Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

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Fogbow_Foggy
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Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by Fogbow_Foggy »

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What version of phpBB are you using? phpBB 3.0.11
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When did your problem begin? Not sure, within the last month maybe.
Please describe your problem. There's a user I banned and he sneaked back in with a different username, "lhj".

Now I've banned "lhj" twice - by username, email and IP address - and he's still posting whenever he wants.

If I can't ban him, am I really banning spammers?
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Re: Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by rxu »

Fogbow_Foggy wrote:Now I've banned "lhj" twice - by username, email and IP address - and he's still posting whenever he wants.
Are you sure he's posting under this banned account exactly?
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Fogbow_Foggy
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Re: Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by Fogbow_Foggy »

Yes, absolutely. There's only one "lhj" and I didn't delete his account. The join date is in 2011.

As a temporary stopgap measure, I changed his email address and password to something he doesn't know. So the immediate problem is ... not an emergency.

But there's something wrong with my board. Every once in a while a human spammer gets past all my warnings and defenses and manages to put a post on the board, though it goes into the moderation queue. We ban them immediately, but now I'm wondering if the bans are effective at all.
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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

there is no good way to keep the humans out other than what you are doing with the moderation.

if you can keep the spam bots out with a good Q&A then you are doing about all you can.

bannning via IP, username/email etc. is pretty much a waste of time. the spam bots can get a new IP whenever they want, they change usernames and emails at will.

even banning humans via IP is a waste of effort. many if not most people get a new IP address everytime they log on to the net.

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HGN
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Re: Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by HGN »

You are sure you banned the user with a "Length of ban:" Permanent and didn't tickmark the "Ecxlude from banning"?
This user hasn't by accident "Yes" for "Founder:" in his user administration?

Have you tried to create a testaccount, ban that account and tried posting afterwards?
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Fogbow_Foggy
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Re: Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by Fogbow_Foggy »

HGN wrote:You are sure you banned the user with a "Length of ban:" Permanent and didn't tickmark the "Ecxlude from banning"?
Absolutely certain. Remember, I tried TWICE to ban him. Lumpy is right, even with my anti-spam measures (custom profile field, first three posts must be approved, dire warnings in my registration agreement), some human spammers can manage to register and put up a post. It goes to the moderation queue, and we ban the spammer and disapprove the post. I'm not new to this aspect of running the board.
This user hasn't by accident "Yes" for "Founder:" in his user administration?
No, and I double-checked that the last time I tried to ban him and yesterday when I changed his email address and password.
Have you tried to create a testaccount, ban that account and tried posting afterwards?
No, I hadn't tried that. Now I have. I did the following:
  • Created an account and activated it when I got the activation email.
  • Posted one post; received message saying it needed approval and I'd be notified.
  • Logged in as me and banned the new account (but only by username, not IP address or email, in case it worked and I locked my main account out).
  • Opened a different browser, logged in, and posted as the new account. The account wasn't banned; I was able to put up a second post.
In other words, I'm wasting my time banning spammers, because I can't ban anyone. :shock:

A minor question on a separate topic: My board has over 400K posts now. The database is 811.37 MB. When is a database too big? Can I prune old threads automatically, or do I have to do it one-by-one?
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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

check your database and see how many bans are in the ban table.

quite often if you have too many records in that table it stops working.

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Fogbow_Foggy
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Re: Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by Fogbow_Foggy »

OK, I have a few more than 1,000 entries on the banlist. I inherited the board. The guy who ran it before me did the first 514 bans, and almost all of them are marked "Unauthorized Proxy Server" or "IP created multiple accounts". I guess he didn't want people using proxies to sign up, and he didn't approve of sockpuppetry.

Since I took over, when I ban a spammer I ban them by all three: username, email, and IP address. So that makes three entries on the table.

Let's say I was to prune that table. I'm not so concerned about proxies. Also, I could delete all the email bans, or all the IP bans.

What do you suggest I delete? The unauthorized proxies? The email bans? The IP bans?

Is 1,000 entries too big for the banlist table?
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Fogbow_Foggy
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Re: Banning doesn't work for some reason ...

Post by Fogbow_Foggy »

I think I answered my own questions in the post above this one, by reading this post and this one.

Thank you, Lumpy, Erik and Kevin Clark. I shall now prune a lot of users and truncate my banlist. I made a backup of the database and downloaded it already today, so I can restore if needed.
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