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XF 1.5 Uncontrollable Spam

Hello, we've been dealing with uncontrollable spam, and at this point, it's getting exhausting. What is the best way to prevent this? Every captcha seems to fail to stop them. I've tried everything from registration captcha to Akismet to Project Honey Pot Key to flagging *COM* and some frequent Korean characters as a spam phrase, but nothing works.

They always come from different IPs, so IP-banning doesn't help. And our community is largely international, so I don't want to restrict entire countries. I'd really not like the solution to be "require manual approval for a user's first post" because that feels bad and is unscalable for the type of community we are developing.

Any and all advice appreciated. Thank you. :)

Below is what the spam looks like:



XenForo developer
Staff member
I suspect there's a human backing to it (at least for registration) which can make completely preventing it somewhat difficult. CAPTCHAs and the like won't help.

Most of the appears to have been caught in moderation. I'm not sure if that's from your spam phrase configuration, but if so, that seems to mostly be doing the job and is probably your best bet here, though you do need to remain vigilant. We use spam phrases here to catch most of the spam. You can ramp spam phrases up to block the content completely if you prefer.
Thanks for the response. Is there a way to make these threads (those caught in the moderation queue) automatically go to a different subforum? That would help a lot!
Thanks for the response. I have that configured.

We get attacked by spam every night. This is happening right now, and none of it is being flagged as spam, even though *com* is considered a spam phrase. Any other advice?

I see what happened. He was able to avoid the spam detection by first posting these random comments so he could get past the minimum post count threshold to detect spam. I'm feeling really defeated now. Now sure how to stop these spammers. :(

Thanks for all the support, guys. In installed the TPU: Detect and Block Spam Registrations add-on that @rainmotorsports suggested, and it's really helpful.

If it continues, I'll try doing what you recommended, @Pierce.

One thing I want to do is automatically ban users that have a ton of auto-moderated posts. I'm just trying to automate things as much as possible, so we don't have to manually ban users every day. Of course, some manual process is required, but automation is the most scalable!

Is there a way to auto-ban a user that has, say, 50 auto-moderated posts? This user is quite obviously a spammer, so it makes sense to do this. I couldn't find a way in the admin cp, so maybe it's an add-on, but I wanted to ask here. Thank you!