Spam Protection

Known spammers' IP addresses

Databases such as Stop Forum Spam keep a list of known spammers, their IP addresses, user names and email addresses. UseBB can use some of this data to automatically check and block forum access for these spammers.

IP addresses in the Stop Forum Spam database can be blocked using "DNSBL bans" (available since 1.0 RC1, May 2006). This is generally fast and without query limit.

With every attempt to register or post, the IP address will be checked and eventually blocked.

Known spammers' email addresses

Email addresses from the Stop Forum Spam database can be used as well, but this can not be done using DNSBL bans. Instead, since UseBB 1.0.13 it is possible to use Stop Forum Spam's API to check the email address upon registration or profile changes.

Custom anti-spam questions

Custom anti-spam questions can be used to somewhat block automatic bots from the forum, given that the answers to the questions can not be easily calculated or derived, and the questions are changed regularly.

Please note that this does not block human spammers, or bots that have been updated with the correct answers.

Removing spam accounts and posts

It is easy to remove all traces of a spam account.

* To set an API key, register and request one at, enter the ACP at General Configuration » Anti-spam and enter the key in the field "Stop Forum Spam: API key".

Hindering (profile) spam

You can hinder spam by using the "potential spammer" status and avoiding the forum to render URLs in the spammer's profile and/or signature. Spamming will be useless.

When a user registers or activates, the account will have the status of a potential spammer. The restrictions enabled above will be in effect until the special status is lost, either when the post count is exceeded or when the account was edited manually by the administrator.

Hiding profile spam

Profile spam are links added to the profile's website field or signature. When these are invisible to guests, the spam attempt has basically failed.

Mass cleaning up profile spam accounts

You can prune all profile spam accounts using member pruning.

Selected accounts are those with URLs added to the signature but with a post count of zero. Please be advised to choose a number of days big enough to avoid deleting accounts registered very recently.

Recommended settings

Forums that are not publicly accessible, or can not be posted in by guests and have disabled public registrations, do not require any spam protection.

For other forums it would be advised to enable DNSBL bans in order to check IP addresses, enable Stop Forum Spam email address checking and disable displaying URLs in profiles of new members.

It is also encouraged to obtain a Stop Forum Spam API key so that eventual spam accounts can be reported upon deletion.

And more...?

For UseBB 1 – without a plug-in or modules system – we have chosen to implement a limited set of useful anti-spam measures. Stop Forum Spam integration is one of those (and probably the only non-generic/third-party one).

For later major versions (2 and on) the goal is to have more third party anti-spam features implemented as separate modules, letting the end-user choose which one to use.