How to combat spam signups in BuddyPress

Dec 10 2010 - 2 MINS READ

If you have been running a BuddyPress site without any spam protection, you will probably notice that you are receiving a lot of spam. The biggest areas for spam are:

  • fake user signups
  • fake activity updates
  • fake blog comments
  • fake blogs created (if you have user blogs enabled in BuddyPress)

This can be incredibly annoying and can dilute the user experience on your site. It's fairly easy to stop the automated spam, which accounts for the vast majority. There are human spammers as well – mostly people hired from low wage countries to bypass spam protection by hand. There's little you can do to stop them. Fortunately they make up only a small minority of all spam.

Why do spammers attack BuddyPress sites?

Before getting into how to prevent spam, you should understand the reason people are spamming you in the first place. A fantastic explanation of why spammers attack BuddyPress communities was posted at this forum thread:

How to stop the spammers!

Installing and configuring the following plugins should block the vast majority of automated spam:

  • Akismet
    Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
  • WP-Hashcash
    Eradicates comment spam by confirming (via Javascript) that a user actually opened your website in a web browser.
  • BuddyPress Humanity
    Adds a customizable security question to the sign up form. You can choose your own questions and answers and change them at any time.
    Prevents spam sign ups and blog creations on your BuddyPress site by forcing a visual confirmation CAPTCHA in order to login. You can personalize and control the way the CAPTCHA is rendered, so that each spam bot would have to be pre-configured just for your site in order to achieve a successful attack.

Need help blocking spam?

We can stop the madness. All work is billed at $100/hr. Contact us today to discuss your site.