Fighting Spam User Registrations
BuddyPress is awesome, I use it at battlecity.org. The only issue I have is a constant battle with spam.
Askimet is awesome at finding and clearing out spam comments. The problem is, with BuddyPress, I get spam user registration and Askimet doesn’t remove spam accounts.
To try and fight the spam accounts I use two plugins:
– BP Humanity (users have to answer a question like five plus two)
– SI Captcha (users have to type in sequence of characters displayed in image)
However, even with these two plugins, 10-20 spam user accounts are created daily. If I don’t login for a week, it can be very difficult to delete 100+ accounts. And if I don’t delete them, they’ll eventually all start posting about viagra, credit cards and magic ponies.
So, after some searching I found a plugin called User Spam Remover (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/user-spam-remover/). This plugin lets me delete all the spam users with a single click, rather than having to go through each profile in BuddyPress or try to sort through them on the WordPress users page. The only problem is that it does not play nice with BuddyPress, since it was designed for WordPress (it will leave behind remnant information, such as “Bob became a registered member” on the activity page).
I have two feature requests:
1 – A nice option would be the ability to hide the “became a registered member” message from the Activity page. I get enough spam user registrations that the activity page becomes a useless blurb of new users that aren’t actually new users. Once I delete all these spam accounts, the Activity page is awesome, showing useful things like new forum posts, groups and comments. I want it to always be like this, I don’t need it to ever display messages about new users even if they are legitimate.
2 – Built in function to detect and remove spam user accounts. In fact, this can just be a page that lets me sort and select users in ways that would bring spam accounts to the forefront. If I can sort by date registered, I can get a list of all new accounts on one page where I can select and delete about 95% of them (now I can get an alphabetical list which takes forever to sort through). Or if I could pull up a list of all accounts with no activity that would help too (if I can delete them all from the same page). I’ll never be able to block all spam registrations, so anything that makes it easier (less clicks) to clean up is awesome.
Another option for anybody in the mood for plugin development, is to make spam-user-remover compatible with BuddyPress or fork it to be a BuddyPress plugin.
Just some thoughts! I’d also love to hear any feedback on how others are fighting off spam.
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