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Thread: Help! I've been banned!

  1. #1
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Help! I've been banned!

    I sometimes receive emails from people who've been banned before they even got started, and they wonder how that could have happened. It's usually because they failed to get through the registration process.

    Let me explain the system here (again). We don't like bots and we don't like spammers. Therefore, we have some steps which you need to go through during the registration process to convince the system that you're a human and not a bot trying to register. Yes, it's the 'system' that does it. We get so many attempted registrations every day that the system automatically weeds out the suspicious ones. Unfortunately, some real humans fall into the traps we've set for the non-humans and they get banned.

    The main thing you need to do to avoid being banned is to follow the instructions given during the registration process. Don't make yourself look suspicious to the system. At each stage, you're given advice. If you ignore it, then the system is quite likely to think you're a bot and automatically ban you. This might sound harsh, but if we didn't have this we'd need to employ someone full-time to ban the bots, and even then they probably couldn't keep up with it. As it is the system works 24/7 every day to do this dirty work for us.

    If you've been banned, there's probably a reason for it, so let's have a look at the registration process.

    The first thing you're asked to do is to choose a user name, and given advice about how to do so.

    Important. If you want your registration to succeed, read this BEFORE choosing a username:
    Then follows some advice of how not to make the system think you're a bot. If you ignore this advice, you are inviting the system to ban you.

    The next step is to enter your email address...

    Please enter a valid email address for yourself. For best chances of your application going through smoothly try and avoid freemail addresses from providers like gmail, hotmail etc., as they are often used by spammers and are sometimes treated as suspect by our system.
    Of course, this isn't always possible - especially for newbies. But a freebie email address could hamper your chances of the system letting you through.

    Assuming you've made it this far, next the system sends an email to the email address you used when you registered.

    Thank you for registering, [name]. We sent an email to [your email address] with details on how to activate your account. Once your account is activated you will be able to post. If you do not make any posts within the first two weeks your account will get automatically deleted (to prevent people registering fake accounts just for signature links and profile links)...

    ...You will receive an email in your inbox. You MUST follow the link in that email before you can post on these forums. Until you do that, you will be told that you do not have permission to post.
    It's not a difficult process for a human, but you do need to go through that process otherwise your registration will not succeed. If you take a couple of minutes to follow the instructions, it's really easy.

    So, what can you do if you've been automatically banned? Well, you can email me and I'll try to fix it for you, or you could just try again with a different user name and read the instructions properly next time.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kay For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (12 June 2013), Clinton (12 June 2013), JimWaller (13 June 2013)

  3. #2
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    It's as Kay says.

    Let me add that the vast majority of genuine users get through with no hitch and the system blocks thousands of spammy account creations everyday. Literally, thousands! So if you've run into a problem even after following all instructions, please consider it a small price to pay to email an admin explaining you're a real person and not a bot. Include the user name you attempted to register, the email address you used and, if you know how to find it, your IP.
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Clinton For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (12 June 2013), JimWaller (13 June 2013), Kay (12 June 2013)

  5. #3
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    OK, so you've made it through the registration process but you've been banned after that. How could this happen? There are several possibilities. Let's have a look.

    1. You registered successfully and then tried to spam us. Remember, all new members' posts go through pre-mod before they go live. We have a big, fierce, hungry Rottweiler chained up in the pre-mod office, and it loves to eat spam. So, if you started with a spammy post - and that includes "visit my website, here's the link" - then it's most likely that the Rottweiler ate you for breakfast. If you were daft enough to do this and get banned for it, you can email me to request that I manually lift the ban. (Hint: magic words such as "please" and "thank you" help to get you more prompt attention.)

    2. You sort of got through the registration process but never looked at the "welcome" email (sent automatically to new registrants), which requires you to click on the link to confirm your email address and that you did indeed intend to join our forum. The welcome email, among other things, gives guidance about how we do things around here (rules), and asks you to click the link to confirm your membership. See my OP for more details. If you don't open the email and click on the link, then the system thinks that you don't want to be a member. So, it bans you. Therefore, if you didn't register with a valid email address, then you won't get the email which asks you to confirm that you've read the rules and therefore complete the process to join as a member.

    3. You managed to get through the registration process successfully, read the "welcome" email, confirmed your email address and your desire to be a member here. And then you got banned. How could that happen? As I wrote in the OP, if the system thinks you're a bot, then it will ban you. Simple. Don't behave like a bot and the system won't think you're a bot. I'm not going to tell you what waves big red flags to the system, but I will give you a clue. If you immediately try to promote yourself by whatever means you think may be available, then the system will think you are a bot - and ban you. Be patient, you will be given the opportunity to have a sig link, etc, later, after you've become an accepted member. Don't try for these things immediately.

    The system might sound like a scary beast, but it does a good job. It bans thousands of nasties every day and it's very rare for a real human to fall into its traps. (We keep it chained up in the forum registration office. I've seen it a few times and it looks a bit like a dalek, but it has eight eyes and two mouths. It's terribly afraid of postage stamps, which is how we control it most of the time, but I probably shouldn't have told you that.) If a human does fall into its clutches, you can email me to come and rescue you, but you must behave nicely, because if the system again has cause to think you're a bot, it will ban you again.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  6. #4
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    2. You sort of got through the registration process but never looked at the "welcome" email (sent automatically to new registrants), which requires you to click on the link to confirm your email address and that you did indeed intend to join our forum. The welcome email, among other things, gives guidance about how we do things around here (rules), and asks you to click the link to confirm your membership. See my OP for more details. If you don't open the email and click on the link, then the system thinks that you don't want to be a member. So, it bans you.
    If you are using SpamArrest or similar spam filter, which requires the email sender to verify themselves before their email is delivered, then the onus is on you to whitelist Experienced-People.net as a sender from whom you want to receive emails. When E-P sends you an email to verify that you want to join the forum, it's a bit daft to expect us to verify ourselves to SpamArrest before they'll deliver it.

    In any case, I wouldn't touch SpamArrest with a ten foot pole. Here's why.
    http://experienced-people.net/forums...563-SpamArrest
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  7. #5
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    I must say this is a wise move on your part.

    Being the owner of a forum myself, I have experienced countless number of attempts of spam registrations - on a daily basis - and had to disable registrations altogether - except by sending a request-email to the Admin (me!).

    And no, I won't try to spam right here with the name of my forum!

    Mmm... and with this post, I believe I have complied with the welcome email message's call: "Starting to post is very important...." LOL

  8. #6
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Thanks for your compliments about the EP system. That was Clinton's brainchild. I've run more than a few forums in my time but never seen anything like this one.

    Hmm, a better introduction might have been to start a new thread tell us something about yourself, not least why you consider yourself to be a flipping expert.

    Anyway, welcome to the forum.

    Cheers,

    Kay
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Kay For This Useful Post:

    FlippingExpert (12 November 2013)

  10. #7
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    Thanks for the information. I made it I think but now have to wait to get my posts posted!

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