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Troll-proof-your-group

Page history last edited by Shal 4 years, 8 months ago Saved with comment

A GUIDE TO PREVENTING PROBLEM MEMBERS ON YAHOO GROUPS

 

by Bruce Carter

 

When you first set up your group, there are many options you can select to

prevent problems.  The most secure groups will be those that are hidden, not

visible to the index, private for members only.  These may be options for your

group, but the vast majority of people forming groups will want the group to

be public and appearing in the index to attract members.  This guide is for

public groups already established, and how they can be retrofitted to be more

secure.

 

The "Management" tab on the left hand side of the groups home page is where

the majority of the options suggested here will be found.

 

When you click the word management, a "Group Settings" section appears on the

upper right hand side.

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"Description and Appearance" is where you set how the group home appears.  I

won't discuss it here because it isn't where you "harden" your group against

intruders.

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The first method of hardening is the "Membership" setting.  Click it, then

click "Edit".

 

Under "membership type", I recommend "restricted".  This way, the prospective

member must tell you why they want to join.  This alone foils most spammers

who just want to join as many groups as possible to broadcast their ads.

 

DO NOT SELECT "CLOSED" UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN YOU WANT MEMBERSHIP

BY INVITATION ONLY!!!

 

I do not check the "Allow members to hide their email address from the group"

because a lot of members will only access the group through email.

 

You can set up a welcome message here, but it is redundant with another

feature.  Click the "save changes" button at the bottom.

 

You can also set up files that are sent to members when certain events occur,

like joining the group.  I particularly use the "pending membership" file to

ask for a bit more information than just "hi" from people wanting to join. To

do this, make a file using a text editor, then upload them in the "files" tab

on the group home page.  This is where I put my "new member" welcome file.

When you upload a file, you can select an event that will trigger its sending

to members.

 

When you are done with the membership tasks, click the "back to management"

link at the top.

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"Web Tools" is where you can harden the back-doors malcontents may use to

attack your group.  Click "edit".  The options for each web feature appear.

By far, the easiest thing to do is to shut off options you don't plan on

using.  If you want to leave them on, the following options will foil most

problems:

 

Files:  Limited (members can view links; moderators can create/modify/delete

links)

 

Photos:  Either check "Moderators must approve all photos" if you want members

to be able to upload as well as download, or select "Limited" (members can

download photos; moderators can upload/modify/download photos).

 

Links:  Limited (members can view links; moderators can create/modify/delete

links)

 

Database:  Limited (members can view data; moderators can create/modify/delete

tables)

 

Polls:  Limited (members can vote in polls; moderators can create/modify/vote

in polls)

 

Members:  Moderators only (moderators can view profiles/change settings)

 

Calendar:  Limited (members can view events; moderators can

create/modify/delete events)

 

Promote:  Moderators only (get sign-up boxes)

 

Your settings may be different depending on what you want for your group.

When you are done, click the "Save Changes" button at the bottom to return to

a summary of your web tools settings.  You can always change them again later

as your situation changes.  Then click "Back to Management" above the web

tools summary.

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The last link is the "messages" link.  Click it and two sections appear:

(1)  Subject tag and footer.  I usually just leave these blank.

(2)  Posting and Archives.  This is where the real work is done.  Click on

"edit".

 

* Under "who can post" - I usually select "members".

* Under "reply to" - I usually select "all members".

* Under "moderation" - it is important to select "moderated".  Otherwise, you

have no control over post content.  The drawback is that you have to approve

all posts, but there is a workaround for your most frequent and trusted

members.

* Under "attachments", I just leave the default "include in emails".

* Under "Spam filtering", I select "on".

* Under "Archive options", I usually select "anyone", but you may want to set

this to "members" if you have confidential content.

 

When you are done, click the save changes button at the bottom.  Then "back to

management", and you are done with the management tab.

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At some point in the future (or now), you know who your most faithful,

frequent posters are in your group.  Click the "members" tab and navigate to

them.  There is an alphabetical menu at the bottom for your convenience.

Under the member ID of the person you trust, there is an "edit membership"

link.  Click it.  At the bottom of the box that comes up, there is a "posting

messages" section.  Its default is "use group settings".  Click "edit".

 

The bottom section is "member posting privileges".  You can select "Messages

posted by this member are not moderated" for your most trusted members.  Or

"This member can't post messages" for problem members.

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You might want to investigate "Groups Labs (beta)" Applications.  This is how

I handle those who want to post ads.  A sizable number of our members do not

want to see ads, and the "for sale" application is a way for people to post

ads that do not bother group discussion.

 

The last thing to do is to turn off Yahoo Answers if there is any

possibility something could appear there that would be offensive.

 

And that is about it - my methods work for my groups, they may be more widely

applicable.

 

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