Question: Did our restrictions stop you from spamming us today?
Option 1: Yes
Option 2: I can haz forex mortgage rx free gamez home business?
Option 3: I'm not a spammer
Many forums hold new user messages hostage until approved by a moderator. We know you want support faster than that, so we wrote our own spam prevention plugin called phpBB3 spam hammer (http://http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/PhpBB3_MOD:_Disable_links_for_new_users). Here's how our simple anti-spam measures work:
New users can't post links until they make one post and the account is 24 hours old.
This lets you post a support request right away, but gives us time to check it out before we get clobbered with a ton of spam links.
These restrictions only apply to new users. They are removed automatically after your account makes 1 post and is 24 hours old. Normal users will never be effected by these restrictions.
Spam poured in after we started using phpBB as our forum. Captchas, registration questions, and other measures only stopped the stupidest scripts and annoyed everyone. Instead, we stopped spammers from getting what they want - new members can't post links. This method that has stopped 100% of spam so far, and it is totally transparent to most people.
How does it work?
New user accounts are slightly restricted to deny spammers a place to put a link.
These restrictions only apply to new users. They are removed automatically after your account meets certain criteria. Normal users will never be effected by these restrictions.
1. New users receive an error if they use off-site links in posts or signatures. New users can still link to dangerousprototypes.com, and a select set of white-list sites like Google Code, distributors, etc.
2. New users receive an error if they use certain forbidden words in posts or signatures. The error reports the trigger word to help you find and remove it.
3. New users receive an error if they enter non-English characters (like Cyrillic).
4. New users can't save a personal profile. Spammers like to put a URL in the personal profile.
5. Accounts that don't post within 24 hours of registration are automatically disabled and then purged. We get 100s of zombie spam registrations every day, an automated process cleans them out.
Who is a new user?
The above restrictions only apply to new users. We are constantly tweaking the definition of a new user to stop spam while not annoying real people. These restrictions currently apply to users who:
*Have less than 1 post
*Registered in the last 24 hours
The restrictions are automatically removed once an account meets these criteria.
Warning!! Extreme honey-pot mode in use!!
Users with 0 posts will be automatically deleted for certain common spam behaviors:
*Entering a profile
*Entering a signature with external links
*Entering more than 20 links in the first post
Help, I'm stuck
I apologize if you get caught in the filter. We'll keep tweaking it to find a good balance of usability.
Getting hammered with some kitchen sale spammers. Can't remember how many messages I deleted and how many users I banned.
Sorry folks, we got spammed pretty hard. I banned 10+ spambots and deleted 1000+ posts via a script. Forum should be clutter free now. I'll try to do this at least weekly to keep the forum clean.
Just an update: I have realized that some posts had spammy signatures - multiple links to apps, websites etc. - which are now nuked along with any answers given to them. Sorry if I deleted your post along the way.
Thank you so much! Hopefully the update helps. I'm also pruning spam. The new forum supposedly has some easy single click spam masher, but I haven't found it yet.
Let's see how it goes. Now that the forum is updated I can no longer use my "spam account nukulizer" script :(
BTW, any plans on fixing HTTPS?
Sure, we are moving to a new server when tax time is done (hopefully next week). It will defo have https.
Once I figure out the permissions situation (there was a snag in the migration) I'll enable the single click spam banisher (with soft delete, so no more accidental account loss that's happened a few times).