Why do my posts have to be approved by a moderator?

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Sine qua non
Valued Senior Member
I have had two posts say they were awaiting moderator approval before being posted. It seems the only thing causing this is that they included links (to topics on this forum), as I can post normally otherwise.

What is going on?
We're on it, but that's about all I can say

Syne said:

I have had two posts say they were awaiting moderator approval before being posted. It seems the only thing causing this is that they included links (to topics on this forum), as I can post normally otherwise.

What is going on?

As of right now, we are uncertain. Administration is aware that we are having some sort of permissions issue, but the shape and extent of the problem is unclear to on-site staff at this time.

The nearest speculation I can offer, and let me be clear, here, that this is only speculation:

• In recent days, we have implemented additional anti-spam measures; in truth, I am uncertain what all has been done, but the process I go through to clean up spam and ban spammers has changed slightly, including a new tool that should help over the long run.​

From there, the nearest thing I can suggest is that either a box got checked that shouldn't have, or perhaps there is an actual unforeseen software issue.

The result is that some members are seeing their posts dumped into the moderation queue when they should not be.

At present, we are uncertain just how many members are affected, or what specifically the criteria are.

I noticed the problem last night, about twelve hours ago. I heard back on an inquiry about six hours ago, but was asleep. I'm just now catching up on everything.

We'll get this fixed, but for the moment on-site staff are not in any good position to explain what's happening. We're not getting real-time data.

However, the fact of links is important; I had not yet identified that criterion. I probably should have, but ... er ... right.

Anyway, yes, we know there's a problem; no, we don't know its exact dimensions; yes, we're working on it.

Our apologies for the confusion, and our thanks for people's patience.
Yeah that happened to me just a few days ago in World Events - I had also included a link, referring to one of Repo Man's posts. I immediately sent a PM to the World Events' moderator about it, Hyde-something-or-other, who never responded back.

edit: just read Tiassa's feedback: Oh.
Thanks for the info, even if sparse. As long as someone is aware of the problem, and I am glad to help narrow the causes.
It is possible that the site developers are trying to put in place measures that prevent newly-registered spammers from signing up and posting links to whatever it is they are advertising. It looks like there may be unintended side-effects affecting other members whose posts contain links.

At the moment, we're collecting information about the error to try to solve the problem.

Could anybody who has experienced the problem please post in this thread and let us know? In particular, please tell us whether your post contained any links, images or whatever - anything other than straight text.

PS I have taken the liberty of renaming this thread to attact the attention of anybody who is experiencing this problem.
I had a post eariler today that did this, I had included two links in the message. I thought that maybe I did something odd, since I had two tabs open to this site, but now noticing this thread, at least that explains it.
Hi James R.

Does this site have a 'minimum post count' pre-requisite to being allowed to post links?

If so, did the recent 'hiccup' in the system accidently 're-set' this 'counter' values for members such that only new posts count and is not yet sufficient 'new post' count to trigger approval of links for anybody/some?

Just a thought.
It did seem to reset the counter, as the spammers were posting a lot of links, in some instances, over 2 dozen in a single post.

And it appears that it may have reset the counter for many other members as well.
Following the recent upgrade, we lost our can't-post-links-until-you-have-x-number-of-posts thingy. That was one reason why the spam increased quite dramatically.

It is possible that the system is now back in place. And if it has just been put in place again, it is possible that the counter has reset for everybody. Although, that assumes that the count is not based on a user's post count, which obviously hasn't been reset.
Just a guess from a programming pov, maybe for some reason the count the post links module used is actually its own variable. Perhaps the actual post variable couldn't be accessed, but the programmer made the assumption that they could just use their own count, because they should always match up. Not anticipating a breakage of the module itself, and desyncing the counts.

Might not be that, but stuff like that happens all the time.
Same thing happened to me when I tried to post in the Religion forum. I offered no links in my post. Curious...
TIWTF (This is ... er ... right)

Sorry it took me so long, Gustav; I didn't see those posts until just now. I should be able to see them when they're posted, even if you can't. If I say I just got to the queue around 1:30 (PDT), please know it's my third or fourth round in there, and hadn't checked in on it for several hours.

As a general note to all members, yes, we're checking the queue regularly. I can't be more specific about what "regularly" means, but not every moderator can do the mass cleanup that admins and supermods can effect. Meanwhile, regular members' posts don't stand out the way new spammers do. Even if we see your post in the normal thread list, it might not be immediately apparent to a moderator that it's in the queue—it's a small icon that I only noticed just now, dealing with Gustav's post.

We're still trying to calculate the problem; fewer regular members got shoved into the queue today, which is a good sign, but we still have not pinned down the criteria, and, quite obviously, have not yet figured the solution.
Rough Numbers

Okay, just some rough numbers:

In the nine hours since I last checked the moderation queue, some of my colleagues have done some spam slaying. I can say that some cleanup work was done six hours ago; if there was more since, I didn't see it in the time stamps.

Spam threads and spam posts within other threads: 43

Posts approved for public view: 2

Of those latter, one was from a member with under five posts; the system, I believe, is instructed to queue that post.

Thus, posts approved for public view that should not be in the queue to start with: 1

Which is to say, the error rate this morning was 2.2%, based on the proposition that one member should not have been in the queue.

When I posted my note to Gustav, nine hours ago, I was in the middle of a spamkill that reached well over 100 posts; indeed, that I did not count them last night is why I stopped to count today. 2.2% is a bit high compared to the usual error rate, but that doesn't count all the spammers, as I'm not the only one slaying and mopping; Gustav's three posts (equals one member) that should not have been queued last night are the only ones I remember. The error rate for that queue was <1%.

Additionally, if I count that kill as yesterday, it was my fourth dive into the mod queue. I can't even begin to tell you how many spammers and posts were wiped out yesterday.

I'll try to keep track today, but yesterday was the first day in weeks that I had all day to hang around and do nothing but post, watch cartoons, and kill spam.

And yes, I'm formulating a hypothesis about why some members are getting shoved into the queue when they shouldn't be, but I'm also seeing gaping holes that suggest it's not a good hypothesis.
i'd disable registration..try

My site went from a PR2 to PR3 a couple of months ago and the spammers started registering like crazy. I installed the Glowhost mod from vbulletin.org which is great at stopping spammers but they were still getting through the "Human verification" checks quite easily! We had over 500 blocked registrations in 2 weeks. Then I installed keyCAPTCHA and now we've had 2, I believe, since. I would say the combination of

2) Glowhost

will stop 99% of spammers on a vB 4.x.x site. Not sure about compatibility with other vB versions but for me these have been an amazing team that have allowed me to stop worrying about spam getting on to my forum when I'm away for a bit.


most on that thread report nothing works tho
this manual moderation will be untenable in the long run
I am having the same problem, some posts appear immediately others have to go to a moderator. For instance I had posted in a thread on the luminous aether exists in the alternative theories forum and received a notice that the reply would be posted after being moderated. 12 hours later there was no sign of my post, thinking that there might have been a glitch I posted again and got the same message. A post to the thread A Gestalt Theory on the Nature of light and related phenomenon in the same alternative theories forum, appeared immediately upon posting. Can't figure it out, because it does tend to detract from any kind of ongoing discussion that might be taking place.
Hi Tiassa et al.

I just tried to quote another's post complete with links, and it did not get through. I tried a couple/theree times. No success.

I then edited out most of the quoted post and all links. It got through OK.

Just reporting for your info. Thanks.

Hard work at your end! Appreciated. Good luck!
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