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This question arose in another thread here, and don't wish to see that thread hijacked further, so moved here.

For an example, Tipard is constantly bombarding this site with their sollutions, and was told that most of their posts are "soft deleted" (meaning their posts are only visible to mods). Response given was along the lines of

Because that is how we do things around here. No-one can see them except for the Mods anyway.

No offence intended to Crunchie, but that answer doesn't cut it. The problem is, while you may "soft delete" these spammings, a search for the term "Tipard" still brings a stream of results, each with enough summarised info, that even if the entire post cannot be viewed, the Tipard guys still get a leg-in on the site.

Now I can see where "soft deletions" could serve a purpose, but when we are dealing with serial spammers, why not just go all the way and delete ALL reference to their works? Not trying to be b1tchy, but I just don't see why they deserve even the slightest reference to a post which should be fully removed on sight.

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Last Post by kaninelupus
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  • 2

    Daniweb probably has to comply with certain information archival laws. If any threads are physically deleted from the database, that could be grounds for heavy fines or even complete shutdown of the site. Or the information could be used to prosecute spammers, but physical deletion makes coming up with a … Read More

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    John A 1,896   8 Years Ago

    Soft-deleting has [I]nothing[/I] to do with the spam references you see in search results. This site's search is powered by Google, and it can take a day or more before the site is reindexed to take into account the removed threads. Read More

  • 1
    Ezzaral 2,714   8 Years Ago

    [QUOTE=MidiMagic;956390]We have too much government. They should not have control of your site.[/QUOTE] You should write a letter and shake your fist a lot. Read More

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Daniweb probably has to comply with certain information archival laws. If any threads are physically deleted from the database, that could be grounds for heavy fines or even complete shutdown of the site. Or the information could be used to prosecute spammers, but physical deletion makes coming up with a case harder.

I mean no offense, but I have been part of the administration for a forum before. Most of the complaints and suggestions I got were too narrow minded. They focused on one aspect of the big picture and did not consider all of the other factors. Big forums like Daniweb do not get popular by having arbitrary rules and processes. We should be confident that there is a good reason for everything, even if it does not make sense to those of us without inside information. :)

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Hahah nice. i was going to say that. but a lot less nice. I get sick of constant b**tching :P
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Soft-deleting has nothing to do with the spam references you see in search results. This site's search is powered by Google, and it can take a day or more before the site is reindexed to take into account the removed threads.

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Thankyou - that made sense of the situation
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Soft-deleting has nothing to do with the spam references you see in search results. This site's search is powered by Google, and it can take a day or more before the site is reindexed to take into account the removed threads.

Oh OK - now that makes sense. Don't know why one of the other mods couldn't have mentioned that before.... Thankyou for clarifying that point

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If you check the source, you can see for yourself :).

If you mean "check the source" as in check page source info; is awfully easy to filter through a ream of info if you know what to look for... have said from the start my take on computers is via graphics not programming/serious coding. So no, was not so straight forward this end, but that simple explanation above made immediate sense.

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Another reason for soft deletes is so that the mod (or SuperMod, or other Admin) can reverse the decision to delete the thread. If it were a hard delete then there it can not be undeleted. Mods are human too and sometimes make the wrong decisions.

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Also, if an offending post is completely removed from the database, we have no way of keeping track of it. The very essence of our infraction system is designed around knowing whether it's someone's first offense or if they keep making the same mistake over and over again despite multiple warnings. If each time someone screws up, that screw up is permanently deleted forever, then it could be someone's 500,000th time doing the same exact thing wrong and we'd have no way of knowing.

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Another reason for soft deletes is so that the mod (or SuperMod, or other Admin) can reverse the decision to delete the thread. If it were a hard delete then there it can not be undeleted. Mods are human too and sometimes make the wrong decisions.

