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Comments February 12, 2010

Practical Jokes…

Filed under: Board Management, MOD Writing — Dave Rathbun @ 11:15 am CommentsComments (4) 

We have a topic on my board with the title “Please do not post in this topic”. Needless to say, this topic has survived for nearly three years, even in the “off topic” area where topics are pruned after 14 days of no activity. :lol: So lately I have been trying to have some fun with it.

First I added some javascript to the page (but only for that topic) that made the Reply and Quote buttons move away from the mouse. That made it impossible to click on the button, but you could still tab to the buttons and invoke the required code. Yesterday I switched the normal images for the buttons with the spacer.gif and sized it to zero by zero pixels, essentially making the button invisible. I also altered the tab index to -1 which according to a few sites I read makes the button disappear from the tab sequence.

Of course there are still several ways for folks to post in the topic. That’s sort of the point, to see how long it takes folks to figure out how to work around the challenges I have put in place. For example in the first version someone could disable javascript and the buttons would no longer move, giving them another way to click the button rather than using the tab key.

To continue the fun, I am looking for suggestions for other ways to challenge folks, and keep them from posting in that one topic. The key is there has to be some sort of loophole, as I’m not trying to completely lock folks out.

Any ideas?


  1. Sounds like fun. :lol:

    You could always switch the buttons around to confuse people eg. Report is for quoting, Reply is the New Topic button etc. ;)

    Comment by onehundredandtwo — February 12, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

  2. Make a “This topic is locked.” message appear, but make the meta HTTP-refresh something ridiculously long, like 1 minute or something. The refresh would have an additional URL argument which would by-pass the locked message and allow a reply.

    Comment by Dog Cow — February 14, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  3. That’s not bad. :) I swapped the buttons for the “locked” buttons already for a while, but people eventually realized that you could still post if you clicked the button. I like the idea of putting up the locked message… yes, I really like this. :twisted:

    I may save the idea of switching buttons for a bit later. Hm. Could even make the switch random so it’s different on each refresh.

    Comment by Dave Rathbun — February 15, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

  4. So my current trick is the button is hidden but still present in the form if you know how to get to it. I also check the “referer” when someone tries to reply to make sure they’re not just using a favorite they’ve saved from earlier. These two techniques have cut down the amount of posting substantially.

    Comment by Dave Rathbun — March 26, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

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