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Forum Moderators: rogerd
We are facing a serious problem from last few months and I want to discuss it here. I know you guys are experienced and you can guide me on right path.
There is a member on our forum who have sent private messages to a large number of our members and he has suggested them to start making their own forums just like our forum. He has also given them links of some free forum service providers . Most of our members have ignored his private messages but some of our members have made forums just like ours. I have seen 15 such forums in past 3 months. Most of them are on free domains (.tk) and free web host accounts but some of them are on .com and paid web host accounts. Most of these forums are copying content (articles, tutorials, reviews etc) from our forum. We are also recieving threats and hate messages from the team of some of these forums. Some of these forum administrators spammed on our forum too.
Now most of them have joined together to carry out attacks on our forum. I can see a number of them registering with new nicks and starting compaigns against us on our forum.
My question to all of you is that how can I stop these
My forum's start date : 1st July 2003
Topic : IT & Off topic
Members : 7000 (250 members visit everyday)
Visitors /day : 1100
Administrators : 1
Number of moderators : 10
Number of Super moderators : 3
New registerations/day : 15
Software : vbulletin
Server : Red Hat Linux ( dedicated)
Number of posts : 2,50,000 +
Language : urdu
Monthly cost of running the forum : $350
Most forums have to do with attacks, spam, and harassment of one kind or another. Make sure your site is as secure as possible and keep learning new techniques to get rid of "troublemakers".
If you had no "competition" before, you were lucky; now you do. As was already said, just keep trying to make your site better and build a better community than the sites that are competing for your member's attention and you won't have to worry about the the other sites that aren't willing to work as hard for long.
If your content has been copied, you can contact the hosts for the copying sites (and search engines, if that is an issue). Alternatively, you could have you attorney send them a cease & desist nastygram.
If you have a member soliciting other members, cleary you want to shut that person down and prevent sending private messages as well as posting. Check their IP address, too, to try and spot other identities.
The key, though, is to keep your own forum strong - you'll win in the long run.
Also, if you have some trusted members, ask them to keep you informed of any solicitations. If there is heavy duty PM solicitation going on, you might create an identity for yourself and post in a popular topic or two - then see if the "new member" gets hit up by anyone.
We see this type of thing - maybe not quite as aggressive - about once or twice a year. We're to the point now we're *I'll* give them a list of free providers for their forum. Here you go, have fun, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Most if not all of them are still part of the community.
Note that you need to make sure your forum isn't lacking. We have this problem as a result of complaints about moderation. We have however thought it through and keep our moderation unchanged as it's what is best longterm for the community. So as long as you know it's not a sign of widespread unrest in your community just hang tough.