I had setup a web site for a game I was playing a while back. Some time later the forum started getting hit with spam ranging from vitamins to pleasurable company.

I was curious about how much effort goes into keeping a site like Daniweb clean of garbage and spam. I haven't tried to promote my site at all and I'm already getting garbage on it, but I was wondering about the effort that is involved on your forums to keep them clean.

In addition, I was wondering if different forums are better at reducing the amount of spam your forum gets. For example, does vBulletin have better protection measures versus PHPBB (which my site currently uses)? The PHPBB one I use has the graphic image code a new user needs to submit, but obviously it isn't complex enough that image recognition can't break it.

How many person hours a day is just cleaning out spam from bots? Are there add-ons to assist with this? Are there blacklists that you subscribe to?

Actually, I'm curious about this too. I just re-started a forum that was getting spammed daily, about 4 or 5 new users/posts a day from the same person. I did a search on the user names that were being created and I saw other forums getting hit by the same person. I did notice the board language is always set to Albanian.

I got real busy so I took about a month break from my forum, when I got back to it, it was overrun with spam. I got so frustrated that I deleted it and re-designed the whole site on a new directory. Still the spam comes through.

I thought it was a spam bot, so I added a script that requires an answer to a simple math problem to proceed to registration, thinking it would throw the spam bot off, but it did not work. He must be creating the ids manually.

Redlobo, have you noticed if the spammer has the board language set to Albanian?

Currently DaniWeb uses both image verification during registration in addition to requiring new members to click a link that is sent to them via email upon registration. If the user doesn't click the link within 7 days, their account is permanently suspended. Additionally, if DaniWeb tries to send out a welcome email but it bounces, then both the username and the email address are permanently blocked from any new registrations.

Even with all of these measures in place, spam is still a problem on DaniWeb, although it could be much worse. Most of the spam we've been getting lately have been actual members doing self-promotion for their websites and such as opposed to those horrid spambots.

Yep, the antispam measures have certainly kicked most of the bots to the kerb and we are just left with living scumbags to deal with :)

Thanks to the eagle eyes and community spirit of the membership here, most spam gets flagged up pretty quickly using the reporting system and a mod or admin kills it shortly after, any time of the day or night.

Because we have mods/admins around the globe, multiple timezones are covered which makes this task easier.

But it does still take a lot of work and man-hours from a dedicated team to keep DaniWeb forums and blogs as clear of spam as they are.

gil857, I checked a few of the IDs and they are setting the board language to Albanian.

I forgot to add that my site was also using an email verification system as well, though I'm not sure I had the same expiration features in place.

Really is just a labor of love. I know I have seen, if any, very limited amount of spam on this forum and was wondering if there was some measure that I could be taking to reduce it more.

It looks like it really is a labor of love to keep things clean and have others help you identify the garbage that appears. Thanks for the replies.

redlobo, sounds like we have the same spammer.

I also use image and email verification, plus had my own custom check for a while, which did not stop the spammer. So, either he's creating the ID manually, then using a spam bot - or he's accessing the mySQL database directly, which is a scary thought.

If he would just apply the effort he's using to send out spam to a legimate venture, and leave a post that actually contributes to the forum - he would probably be quite successful.