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Search function limited to being logged in - why?

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Search function limited to being logged in - why?

Postby MJE » 25 Dec 2014, 11:43

Hallo.

     I've noticed a change in the way the forum works fairly recently (last couple of months, maybe), and I was just wondering why this was done.
     Hitherto, you could use the search function, or follow the "Active topics" link (which seems to work like the search function in some ways) if you just visited the page, without logging in. But now it tells you that you must log in to use that function - and I'm not quite sure I see the benefit of making this change.
     Is it desired to limit such functions, if not the raw content of the forum, to members only?
     In fact, if I decide to check what's happening on the forum, I don't always bother to log in if I have no plans to post anything, so it was useful to use that link to see what topics have been active most recently. Then I log in if I decide to add something to one of those topics. But now I have to log in if I want to see the list of recent topics, even if I have no plans to post anything on that occasion.
     I also notice that the front page also gives the names of currently-logged-in members. (This is not part of the change, but has been so for as long as I can remember.) Is the intention behind this change to encourage people to log in even when just reading, so that their names will appear at the bottom of that front page, and so make the forum look more active, because more people are logged in and thus more names appear at the bottom? Perhaps making the forum appear more active would be considered more likely to encourage casual visitors who are not members to actually become members.
     Anyway, I guess it doesn't really matter - I was just curious why this change was made.

Regards, Michael.
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Re: Search function limited to being logged in - why?

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 25 Dec 2014, 11:57

Keith made the change a few weeks ago when we were targeted by spammers. They were unusual in that they didn't post anything - they just "latched on" to the website in some way and made us so heavy in traffic that our host disabled our website because we were slowing down the whole server. Apparently, such spammers can make use of the "search" facility so it helped to make it available only to people who were logged in.
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Re: Search function limited to being logged in - why?

Postby MJE » 25 Dec 2014, 12:00

     Goodness me - who would ever think of such a thing?
     Why do spammers target the forum? What are they hoping to accomplish in so doing?
     Spammers really are the bottom-feeders of the Internet - just teeming cockroaches who need to be exterminated.

Regards, Michael.
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