Handle Color Guide
Background: On the O-Zone we've had persistent problems with trolls creating throw-away
accounts. This sort of problem is not unique to the O-Zone; most public forums face the same
issue, and have come up with various ways of scoring posters. This "scoring" has two main benefits:
it gives forum readers an idea of each poster's history, and it makes it easier for admins to
find trolls. These anti-troll defenses include:
These methods each have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Reputation can be "gamed"
by an organized group of posters. They can consistently upvote their own posts, and downvote posts
by others. Account age does not always indicate quality of poster -- some trolls are very long-lived.
- Reputation - Individual posters can "vote" thumbs-up or thumbs-down on other posters' posts.
Accounts build up a (good or bad) reputation with those votes, and that reputation is displayed beside
- Account origination - The account's sign-up date is prominently displayed beside each post made
by a user.
- Post totals - The total number of posts is prominently displayed beside each post made by a
For the O-Zone, I chose to reflect the length of time that an account has been in existence and the
post count, in a fairly subtle way. Handle color for new accounts will start out as very bright
green, which will fade to black over the course of the first year of membership and first few
hundred posts. Hovering the mouse pointer over the handle will pop up a little bit of descriptive text,
Trolls, by their nature, do not engage in much planning, and will generally look for "softer" targets
elsewhere rather than jump through hoops here. For example, when an OSU-related scandal breaks, several
trolls will scurry to this site to stir up trouble -- but none are likely to have created accounts a
year in advance that they are saving for just such an occurrence.
Handle colors and what they represent:
(1) Handle aging colors:
- very light green (50ff50) - accounts less than 20 days old, or less than 25 posts
- bright green (00ee00) - accounts 20 to 40 days old, or less than 50 posts
- medium green (00cc00) - accounts 40 to 70 days old, or less than 75 posts
- slightly dark green (00aa00) - accounts 70 to 100 days old, or less than 100 posts
- very dark green (007700) - accounts 100 days to one year old, or less than 150 posts
- black - accounts one year or older, and with 150+ posts
(2) Special colors:
- dark red - forum admins
- dark purple - participants since before we had registration (April 2007);
participants since the very start of registration (or earlier) are exempt from post-count limits and those who
registered before football season in 2007 need only post 100 times to earn a purple handle. (Eventually we may make
purple the designation for those who have been here at least 5 years, but since registration didn't start until early
2007, we won't start "seeing" accounts that are five-plus years old until early 2012.)
Note: If you are a long-time participant who posted to the O-Zone prior to registration,
and you believe your handle should be in purple (but isn't), please
E-mail Zanzibar indicating: (1) the E-mail address
you use to post to the forum, (2) when you used to participate.