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Permabanning a user.

Edrondol

Well-known member
#1
I have a long-time user who is staring a permaban in the face. He has a limited timeframe to apologize to a few people and argue his case or he's gone. But here's my problem: How to stop him from just coming back?

I can't just IP ban him as his account has 208 - I counted - IP addresses attached. Banning by name is a possibility but he could register under a new user. Banning by email is easy to get around as getting a new one is easy as pie.

Yes, he's the type that would come back on and try and mess things up for everyone by getting around a ban.

So what steps should I take to make sure a permaban sticks?
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#3
Age old forum problem.

The fact is, it isn't possible to ensure a permanent ban sticks.

Though I would say that maybe in the first instance Discouraging him might be more effective.

Discourage his current account, and providing he isn't aware that this feature exists, he may eventually just get fed up.

Whatever happens, he'll get bored eventually.
 

BGL

Well-known member
#5
I have a long-time user who is staring a permaban in the face. He has a limited timeframe to apologize to a few people and argue his case or he's gone. But here's my problem: How to stop him from just coming back?

I can't just IP ban him as his account has 208 - I counted - IP addresses attached. Banning by name is a possibility but he could register under a new user. Banning by email is easy to get around as getting a new one is easy as pie.

Yes, he's the type that would come back on and try and mess things up for everyone by getting around a ban.

So what steps should I take to make sure a permaban sticks?
Is it possible to ban by MAC address? I thought some of the big gamer sites used that method.

Some old forum software I used to use would put them in a bubble. They would post but no one could see their posts except them. It was called the "Bozo" feature. It worked great because they were merrily posting away, getting no replies, no one seeing it. It was the perfect troll repellant as getting replies to inflammatory comments is their reason for participating. They rarely caught on to what was going on.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#6
Is it possible to ban by MAC address? I thought some of the big gamer sites used that method.
No it isn't. Websites can't see your MAC address. In networking, communications contain the source MAC address of the last switch the traffic passed through so it's not traceable.

Some old forum software I used to use would put them in a bubble. They would post but no one could see their posts except them. It was called the "Bozo" feature. It worked great because they were merrily posting away, getting no replies, no one seeing it. It was the perfect troll repellant as getting replies to inflammatory comments is their reason for participating. They rarely caught on to what was going on.
Individual users can ignore any member's posts so they aren't fully visible. Which isn't quite as fun :D But it's there.

There's also "Discouragement" where the victim will be subjected to random page load delays, error messages and lots of other fun stuff.
 

Steve F

Well-known member
#7
Discouragement works well to make the user not want to be there. As Yorick said if they know how it works it can be bypassed by different IP and or username/email.
 

Blue

Well-known member
#8
IP banning is a last resort. Discourage his account, take away his posting privileges or put him in a moderated group. The key is to stay in control of him. By banning his IP you lose that control.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#10
That software is useless.

Your MAC address is only visible as far as the next hop or router. As soon as you pass through a router the source MAC address (yours) in the packet is replaced with the MAC address of the next router.

If you were connected to a WiFi network your MAC address could be sniffed out by other PCs/software on the same WiFi network, but it's not even really visible by your ISP, let alone anyone else on the internet.

Your ISP would see the MAC address of your router on their first router your packets travel through, as opposed to the MAC address of your PC.
 

BGL

Well-known member
#11
Thanks. So IP address is really the key to banning members. Could the login ask for a users MAC address and get it?
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#12
Thanks. So IP address is really the key to banning members. Could the login ask for a users MAC address and get it?
No, that's not possible either. There's no mechanism for PHP to request this, nor is there any mechanism for the browser to send it.

Shame, as it would be useful!
 

BGL

Well-known member
#14
IP addresses aren't really the answer, either. Like with this guy, all you need is a DHCP or proxy and you're past it.
I guess. A political site I posted on, I'd get banned by gangs of users (the site allowed users to ban other users by "rating" their comments). I'd get a new email and come back but get banned immediately by site admin who I figured were tracking IP address. I used TOR and then HideMyIP but admin still was banning immediately based on some other criteria than IP address. When I used the HideMyMac, the admin banning stopped. The user banning also stopped as the site admin would go on rampages and ban masses of users for using the banning tools he provided so the gang members regularly get purged to be replaced by new gangs or they'd do what I did and come back under new names (most likely).

Coincidence I guess from what Yorick says. But just hiding the IP address didn't seem to work.

Just keep zapping them.

I really liked CompuServe forum's "bozo" feature. The user was totally in the ether, mislead into thinking they were participating.
 

Blue

Well-known member
#15
I guess. A political site I posted on, I'd get banned by gangs of users (the site allowed users to ban other users by "rating" their comments). I'd get a new email and come back but get banned immediately by site admin who I figured were tracking IP address. I used TOR and then HideMyIP but admin still was banning immediately based on some other criteria than IP address. When I used the HideMyMac, the admin banning stopped. The user banning also stopped as the site admin would go on rampages and ban masses of users for using the banning tools he provided so the gang members regularly get purged to be replaced by new gangs or they'd do what I did and come back under new names (most likely).

Coincidence I guess from what Yorick says. But just hiding the IP address didn't seem to work.

Just keep zapping them.

I really liked CompuServe forum's "bozo" feature. The user was totally in the ether, mislead into thinking they were participating.

Sounds like Global Ignore / Tachy goes to coventry

That's a good one too.
 

Blue

Well-known member
#17
Is there a "Global Ignore" in XF?

"Tachy goes to conventry"? Spreak Engrish troop!!!
No, but hopefully someday we will have something similar. Tachy is what it's called in another forum software package, it's the same as global ignore. I found it most useful after someone left the forum and demanded all their posts be removed. There's no way I would ever do that but I would put their account on global ignore for a month or so until they lost interest and then i would change the username to something like userxxx and restore their posts.
 

FredC

Well-known member
#18
About all you can really do is ban the account wait for them to re register a duplice account.. Sooner or later they all get sniffed out.. Usually sooner.. I have almost zero problems sniffing out ban evaders.. And all bans on my sites are permanent.. I have never imposed a temp ban in all my years as a forum owner. My members are all well aware of this policy and do a great job of policing themselves.
 

Edrondol

Well-known member
#20
And he's banned. This is my first perma-ban and it's a user who's been with us for years. I feel like total crap but he just kept pushing and pushing. In the end I had no choice. I like the guy, too.

Why do people do stuff like this? I gave him warning after warning! Augh! Users!