Several months ago, I launched an Optional Authentication feature for this site. While some members decided use this feature, many chose not to. The feature had two main objectives: 1) to provide some authenticate that posters are not impersonating others, and 2) a means to bypass many of the spam-advertising filters on the site (which are necessary to prevent the site from being flooded with spam). However, becuase of the lack of uptake, the Optional Authentication was not very successful in reaching these goals.
Because of this, I have now launched a new "Trusted Posters" system, which was inspired by a conversation with hortonheardawho. With the new system, you don't have sign-in, you just post as you normally would. Adminstrators of the system (FMR or myself) can then manually "trust" certain posters. In order to prevent abuse and impersonation, the system relies on 3 pieces of infromation:
- email address
- IP Addresses
For example, a poster using "Joe Smith" with email "email@example.com" will be trusted only if he his IP address is "24.123.456.789" or "4.456.123.23". This avoids some of the security problems that can occur with simply trusting a poster based on a nickname.
Note that from time to time, you may post from "new" IP Addresses. An obvious example is when you post from work and home, or when you are travelling. Also, some Internet Service Providers will issue you a new IP Address from time to time (and some, such as AOL, do this very, very, frequently). The new system, accounts for this, as multiple IP addresses can be "trusted" for each name/email pair. Please note that each IP must be trusted manually, so there may be some delays. If you find that you don't seem to be "trusted" from certain IPs, please reply here or contact FMR.
- Trusted commenters will bypass the content filters, so your messages will not be blocked, and will not be held for moderator approval.
- A trusted sender icon will appear next to your name (replies only).
In summary, the goal of the new system is to achieve the benefits of authentication, without the need to register and sign-in with a username and password.
As always, feedback is appreciated. If things don't seem to functioning as intended, please reply here and I will investigate.