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Deleting Thousands of Spammers - How???


PalmTalk
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I see lots of talk about this issue, and Administrators seem unhappy with the answer to what I am going to ask again in hopes there is some solution now.

I have over 500 PAGES of "users" that are listed when I click on the "Spammers" tab under Members in IPS 4 Forum. 

I manually validate each new User - but apparently these "Spammers" are automatically filtered before I ever see them. And they are placed in a Group that also includes all my legitimate users. How do I get rid of them? I'm guessing there are 7-8000.

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First stop these registrations.
How? Put the question of registration. I use a trick in the text of the question. I use identical letters in Cyrillic and Latin.

This text is indecipherable spam bot servers. I have no spam bot registrations.

Any normal person understands and text can be registered.

I'll give you an example. The next following text is a question written in Bulgarian language. Try to translate it with Google Translator and answer.

Koя фopумна cиcтeмa изпoлзвaтe? :p

 

 

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2 hours ago, Adlago said:

First stop these registrations.
How? Put the question of registration. I use a trick in the text of the question. I use identical letters in Cyrillic and Latin.

This text is indecipherable spam bot servers. I have no spam bot registrations.

Any normal person understands and text can be registered.

I'll give you an example. The next following text is a question written in Bulgarian language. Try to translate it with Google Translator and answer.

Koя фopумна cиcтeмa изпoлзвaтe? :p

 

 

makes no sense when i translate it to english, comeon man give spammers a chance xD 

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5 hours ago, Adlago said:

First stop these registrations.
How? Put the question of registration. I use a trick in the text of the question. I use identical letters in Cyrillic and Latin.

This text is indecipherable spam bot servers. I have no spam bot registrations.

Any normal person understands and text can be registered.

I'll give you an example. The next following text is a question written in Bulgarian language. Try to translate it with Google Translator and answer.

Koя фopумна cиcтeмa изпoлзвaтe? :p

 

 

 

Agree, I too have a challenge question and I am also able to add two required profile questions when people sign up. I'm aware not all can do this but I have a tight knit niche group of people. 

Also, I can't use the IPS Spam Service because of the false positives with this niche group. I get very few spam registrants.

Don't forget to use the CAPTCHA

- Challenge Question
Members -> Spam Prevention -> Question and Answer Challenge

- Profile Question
Members -> Profiles -> Profile Fields -> Profile Information 

- CAPTCHA
Members -> Spam Prevention -> CAPTCHA

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Thanks for the help and suggestions - but that wasn't the question.

The question was how can I delete the thousands of Spammers I already have in my User List - but are not really Users (because I have not admitted them).

I can only see how to delete each - one by one. And after I delete one, I am taking back to the legit User list and have to again navigate to the Spammer list and do another. So it amounts to:

1) Select One Account 

2) Delete

3) Confirm delete

4) Return to Spammer List

5 Select another and repeat

Deleting all these will take forever.

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14 minutes ago, PalmTalk said:

Thanks for the help and suggestions - but that wasn't the question.

The question was how can I delete the thousands of Spammers I already have in my User List - but are not really Users (because I have not admitted them).

I can only see how to delete each - one by one. And after I delete one, I am taking back to the legit User list and have to again navigate to the Spammer list and do another. So it amounts to:

1) Select One Account 

2) Delete

3) Confirm delete

4) Return to Spammer List

5 Select another and repeat

Deleting all these will take forever.

I don't have any spammers so that group is empty for me and I cannot see if this is possible... In the spammer section are you able to move them to another group?

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The real problem here is the lack of "bulk" actions: what @PalmTalk needs is something that lets us operate on ALL spam accounts at the same time. PalmTalk wants to delete them. I want to move them to a different group. Regardless, the software has no provision for this kind of bulk edit. And because of the way Invision stores the Spammer flag in the database, it's actually quite difficult do even to a manual query (at least, I couldn't figure out how to select the spammers... maybe an SQL wizard here can help us out?)

Edited by eGullet
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16 minutes ago, eGullet said:

The real problem here is the lack of "bulk" actions: what @PalmTalk needs is something that lets us operate on ALL spam accounts at the same time. PalmTalk wants to delete them. I want to move them to a different group. Regardless, the software has no provision for this kind of bulk edit. And because of the way Invision stores the Spammer flag in the database, it's actually quite difficult do even to a manual query (at least, I couldn't figure out how to select the spammers... maybe an SQL wizard here can help us out?)

