In Justice We Trust
Location: Southern California
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:31 pm
Yep, the spambots are back, and less than a month after Dual Destinies got released outside of Japan, too! Because of how many of the blasted things are coming in, we've been making efforts to get rid of them before they post. Why do new users need to know this? Because there's a risk that you'll be mistaken for a spambot as long as your post count is zero. To my knowledge, no humans have ever been mistaken for spambots here, but it's still in everyone's best interest (especially yours) for you to distinguish yourself from a spambot as quickly as possible.What is a spambot?
A spambot is a computer program that creates an account for the express purpose of posting spam. The ones that show up here are usually designed to post ads for products or sites or simply boost their search engine ranking by creating as many links as possible. Clicking these links is strongly discouraged, as it is very likely that the sites they link to contain spyware, viruses, or other stuff you really don't want on your computer.What do we do to spambots?
Crush them, of course! Thanks to Wooster, all Administrators, Moderators, and Ace Attorneys are armed with something called the Ban Hammer, a special tool that does far more than just ban accounts. The Ban Hammer will ban an account for life, permanently ban any and all IP addresses the account has used, delete the account from our Member list, delete any and all posts made through the account, and report any and all relevant information on the account to StopForumSpam, a noble group dedicated to anti-spambot operations. Simply put, any user hit by the Ban Hammer disappears like a dissenter in a dictatorship
. Needless to say, you don't want to be mistaken for a spambot and hit by the Ban Hammer yourself.How do I prove I'm human?
Regrettably, the automatic systems already in place are insufficient to keep spambots from registering and posting--hence the existence of the Ban Hammer. Hopefully, our anti-spambot forces are not so trigger-happy as to immediately ban anyone whose profile looks like this
, but I can't vouch for how everyone determines a user's humanity. Below are some things you can do to help ensure you won't be our first human Ban Hammer victim.
What if I'm Ban-Hammered by mistake?
- Customize your profile. To my knowledge, no spambot on this forum has ever had an avatar or signature, so having one will make you look a lot less suspicious. Adding other things to your profile, such as listing your interests or making an obvious reference to the Ace Attorney series, will also help.
- Don't advertise any sites in your profile. The one exception to the "customize your profile" bit of advice is websites. Most of the newer spambots I've seen don't bother advertising sites in their profiles, but if there's a link to an obscure or dubious site in your profile, it's going to make you look suspicious.
- Post. As I pointed out in the beginning of this post, there is a risk that you'll be mistaken for a spambot as long as your post count is zero. Now, this doesn't mean you'll get banned for lurking; we respect your right to not post. That said, the content of a user's posts is pretty much decisive and incontrovertible proof of his/her humanity (or lack thereof), so posting is the best way to get out of the "possible spambot" category.
To my knowledge, this has never happened, so I doubt you have anything to worry about, but as with any ban, we have a system in place to address this problem. Most of us staff members have our respective email addresses and/or one or more of our respective IM addresses visible on our respective profiles, so just contact one of us through one of those media and explain your situation. Once your IP address has been removed from the banlist, you'll be able to register a new account here (sorry, but since the Ban Hammer deletes accounts, restoring an old one is impossible).