FWIW, I hope my terse meme-y image-only reply to the suggestion of requiring introductory essays was read with the implied layer of sarcasm.
I do not want to gate new users that
Another idea to borrow from some other forums, though, would be to require an introduction post
in a (probably new) forum before replying everywhere
is unlocked. No hard limit. Just "say hello" and move on. That would be much a lower barrier, and it's a start
at weeding out some of the bots and spammers who can currently post anywhere from the start.