Posted March 02, 2017
Contentious threads have already shown a tendency to draw in new users with fairly extreme opinions, though. How does one tell the difference between that and someone who came up with an alt account to troll a thread to death? Most users seem to ignore those types of threads, anyway, and even if they don't, users trying to find patterns could easily turn the whole thing into a witch hunt that ends up worsening the bad blood between certain users ("so and so false-flagged our thread to silence us!").
Bookwyrm627: My response would be: Fables seems reasonably intelligent. And even if she weren't, then we users are going to notice if threads with certain similar attributes (topic, who is the OP, etc.) suddenly start getting hammered until locked.
It just seems like an ugly possibility that might be worth avoiding. We already have users who view other users as "the enemy" and regard everything they do with suspicion, so something like that happening doesn't seem like a huge stretch.
What if new users who hadn't spent any money were able to post in a special "new users" forum and game-specific forums/general discussion were blocked off until one made a purchase? That way they could still ask whatever questions they might have, but we'd also get the benefit of making alt accounts impractical enough that they might stop being the big bad forum bogeyman. Spam would likely also be contained to that one section.
Wishbone: No, you absolutely do not prevent potential new customers from asking questions of the existing ones until they've paid you $20. That way madness (and financial ruin) lies.
(It's not an idea I'm particularly enthused about or endorsing, but I do think it could be made to work if we ever became desperate enough to want or need something like that.)