About the recent surge in advertising posts on this forum
I want to thank you all for your patience with the recent increase in unwanted advertising posts ("spam") on this forum. It would be easy to complain about these posts on a free forum in which no one pays for enhanced moderation staff and moderation responsiveness, but I haven't seen many complaints. However, the recent surge in spam posts has gotten so bad that I've decided that something significant should change to reduce the number of spam posts distracting all of you and interrupting your conversations.
Since this forum was opened to the public several years ago, the restrictions on joining and posting to the forum have been very low. This was done to make it easy for new members to find us and join the conversation. For the most part, we haven't had a problem with this free access to registration to and use of this forum.
We have always had spam posts, but the number of these posts has dramatically increased in the past few months. We have not yet identified the cause of the dramatic increase in these unwanted posts. The vast majority of them (I estimate 80%+) have an IP address in India.
In any case, in an effort to reduce the number of spam posts that make it through the spam filters, I have significantly increased the restrictions on new membership and new posts. These new restrictions include:
(1) New members registering with an email address from a free email service (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) will be immediately restricted from posting to the forum until their account is manually approved by a moderator (probably me).
(2) The first post by any new member must be manually approved by a moderator (probably me).
With these new settings, you should all see a dramatic reduction in the number of spam posts on this forum. Please continue to flag posts that look like spam and I will review them.
I am disappointed to feel the need to apply these new restrictions to the forum. It has been satisfying to see the forum community grow and the resulting conversations inform so many people. But I imagine that these conversations will continue to happen; we'll just be more restrictive on new membership and members' early posting activities until they've been manually vetted or observed to be contributing to a conversation about age reversal.
If you invite someone to join the forum and they have trouble posting or getting approved, please feel free to send me a message and I will try to find their registration and/or post in the sometimes long list of spam posts in the moderation queue.
Thanks again for your understanding and patience. Your feedback and suggestions are welcomed. One conversation between Michael and Fred Cloud about how to address these spammers was helpful to me, though it was perhaps a little excessive on the criticism on how the spam has been handled so far. But still, your comments about the moderation settings were helpful, thank you. Please feel free to message me directly the next time you have suggestions and I will consider them thoughtfully.