Stopping forum spam users

This needs no introduction, you know why you’re reading this. :)

The basics of minimizing spam are:

  1. Moderation of every user/users’ first post (awesome phpBB feature!)
  2. Question (Something obvious)
  3. reCaptcha (unfortunately, phpBB currently does not support both questions and reCaptcha at the same time by default)
  4. Moderation information (This is very helpful against manual spam, which is the main problem!)

Charlie (founder of Free Gamer) suggested we add a “Stop wasting our time, spammers!”-style message to the FreeGameDev registration form. I added one and it reduced spam by 90% (1 spam message/day instead of 10)


“Spam is futile”

The following is important when writing and formatting the “spam is futile” warning:

  1. Concise, simple language. Human spammers need to understand the information.
  2. Contrast formatting. If the text embeds in the page, it won’t be noticed. Big xx-large fonts should do the trick.
  3. Professionalism. Don’t convey arrogance or aggression. It might be seen as a weakness and motivate the spammer.
  4. Do not disturb real users. Don’t turn this into a “you have to ‘read’ the EULA before installing the software” kind of annoyance.

Again: 90% effectiveness. Spam is reduced from ten to one. Have a chart:

Moderating spam is quite distracting. It should be advertised that FreeGameDev Forum staff takes care of spam when proposing open source game dev projects to use a FGD subforum instead of hosting their own.

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