Removing spambot Users

Removing spambot Users

So, on our newer hosting, after we opened up registrations, but before we added simple Math Capatcha on registration, a lot of spambots registered as Users.  Mostly not a problem, as we’ve got good anti-spam – notably Akismet Anti-Spam.  But we want to clean that up – remove the spambot users.  But how do we tell the spambot Users from legitimate users?  That’s not super-easy, as there’s no simple way, based on just Username and Email Address – which is often all (or nearly all) we have to go by.  So, what can we/you do?  We’ll remove spambot accounts starting about a month from now.  Here’s where you come in:

User action needed / how do I avoid getting my User account removed along with the spambot accounts?:

  • Looks like the spambots can’t be bothered to set a First Name and/or Last Name on the profile of their account, so set a non-blank First Name and/or Last Name on your Profile Personal Options.
  • Be or become a subscriber to our BerkeleyLUG list (Google Groups).  For all email addresses subscribed to that list, for Users Registered on our BerkeleyLUG web site where we have a matched email address, we’ll presume that user isn’t a spambot and won’t remove that registered User account in our spambot purging efforts (be sure your email addresses match – do you need to change/update for them to match?).
  • Be grandfathered in (only applies to a very small number of Users) – if your account was already on the site before we migrated hosting (your account was created before 2019-08-30), we’ll consider you grandfathered in and not a spambot – that’s only these Username accounts:

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