Edit: New users can create one top level post ever four hours. Post titles must only contain plain text characters and the post content must be in English.
Edit: Posts by new users are disabled until we figure out how to deal with the spammers. We've had a substantial spam attack today - thanks to all moderators keeping the site clean. In response we have turned on mandatory email verification on all accounts. During log-in you will be asked to verify the email that is on your account. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having problems and/or need to change your email address.
Thanks for saving Biostars from the spam deluge ;-)
Thank you Istvan but it doesn't seem to work. I've just banned a dozen of new accounts during the last minutes...
Same here. I suspended a few accounts too. Hopefully we won't be attacked any further.
well if someone actually goes through with email validation then they will be able to to post. But typically that is much higher price and they won't continue doing it for too long. Let's keep watching what is going on.
ok - looks like the problem is more substantial - I will keep investigating.
In addition to deleting spam posts, I have tried to ban spam accounts in the past, but I seem unable to do it. Would be willing to help here, if there is interest.
thanks Alex, banning has become a more potent tool and irreversible tool, unlike delete it destroys all posts and rewrites user autobiography. I was worried of adding that as moderator action as a single compromised account could do a lot of damage. The course of action that I am trying to follow is to increase to cost of spamming - either some sort of approval process for new users or a captcha for them.
How about first post by a new user must be approved by moderator before it is displayed?
yes that would be a good way to go about it - I will try to add this into the new version (that keeps slipping but should come out this summer).
forbid the non English title and contex
Originally I did not like this idea as I am concerned that it can backfire in various ways - but then after considering other options this is what I implemented as a stopgap measure - it was the easiest to implement right away. Thanks for the suggestion.
Hi Istvan, they're back again: I've deleted a dozen of spammers in the last hours.
I'll be our for a few hours but I'll see what we can do later this evening.
Thanks for the hard work, these spammers seem to be defeating the captchas' which means they have to put in some effort and hopefully getting banned will make it clear that is not worth it.