Vanilla is equipped with several layers of SPAM prevention. While automated tools do most of the work, we encourage you to be vigilant and to enlist your membership to report any suspected spam.
Vanilla includes 2 spam detection plugins: StopForumSpam and Akismet. These can be turned on or off on your Dashboard from the Addons page.
- Akismet: this plugin feeds your posts through the Akismet spam detection algorithm which looks at several factors including live data to determine if a post is spam.
- StopForumSpam: this plugin checks users against a list of reported spammers and will report posts as spam or reject them outright. The threshold for reporting and rejection can be set in the plugin’s settings.
If you have Reactions enabled, you can choose to display the Spam Reaction which lets community members report spam posts.
By default, if 5 members report a post as Spam, or 1 moderator or admin marks it as spam it will be moved to the Spam Queue.
If you need to change these thresholds, please contact your CSM.
See main article on using reactions for moderation
Flood Control is a feature in the back end of your community. You can navigate there by going to the Dashboard, then Moderation, then Flood Control:
This feature is to prevent a spambot from doing too much damage if it manages to register. Spambots can be kept out using the reCaptcha test on registration (or on your own website’s registration if you have implemented SSO) and can also be caught by the spam filters. Flood Control lets you limit how many discussions, comments, private messages, and replies to private messages that a user can create within a time period.
Any detected or reported Spam will show up in the Spam Queue. From here, you can indicate if a registering user is a spammer or not and indicate if a post is a spam post or not. Once in a while, the spam filters will report legitimate content as spam, this is known as a false positive. When you indicate that a post is spam, you will have the option to delete the offending post.
Additionally, you will have the option of deleting all posts by the offending user and banning that user with the click of a single button.
You can always unban the user from their profile if you make a mistake.
Another tool available to combat Spam and abuse is User Ranks. Many community managers want new members to prove themselves before they are given the ability to fully participate. Ranks, which can be awarded by moderators or by accumulating reputation points, can be linked to abilities such as having links in posts or editing posts once they have been submitted.
Read more about this in the Ranks article
Verified users will bypass spam filters.
This can be done directly from the Spam queue, when selecting a post marked as spam and clicking 'Not Spam':
A user can also be verified by Admins and Mods on the users’ profile page by looking up the user via the Dashboard, then Moderation, the Users. Select the Crayon icon next to the user you'd like to verify and selecting this option:
The verified status can also be assigned automatically by earning a Rank which grants verification to tenured users.
For your higher ranks, set the Ability “Verified” to “bypass”. This will prevent your trusted members’ content from being evaluated by the spam filter, which means their content will never be put into the spam queue.
What will users see if their post is marked as spam by one of the plugins?
They will see this message:
See main article on ranks