No more "Suggest"?

I just noticed there’s no longer a link on the main site to suggest a topic for the blog. Is there an alternative now, or is that just gone?

(I know this isn’t specifically about the BBS; feel free to delete if that’s a problem.)

I noticed this as well. I was going to point out Alec Steele of YouTubes recent project where he is auctioning a damascus pulaski and donating the proceeds to a wildfire fighter charity.

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Has anyone ever suggested a topic that was actually turned into a front page post? I tried several times over the years but never got a result (though it may be that my suggestions were crap).

I bet it was mostly a spam vector, so they did away with it.

I suggest that you send a link to Xeni or Mark on twitter.

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That’s probably true. I suggest topics maybe twice a month, and I don’t think any of them have made it to the blog. The “prove you’re a human” question hasn’t changed at all (the answer is 44); any spambot could have figured it out long ago.

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Unfortunately, after a decade long battle against spammers, we were unable to get the suggestion form to the point where it wasn’t 99% spam, and retired it.

Individual Authors have their contact information at if you would like to reach out directly.


A client just had me disable a comment form on their website because of all the spam, despite the reCaptcha2 requirement. It seems like the spammers have taught the bots how to play that game. Your move, Google.


Once. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago.
(By which I mean one of many suggestions was turned into an “official” post.)

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One or two over many years (though not many suggestions).

This might not have helped:

That said, I’m sure there are more than enough human spammers.

I try to reserve @[Author] for extremis (something wrong with a post or the site…or Rob needs to moutheye a picture). When I post items to the BBS they get at best about 10 readers: I was particularly disappointed that Keef Knight’s new Hulu series never got any mention, seemed like an oversight, and was sure that would have been picked up from Submit.

This was ultimately the downfall. The “prove you are human” test was only one of several safeguards we had in place (recaptcha v2, ip blocks, akismet, honeypot “fake” fields only bots would see and fill out), but the reality is, over the last 18 months or so it apparently became cost-effective to have humans fill out your spam. At that point there was no remedy, and it’s going to become a huge issue. So much spam protection is predicated on the idea that bots are sending it, but that’s no longer the case for comment form spam. Additionally, PR firms found the form and used it relentlessly to hawk every product/service/media you can imagine, also from disposable addresses. The huge red “THIS IS NOT FOR COMMERCIAL SOLICITATION” notices did nothing. Such abhorrent behaviour.

You can imagine as an Author waking to hundreds of hand-written spam or solicitation emails sent overnight and fishing through to find the maybe one or two legitimate submissions - every day - would become overwhelming.

The same thing has been happening here on the BBS as well. I spend at least a third of my time deleting spam accounts now, there are as many as 50 new accounts a day here despite all the tools Discourse has at its’ disposal. All from different IPs (from different countries) and with unique email addresses. Akismet helps some, but human spammers learn what not to say to trigger the filters.

There were quite a few, even from BBS regulars. It’s unfortunate that they were drowned out by bad apples. :frowning:


Over the past decade I feel as if I had suggested dozens of things - none ever making the cut (maybe they were just bad suggestions, or maybe they were just lost in the noise). Some authors seem perfectly happy to quietly mine the forums for post ideas anyway. :wink: Good riddance I say.

Post it on Reddit. If it’s good enough, you’ll see it here three days later.


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