A modification has been made to the forums software. Any email addresses in posts are replaced with a link to this announcement.
The Internet is full of programs referred to as "Spiders" or "Bots". These programs crawl web sites, scooping up pages for various reasons. Some are positive, such as university research projects assembling databases.
Others aren't and are the reason why we remove email addresses from posts. Ever wonder why you get so much spam and where spammers get your email address? Post your email address or someone else's on a web site and you've just made that email address a target for a spammer. Bots are continously slowly crawling sites such as FTE and when they find an email address they go crazy and scoop up as many pages as possible in a short time in the hopes of finding more email addresses.
So, posting an email address has two negative side effects:
1. more spam for you (or someone else if you posted their address)
2. additional server load on FTE
We can't stop all the Bots. They disguise themselves as regular browsers. By the time we recognise their activity its too late.
So now we've taken proactive measures and remove all email addresses from posts. If you need to contact another user via email please use the contact link in their profile. This will contact them via email without exposing their email address or yours. If you want them to have your email address, please include it in your contact to them.
I understand its frustrating. We had to put the contact policy in place because the "Nigerian Cashier's Check" scam artist was registering on the site and contacting users to rip them off. I wish there was a better way to stop him but he's persistant.
The system is in place to prevent bots AND scammers. Only established users (25 posts and 30 days) can contact off-site in order to help prevent hit and run scammers. By-passing this defeats the purpose.
I don't personally have a problem with my email addy being on the internet as it is easily accessible from my website. Plus it's posted on tons of forums already. I woudn't want to encourage the bots though as I see you point about their using up the bandwith. This is the only forum I have frequented that removes email addresses.
I don't fall for scammers. Me and GEN BOTHA MONBULLA have done the money exchange many times!
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