I'm managing a phpBB-based forum that gets hit hard by spammers signing up fake accounts. To combat this, we enabled "administrator activation required", but it's not working so well: When a new user signs up, I get an email with a link to activate that user. However, there's no link to let me easily look at the user first; it goes straight to activation.
I'd like to try a different approach, along these lines:
- I'd like to allow registrations without my approval; instead, the user must get a mail with an activation link.
- I'd like a designated moderator group to approve all posts made by newly registered users. This should be done through the forum's web-based moderation control panel.
- When a new user posts a spammy message, I want the moderator group to kill the message and the account.
- When a new user has posted a few non-spammy messages, he's whitelisted and further postings require no approval.
How do I achieve this setup? -or- Is there a similar but smarter approach?
UPDATE: I finally found a watertight solution: http://CleanTalk.org -- it's a paid service but for a measly $8 per year it's well worth the money. So far the filter has worked 100% accurately, without any spammers getting through and without blocking legit users. I am impressed.