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Greenie

Stopping Clicksor

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Hey everyone,

This post serves as both a warning and a request for help. I currently have a forum with www.forumsplace.com which advertises itself as a 'free forum'. I later discovered that they charge a $10 (US) setup fee and try and pry a monthly fee from you to remove header and footer banners from your forum. Which is ok, I know bandwidth isn't free.

However, what's got me peeved is they have suddenly left us with a nasty surprise: Clicksor advertisements without prior warning. This little bugger finds familiar words and makes them hyperlinks to other websites on my forum. This certainly wasn't mentioned anywhere when I signed up.

I was wondering if there was a way of stopping this crap from infesting my forum and linking to inappropriate and unrelated websites.

This truly sucks,
Greenie.

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[quote=their FAQ][b]Q: Do you offer a board configuration service?[/b]
A: Yes. While the actual installation of your forum is done for you, setting up your forums is left to you. We do offer a configuration service for those who do not wish to take the time to set up their board. [color=red]For a fee of $10 we will configure your board[/color], including the installation of up to 5 styles, configuration of up to 5 usergroups, creation of up to 5 forum categories and 20 forums. Use the contact us form to arrange for your board configuration.[/quote]
I think I found your "setup fee".

[quote=their FAQ]Ad-free forums are available at just$5.00 a month![/quote]
There goes your advertisments.

[quote=their Terms of Service]All free forums at ForumsPlace.com are advertising supported.  We reserve the right to place up to six (6) advertising units on each forum page.  An advertising unit is defined for the purposes of this agreement as a graphical page element promoting a site or service that is not part of our network of free sites. Non-promotional static text links are not considered to be advertising, and are hence not included as an advertising unit. Up to two of ad units may appear in a prominent spot at the top of the page, while the remaining ones may be placed on the page footer, below the actual forum.  Ad units may be removed by upgrading to one of our ad-free hosting plan when available.  Any attempt to disable these ads will result in an immediate account termination.
Directly contacting our advertisers in any way regarding our account(s) is strictly forbidden and may result in your account termination, with or without notice.[/quote]

And even if it weren't in the ToS when you registered: [quote=their Terms of Service]This Terms of Service/Acceptable Use Policy may be amended, at any time, at the discretion of ForumsPlace.com. All accounts are required to comply with any changes made to these policies. Notification of any major changes to the policies will be emailed to the email addresses we have on file for all account holders. You are required to keep a valid and current email address on file with us, in your billing account.[/quote]

I am afraid you should have read their FAQ and ToS before registering.

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Thanks for pointing that out, Daniel; there is some stuff in there I didn't notice.

From memory, I read the following and presumed that would be it:

[quote][b]Q: Can I really host a bulletin board for free?
A:[/b] Yes, you get your own fully functional phpBB bulletin board. You are the administrator, and have full control over how many forums you create, assigning moderators, and managing users. We place one small google ad on most forum pages to offset our costs of offering this free service.[/quote]

So I'm getting the feeling there is no way of removing these annoy links then.

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probably no way of removing them without violating your TOS in some way.

if you keep your eyes peeled, you can find some pretty cheap hosting these days. phpBB itself is free (as are countless others including SMF, which this site is based on) and with a bit of patience (if you're new to PHP/MySQL) pretty easy to set up. otherwise, putting up with the adverts or paying the 'removal' fee is the only option, it seems.

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I would go for hosting a forum system myself. It is not that hard to install and it gives much more control. A good one could be [url=http://icebb.net]IceBB[/url], but 1.0 final has not been released yet. I just don't recommend phpBB.

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Yeah, that's what I originally wanted to do but being a student and finding a constant source of income to pay for a server is difficult. Ah well.

Thanks for taking the time to reply,
Greenie.

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You can get hosting that is as cheap as $25/year. Perhaps even cheaper.

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Even that would be hard to find, but I agree that is extremely reasonable. Do you know of any [i]reliable[/i] hosts that are offering bandwidth for that price or cheaper?

I'm only asking if you have any handy. I don't expect you to go search. ;)

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Try [url=http://www.asmallorange.com/]A Small Orange[/url].

Their Tiny package gives you 75mb space and 3gb bandwidth for the price I said above. I know 75mb space is not much, but for a forum you wont need more than that.

Edit: If you ever choose to go with them, when you purchase it there is a field called "Referrer", please enter xaos-ia.com into it.

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I will do, Daniel.

Thanks for all your help. I'm grateful.

[b]As a side note:[/b] The links have mysteriously disappeared after a couple of members voiced their complaints. I'm not sure if the forums service had been hacked or those running it thought better of enforcing this form of advertisment. If anyone's interested, I'll post any changes here.

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I should have made myself clearer. The links generated by Clicksor on my forum with www.forumsplace.com

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