I would be happy to be able to move them to another group - then perhaps I could delete that group. Or I could at least not select that group when doing bulk mail.

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To find them in the database (such as PHPMYAdmin) you would use the below SQL but note that it also pulls up banned members and other nefarious people who are not allowed to post. Database-wise this shows why there on not many options with spammers in the admin area.

SELECT *
FROM _forumcore_members
WHERE restrict_post = -1

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4 hours ago, PalmTalk said:

The question was how can I delete the thousands of Spammers I already have in my User List - but are not really Users (because I have not admitted them).

1. Create a new group member "Spam" without access site.

2. Open System - Support - SQL Toolbox

3. At the command prompt copy/paste it

UPDATE core_members
SET member_group_id = "X"
WHERE temp_ban = "-1";

X -> ID your member group Spam

Perform "Run Query"

All spam registrations are already in a group Spam.

This group can easily delete.

Note: If your database using the prefix must change 'core_members'

 

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Thanks a lot Adlago - this looks like a recipe for disaster if not correct, or I screw up - can anyone else confirm this won't mess anything up??? And I don't understand the phrase in the first step - "without access site" Can you try and explain that?

I had/have a group called "Forum Members" where all new registrants are automatically added, even the Spam Registrations. After I screen and admit those who by-pass the Spam Filter (and are in the Validating Tab) the Spam Registrations stay in the group "Forum Members" along with the newly admitted Users.

In other words, all the Spam Registrations remain in the group "Forum Members." How can you say they are already in a group called "Spam?"

So -  is it possible to have all new Spam Registrations placed in this Spam group automatically - as they should be by default?

 

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What I wrote above works perfectly.
First I did in my site. Then I wrote a reply.
If you follow my instructions you will have a separate group "Spam" or named as create it.

Group can be permissions as you want, but for the quick creation recommend you check "without Access to the site".

This is the fastest way for your question.
You are free to use or not.

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Again - thank you Adlago - I am just worried since I have 12,000 in "Forum Members" with 7,000 of those as Spammers. And if something happened to the the legitimate users, this would be very bad - since I don't know enough about databases to fix.

But I understand now what you meant by "no access." I saw that option when creating the Spam Group. So if I am correct, if my Spam group is ID=11 then this is the right query??? Perhaps I would feel better if I knew what the "-1" referred to exactly. :)

UPDATE core_members

SET member_group_id = “11”

WHERE temp_ban = "-1";

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On 11.11.2015, 22:26:36, PalmTalk said:

I manually validate each new User - but apparently these "Spammers" are automatically filtered before I ever see them. And they are placed in a Group that also includes all my legitimate users. How do I get rid of them? I'm guessing there are 7-8000.

Are these Spam Service actions not in use?

  • Do not allow the user to register at all
  • Register the account but immediately ban it
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4 hours ago, Machsterdaemon said:

Are these Spam Service actions not in use?

  • Do not allow the user to register at all
  • Register the account but immediately ban it

Thanks for the question, and I understand why you ask.

But (unless I am missing something), to use the first option does not give one the option to correct for false positives. Every week, I have several registrants asking why they haven't yet been validated, only to find them as being falsely "accused" by the Spam Filter. And I assume that means there are others who just didn't bother to follow up. But overall, not using the "Spam Prevention" presents other management problems.

I don't see why those designated as Spammers are not placed into their own default "Spam" group. It only seems logical, and would solve the main management problem Admins seem to want to solve - that is bulk delete of Spammers.

Does "Register the account but immediately ban it" place them in a separate group? I noticed that all these Spammers are flagged as Spammers. Is there no way to screen and bulk delete flagged accounts - other than one at a time?

Edited by PalmTalk
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@PalmTalk if you are uncomfortable with the guidance from @Adlago I would recommend that you back up your database via phpmyadmin first. then run the sql query.

If all is OK and your spammers are moved you are good to go. If not you have your backup to fall back on....

BTW I feel for you.... A few years back I took over another board that had over 800 spammers... All removed manually... Then I had the pleasure to merge that board into mine.....

 

Edited by Woodsman
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