Should links be allowed in Sig lines?

We have had a spate of posts recently, in which an apparently relevant (or marginally relevant) message is followed by a Sig line with links to spammy web-sites (eg dating sites, or worse).

Your moderators are battling to keep down the spammers, but when a message is previewed for moderation the Sig line isn't visible ... so for a while now we've been fighting a rearguard action: having posts approved, and then later noticed and deleted...

So: should we allow links in Signatures?

Pro: many people like to link to Saga sites and such (I know - I do! ...)

Con: spam links can be treacherously subtle, and only betray themselves if someone looks at the raw link, or follows through to the linked page. The Spammers get paid for these links.

Michelle suggest we throw this open to debate and see how people feel about it?

My personal suggestions is: allow plain text Sigs, and allow linkage in plain-text form (like my links the text below),
but not in disguised form. We lose the My Saga Site form, but is that really a great loss?

Salvete, Sodales!

I dislike to encourage spammers, but in the past I found many useful links in some signatures, and so I'd vote against a complete bann of links there. But the proposal in your post seems like a workable solution, especially, because you still can tell your reader the nature of the link in plain text.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

Would it be possible to have a signature only if you posted 25 times? (to say a random not-too-low number). Before that you can't have a signature at all. That might help it, but it might he difficulot to implement. Being a computer moron I don't know if this is even possible. Most spammers reveal themselves before reaching that post count, so this is why I am suggesting it.


I'll look into it!

Our own Webmaster Wendy figured out a way to make the sigs show up in the moderator's interface. So, no banning of links for now. Thanks, Wendy!