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What's the best way to get rid of 'bot members'?

LeftBrainLeftBrain ✭✭
edited October 2012 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.8

I previously had a problem with bot applicants who were getting through. This problem was solved here.

While it solved the problem, I'm still left with a few hundred (maybe >1000) bot members who can presumably send SPAM messages to all the other members. Now, I can go through and individually delete any member who I think is a 'bot member' but that would take a really long time.

Is there a way to go into the database, sort by some known criteria and delete members that way? Or is there some other, quicker way to get rid of 'bot members'?


  • Options

    Good question. I'll be interested to find this out to. The admin/member page could benefit from some filtering and multiple select/alter options. I started to write a query to do this but have not gotten around to it yet.
    I'll be interested to see what you find out here or if I get time to do that query first, I'll post it.

  • Options
    whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP

    There's no way Vanilla can know what criteria you use to identify 'spam' users, so no obvious way to do it.

    How will you decide who is a spam user?

    You can use phpMyAdmin to search the GDN_user table by various criteria.

    You could start by filtering out those who have had one or few visits, then perhaps add a criteria for certain email addresses or IP range (assuming you were collecting IP addresses.)

    When I was getting bot registrations they all gave the same reason for wanting to join, which made finding them easy.


    If you aren't familiar with phpMyAdmin (and tbh, even if you are) then make sure you back up your site DB before you start bulk deleting records!

  • Options
    peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited October 2012

    First off. you have to determine what constitutes a bot member? Then you can query for it.

    A potential way to decide

    IF (comments and discussions are 0 (assuming you deleted spam posts))
    (the user added a web link to their activity table.)
    (OR sent a message via pm.)

    I'm thinking of writing a plugin on some selectable criteria.

    any other thoughts on criteria.

    I'm thinking of making a selection page that you could check to delete or mass delete or users with 0 discussions and comments.

    delete  username    email       message count           weblink in activity       
    x       xcfgr          2     

    would anybody willing to contribute money to such a plugin?

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • Options
    edited October 2012

    @peregrine - one pattern I see is that a string of bot scripts are creating accounts then posting a link as a comment on their own profile as opposed to the forum. I guess they consider that job done and move on but there were a few dozen created in batches that did that and never revisited the site.
    These stood out in my activity log although I have had MUCH less since installing botstop.

    Also just adding the ability to easily filter user accounts on the user management screen would be nice
    -eg: being able to show users that joined x days ago but have not posted or visited again.

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