How to approve posts and deal with spammers

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How to approve posts and deal with spammers

Postby GeoffSchultz » Thu May 27, 2010 6:11 am

This post contains information on how to deal with spammers and how to approve posts.

-- Geoff
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Re: How to approve posts and deal with spammers

Postby GeoffSchultz » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:06 pm

I've updated this to match the new software/skin that we're running and to reflect the current modes of attack.

-- Geoff

The forum is now under regular attack from spammers. On a typical day we'll have 25+ spam accounts created. Luckily many of them use fake e-mail addresses, so the accounts never get authorized. However, a handful actually do get authorized and these are the ones that we need to deal with.

At this point it appears that the spammers have 3 goals.

  • To create an account with a link to a web site in their signature. Search engines will see this link and the web site will gain "credibility" by having lots of links to the web site. Unfortunately for the spammers, I've disabled the ability for search engines to read our membership list, so this won't help them.
  • To create a spam post directly linking to a web site. Since the first post of a new user has to be approved, none of these appear on the web site as far as most web site users are concerned. However, we need to disapprove these posts and delete the user.
  • A similar approach to the above is that the user will post a reply to an existing topic and will have a link to a web site in their signature. You can typically spot these because the English isn't very good and/or the reply doesn't make sense or add anything to the discussion.
Here's a description on how to use the Moderator Control Panel to approve/disapprove posts.

  1. From the Board Index, click on the Moderators Control Panel link. Look at the section titled "Latest 5 posts awaiting approval". If there aren't any, just go read the forum, otherwise...
  2. Click on Moderation Queue tab
  3. View the details of each post to determine if it's valid
  4. For legitimate posts:
    • Check the box at the end of each message
    • Press "Approve"
    • Verify that you really want to approve the posts.
  5. For Spam
    • Click on the user name under the Author column. You will see a page displaying information about the user
    • Click on the Administrate User link
    • Click on the Delete User box
    • Select "Delete Posts"
    • Click the Submit button
    • Feel good that you've saved the forum from yet another spammer! :lol:
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Re: How to approve posts and deal with spammers

Postby THATBOATGUY » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:42 am

Thanks Geoff,

Works a treat. At Lats&Atts I'm admin and that panel is easier for me to deal with but I just used your method here and managed not to ban myself in the process! :D

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Re: How to approve posts and deal with spammers

Postby THATBOATGUY » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:44 am

But... reviewing I see that when I clicked the user there was a "banning" link but not an "administrate user" link. :/

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Re: How to approve posts and deal with spammers

Postby GeoffSchultz » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:03 pm

George,

When you click on the username of the spammers, you should be taken to a screen that says "Viewing Profile - username". Do you see "Administrate User" next to the username in the section where it lists location/age/groups/etc?

-- Geoff
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Re: How to approve posts and deal with spammers

Postby THATBOATGUY » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:33 pm

admin-vs-ban.JPG
admin-vs-ban.JPG (149.31 KiB) Viewed 161 times


Here is how it appears to me.

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