4.12 Spam and Crapflood Prevention

There will inevitably be people who enjoy posting garbage, spam, or offensive comments on your site. Scoop has several ways of making this manageable.

Spam in the story queue is usually voted down very quickly, and never sees publication; spam in the edit queue, if active, can be sent to voting using the ``spam'' button. For details on both, see section 4.1.2.

Spam in comments is usually rated very low, and often hidden by the site's trusted users. Users who consistently post spam may become untrusted, and their comments hidden by default. For details on rating and trusted and untrusted user status, see section 4.13.

Crapflooding, the process of posting too many garbage comments or stories (often using a script) for the normal voting or rating mechanism to handle normally, is handled with a post throttle mechanism. Both stories and comments have a maximum post rate, which should be set to a value that most normal users will rarely or never exceed. Both are defined as a number of posts, set in the variables max_comments_submit and max_stories_submit, over a time period, set in the variable rate_limit_minutes. If a user (or script) posts more than that number of comments or stories in that time period, he is redirected to a page notifying him that he has been temporarily locked out of posting and advising him to walk away for a few minutes.

If a user is locked out of posting and tries to post again during the timeout period, whatever the timeout was will double and restart until it reaches a number of minutes set in the variable max_timeout, at which point the user is banned from posting at all by moving him into the user group specified in the variable untrusted_group if it exists, and the Anonymous group if it doesn't. The untrusted group should not have either of the perms comment_post (A.12.8) or story_post (A.12.45).