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XF 1.3 Spam Management - StopForumSpam Settings? Block Spammers without false positives?

Discussion in 'XenForo Questions and Support' started by ProCom, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. ProCom

    ProCom Active Member

    I love the anti-spam tools in xenForo and I really appreciate that the team continues to develop new tools and features to help us combat spam.

    I've been trying to find the perfect settings in "Spam Management" to keep out the most spammers while not blocking any legit members and have a few questions.

    These questions are even more relevant now that 1.3 allows us to see the specific spam log matched username, email, and IP for each users in "Users Awaiting Approval" screen for example:


    Here are my current settings:


    Here are my questions:

    1. I don't understand how "flags" relate to the numbers in my screenshot above for "username, email, and IP". What's the correlation between "flags" and "matches"?
    2. In my example above, the user is pretty obviously a spammer! It looks like their username showed up 3 times, their email address 255 times, and their IP 10 times in the StopForumSpam database. Which of these numbers trigger which flags and the events of blocking or not blocking a spammer?
    3. What do y'all have in your spam management settings for the variables above, like flags detected for moderate vs. reject, and X days, and X times?
    I appreciate your feedback and help!
  2. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Each type of check is a flag. A flag only "counts" if it's been recorded enough times (the last option) and if the "last seen" report is recent (second to last option). Based on the number of "counted" flags, an action will be taken.

    In this case, username won't be counted as it hasn't been seen enough; the IP and the email should be counted. As such, 2 flags are detected, which meets your moderation threshold.
  3. ProCom

    ProCom Active Member

    Ah, brilliant! Thanks Mike, that really helps clarify the relationship between flags and the #s that trigger them!

    I'm curious what other XF forum owners are finding as the best settings to stop spammers while letting the legitimate users in. Personally I'd rather have zero false-positives and a handful of spammers than no spammers and a few false-positives.

    With my new knowledge of how things work I'm wondering if I should change to the following:
    • Moderate registrations when this many warning flags are detected: 1
    • Reject registrations when this many warning flags are detected: 2
    • Only count flags recorded within the last X days: 365
    • Only count flags recorded at least this many times: 5
    Any other ideas / suggestions on optimal settings for these?
  4. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    I'm using almost default settings, But I got plenty of legitimate user's detected as Spam :(
    I wish I can whitelist all Philippine IP's, Is it posible to whitelist certain country?
  5. W1zzard

    W1zzard Well-Known Member

    You probably mean _black_list all PH ? Should be possible with my recently released anti spam registration addon, just give a score to PH that is higher than the reject score
  6. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    No, I mean whitelist all PH visitor's.
    My forum is exclusive for Pinoy Citizens/Philippines/Filipino user's.
    With your addon, is it possible to whitelist my country?
  7. W1zzard

    W1zzard Well-Known Member

    Yes, but it's a bit complicated. You'd have to make a list of all countries except PH and give them a high score.

    For the next version I'll add wildcard support, so you can give a high score to all countries, and a negative score to PH to balance it out again.
  8. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    That's great!
    Thanks in advance (y)
  9. Phillip

    Phillip Active Member

    Did you ever land on your settings? We're considering changing "Reject registrations when this many warning flags are detected" from 3 to 2 and I'd like to hear how this is working for you.
  10. ProCom

    ProCom Active Member

    Hey @Phillip I'm now using this addon: http://xenforo.com/community/resources/tpu-detect-and-block-spam-registrations.2973/

    There's a lot more granular control with that and I've been tweaking it for each of my sites to find the sweet spot between blocking the bad people while letting the good ones in.

    I weight heavily against certain countries and also if the StopForumSpam email has been detected in the past. For example, if someone registering has both an IP in China AND also has an email address listed with StopForumSpam, they are automatically rejected, but if they just have one of those they may just trigger for moderator review.
    Phillip and Xon like this.
  11. Phillip

    Phillip Active Member

  12. ProCom

    ProCom Active Member

    I'm not sure if you're "supposed to", but we didn't on any of our sites and everything seems to be working perfectly well.
    Phillip likes this.
  13. W1zzard

    W1zzard Well-Known Member

    You may leave default XF settings on, which may override my addon's result. So if XF says "reject", but my mod says only "moderate", then reject will be used (always the stronger measure). This means you may lose some more fine grained control. I've run with XF's protection disabled for months and never seen any issues from doing so.

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