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XF 1.4 Dealing with spam signups

We are getting this several times a day now.

1. A new user signs up.

2. The new user posts a spamvertisement, something that kinda, sorta resembles a forum post but isn't, and always has a link to whatever they're trying to sell.

3. I do this: Report the post, delete the content, change the username to be a member of Banned instead of Registered, and mark the report as Resolved.

What I would like to do is something like this:

1. A new user signs up.

2. The new users membership has to be approved - I approve it.

3. The new users first post has to be approved - it's spamvertising, and I delete it ban the user.

What do I need to do in order to implement it the way I've described, and/or does anyone have a better suggestion? I will note, FWIW, that our board started as an import from another board, so we have a stable user base and the new user joins aren't happening at a big volume, which means the scenario I'd like to do is perfectly manageable.

Many thanks in advance.

Thank you.

I don't think I need to enable manual approval if I implement the _promotions_ idea correctly. This sentence is a little puzzling to me

"As we want all members to be pre-moderated initially..."

"pre-moderated" - I am guessing this means that the post will not show on the board until I manually approve it - is that what "premoderated" means? So the user will go to somewhere on the board, either start a new thread or reply to an existing one, compose their post, and when they click on either Post Reply or Create Thread, they'll get a message that says something like "Your message is now awaiting moderator approval."

Do I understand this correctly?

Thanks again.



XenForo moderator
Staff member
Yes, correct.

The posts will show in the moderation queue and won't be visible to regular members, just moderators.

From there you can approve or reject them, or spam clean the member.
Upon reading, a further question:

Since all my current users are members of the group Registered, and the help file says that
Follow message moderation rules will be set to Not Set (No), doesn't this mean that all my current users will lose the ability to post messages? Do I need to move all my current users into the group Verified and out of Registered?

If that's right, the first question is how to move them all from one group to another.

But might it not be easier to have all new signups go, instead of into Registered, into Unregistered, and then have them promoted to Registered? If _that's_ right, how do I change the registration process?

Just don't want to have all my users all of a sudden not be able to post. :)

Thanks in advance again.



XenForo moderator
Staff member
If they have posted the minimum messages required to meed the promotion, they will be promoted to the verified user group.

Don't manually move them - let the system handle it.
OK, to be clear, if I elected to moderate only the 1st post, when I implement the promotion recommended in the help, _everyone_ currently on my forum is going to be moved from Registered to Verified? I recall the help file saying this is a cron job that runs once an hour - best if I do this late at night, then?




XenForo moderator
Staff member
Yes, they will be promoted if they have at least one post.
It will happen either via routine cron or the next time they log in.

You don't need to do anything, but if you wish, you can run this under Tools -> Rebuild Caches:
I have just done this. I rebuilt the promotion cache immediately after I did it. We have about 4k users.

I spot checked a few people and the results look right, e.g., two users I know who are registered but have not posted are listed as Registered, while someone who's been on the board for a while also has Verified listed as a secondary group.

A few more questions related to this, if you don't mind, please.

Does it matter that most of my users now show Registered as their primary group and Verified as one of their secondary groups? How would XF behave differently if they showed Verified as their primary group? I"m not terribly concerned with cosmetics, e.g., what text appears under their avatar, so much as I'm interested in knowing what is the difference between one's primary and secondary groups. E.g., I notice I can check the primary group _again_ under secondary groups and don't understand why I might do that.

Thanks very much.



XenForo moderator
Staff member
Does it matter that most of my users now show Registered as their primary group and Verified as one of their secondary groups? How would XF behave differently if they showed Verified as their primary group?
The system has been designed to have all members in the Registered user group as the primary.

See this guide: Implementing Permissions Across Multiple User Groups

User group promotions will always add user groups as secondary user groups - the primary user group will never change.
Brogan, thank you. We have changed some people manually to have their primary group be another one, and then checked off Registered as a secondary group. This seems to work fine - is this not a recommended approach?

Thanks again, and I will read the link you gave now.

Never mind - the link makes it perfectly clear.

I went through and changed everyone's primary group to Registered - the only people who weren't were people I'd changed manually so it wasn't hard, and the search function was helpful in finding them all.