≡ Menu

Found a few MODs to stop human spammers from spaming a phpBB3 forum

Human spamming your forum can be a really big problem on larger forums, and there is not much owners can do about it except disabling links in posts. But, this is a very bad idea since forums are for sharing news and linking to important news.

If no one can post links on your forum, your forum won’t be very active, and users will complain.

The best way to stop human spamming is to make a post limit for new users before they can post links. A fair post limit is 5 posts.

Also, if you can stop most human spammers from posting links on your forum, you are safe from a lot of automated spambots which just go on your forum to posts “tons” of spammy links.

By making users post a minimum amount of posts before they can post their link on your forum, they will have to post new topics and replys which will give your forum more posts instead of spammy posts full of links from human spammers and spambots.

Unfortunately, phpBB does not make a minimum amount of post limit for being able to post links on your forum. However, there is a mod for phpBB to make it possible for members to be able to insert links after they posted a certain amount of posts on your forum.

Both of these MODs I listed below will only stop external links to other domains, so if a user posts a link which is your domain, it won’t be block, but if they post a link to their domain, and did not reach the minimum posts required to posts links their link will be blocked.

Disable external links for new users & guests is the name of the mod which you can download at the page listed below.

It is very easy to install if you installed phpBB MODS in the past or have some experience editing .php text files, and editing . The install file also comes with an easy to read install guide.After the install, you can change the settings for minimum posts for links, and minimum amount of days till user can posts links in phpBB3 posts settings in the Admin control panel for your  phpBB3 forum.

By installing this mod, you’ll also stop most spambots since most spambots are not advance enough to post 5 posts before they post their spammy links unless the spambot is programed to remove links and then post them when they reach your post limit. This is a reason why it is best to also have user e-mail activation for new members, captcha codes for the registration menu, and a security question to prevent spambots from joining even if they cracked the captcha code, and activated their e-mail.

You can also set the numbers of days a member needs to wait before he can post links, but I don’t recommend you set it to more then 1 day since it would be annoying for new members who want to share legitimate links. If your forum does not get much spam it is safe to set it to 0 days in most cases.

If you want to use User and Groups policy/permissions to controll spammers, I recommend authorized for urls to stop certain users like guests, newly registered members, etc from posting links on your forum. I found authorized for urls an easy mod to install if you know how to edit .php text files, but it seems a little more difficult to change the settings compared to Disable external links for new users & guests.

authorized for urls might be a better mod if you have a ton of members which you want to restrict from posting links on your forum.

Download Authorize for URLs at the link below

These mods should solve most of your human spam problems, but you should still maintain, update phpBB3, moderate and admin your forum yourself since humans ans spambots are getting smarter, and know how to defeat your anti-spam mods easily by posting five or more non-link posts to get over the no-link limit, and post on your forum.

Learn more about phpBB3 spambot prevention security by reading my tutorials on phpBB3 listed below.

How to enable E-mail Vertification in phpBB3
Learn how to enable e-mail user activation in phpbb3 forums in admin panel.

How to use the word censoring function in phpbb3
Learn how to block words in phpBB3 forums in phpbb3 admin panel.

PHPBB3 forum Spambot registration Protection
Learn how to use captcha codes, and making your captcha harder to crack in phpbb3. Also, learn how to make a security question, so fewer spambots can register.

2 comments… add one
  • Jared Detroit May 15, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Great tips. I’ve been on other forums where they have this implemented and there’s very little spam. Most spammers won’t go through the trouble of creating 5 relevant posts and if they do, they’re much easier to spot (i.e. the “great post” posts).

    I’ve also seen preventing new users from creating a new thread, which I guess makes it easier to find off-topic posts but I’m not sure how effective that is.

  • Johnson Yip May 15, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Hi Jared,

    There is also a feature in phpBB3 posting settings which let you set a minimum amount of characters for posts to be allowed to be post on a forum. This will prevent spammy posts like “lol, good posts, good job, or keyboard jibberish like “asdfjkl;” etc”. I believe setting flood control for users to wait 30 seconds before they can post can also stop most human spammers since some won’t wait for 30 seconds till they can make another post.

    I believe some website promotional forums like Digital Points, Forum Promotion, etc don’t let new members make new threads in the “website review” or “website promotional” section of the forum until they post 5-10+ posts, but they allow new users to make threads in General chat, member introduction, and general forums not related to website promotions. I think there is nothing wrong with new members making new threads as long as they are not making new threads with links with annoying and spammy anchor text like “Free iPod Touch for doing surveys” leading to spammy sites.

    Disabling new users from making threads might not be a good idea for technical support forums since a lot of time new members just post topics on tech support forums when they need help on how to use software, computers, or electronics. I be upset if I bought a product, but can’t post a new thread in the tech support forum for help on using a product.

    In phpBB3, it is also possible to limit the amount of links per posts.

    I notice many spammers add more then one link in their posts, so limiting links per post can stop spammers who want to embed more then the amount of links you allowed per posts.

Leave a Comment