XF 2.2 How do I stop banned members showing up in the Members Online box?

FTL

Well-known member
When a member is banned, or had their account disabled, they still show up in the Members Online box, visible only to admins when they try to log in. How do I make them invisible to admins like they would be to an ordinary member?

This question has come up, because there's one weird user / spammer who keeps trying to access the forum and whom I often see there which has become irritating. If I change their password, they simply reset it and if I remove or change the email address, then they just register a similar looking account with the old email address. I've got registration approval on, so even if I spam clean them, they still show up in the Members Online box with a line through their username. At one point, they tried to access with a previous spam cleaned account, so I'm pretty sure it's a spammer.

I have no idea what their game is though, because I gave it a week of this creeping around with zero interaction before I tried messaging them twice, which they ignored. When I changed their password and logged in as them, I could see that they'd read my PMs, but didn't bookmark any threads, or attempt to message anyone. The account simply lurks all the time, looking at different areas of the forum when not banned. Who would do such behaviour and why? I just don't get it as it takes a lot of their time and energy to do. Could it somehow be a bot?

However, as long as I can't see them when banned, it no longer matters to me how much they try to access the forum. They can knock themselves out.
 
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Tracy Perry

Well-known member
I'm pretty sure it's not a spammer... but more likely someone "testing" the veracity of your statements and seeing how "open" of an admin you are and if reports of you pestering your users to visit more and post and not simply "lurk" are factual or not.
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
I have no idea what their game is though, because I gave it a week of this creeping around with zero interaction before I tried messaging them twice, which they ignored. When I changed their password and logged in as them, I could see that they'd read my PMs, but didn't bookmark any threads, or attempt to message anyone. The account simply lurks all the time, looking at different areas of the forum when not banned. Who would do such behaviour and why?

As for "who would do such behaviour"... how about a NORMAL user that might not be comfortable jumping in feet first? There is a REASON there is the term LURKERS... and it does not necessarily mean derogatory.
I know I'd get rather pissed if ANY admin of a site started pestering me because I had been "creeping around with zero interaction" (which is a misstatement in and of itself because if they are reading, they ARE interacting, just maybe not the type of interaction you desire).
 

FTL

Well-known member
As for "who would do such behaviour"... how about a NORMAL user that might not be comfortable jumping in feet first? There is a REASON there is the term LURKERS... and it does not necessarily mean derogatory.
I know I'd get rather pissed if ANY admin of a site started pestering me because I had been "creeping around with zero interaction" (which is a misstatement in and of itself because if they are reading, they ARE interacting, just maybe not the type of interaction you desire).
You're being ridiculously judgmental, have got it all backwards and I don't have to justify myself to you. Got that?

In fact, you have a nasty habit of being unpleasant to me generally, so why don't you just piss off, eh?
 

jeb35

Well-known member
If it's a true spammer, they will use proxies/vpns, check what IP's are being used and ban the IP's. As an admin I would want to know who is trying to access the forum especially if they were banned before. If they are using the same email then ban that as well.
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
What? That's not helpful at all. Do you know how to stop them showing up or not?
Welcome to the world of Forums... you will be getting lurkers.... you will be getting people that enjoy pestering you, which most likely that user is doing.
And yep.. but it requires tracking EVERY IP that they use to access your site, including it in a firewall to block... and then you may block some valid users if it's a VPN IP.

You're being ridiculously judgmental, have got it all backwards and I don't have to justify myself to you. Got that?
When one is hypocritical... one should expect to be confronted. I thought you were ALL about getting away from "overpowering" admins and that was why you started your forum from what you have espoused? Yet here you are, doing things that you would be critical of others doing.
And I got a sneaking suspicion that your hypocrisy is exactly what drew that user to your site.

And there is NO judgmental aspect in that statement you quoted.... it is simple FACT. Not EVERYBODY is going to come to your site, jump in feet first and start posting prolifically. In fact, the majority of people now are simply LURKERS, consuming but rarely generating. Once you realize that, you will have a more realistic outlook on your site. I'm simply trying to let you know, your behavior of pestering users that don't meet your expected "activity threshold" HAS run some folks off that may have been good posters... but may not have been marching in lockstep with you.

