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XF 1.4 Spam is killing my Xenforo site experience

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Problems' started by leemy, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. leemy

    leemy Member

    Every morning, I find new spam posts on my site, visible to users (not moderated). Since my site is still rather small and new, the spam posts are a majority of new posts on the site, and users have vocalized that they don't want to come to the site since it's always just spam.

    I've taken every step I see possible in Xenforo to stop the spam, but the registrations and non-moderated threads continue. I've attached screenshots of my Spam Management panel in Xenforo, which I'm sure has blocked some but has not been an adequate solution. I've routinely made the triggers more sensitive, to go back in time more than the default; I've enabled Project Honey Pot API key; I've enabled Askimet; I've tried both the default CAPTCHA and recently switched to Google's noCAPTCHA reCAPTCHA.

    This is really ruining the experience for my very few users. Help please?

    Attached Files:

  2. JamesBrown

    JamesBrown Well-Known Member

    I have had pretty good results using the Q and A catchpa, still getting a few human spammers but questions seem to stop the bots
  3. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Add spam phrases or moderate the first x posts.
    vbuser, ForestForTrees and Russ like this.
  4. nodle

    nodle Well-Known Member

    I just use a Question and Answer and never have had any problems.
  5. leemy

    leemy Member

    Added Q&A for registration, will see.
  6. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    Spam phrases as @Brogan mentioned can help wonders. Depending on the type of forum you run it could be easy to type in some general terms.

    steroids, weight loss, drugs ect, all it will do is send the post to moderation where you can clean it up or approve the post before it goes public.
  7. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member


    We use them here and very few posts make it through as publicly visible.
  8. BamaStangGuy

    BamaStangGuy Well-Known Member

    Mind sharing what is used here?
  9. melbo

    melbo Well-Known Member

    You have to make your Q&As good ones.

    What is 2 + 2? is not good
    If I have ten and 10 but take away eighteen how many do I have? is better

    Best of all would be questions that are specific to your forum so your prospective users will 'get' them:
    So, for a forum about milk:
    Q: What is the name of the mammal that produces the substance that we're discussing:
    A: cow, cows, goat, goats

    I try to trick bots and also non native- english speakers.
    Rotate to new questions every 3 months or so as the bots are learning them.
  10. jeffwidman

    jeffwidman Active Member

    You're most likely hitting problems with human spammers... bots are stopped reasonably well by the honeypot/captcha stuff. This is not uncommon these days--very cheap to hire folks in certain countries to manually spam.

    I set my forums so first two posts by all new users are moderated. Once they've had two posts approved, moderation goes away. Takes very little time to manage...

    Solved all our problems.
  11. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  12. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    Make all posts containing http* moderate for users with less than 5 posts. I get hit with spam every morning but nobody ever sees it.
    ForestForTrees and jeffwidman like this.
  13. JamesBrown

    JamesBrown Well-Known Member

    How do you achieve this?
  14. Solidus

    Solidus Well-Known Member

    Built in spam management, use the phrases.
  15. rainmotorsports

    rainmotorsports Well-Known Member

    ForestForTrees likes this.
  16. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    We use Q&A plus we moderate the first posts made, which helps with spam and trolling. We also restrict access to certain forum features and forum areas until they pass that same number of posts. (Once they reach that "bogey," we add them to a "Verified" secondary usergroup which opens up the features and removes restrictions.)

    New users also must be manually approved--we are a very busy forum, but have a lot of staff to handle it. There are common themes to usernames, and usually if registrations come from certain countries overseas (based on IP), we know they are spam and delete the accounts immediately. StopForumSpam isn't foolproof, but we know how to interpret results to keep the spammers out. And what we don't catch there gets caught in moderation.

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