Back at the ending months of 2011 the amount of spam we were receiving exploded. To combat this we did two things:
  1. We enabled human verification at first using 3 special questions but switched to captcha as people were having a hard time answering the questions and spam bots were flying through the questions. Captcha isn't stopping the bots either which led to the next item.
  2. We enabled the built in spam protection vBulletin provides which uses the popular Akismet service.

So we have human verification and spam protection enabled but as you can plainly see we still had thousands of spam posts per week. This was a pain to clean up but it also provided a bad experience for the community members as sometimes you would have to go through several pages of spam posts to find something.

This all changed today with the installation of a new, more robust and flexible spam protection plugin. We have disabled the built in spam protection and this new plugin will take over. This new plugin has many features, here are some of my favorites:
  • This is my favorite feature! If you have certain usergroups, you are whitelisted from any spam protection measures. The usergroups are all the Sencha staff usergroups and all the premium usergroups.
  • Uses Akismet, ok, this one is just like what we were using but Akismet is probably the most popular spam protection service
  • StopForumSpam, this service is like Akismet but StopForumSpam will protect the forum against bots registering. This checks the IP address, username and email for spam matches.
  • If you have x number of URLs in your post your post will be marked for moderation. Currently this number is 3 but I may disable this depending on how the plugin helps with Akismet and StopForumSpam. You can still post and your post will be submitted just a moderator will have to approve your post.
  • If you have x number of posts, you are essentially whitelisted from any spam protection measures.

These are my favorite features of this plugin and believe that it will help our spam issue tremendously!

If you find any issues or the spam protection is too strict, reply here or send me an email: mitch@sencha.com