I'm creating a small online service that may eventually have some form of community, but it's currently at its very first steps. It allows you to create an account, and then create projects with those accounts that will show up on the front page for anyone to view.
My problem is that the current system is very prone to abuse. Even if I set up a limit of 5 projects, for example, an advertiser or other malicious user can simply create many more accounts to continue posting spam or unwanted content. I don't yet have the resources or ability to somehow prevent people from creating many accounts.
Here are some of the ideas I've been able to think of:
- No front page, and users have to share their project links on their own via social networking, a blog, or something of that sort. (Obviously the least ideal solution.)
- Shut down the account creation system automatically for some amount of time if too many accounts are being created in quick succession. (This would be a temporary measure until the site grows enough that this would be keeping out too many valid users. Still a less than perfect idea.)
- Require manual confirmation by me (or another person I trust) before an account can be created. (Terrible experience for normal users.)
So, how can I stop abuse on my site, while still maintaining the highest user experience for regular users?