Restrict posting by new accounts in the Help Forum
There is currently a persistent problem in the Help Forum with people creating new accounts in order to post abusive attacks on other users, then deleting the account. There is another problem in the Help Forum with spammers posting there from new accounts.
In order to make the first less appealing and not as easy, I suggest removing the ability of new accounts to post to existing topics. A new account holder with a genuine problem can start a new topic or contact Customer Support directly.
In order to address the second, a new account might have to wait, say, 12 hours (thanks Searcher for that) before being able to start a new topic in the Help Forum, and then be able to start only one topic within a one- or two-day period. Again, new accounts with *urgent* problems can use Customer Support.
Mabel Amber commented
@Pugin: in my opinion any moderation of the Help Forum, outside of what Stephanie Fysh is suggesting, should be done by a moderator wearing the identifiable Flickr "staff" badge under their name, with the gray background to their icon.
Stephanie Fysh commented
@pugin, I am not suggesting that any category of user get a break. I'm suggesting a way to restrict spam and abuse by *anybody* creating new accounts, not just certain people creating new accounts. I don't care who the target is -- it shouldn't be so easy as it is now.
Control of who can post by a group of self appointed helpers is a dangerous road to follow-helpers can help the situation by ignoring abusive posters instead of circling and pouncing on every post with some smart Alec response which is unhelpful and just encourages more pisstakers. Remember the help forum does not belong to the 24/7 *helpers* but to those who wish to post queries.
New accounts with urgent problemS could simply keep posting in the initial topic they started. While it might create convoluted discussions, it would still allow newbies to ask all they questions they wanted and get quick answers.
The splat accounts that come in, throw garbage and delete immediately would at least be stopped, as would some of the recent spammers (our black magic friends, for instance).
Michael Smith commented
This seems to me a good compromise - it doesn't stop people creating new topics, but it would put a brake on the recent troll-fest.
Excellent and practical suggestion.
Restricting usage in these ways, especially to combat spam, is a no-brainier. Anti spam measures are in place elsewhere on the site, but are oddly absent from the Help Forum.
Mabel Amber commented
Seconding the motion.