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Anyway to speed up the process of banning spammers?

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by System0, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. System0

    System0 Active Member

    The account spam finder tool is really great. A lot of people in my forum sign up and add a signature but using the spam finder it's easy to spot who the spammers are.

    At the moment the spam finder shows 105 pages of spammers (some spammers, some not). The actual process of banning these people is very very time consuming, as when you click on ban user it brings up a pop up to do so.

    I'd love XenForo to add the ability to show all results on the one page with checkboxes to allow multiple accounts to be chosen. Sure, the page will take longer to load, but that isn't a problem with a good connection.

    In the meantime, is there any other way to review over 1,000 accounts at the same time and ban the appropriate members.
    erich37 and Blue like this.
  2. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    System0 likes this.
  3. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Hi Jake,

    Unfortunately there isn't. The only thing they all have in common is that they added links to their profile pages....but many legitimate members do that too so that's not a criteria I can use.

  4. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I'm discussing an addon with some developers to realy deal with spam in a much more organised fassion. Will look into how we could improve profile spam.
    System0 likes this.
  5. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Spam cleaner was designed to clean up 1 member at a time.
    That's not so good when you have 1000 to clean up.

    To speed up spam cleaning you need to :
    [1] select members to a ban list.
    [2] spam clean the list of users selected in [1] in an automated fashion.

    For [1] You could Display members:
    user name, email address, last post (if available), number of posts, profile link 1, profile link 2, date registered.

    For profile links ... that is probably the toughest. I think profile links are not needed / not that helpful and this ability should be removed, especially for people with less than 5 posts. That being said, profile links don't bother anyone really. Who is going to look at a member's profile with no posts ? (besides google bots)
    System0 likes this.
  6. System0

    System0 Active Member

    I would agree with everything you said Digital. The ability to clean up 1,000's at a time would be a great help, especially as XenForo forums are being hit by spammers so much.
  7. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    System, have you put the usual front end checks (QA, etc.) into use to avoid spammers before they get verified? There are quite a few threads about these, but suffice it to say that no forum should every have thousands, or even hundreds, of spammers to delete. Getting rid of spammers after the fact is akin to stopping food poisoning after the food is already compromised! A ounce of prevention....

    I and many others here have ran forums for 10 years and never had any problem of that magnitude. You simply cannot leave open registration on any forum these days.
  8. System0

    System0 Active Member

    Craigiri - I don't have a problem with spam anymore. I had two spam plugins installed previously and I was using Q and A too. I've been running forums since 2000 so I know how problematic spam can be...especially as an ex-vBulletin customer :)

    Despite my setup, I was getting 50 spam registrations a day. The foolhoneypot and custom img add ons proved to be the most effective solution to me however I'm left with hundreds and hundreds of spam accounts on the forums.
  9. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    Sounds good.....we use a number of methods....when I want zero spammers, I use manual verification. I got lazy recently and now have email verify, but.....the gauntlet consists of:

    1. Stop country spam
    2. Xenutils - and the SFS part of it, as well as manual checks on whether they used links in their bio, about.
    (Unless you really need them, profile pages can be spam targets - I shut them down).
    3. A Q and A which makes sure they have some command of the english language and perhaps the USA or other world events....which visitors to my forum would likely have.

    After that, we moderate the first post...I have a couple mods, so this is not a big deal.

    Even after that, I occasionally list the new signups (members plug in) by date, and use my own fuzzy logic to check for strange user names with no posts, no avatars, no location, etc.......

    Any spammer who gets through all that stuff...including email verification, etc.....is really driven! I think the point of all of this is that most select only the easiest targets since they are only getting paid for successful efforts (links).
    System0 likes this.
  10. Taxi

    Taxi Member

    I have to disagree with this post. I've had non-math/number based Q&A on my forum for a few months now, and that was keeping them out, but over the weekend I'm guessing a new version of XRu*** came out, and obviously they've incorporated my QA answers into that version, because I now have hundreds of new registrations that I need to clean out. It is easy for an automated system to put hundreds or even thousands of new accounts into your database, even when following precautions.

    It would be nice if we lived in a world where spammers never got past our defenses, but they do get past. And when they do, XF doesn't really have a good method of dealing with that, on a large scale.
  11. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    Oh, I agree we need pruning and other methods for cleaning up.....that's a basic core function.

    In your case, though, do these spammers really come from countries where you have lots of valid members? A forum with valid members from all over the world certainly has a tougher time of it!
  12. Taxi

    Taxi Member

    The IPs used for registration (based on the spot checks I have done) have been from the "usual suspects", and no, I don't have many users from those countries in general. However, in principal, I don't believe in banning entire countries outright, since in the past I have had valid users from "questionable" countries.
  13. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    But ... won't you have to wade through hundreds and hundreds of bogus manual registrations ?
  14. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    Actually, no...with the basic checks we have, I only get maybe 1 out of 50 when doing manual checks....who are spammers!
    That's one reason I stopped manual checking for now...so few registrations.

    But hundreds a day are being turned away by the add-ons.
    Digital Doctor likes this.

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