User Database Cleaning

It should be invisible to most, but the boards have been hit with a tremendous amount of spam recently. I'm putting a little bit of effort into database cleaning as a result. Staff or volunteer spaminators reject the postings of the spammers, but sometimes we accumulate accounts. (When Michelle and I check for spam, we delete the account that made it, and sometimes ban the IP as well, but I'm not sure if the volunteer mods have the ability to do that.)

In any case -- seems to me that smaller databases are a good thing, in terms of responsiveness, so I'm doing some purging. Foremost, I have deactivated all accounts where an account was created but the system shows no visit to the boards after the account was created. These may have been accounts where an error meant someone never got the e-mail with follow-up steps, or maybe they are duplicate accounts, or whatever -- many of them certainly are obvious spammers (given that their profiles include URLs for cheap drugs, WoW gold, etc.). I will skim through for the oddball where I know they should stay on the system, and then poof, I'm deleting the rest en masse.

So...if you at some point created an account (perhaps several years ago), didn't get around to logging in until now, never posted anything, and your account no longer exists, you know why. Just create a new one.

If I get the chance, I may do further purging, moving on to users who are shown as having visited the boards after account creation, but give other indications of being spammers.

The next step will be purging users who may have visited the boards (in most cases to post spam), but have zero postings (i.e., none that were approved by moderators, if they did try to post). In case you're curious, right now we still have 2,744 registered users -- of whom 1,472 have zero posts.

I'm going to make an effort to avoid purging people who may actually use their account, even if they only lurk, for example to keep track of which threads they've read. If you're such a person and I delete your account, please accept my apologies and go ahead and make another. (And feel free to post one message somewhere to introduce yourself, and make it easy for us to do clean-up like this in the future!)