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Have reduced our spam to virtually nil

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
#1
So without any anti-spam measures, xrumer and manual spammers from various countries would be bombarding our site with spam several times a minute.
Stu's top tips for combating spam:
  1. Use Stopforumspam. It's blocking several registrations per minute
  2. Use Keycaptcha. Stops any other automated registrations
  3. Block the submission of any links in posts (new or edited) and signatures from the countries which give you the most trouble until the member has lots of posts.
  4. Have a report which shows the latest registrations, location country, signature and number of posts, highlighting those not from your local country (since there tend to be very few spammers from my local country - the UK)
The way I do number 3 is to check their IP address at registration and via a GeoIP look-up, populate their account with their country.
Then if anyone from a set of banned countries posts a link or saves a link in their signature, it gets a generic no permission error and emails me the message they attempted to post. The email contains a link to ban them.
The list of countries is currently: ('India', 'China', 'Russian Federation', 'Philippines', 'Bangladesh', 'Pakistan', 'Morocco', 'Ukraine', 'Sri Lanka', 'Anonymous Proxy', 'Indonesia').
If the message looks like spam, I ban them without their spam ever making it to the site.
People from these banned countries can post messages, they just can't post links.
I have found very quickly that serial spammers have moved on to other sites.

Number 4, the report, has been very useful since a new registration from one of the banned countries with a number of immediate posts is very often spam.
I and my senior moderator have been checking this report several times a day. If someone creates a spammy signature, we kick them often before they post. If they've posted spam, we tend to catch them very quickly and decimate them with a couple of clicks.
This report, however, has become less useful since #3 has virtually stopped the last of the manual spammers.
I can't produce plugins for vB (which is what we are still on until we move to XF), so I can't share an easy addon, but the principle works, so unless someone has done it already, someone might want to write Xenforo addons for #3 and #4 (since #1 is done already). I'm happy to help with info on what I did if it helps.
Cheers
 

AdamD

Well-known member
#5
Nice, that block8 one sounds good.

I use Stopforumspam on the Vbulletin forum I help run, it's cut down on spam A LOT.
 

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
#8
I still think my method is the best spam prevention method. View attachment 41817
Not great for growing your community though :)
Our biggest spam problem now is manual spammers. My country-dependent link blocker sees off the vast majority of those.
I send them a message that they are wasting their time and their spam never makes it to the site, but they are paid so they continue to try.
 
#9
I currently have been noticing a high trend of spamming coming from certain countries, once i blocked those certain countries spam visitors halted to almost a stand still.

Countries i banned are ~ china, russia, bosnia, serbia, indonesia, ukraine

i do get the occasional floater but most of the spam is coming from china :|
 

Shelley

Well-known member
#10
Not great for growing your community though :)
Our biggest spam problem now is manual spammers. My country-dependent link blocker sees off the vast majority of those.
I send them a message that they are wasting their time and their spam never makes it to the site, but they are paid so they continue to try.
Yeah that is the big drawback. :p

The country link blocker is that a custom add-on you have made? though i think this could be done via cpanel anyway since i remember i blocked Ireland by mistake many years back.
 

Biker

Well-known member
#14
Yeah that is the big drawback. :p

The country link blocker is that a custom add-on you have made? though i think this could be done via cpanel anyway since i remember i blocked Ireland by mistake many years back.
This isn't a feature of cPanel, however it is a feature of csf. You need to bear in mind that blocking an entire country requires the server to go through iptables and some countries have thousands of CIDRs. This can impact your server's performance.