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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Recent increase of automated spam in forums?
....and how do you deal with it...

 6:22 am on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if this is a global thing; in recent weeks the sign up and posting of spam has risen dramatically, it got to a point were we had to shut down posting rights of new comers and made every new forum members post to be pre approved by moderators, plus we added a 5 posts a day limit and once a member passed 5 approved posts he would be in a new user group were he can freely post.

This change made life really good for our moderators, while at first we were concerend that legitimate members would be upset that they need a moderator to be approved, we actually got a very positive feedback, it was also a nice excuse for us to get more personal with every member, after the first approved post a little private message and after the fifth posts and his "graduation" to full membership we write them now a longer private message thanking them, and i must say the average numbers of posts by new forum member actually increased now...

...do you guys experience an increase in forum spam and how do you battle it?



 5:53 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

...the intensity of forum spam has even more increased, no one else seeing this?


 6:39 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Are the spammers trying to promote something or have any links in their signature ? If so, it can be a bot generated through certain software (like Xrumer) to help with link building.

Also, it could be just you who's affected by this at the moment, since the program it's only targeting you.


 7:01 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

PascoalINC, do you know what the Xrumer user agent is?


 7:03 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>...the intensity of forum spam has even more increased, no one else seeing this?

for me too yes. it seems automated to me, although from rotating ip addresses


 1:12 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

no PascoalINC, new user can not edit their profil, so they have no means of adding a link to their profil, they just post normal text with links to their products/services)

Since we done this change a week ago, the life of our Mods has really improved, there has been not one spam post seen the light, Mods can whenever they have the time, clean up the (non visible) posts and a real nice side effect is that now the direct interaction with new legit member is already a "normality" for the mods. New forum members are actually quite surprised to get so much attention, and they do like it...


 2:49 pm on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

We have not seen it. But our site is custom coded and requires registration. I guess that makes it more work for spammers who typically target popular cms systems.

We also allow members to report spam to moderators, which helps a lot. And all new posts are funneled through our community so everyone sees what is going on at all times. So not much gets past them. :-)


 10:00 am on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Had some spam posts get past Akismet on Saturday (surprisingly, as it was WoW, nfl jersies etc). If it wasn't for the forum software's RSS feeds and my smart phone, I probably wouldn't have known about it until Monday.


 10:15 pm on Feb 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

We saw increase in spam on our vbulletin powered site, and it was due to Google's reCAPTCHA being cracked.

What we did is we removed the reCAPTCHA and replaced it with a certain question that the user has to answer to register at the website. This combined with anti-spam plugin that uses "stop forum spam" database decreased spam registration/posts by almost 100%.

Another thing I would recommend you do is to make sure you put new users into a usergroup which require moderation for the first 10 posts for example.

hope that helps.

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