Also, if an offending post is completely removed from the database, we have no way of keeping track of it. The very essence of our infraction system is designed around knowing whether it's someone's first offense or if they keep making the same mistake over and over again despite multiple warnings. If each time someone screws up, that screw up is permanently deleted forever, then it could be someone's 500,000th time doing the same exact thing wrong and we'd have no way of knowing.

These reasons all make sense, and did say in the original post that I could see where "soft deletions" can serve a valuable purpose. The problem in cases like Tipard's is that your dealing with a large number of (randomly?) generated (but still authentic enough) ID's, which presents an entirely different problem, with several knock-on effects:

  • Keeping record of a serial offender (single user ID) is useful in keeping track of an in-house pest. But here you're tracking an external pest, which seems to call for different tactics.
  • It means any "recent post/thread" site-search, leaves the user wading through spam, as the side-bar is a simplified tool, with no method for filtering results (not criticising the sidebar by-the-way; merely highlighting the issue at had).
  • Because they are forever using quite legitimate userID's, every time they get booted, there's another userID no-longer available for anyone else to use (which actually ties into the other question I posted in the Feedback boards regarding account deletion).

Would a more effective method of dealing with this issue (and this is only a suggestion (it may or may not be viable at a host-site level) be to setup an auto-filter of some kind (either keyword-based, or less arbitrary, a filter which prevents threads/posts which contain blacklisted URLs, as well as "tinyurls" to prevent the obvious work-around).

Under the current system (as has been explained), even after deleting the offending post, reference to said post is still available in summary-form for at least some period of time, meaning they just keep banging away, knowing full well they've still got their message out (and given that a Google search for Tipard gives nearly 7 million hits this is obviously a large-scale problem), despite the constant deletions.

Whereas preventing the posts in the first-place, either by filtering as suggested, or some other method - they don't get that foot in the door in the first place. This may even deal with the issue of a whole tonne of perfectly legitimate user-ID's being rendered unusable to anyone else because of a constantly growing blacklist.

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Everything you are saying has already been discussed amongst the staff, so you are not saying anything new.
The pro's and cons have been weighed up and this is the system that is in place.
Is there room for improvement? Sure there is and I am sure that as Daniweb goes forward, changes will be implemented as needed.

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Everything you are saying has already been discussed amongst the staff, so you are not saying anything new.
The pro's and cons have been weighed up and this is the system that is in place.
Is there room for improvement? Sure there is and I am sure that as Daniweb goes forward, changes will be implemented as needed.

Is actually nice to know that ideas like that have been at least considered... and do appreciate the fact that this site even has a feedback forum, as not all sites do.

Having a feedback board such as this allows users to raise questions or throw a suggestion out there, and if the idea has already been considered and passed over, for one reason or another, there's still no harm in being brought up in said forum - if nothing else it may lead to someone else providing a better solution to the issue at hand, simply by raising the point in the first place.

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I will look into why they appear in the search results ... I'm pretty sure that shouldn't be happening, so I'll check into it. However, we're currently in the middle of a massive upgrade to the latest version of the vBulletin software, and there's a total freeze on all of the code that's currently in production.

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I will look into why they appear in the search results ... I'm pretty sure that shouldn't be happening, so I'll check into it. However, we're currently in the middle of a massive upgrade to the latest version of the vBulletin software, and there's a total freeze on all of the code that's currently in production.

That would be fantastic. I know even that will not completely eliminate the problem, but would at least would lessen the impact... even if it has to wait until upgrade completed :)

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We have too much government. They should not have control of your site.

You should write a letter and shake your fist a lot.

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and stop eating meat and start hugging trees ;)
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We have too much government. They should not have control of your site.

So you're saying if someone set up a child-porn site, Govt shouldn't have legal rights to pursue website creators? Or someone running a major scam site, ripping ppl out of hard-earned money?

Limitations to that authority maybe, but no authority... even I can't stretch things that far.

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Hey folks, let's not get *too* far off topic here please :)

Just ad admission that local site policies and govt policies are two very different things.

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