Topic: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

Background - I have a small BB (currently phpBB, but looking at switching to PunBB). I run it with 5 other Moderators. We are constantly over run with spam. My idea is mainly for smaller boards (like mine). It would enable the members that use the board on a frequent basis to moderate spam. So here it is:

Any given user who doesn't have more than xx posts (thinking about 50), cannot post directly to the board.
They post, and it goes into a queue waiting to be approved for posting.
Any given user with more than xx posts can post directly to the board, and not go into the pending queue.
Now, any given user with more than yy posts (I dunno, maybe 50 again - would depend on the board, and its membership), each time they log on, are given an option to view the pending post list. They can approve or delete posts. They can also delete users !!! Think about it - anyone with 50 genuine 'approved' posts (they have to be genuine to count as a post - they have to be approved by other forum members), should be OK with moderating users on the board. They can only delete users with less than 50 posts. They cannot remove existing posts. They can only act on the posts/users in the pending queue.

I know it might seem extreme - but the spam situation is calling for extreme measures. Maybe for a not so extreme mod, Admins may prefer some other queues - posts denied, and users pending deletion, that can be actioned only by Admins.... Users pending deletion cannot log on, or post. An option to delete all posts denied would be good, as well.

Thoughts & comments ?

Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

it is a bit extreme but we could fudge with the numbers a bit to suit.

i currently use a real effective mod for my vB board i run that, in my opinion, has stopped spam in it's tracks*. simple, users with X amount of posts or less can't post links. they get an error page when their post has links in it. spam bots are dumb(most of them are anyway) and usually can't get passed that. plus spam bots, in my experience, are hit and runners. they only post 1 post and never come back so that user wouldn't be around long enough to make the X posts to get over that hurdle and then be able to post links in their posts.

spam is a real problem i'll admit, but it isn't impossible to eliminate.

FluxBB - Less is more

Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

Moved to Modifications wink

Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

Dr jeckyl, thats a simple and effective idea.  I had 3 spam messages so far, i think that'snothing. If i get a spam problem one of these days that's how i will solve it.


Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal


A Post moderation queue is being worked on for PunBB 1.3.

For now, you can try out the Akismet mod:

6 (edited by gil 2008-01-12 09:08)

Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

I'm not a specialist, but I think there are several kinds of trouble in a forum :
I. spam posts from non registered users (if guests are allowed)
II. bot registering
III. Undesirable posts from registered user
Imho, III is usually not spam in small forums, and if points I and II are checked, can remain a moderator job. Nevertheless, especially for larger forums, preliminary automatic control can be useful too.

Possible solutions to avoid I. (non registered user post, or for III, user with a number of post < N):
I.1 - IP control (blacklisted IP or domain)
I.2 - Post analysis :
   a  page error if a URL is included (very good idea, but, like keyword filter, this solution may be cicumvented)
   b  Variant 1 : true BBcode URL plus some URL keywords or patterns (http, www, .com, .net, yyy.zz, URL with included spaces...)
   c Variant 2 : post spam analysis (like mail)
I.3 - "Captcha" on each post (from non registered user)
   a Something ultra-simple, like "copy [eight][one]: [.][.]" or "YES: O NO: O NO: O"
   b Mathematical one (23 + 9 : [..])
   c Image use (mmm, not very accessible)
   d other...
I.4 - Moderation (post queing)
   a by all administrator & moderators (whatever forum it is)
   b by each user with more than N mail (N=100)

I.2 and I.3, easy to implement, could be included in punbb pack. Idea:
--- I.2 (typically b) always activated in punbb.
--- I.3 (typically a) activated on request, if/when I.2 become fruitless  (administration parameter)
--- I.4 as an extension (a and/or b)

Possible solutions to avoid II (bot registering)
II.1 - IP control (blacklisted IP or domain) - not suffisant
II.2 - User name and address analysis (mode difficult than for post)
II.3 - Captcha, cf I.3
II.4 - moderation (registration queing), cf I.4
II.5 - Automatic deletion if no post during N days after registering)

--- II.3 as a punbb option (adiministration parameter)
--- II.5 as a punbb option (adiministration parameter) [with or without previous option]
--- II.4 as an extension

Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

gil: I find it hard to tell what you're suggesting, so I can't really comment on it tongue

8 (edited by Dr.Jeckyl 2007-02-01 02:44)

Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

never-the-less it's well laid out. tongue

FluxBB - Less is more


Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

It seems that my English is not good enough sad

I tried to list all possible solutions to fight forum spam in two cases:
- guest spam (if non registered users can post)
- bot registering

Too bad, no reactions. Il would like to see somewhere a full list of all ideas, even stupid (I can have a lot big_smile), with the reason hy they are; when stupid ideas are written, they don't come back, or they will come improved.


Re: [idea] - Community Spam Removal

They all have their plus points and downsides.

Possible solutions to avoid II (bot registering)
II.1 - IP control (blacklisted IP or domain) - not suffisant

Good: Effective, plus external lists are updated frequently.
Bad: Possibility of false positives. Possible time delays introduced. Also, as some MX admins will attest to, could bite you in the arse if one of the sites decides to kill it's service. Some have been known to return a positive response to every request in such scenarios.

II.2 - User name and address analysis (mode difficult than for post)

What classifies as legitimate and not legitimate?

II.3 - Captcha, cf I.3

Good: Fairly effective.
Bad: Accessibilty. Plus, some captcha's are horrendous to use even when you have perfect vision.

II.4 - moderation (registration queing), cf I.4

Effective but resource, (human), intensive.

II.5 - Automatic deletion if no post during N days after registering)

Only viable if you allow guests free access to anything other than posting. If you require people to register to view certain areas, there's a good chance they'll only be registering to view content, and may never post.