I have had a couple of incidents of Spammers joining the site and trying to post us services/material that is not, to put it simply, trad related. As an additional security measure I am going to add a sign up quiz question that only people interested in traditional music would know, thus making it more difficult for these people, most of whom seem to be registering from central Africa. It would have to be a question that 5 minutes on Google would not reveal. Any ideas. It could be something like 


What is the Irish word for music 

When a group of musicians meet in a pub to play music it is called a ?


etc You get the idea. Suggestions would be much appreciated.




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what's a violin called  ?

What's the abbreviation for comhaltas ?

The Bucks of where in Galway?

What's made of goats skin ?

what type of tune ends in pipe ?

Matt who plays the flute ?







That's a good idea Tony. I run a couple of discussion forums, and by far, the most spam comes from people just signing up and spamming. I've been on sites where they make you do a capcha in order to post or something, but that only inconveniences your loyal members, it doesn't really stop spammers. It's much better to put obstacles in the way of spammers signing up in the first place. A lot can be done with just a simple text question like "What is 12 + 3?" Only real people could do that, it stops spambots.


But I do still occasionaly get the human spammer. I stop that by making new members on moderated status until they've posted three messages that I've approved. I don't have to moderate the entire forum, just the new signups. That works pretty well.


Your ideas are great, but I would worry a bit about the level of knowledge among real applicants. For instance, I couldn't tell you what the Irish word for music is. And the group of musicians meeting in a pub to play music could be a session, or a seisun, or a seisún, all different spellings. Maybe if you gave a choice of questions, and allowed for different CORRECT answers, it might work. Best of luck with it.


I do have to say that I got dozens of spambots before I instituted the two policies I mentioned above. Now I maybe get two or three spammers a month, and since they are moderated, I remove their messages before anybody sees them, and I ban them from the forum in the future.

Yeah, I think you'd need to have a range of questions, say 5. With one right answer qualifying. People seem to be here from various traditions, so hard to set just one question. I thought of 'a box is the common name for which instrument' but quickly realised people could enter accordion, accordeon, squeezebox, melodeon, concertina and probably several other equally valid replies!

John has a good list above but you could get genuine beginners trying to sign up who wouldn't have a clue and couldn't even answer those..
I like "What is a violin also called in traditional music ?" Would everyone know the answer to this ?

I think each new member should be required to recite the story of Don Niperi Septo...



I joke.  Seriously though, your biggest problem might be finding something that the audience outside of Ireland would be familiar with but spammers wouldn't.  I could answer any of the questions put up so far but that might not have been the case when I was getting into this stuff ten years ago.  It'd be a shame to exclude those interested in connecting with experienced players to learn the tradition based on lack of current knowledge.  The fiddle thing is almost general enough that non-legitimate abusers might be able to get it or google it quickly... especially if they're spamming from another country where fiddle would be the norm over violin.  The above idea of providing a few options and requiring one correct answer might be a decent solution.  Maybe you should include a help option along with the test questions that woudl direct legitimate interest your way in case a newbie can't answer the questions but is genuinely interested in joining.

Spammers suck but its a part of forums, not saying I like it. One thing to consider is if you make it to difficult a process to join then some folks will just pass. Also something to consider is someone joining to learn about ITM may not know the answers and just move on also.

Jigs are played  in ?/? time as opposed to reels which are played in ?/? time

Blind harp player who has had huge influence in ITM

Irish group who has played, among (a lot of)others with Ry Cooder and Roger Daltrey

Luke Kelly was a member of what group

I don't know.. shouldn't be too easy, and on the other hand you can look most things up if you want to, question is if the unwanted elements give up because it's too much effort.

EDIT: For the spam bots, a picture with letters to repeat is usually pretty effective.


Ok mine:

1. An Irish pipe is also called a:

2. An Irish traditional unadorned type of singing is called:

3.A region with heavy Gaelic and  traditional music infleunce:


N.B. Baxter, the answer to your No 1 could be either Dudeen or Uilleann!

As for your 2 & 3, I think anything that involves having to spell Gaelic words in the answer, might make it a little too difficult.



Concertina player by the name of j   the king of irish music michael ******

Having security questions is an interesting idea but for beginners, especially those who does not have English as mother tongue, it may be an obstacle that they do not easily overcome.  Worse, they might tire of trying to make entries into the forum after too many failures - not good, everybody loves lively forums.  Dynamic websites are nice and people return to them again and again.  If you decide to go for the idea, I suggest you add the reply option "Don't know" and allow the user to try to answer a new question after presenting the correct answer to the first one.  Security and education in combination!


I agree with BarryD - the spelling issue could be avoided if a number of answer options was presented; e.g.:

What instrument is not considered to be traditionally irish?

a)Fiddle b) Guitar c) Banjo d) Oud e) Bouzouki


Well i like: When a group of musicians meet in a pub to play music it is called a ? 

Or how bout: What does a Scotsman wear under his kilt?

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