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Running a forum

Problems with spam registration

5:48 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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joined:Dec 14, 2007
posts: 12
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I have started to run a forum on our website for steam railway enthusiasts but, despite the CAPTCHA registration,keep geeting spam registered users.

I am using phpBB2.

Is there any way to stop this as many forums I have visited are "clean" and provide serious registered users very useful advise?

7:27 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 7, 2003
votes: 2

Perhaps the only way to convince forum spammers to stop trying (or comment or contact form spammers), is to make it impossible to post URLs or links that go outside of the website. They want to post links: if that's impossible, they have no reason to stay.
10:20 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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joined:July 9, 2007
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At one point or another I tried everything. What's worked is a combination for me:

1. Answer question correctly to register, or use the Contact Us form (the questions are easy, but chosen at random).

2. All links are "nofollowed", unless I manually enter them into a white list.

3. New posters cannot include links in their posts or signature until they enter a category of "confirmed member". It is set at 10 posts. Few third-world human-spam-bot has the patience to wait, plus they don't know if/when they'll be able to post links.

4. Email confirmation is required to register. Meaning people have to have a working email address to post in our site.

5. I check new registrations every day and double check if I see anything suspicious.

That has stopped almost all spam. There are still people willing to stick around long enough until they can post links and spam the site. They are few and far between, so it's easy to deal with them.

It's incredible how far people these people are willing to go to spam.

11:20 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 20, 2004
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Is your problem the spam regsitrations? Or the spam posts?

One thing in common with all spam posts is that there are an "unnatural" amount of links to porn or viagra or whatever.

I don't use phpbb but My CMS has a configurable spam module that filters out posts that have too many links in it. The way I have my site setup, more than three links, or any duplicate links, and the post gets booted into a queue. Is there something like this available for you?

9:41 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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joined:Apr 2, 2005
votes: 0

Another mod is to change the website field to type hidden, and alter the script so anyone filling that out gets auto-banned.

Given that spam websites are short lived, wouldn't blocking any domain not registered for more than say 6 months (or hosted in China, Russia, etc) be a way of banning certain urls. Or scrape the site front page for tell tale spam terms?

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