Part of my job is to be #1 in the search engines to make it more desireable for advertisers. As was pointed out, we've done a great job in our rankings. Getting them to fork over money in a bad economy is a story for another time.
As was also mentioned, it is a double-edged sword, and those not interested in the profession find us and ask silly questions.
I hear all of you, and you make good suggestions. I do agree with BillV that it come in waves. It's part of the continuing growth of any site. But after each wave we get a new set of those truly interested. So let's not jump the gun and make massive changes just because another wave has hit us. Let's keep our eyes on the positive aspect that people like zeroflaw have joined us during one of those waves. When the wave passes, he'll stay and the riff raff drop off. Then we mentally prepare for the inevitable next wave. Trust me when I say that if these waves did not come, the site would eventually die.
Being ethical is not easy. Adding to the difficulty is keeping the tone that I have always tried to set on this site: be polite, firm and willing to educate. It also requires having to be diligent and repetitive, but still be nice.
We also want to be a site that helps reclaim the word hacker for the good side. The only way to do that is to let those outside of the profession know that there is a silent majority who are on the right side of the law. We have morals, treat this as an honorable profession and have families, goals, aspirations... none of which is breaking the law. So again, to look on the positive side, every post about hacking Gmail or Facebook is an opportunity to let the masses know that there is a community of hackers that believes we are better than that. And that community is EH-Net.
I think we do a great job in removing spam posts usually within 1 hour (give or take). If there is someone that is going a little overboard or riding the line of unethical behavior, I freeze the topic. I also don't delete them or many other posts so that others (regulars and non) can see them as an example.
Here's another suggestion that I had made in one of those posts a while ago... Ignore them. Like children, they will go away. If we get angry, upset, frustrated and eventually rude, then that will end up being the prevailing attitude on the site. And if that happens, then I will have lost my faith in the ethical hacker mindset. If so, then why keep the site going. But I'm much more positive than that, and I believe in all of you.
The history of this site and the compliments I get online, offline, at conferences, in email et al all tell me that this site is truly unique and to please keep the 'feeling' going as long as you can.
Let's keep this conversation going and thank you very much for your dedication especially on a Sat morning!