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I have had exactly the same problem. I have checked the integrity of my install as best as possible and even changed the admin passwords several times. WP and BP are always up to date but the spam never stops coming.
Its extrememly frustrating, the only solution that works for me is to to block all the countries where the SPAM originates from. Namely Asia, Eastern Block countries etc etc It works perfectly. But limits access to potential users from those countries.
What is seriously needed is something like Akismet but for user spam. I would pay Automattic a fee for an API key for this if my site were commercial. Perhaps they should really look into this problem because it crippling many WP sites and driving site admins to either go for custom solutions or the competition like Elgg
I must say the SPAM problems are real pain, and for a long time people have been complaining about the SPAM and its been brushed off. I have laid off the complaining and tried to be proactive to fight the spammers off but its really hard to keep up with them.
I think the admins and developers need to start a working group or something and start giving this a lot of attention because if they remain nonchalant about it, it will eventually work enough people’s nerves to chase them away to use some other solution.
The other day I was talking to someone who played with BP a while ago and then dropped it in favour of another solution after the sploggers started coming in.
I have created a group called SPAM Eater where members who are pissed off about SPAM can gather and vent our frustration a bit
I realize that but I don’t have any other choice right now. The Sploggers are relentless. They just keep coming and keep filling up my site with crap. So far this is working perfectly.
Its so frustrating!
The upgrade from 1.x.x to 1.2 can break your theme, because previous themes are completely compatible with 1.2 What you try is installing the backwards compatibility plugin.
I also had many issues when I went through this process. You could even try completely removing Buddypress plugin and then reinstalling it and reactivating it. (back up your themes first though)
Try changing the theme to Kubrick and see if you still get the white screen, then it might be a theme related issue.
I found this plugin and it seems to allow you to moderate new users I think this will help everyone a lot:
OK that makes a lot more sense when you think of it like that. I can see a lot of potential in this because normally with a forum category all you can do it post, groups add extra features.
The only thing I would like would be to make groups that are public in the sense that you don’t have to subscribe to them, sort of like a type of group that any registered user is a member of without having to subscribe
Thanks guys, @stwc I am going to try that right now
Andy am I understanding it correctly to think of it in the following way because I think I get it now?:
Think of each group like a forum category or section on other traditional forums and suddenly Buddypress is like super forum on steriods.
So in other words you will be turning all the forum categories like “Installing Buddypress” , ” How-to and Troubleshooting”, “Creating and Extending” etc etc in groups with the same name?
If that is right I think what is throwing people off is the use of the term “group” especially since many people are used to it being used in other ways on other social networks
Hi Alcina22 I might get shot at for saying this but maybe Buddypress or WP might not be the optimal solution for a news site, but why not because there is a different tool for a differnt job. I might suggest Drupal. Once you understand what a node is and that content items = nodes and you can create your own content types (node types) you are away. There seem to be a few good news sites that use that CMS. Check this out http://theopensourcenewspaper.org/
You could still use Buddypress for the social component though but you would need a bridge between the CMS you are using and WPMU to allow cross platform logins, those kinds of things tend to get messy though. Otherwise look at a magazine front page theme and hack things to get WPMU and Buddypress to function they way you want it. It all depends on how much interaction you want taking place around your articles. I have noticed that traditional newspaper sites seem to keep the activity down to just comments on artices and keep the social interaction for a separate section of the site, but maybe you have an idea for a new type of interactive news site.
Some of you guys must check your Private Messages …
Thanks Andrea I didnt even realise that other users could add new users, because I was also wondering how they were spamming me even after I disabled registrations.
I feel kind of sorry for the spammers, because if we all put our heads together they won’t have anymore sites left to spam. I still wonder why they are attacking buddypress, is it to drive users to other platforms? Enemys of Buddypress?
So far I have built a list of domains, most of them are .info or .co.cc in otherwords free domains and of course some .com domains. They get clever and get a user to sign up with gmail every now and then to trick me. So i just ban the Gmail users and send them an email from my personal account asking them who they are if they look legitamate. Luckily for me I am in South Africa and its easy to spot non South African “culture” in terms of the types of names and usernames of members.
I have also checked where the IP addresses come from and most are coming from the United States ( do they use proxy servers and could the be from elsewhere in the world) Some IP addresses are also from Sweden.
