Stu's top tips for combating spam:
- Use Stopforumspam. It's blocking several registrations per minute
- Use Keycaptcha. Stops any other automated registrations
- 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.
- 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)
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.