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Profile page spammers

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by ForestForTrees, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Recently, I've been noticing people who sign up for an account and set their "Home Page" and "About You" settings to spammy links. I was able to find a bunch through the following SQL because the vast majority of our users don't set "Home Page"s:
    SELECT user_id, homepage FROM `xf_user_profile`
    ORDER BY `xf_user_profile`.`homepage`  DESC
    Any thoughts on how to handle this? Most of the IP numbers creating the accounts come from India or the Phillipines.
  2. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    I've replaced the .com in all URLs in this post with .tld to render the links useless.

    The following is an example of the type of post I'm talking about. At least they eat their own dog food.

    IP number: from Vietnam. Only .04% of our traffic is from vietnam.
    Username: andrena083 (It may seem silly, but I've shifted two of the numerical digits in the username to preserve the user's privacy. Privacy protection is in my blood.)
    About You:
    Home page: http://good-backlink.tld/forum-link-building-service.html

    Other than making the above changes to their profile page, they had no other activity on the site. Never made any posts.

    Another tipoff is that their profile says that they are from somewhere, but their IP number is from India or the Phillipines, where most of my profile spammers come from.

    A second example:
    IP number: from India
    Location: UAE
    Home page: http://alsharid.tld/
    About You:
    Status: Best bookkeeping and accounting services in Dubai.

    Only visited the forum once. Never made any posts.
  3. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

  4. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, it looks like Tenant has taken on a full time job and may decrease the frequency of software updates for his addons. In my mind, his addons are legendary, though. No one cared as much about abolishing spam as him.

    Our forum is tiny with only one or two new signups per day and only about 45 posts per day, so I like to take a very hands-on, active approach to spam. Specifically, if anyone does anything that might raise a flag, I don't want them blocked. Rather, I want them put in moderation so that I can investigate them and potentially ban them. The downside of Stop Human Spam for us is that it blocks spammer's attempts rather than sending them to moderation. I really want a little red numbered box to appear in the moderator bar at the top of the screen whenever someone makes a post that is blocked.

    Am I interpreting things right that SHS won't do this? I know that blocked attempts are logged in the ACP, but I don't think I'd actually check. This is the "killer feature" for us. I really want to send spammers the message that they will get zero benefit from posting on our forum and they WILL be reported to StopForumSpam.
  5. ForestForTrees

    ForestForTrees Well-Known Member

    Speaking of StopForumSpam, there is an interesting discussion at StopForumSpam about Profile spam in their members only section:
    It looks like they do consider a link placed in a profile to be spam, so reporting someone for a spammy link in a profile is okay with them. In contrast, if they haven't posted any spam yet and you just suspect them of doing so, my bet is that they wouldn't be okay with that.

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