Btw, I was also angry and blamed the devs for this problem but the more I devote time to looking at the more I am starting to realise that no matter what BP devs do the spammers always try new things and if the devs had to devote lots of time to fighting spam all the time they would never have a chance to improve buddypress and sort out bugs that come along. And if they didnt sort out the issues we would be even more upset.
So I think the fight against spam is in our hands the users, it will also help us learn more about being better webmasters. Its also the least we could do to help give back something in exchange for a product that we are getting for free and that could quite easily be charged for. We need to stop expecting things for free and in our laps and learn to be greatful for what the developers of open source software are putting in and giving away for free.
Thanks Windhamdavid! I was having a similar problem on my test site and this has shed some insight into whats going on
I wonder where the spammers get the time to figure out ways to spam sites is there like a spam university or something lol
On my site I even disabled registrations and I still two splogs appear after that, which is very confusing for me indeed.
I can see one problem with sharing info on this forum about fighting spam, and that is that it will give the spammers the info they need to come up with counter attacks. I propose we start a spam eater group where we can share spam info behind the scenes, in fact I am going to start it now, not a perfect solution but still one that could work. What do you guys think?
Its a private group but anyone is welcome to join.
I am a complete dumbass. I found the problem after investigating it. I realised that it can’t be the buddypress code and it surely can’t be the database.
I was wondering if the problem lay in my custom slugs because I used a custom slug on my site. So going through wp-config.php to see the slugs I came across what must have been a typo, because I remember wanting to change the groups slug at one point, this is what I had
define ( "BP_GROUPS_SLUG", '' );
Now when parsing through this the result returned to the new templates in 1.2 caused the rendering error which resulted in things not showing up properly. The funny part is that I must have done this months ago while still using 1.0.x and I suspect that the older versions of BP weren’t tricked by this.
I hope my ranting and all of this can be of help to others who might have similar problems.
I’ve tried poking around in the theme and I can’t seem to find what could be causing the problem. Has anyone seen this problem before?
I have even installed other themes such as the widgetized front page theme and the Unplugged theme just to test and I get the same problem so it surely can’t be theme related. As I mentioned when I deactivate Buddypress and revert back to the WPMU only I can see everything. I have installed Buddypress over and over again and tried so many different options.
Its is possible that something is wrong with a field in my database, because nobody else is complaining about this kind of problem so then it surely can’t be the 1.2.1 install. If it is my database, then my database “broke” during the migration from 1.1.3 to 1.2. Is there someway to make sure all the fields are correct or which tables should I be looking in?
You lucky, the spambots that are after me figure out the new slugs after a few days.
I am actually considering setting up a botnet to jam up their IP’s and domains as payback lol
@bbrian017 I actually do that by manually logging in once of twice a day, and marking users and blogs as spam at my discretion. If in doubt I email the person who signed up and ask them something a spammer wouldn’t know. My site is aimed at users in my country only so there are many things I can ask them that genuine users only would be able to answer. Its tough going.
I think there must be someway to do this through WP though as you can do this with many other CMS’s and forum scripts where you can only allow registrations after approval
I installed the 1.2.1 update and I can see whats going on in the activity pages and I can see the blogs listed but when I click on them it goes back to groups. Groups seems to be the landing page for my site and I can’t access the front page. This is defnitelly BP related because when I deactivate BP and go back to WPMU themes then I can see everything.
I am running WPMU 2.9.1 with BP 1.2.1
Check out my site http://www.arduino.za.net to see what I mean.
I agree with you totally I also highlighted this issue in this thread:
Not to sound rude but it feels like if the developers or the main people aren’t too affected by an issue then its not regarded as an issue.
SPAM is major problem and while a test site might work fine if you have niche sites around certain topics you might get more spam than others based upon the fact that spammers might come across your site through keywords specific to your site and as such the devs might not neccisarily experience such problems.
I have tried everything some spambots even seem to get around CAPTCHAs, the only option I have is to manually approve each new user.
Thats true, it just seems that some users seem to run into odd little problems that the devs may or may not get because they may not have users on their test sites interacting with the site in the same way.
But with time I am sure everything will be ironed out.
I did all of that, infact I changed the signup slug to something completely random by just punching the keyboard randomly and those dam sploggers keep on appearing.
Something I have noticed is that if only a handful of users experience a problem and the devs and gods aren’t experiencing it then its regarded as a non issue. Sorry for being so blunt but thats just the impression I get.
There are many threads with problems by users that don’t go anywhere because of this.