Anti-Spam, Moderation and Comment-System Improvements

  • We have received a lot of feedback regarding the anti-spam measures, moderation system and access to the comment system for guests. We want to introduce some handy changes with Burning Board 4.1 which aim to improve the current experience and to properly handling guests and abusive members.


    Improvements to the report and approval management interface



    The overall page has been cleaned up to provide a better overview on the individual case, including a cleaner separation between the reported content and the reporter. Next we've tuned the status field, it will now display different values depending on the action that has been taken, e.g. the report was justified and the content has been deleted. We have removed the previous comment input field and replaced it with the comment system, allowing for a better communication between involved moderators and being able to track down the thoughts and arguments that led to the final decision at a later point.



    Assigning a user has been also improved, clicking on the link (Change) will open an overlay, allowing you to quickly assign it to yourself or to nobody, reverting it to the Pending state. The third option allows you to specify the username to assign it to them, the system will reject any user that does not has access to this moderation queue due to insufficient permissions.



    The report system has been extended to allow for a new type of "content" to report: A user's profile. This is primarily intended to cover the shortage when a user wants to report an offending signature, avatar or his/her about me text.


    One more thing regarding the moderation system, it is now possible to suspend users, avatars and signatures for a specific time, instead of just suspending it indefinitely.


    Anti-Spam and Registration


    Burning Board 4 offers three different measures against spam bots which has proven to successfully block almost all automated bot registrations so far. These measures are preventing automatic registrations, but cannot entirely keep humans away which manually register themselves in order to annoy you and your community with spam. We have been working on a more flexible anti-spam system which allows for arbitrary measures to be used as a replacement for the well-known ReCAPTCHA. The system will now offer you to provide custom questions which have to be answered by the registering user, you're not restricted to dumb question like "What is 2 + 5" (a bot can copy and paste them into Google and it will yield the answer), instead you can define anything you want including flexible answers to cover spelling errors.



    Sometimes you do want to prevent registrations from other types of users, more specific under-aged people. Starting with Burning Board 4.1 you can specify the minimum age a potential user must have reached to be able to register themselves. The user will be prompted for their birthday during registration.


    Comment-System Improvements


    There are two major suggestions which we will be fulfilling with Burning Board 4.1: The ability to provide multi-line comments and to grant guests the right to comment on content, e.g. blog articles.



    A small hint for those who like shortcuts, pressing Ctrl + Enter will submit the comment. Or you could just hit the button.



    Next is the ability for guests to write comments, previously the system denied guests from using it due to technical limitations. Starting with Burning Board 4.1 guests will be able to comment, depending on the permissions granted for them. Once they attempt to submit a comment, an overlay will be displayed which prompts them to provide a username and to solve the anti-spam measure. The screenshot above showcases the question and answer feature, it is worth noting that using question and answers is not required if you wish to stick with ReCAPTCHA.

  • @Alexander Ebert I'm hoping this also includes StopForumSpam.com intergration. We don't depend on any ReCAPTCHA and Q&A's are often limited or restrictive based upon language, keyboard language, character language.

    • Hello
    • こんにちは
    • שלום


    ^ Same word (hello), but obviously many different characters. For sites that have no limit on language or geographics, Q&A isn't something that works for us.


    So we're looking for something that isn't going to depend on ReCAPTCHA or Q&A, but rather check email addresses and / or IP addresses.

  • I really love the custom questions!


    @Adam Howard - If you have a community, there must be at least one language in it that people understand, no? I see that the Captcha question can be used in a multi-lingual manner. So you can adjust every question to every language pack you have installed (like I said, your community members probably know at least one of the languages that is being used in it).

  • I really love the custom questions!


    @Adam Howard - If you have a community, there must be at least one language in it that people understand, no? I see that the Captcha question can be used in a multi-lingual manner. So you can adjust every question to every language pack you have installed (like I said, your community members probably know at least one of the languages that is being used in it).


    Using your keyboard type this character without copying and pasting


    Ё
    Я


    I know I can't. Our target audience is earth (everyone).

  • But why would I need these characters if they are in a language that I don't even know? Why would you ask me a question that I won't even understand because it's not written in a language that I know?


    If you ask a question, it should be designated to a language that the user understands. And if your target audience is earth, they probably should know at least one language that is used in your community/website.

  • But why would I need these characters if they are in a language that I don't even know? Why would you ask me a question that I won't even understand because it's not written in a language that I know?


    If you ask a question, it should be designated to a language that the user understands. And if your target audience is earth, they probably should know at least one language that is used in your community/website.


    Let me use myself as an example...


    There have been sites where I wanted to join, but didn't understand the language directly. I understood how to use Google Chrome, which translated everything for me.


    A good 1/2 of this site for example (right here on woltlab.com)... I can't read German. Don't understand German either. But thanks to a free translation service, I can read most every post here and even reply the best I can.


    But if there had been a Q&A that quired special characters, I wouldn't have been able to join.


    The pointing being is thanks to technology, you don't need to know the language. And so it shouldn't be a limitation in joining (and we don't want it to be).


  • Check out the plugin of @SoftCreatR Übersetzungstool / Translator für Beiträge & Foren (per Knopdruck)


    he will be able to help translating

  • If you do the right Q and A it prevents all bots. Glad to see it in 4.1!


    I think most non English speakers these days learn English as a second language and if not can easily copy and paste into google translator.