority are bot accounts.

zakblood
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by zakblood » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:55 pm

that's 150k of different emails and confirmed ones at that

PeteMitchell_2
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:03 pm

Gomez_Adams wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:46 pm
Well, when you look at the board index and see just over 150,000 members but only 12 are active, then you can safely bet that the vast majority are bot accounts.
I think "12 active" means they are the ones active at that point in time... the users change and the number varies over time (people log in / log out)...

zakblood
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by zakblood » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:12 pm

just to give you an idea on this and amount of logins etc

Active Users: There are 118 members and 12667 guests.

this is matrix live, now this board hasn't got this feature, so no idea on how many aren't logged in, but are guess's etc, as not everyone keeps logged in once they have logged in once to do what ever they come for and some let it lapse which is there right etc

guests counted on here if i get it correctly are members only who are no longer logged in, but have logged in etc if i'm right and guess with no accounts just reading and browsing are unknown here, but maybe wrong, just a guess tbh

Gomez_Adams
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by Gomez_Adams » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:16 pm

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:03 pm
I think "12 active" means they are the ones active at that point in time... the users change and the number varies over time (people log in / log out)...
Correct. This is a phpbb board. It displays active users, crawlers and guests. Most of the guest are actually roaming bots trying to set up accounts to spam information.

For instance, look at the newest registered user. His name is gprevosti. He has no posts, no activity, nothing.

Now Google that name. The 'g' is irrelevant. It instantly directs you instead to a Doctor Prevosti.

These are strategies used by people to automatically spam every phpbb board and others so that their name appears more and more and more in search indexes.

If you check the members list and sort by posts, you'll see that the vast, vast majority of "members" are all bot accounts with zero posts going back to the year 2014. There are, in fact, so many zero posts accounts it's very misleading as to how many people actually use the board.

There are 6,238 pages of "members". Of those, 5,898 pages of them never posted a single time.

That means that roughly 95% of every registered "member" is in fact a bot account. That means the actual number of real users that joined the board to take part in at least one question/answer is around 7,500 at most.

zakblood
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by zakblood » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:22 pm

well thanks for the explanation

PeteMitchell_2
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:27 pm

This is very interesting! Some members might have also just registered to play MP without participating in the forum, maybe? Anyways, shouldn't the bot accounts be deleted then? Also, is there no Captcha check?
Last edited by PeteMitchell_2 on Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zakblood
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by zakblood » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:29 pm

i'd hazard a high number just do that, as it makes sense, as more playing MP than on the forums chatting makes sense

Gomez_Adams
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by Gomez_Adams » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:36 pm

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:27 pm
Anyways, shouldn't the bot accounts be deleted then?
Typically, yes. For more than one reason.

First off, the more members you have the larger your database becomes which can slow down performance and cost you more bandwidth unnecessarily.

Secondly, having 95% of your members be bots is seriously misleading to the game staff. Forums can be used to determine what you're doing right and wrong in marketing and communications. (That's where analytics come in.) When you have 10's of thousands of bot accounts, it seriously limits your ability to get any usable data from it.
PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:27 pm
Also, is there no Captcha check?
It does, but it's a very weak one. Botters use scripted software that automatically defeat all but the most intricate of captcha checks, especially on phpbb, which is why phpbb is very seldom used anymore. I've always loved phpbb because it's easy to set up, get running and manage. But it's downfall is that it's also very easy to manipulate, exploit and bot.

That's why most people that still run it typically have manual approval on new accounts - that way they can look at the information the potential member entered, track the ip to see if it's from known spammers/botters and approve it only if it is a legitimate application.

It's a pain in the butt, really.

At the very least though, one could go back and simply delete all the zero post accounts and be done with it. If nothing else, it would seriously shrink the size of the database and give you a much better idea of who is really signing up, posting in which game, interested in which product, etc.

PeteMitchell_2
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:41 pm

Gomez_Adams wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:36 pm
At the very least though, one could go back and simply delete all the zero post accounts and be done with it. If nothing else, it would seriously shrink the size of the database and give you a much better idea of who is really signing up, posting in which game, interested in which product, etc.
Thanks for the info overall, interesting. Simply deleting might not work that easily as you first might have to (somehow) filter the ones that registered to play MP but don't post on the forum... still interesting though!

I would hope Slitherine will still keep phpbb for a while, would be a pity to lose all this great content, well... maybe it could be migrated to another platform/system, if needed?

GabeKnight
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by GabeKnight » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:46 pm

Don't you need a registered account just to be able to download the games you bought in the members area?

Gomez_Adams
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by Gomez_Adams » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:58 pm

PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:41 pm
Simply deleting might not work that easily as you first might have to (somehow) filter the ones that registered to play MP but don't post on the forum... still interesting though!
It's automatic.

In the Users/Groups section of the phpbb admin panel, there's a 'Prune Users' command. Simply set the post count to equal zero and BOOM. All zero post forum users are deleted. On click is all it takes. It will not have any effect on any other database other than the forums.
PeteMitchell_2 wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:41 pm
I would hope Slitherine will still keep phpbb for a while, would be a pity to lose all this great content, well... maybe it could be migrated to another platform/system, if needed?
It's a database. You can export it and import it into most any other board with ease.

PeteMitchell_2
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:02 pm

Gomez_Adams wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:58 pm
All zero post forum users are deleted.
Thanks, I don't understand enough about it and it's none of my business... I was just curious and the only thing I know is that I played multiplayer (MP) games via Slitherine PBEM against players that were registered on the forum but had zero posts... that's what I meant. Not sure if/how they could be separated from the bots?

zakblood
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by zakblood » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:04 pm

it would be a mammoth task, to check MP gamer's addresses with site list etc

Gomez_Adams
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by Gomez_Adams » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:14 pm

zakblood wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:04 pm
it would be a mammoth task, to check MP gamer's addresses with site list etc
It wouldn't matter.

What they've probably done is set it to where the game automatically registers a forum account. Deleting the forum account would have no effect on the game account, only the forum, unless they were using the same database for both, which would be a categorically bad idea.

zap
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Re: 54 000!!

Post by zap » Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:09 am

Some form of this might help identify true members. Matrix/litherine announce in the all pertinent places that lurkers and multiplayers please post in the forums once with a complete sentence in order to better understand who is and who is not real. Of course its not going to be a fool proof method but just a tool to get a better feel as to who Matrix is really reaching with their sales adversisment.

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