m42 (19 July, 2010)
As most of people noticed we have really big amount of people who spam our board to get signature or other kind of links.
They usually have no avatar, short posts without value, or thread started on bunch of other forums.
Will and moderators are already discussing this issue and I am sure they will come up with right solution but I am wondering what regular user think about it?
Any suggestion from you guys that would help them?
Would you be sad if mod team remove signatures or put nofollow tag on them or restrict number of them (probably this will not happen).
Raise your voice
m42 (19 July, 2010)
On my forums, I do the following:
Registered Members Usergroup - No PMs, no Signatures.
After 10 posts, automatically promoted to <Forum Name> Member, which has full permissions.
Combined with the Question and Answer feature during registration, spammers are virtually non-existent.
Restricting new users to be able to post live links and have sig links for X amount of days sounds like a good idea, could test it for a few weeks and see how well it works.
People who are genuinely interested in being a part of the discussions here shouldn't mind having to wait a little bit before throwing in their sig links.
Having sig links etc after "X amount of posts" will surely lead to more spam as it will be a race to meet that goal.
A time limit may or may not work. Evidence seems to indicate that post limits only seem to exacerbate the issue. Post limits appear to encourage both spammers and legit posters to post lower quality threads (often spam) just so they can reach the signature minimum.
Even v7n has removed their signature post minimum. v7n's admin told me they found post minimums to be useless in their own fight against spam.
As far as time limits, we're already seeing automated posters/spam bot programs register accounts, post a few threads, and wait a week or a month before adding a signature or spamming the forum.
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Yep that's true, those sleeper accounts are harder to detect.
There are online spammer email database services which you could check new registered members against like - Stop Forum Spam, FSpam List , Askimet or Defensio..
On registration you could also check if they are using a known proxy or TOR IP and start to build up a threat level scale so that once a new member reaches a certain level they get flagged as a threat and posting is restricted.
If spambots are coming through proxies a few lines in the htaccess file may help restrict some of them by blocking proxy headers:
or something similar like this :
There's some really old code here for VB forums to check proxies:
Proxy Detector v3.1 - for Posts and WOL
Could take things to the next level and build some kind of custom spammer detection system / IP database. Something which can analyse a post for various things on submission, a quick google query to check if their post is a duplicate from somewhere else, check if they have a valid useragent and check their IP against a number of online databases, and flood controls for members with less than X amount of posts...
There are a number of existing anti spammer databases and blocking scripts that could be implemented, such as Bad Behavior, ZB Block, project honeypot's HTTP:BL or a stop forum spam db check for VB.
I don't think there are any "perfect" anti spammer solutions, and there's always the possibility with auto blocking that you'll end up affecting some innocent users. Could then give those who are blocked a way to contact a staff member in the case of accidental blocking, with a captcha / math challenge response etc to help them through to access a contact form...
Bad Behavior can be very effective against bots and other automated kinds of traffic, and when used with the HTTP:BL does a good job at picking up spammers too. Bad Behavior offers a solution for any blocked users who aren't automated bots, they can follow a link to get help with information on why they were blocked, and BB provides a whitelist.
ZB block integrates a few protections against spammers, what get's blocked can be customised and you can add your own list too.
Someone would need to monitor what is blocked in the case of using a blocking script, and that might end up to be even more inconvenient than just deleting the spammers after they have been reported on the forums.
That's all I can think of right now.. Probably nothing will beat just having everyone keep an eye out for the spammers and reporting them as soon as the spamming raids begin.
Last edited by Mike-XS; 20 July, 2010 at 15:21 PM. Reason: more+
I like the scripts to block proxies. Good find!
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin
Great suggestions, Mike!
We're actually already running Proxy Detector. It doesn't work very well.
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I still like post minimums, I'm surprised that V7n says that they don't work.
In order to have links in your signature or to put links in posts then wouldn't it make sense that you have to have a certain number of posts before links are turned on?
That should take care of the majority of spammers, right? At least in theory it should.