Anti-spam registration moderation filter by country

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
[We're moving over to XF ASAP, currently on vB 3.8.2]
We've had an incredible influx of spammers recently from Ukraine, China, Russia etc. A lot for Ugg Boots, which I have put into the censor filter.
So we've had no choice but to install a modification for vBulletin which, using a downloadable IP zone identifier from, allows you to create a whitelist of countries. The IP of a new member is then cross referenced, and if in the whitelist, is allowed to proceed normally, but if not, is put into the user moderation queue. It's made a tremendous difference to the amount of spam we've been suffering.

So here is my suggestion for XF.
A feature which cross references the IP address against a white or black list and for denied countries, pops the member into a user moderation queue.
Moderators/admin who are responsible for processing themoderation queue should have an alert to show how many members are waiting.
In the moderation queue, in addition to the options to allow, deny, ignore, I would like to see:

  • User Name (with link to admin user profile)
  • IP Address (also showing how many other members with the same IP have been banned and link to see those users)
  • Duplicate User count (using a cookie to identify whether this computer has been used for other accounts, showing how many have been banned with link to see those users)
  • Email
  • Date & Time joined
  • Number of posts (with link to see them)
  • Signature (with link to edit it)
  • Ban link (to ban them)
I created a report showing this information for AVForums and it's an excellent aid to catch out the spammers.


Well-known member
If you are doing IP address filtering, I would suggest using the Geo IP PHP extension rather than querying a database of black listed IPs. It makes the geotargeting about 100x faster and I suspect it's going to be more accurate since the underlying data is updated monthly. It would also allow you to do more advanced things like filter based on region.

That being said, we've taken a different approach to the same problem... instead of pre-moderating all users from a certain country, we spin new user's posts through spam filters like Akismet. On top of it, if a user is banned for *anything*, instantly every IP address that user has used in the last 6 months is no longer allowed to register a new account for the next 6 months. You end up picking up all sorts of users that aren't just spammers, but also users you don't want on your site for whatever reason (they were banned for *something*, right?)

If you want to get *really* good at detecting if a user has ever used that computer for a different account, I'd have a look at this: It's a cookie that persists even if you wipe you all your cookies and even PERSISTS ACROSS DIFFERENT BROWSERS. :) It's the little-talked about technology used by advertising/analytics companies to *really* track users.

Adam H

I second this request, I currently do not block country's from accessing the site , but i do block certain countries from registering. Would love to see it on Xen as it takes a big load off of moderation on the board

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
I want to withdraw this suggestion. Using StopForumSpam is a much better tool than the blunt method of banning whole countries.


Well-known member
I want to withdraw this suggestion. Using StopForumSpam is a much better tool than the blunt method of banning whole countries.
I'm hoping we'll see SFP as a default option for using soon in XenForo, it has to be right up there as being one of the most needed new features right now.