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  1. #1
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    Stopping spam forum posts

    I have an open discussion board (not requiring registration).

    Messages consist of title, email, message.

    Lately we've been gettning lots of spamish nuisance sort of posts. Often they are not even advertising anything but just along the lines of 'hey this site is great blah' or 'hey do you like free porn' or something completely nonsensical and random .. I've googled some of the poster emails and found similar messages on other forums (some requiring registration).

    So, this must be a common and growing problem. What are some tactics used to filter these out? I've added my own email blacklist but this is probably not that much help since the email addresses change anyway (auto generated or something I guess).

    Perhaps stopwords as well? or captcha?

  • #2
    Senior Coder Len Whistler's Avatar
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    Which board are you using? Or did you program it yourself?

    phpBB has a major problem with spam and the board admin will be kept busy deleting it. I think the phpBB captcha does work in some cases.
    Leonard Whistler

  • #3
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    I use 3 techniques that have completely eliminated spam on my sites, without having to resort to a captcha (which is poor for accessibility, and can be cracked by spambots anyway). Any two of these would probably do the trick:

    1) Don't accept any posts/comments that contain links. Obviously, that depends on whether non-abusive use has reason to include links - but for sites that don't doing this stops spam dead.

    2) Have a security question unique to your site, that only geniune users would know. It can be really easy - bots aren't going to have a clue.

    3) Have a hidden field that, if filled in, ensures the post/comment is automatically declined. Bots will often fill in all fields, even if they aren't visible (don't make it actually a hidden field, just use CSS to make it invisible, or off page or whatever).

  • #4
    Supreme Overlord Spookster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennimus View Post
    2) Have a security question unique to your site, that only geniune users would know. It can be really easy - bots aren't going to have a clue.
    This was just recently implemented for this message board and the spam was reduced to almost nothing instantly. The only spam that gets through now is the ones that manually register. It's also good to rotate the questions out regularly so they don't get wise to which questions will be asked.
    Spookster
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    All Hail Spookster

  • #5
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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I'm going to try #3 first as this doesn't affect the genuine users. Then I'll look at #2 and #1 if required.

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookster View Post
    This was just recently implemented for this message board and the spam was reduced to almost nothing instantly. The only spam that gets through now is the ones that manually register. It's also good to rotate the questions out regularly so they don't get wise to which questions will be asked.
    I can attest to that since this forum was the one getting hit most of the time by the spammers. Once WA (the admin) added that stuff, the spam dropped from having 3-5 per day to one every couple days.
    OracleGuy


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