Deleting spam user accounts

Might be nice to go through and delete all the spam users like this one: http://forum.openframeworks.cc/user/9547-user just b/c I think lots of programs look for links they’ve generated before and then hit the forum again. Not that deleting spam postings is the end of the world, but it’s not the most fun thing to do. Also many thanks to whoever went through and marked all the spam accts as “possible spammer”.

Yep, whenever I go on the forum I try to delete spam and spam accounts.

Its hard right now as there are still many many new spam accounts per day. I am working on something behind the scenes that we can use internally to get rid of these accounts quicker.

The ‘possible spammer’ flag is just a membergroup, so 0 posts = possible spammer, newbie=1 beginner=10 and so on.

Nice. Something as simple as running a script once a week so that all accounts with no posts and no activity in the past week get deleted might work, maybe you’re thinking of something more clever tho :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if it’s ideal, but should we make it so accounts are accepted once per day so only non-spammers are approved? I imagine there has to be a better way to not allow spammers to sign up to begin with. I thought reCaptcha was pretty good. Are they getting in through a back door or something?

There’s a bunch of tips here to avoid spam in Simple Machines forum (http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=422954.msg2960640#msg2960640)

It seems the easiest to add would be the email login option (not username). The other tips may good too?

Is it possible that the spam filter is a bit too trigger-happy? I regularly see those empty (deleted) threads in the “unread posts” (i guess there’s no way to get them out of that). Today I saw a thread titled “ofxMonome”, so I didn’t think it would be spam. Could be wrong, though, and the spam bots get too clever… Did anyone else see that one, too?

Yeah, I also see the ‘unread posts’ thing - even for some ‘real’ posts. It also looks like we’re using SMF v1.1.14, but on the website they’re on v2.0. Maybe upgrading would fix it a bit (as well as the steps above). Otherwise, I think a different and more secure forum software may be in order. Personally, I’m finding this SMF version very buggy. From posting to private messages.

My experience with it is OK, I haven’t experienced any major bugs. I think we’d need strong arguments to switch forum software completely, because of all the mess and work porting users, messages, settings, etc generates. An upgrade might be wise, though, especially since it’s even a major version.

The private messages are kind of whacky for me. For example, the sort dates are wrong. On the last page it shows posts months after ones on the previous page. Inbox has similar issues - but that’s another story. I don’t know if we were using SMF before, but whatever the forum software/version was before the last update - it ran much better for me.

I agree that switching software is a worst case scenario though.

The spam thing should be able to be much better though. Deleting accounts after they sign up doesn’t seem like the right method. Ultimately we should be aiming to avoid spam accounts signing up in the first place.

Regarding anti-spam measures - this looks nice:
http://www.stopforumspam.com/ - a spam IP blacklist database.
there’s a SMF plugin available: http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=1547
(from http://www.stopforumspam.com/contributions)

it’s gotten a little better, but with ‘ideaphita’ going on a rampage i wonder:

1 is there any way to do a ‘report user’ rather than ‘report post’?
2 can we automatically lock very old posts? maybe this doesn’t matter, i’m not sure how advanced the bots are.
3 i noticed our email addresses are all available to each other. this means that even if bots aren’t posting, they can still harvest all our email addresses…
4 there’s already a 60 second limit on multiple posts. is there any option for limiting the maximum number of posts from new users?

alternatively, a system where new users are required to have their first post moderated would pretty much solve all spam. maybe it would be even less work than having to go back and fix everything?

just some ideas!

+1 on report user. It’d be nice to be able to yank them ASAP and by nice I mean satisfying :slight_smile:

There’s also something called Stop Forum Spam that’s available as an easy mod to SMF that apparently works wonders http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=1519 Dunno how effectively it actually is though.

All great ideas. We also have a list of things here: http://forum.openframeworks.cc/t/deleting-spam-user-accounts/7002/0

I think upgrading the forum to the latest version as well as some of the other options that SMF members recommend are probably the best bet.

chris also sent me a note reminding me that you can hide your email by selecting an option in your settings. so that helps ease my worry a bit.

he also mentioned he wrote a script that deletes users who have registered but not posted anything yet, after a few days. super smart.

after this most recent bout of spam, i feel that we should find a way to simply:

1 ask them to explain why they’re interested in OF (good)
2 moderate the first post of every user (better)

i have no experience hacking forums like this though, so i don’t know how hard this is.

Hi!

i’m new in here, how can i report a spam account?

Opitieseepole is a spam account, obviously, and it is getting pretty annoy.

Cheers,
Ricardo

you should have a report to moderator link in each post, just press on it whenever you see a spammy post, we usually delete the user.

thanks Arturo

I feel that certain keywords should never be allowed - like prescription drugs etc.
Also no image attachments or URLs until at least 7 days of membership and 5+ posts.

del… didn’t realize there was a second page already.

could we implement some of the measures we already talked about soonish? It’s slowly getting ridiculous, I just had a spam-bot report a legit user post as spam, what the f.?