In fact, you have a nasty habit of being unpleasant to me generally, so why don't you just piss off, eh?
Just happen to not like hypocrites. So, maybe instead of getting your tighty whities in a wad, you might want to re-evaluate the way you interact with your users that "don't meet your expectations of activity". There have been several comments by people that joined that your "pursuit of activity" actions caused issues with.

As for your initial request... it may take a template edit and use of some variables... but the question is WHY exactly does it bother you... is not SOME visiting better than none as far as GA results? If they are banned, they can't do anything, as all they see is the banned user interface.
Personally, I'd WANT to see if a banned user kept visiting.. that way, I could continue to monitor their behavior.
 
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FTL

Well-known member
If it's a true spammer, they will use proxies/vpns, check what IP's are being used and ban the IP's. As an admin I would want to know who is trying to access the forum especially if they were banned before. If they are using the same email then ban that as well.

I just want to know how to stop a banned user from showing up.

@Tracy Perry Quit crapping my thread, thanks. If you really wanna talk about this, then PM me, ok?

That's not a very good tactic to take when you're asking for help. Just sayin'...
Seriously? And just what help did I get? Did you see the uncalled for nasty post I responded to?
 

djbaxter

in memoriam 1947-2022
If it's a true spammer, they will use proxies/vpns, check what IP's are being used and ban the IP's. As an admin I would want to know who is trying to access the forum especially if they were banned before. If they are using the same email then ban that as well.
The problem with banning IPs is the the strategy is over-inclusive and may well cast the net over genuine visitors and genuine potential members.
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
That's not a very good tactic to take when you're asking for help. Just sayin'...
Some people get upset when a possible reason of something happening is being given to them, and it hurts their little feelers.


@FTL, if their showing up in your user list irks you THAT bad, simply ban the IP address and the usernameand the email address in the ACP and then delete the user... When you delete that user, they won't show up in your user list any longer. And then when they come back in under a different username/email address...do the same. One big issue is if you keep blocking IP addresses, many of them will be VPN's that are in use by many regular users... so you will be blocking them also.
You are going to end up playing a game of whack-a-mole though as disposable email addresses are easy to come by, and free web VPN's are a dime a dozen.

OR you could be like the majority of other admins, simply ban them, and don't worry about them showing up in your user/who's online list.
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
@FTL sorry for the off topic but on your site, as a guest, if I try to accept cookies it sends me to a login page and the cookie notice persists.
Browser issue? I just went to his site, clicked on the accept cookies and it went bye-bye and I stayed on the landing page. Using latest Chrome on a Mac.
Did you try an alternative browser?
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Chrome and Edge same result.
Weird.... about to try Safari and FireFox on Mac and see if they have that issue... then will go out to the astro control laptop outside and see if Edge & Chrome on it (Windows 10) have the issue and update the post for @FTL.

EDIT:
Mac Safari & Firefox both worked as expected.

EDIT 2:

MS Surface Book running Windows 10. Both Edge and Chrome work as expected. Next step, the Ubuntu computer and the Windows 11 image processing... but I have a feeling they will be identical.
Of course, I may not try either... I got a feeling he's put me on ignore in a fit of pique so any work I'd do would not benefit him.
 
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Sheldon

Well-known member
This question has come up, because there's one weird user / spammer who keeps trying to access the forum and whom I often see there which has become irritating.

What types of spam is he leaving? Nasty messages? Ads? Links to sites?

Had he even posted?

If not. Why is his presence irritating? I'm not sure why that would be any type of issue.
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
What types of spam is he leaving? Nasty messages? Ads? Links to sites?

Had he even posted?

If not. Why is his presence irritating? I'm not sure why that would be any type of issue.
This is what I am wondering. If I have a user who just lurks and I don't find any other red flags (like a Russian IP), I just leave them alone until they do something. If they are just lurking and not posting any actual spam or trolling, I give them the benefit of the doubt (along with enough rope to hang themselves if it comes to that).
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
How do I make them invisible to admins like they would be to an ordinary member?
Personally, I would rather not have my banned users be invisible to me. If someone I kicked is still hanging around, I would kind of like to know that. Especially if he actually was someone I had reason to be concerned about.

How about creating a new usergroup and set the username CSS to display:none;, then add the user to that group? I've not tried it, but it's easy enough for you to test.
I have no application for this myself but I am tempted to test it just because you've made me curious. 😁
 
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