Hello Mastodon admins. I'm looking for input on how to prevent spam. We were overrun during the holidays when I was distracted by other things. I have anti-spam turned on but it doesn't seem to do anything. What do you do (besides active moderation)?

@leo for my instance, I have Registration Mode in Site Settings set to 'Approval required'. I have included a paragraph in the 'Server Rules' stating that new users must enter something in the 'Why do you want to join?' field at sign-up. However, I have UNchecked 'Require new users to enter a reason to join' in Site Settings. This helps me to spot genuine sign-ups (who read the rules) and more easily see the bots (who either ignore the "optional" text field or will fill it with spammy nonsense).

@quokka Sounds like the way to go - thanks for the advice!

@leo you're welcome! Another tactic is to keep an eye on the email addresses on new accounts (or the requests if you go that route). If you're getting a lot of new accounts registered to addresses all coming from the same (usually sketchy looking) root domain then just add it to the 'Blocked Email Domains' list for a couple of days.

@leo We get right-wing attacks sometimes on our activism and campaign instances. We remove the accounts when the cross the line and turn on moderation for sign up so people have to type a resion spammers and right-wing nutters have limited attention spans so this stops it for a while but the issues do come back.

sysadmin help filtering spam 

@leo You should be able to filter e-mail domains from registration, that helps a little if you can see a pattern from the accounts trying to register. I would also recommend requiring a message during registration so you can at least filter out anyone who doesn't read your CoC or ToS. Additionally, I would recommend requiring administrator / moderator approval for registrations, that way even if you get a lot of registration applications, they won't immediately become accounts.

On my end, I went ahead and disabled registration altogether. You could do this and then still enable registration invites for administrators / moderators, then set up a 3rd party way of sending registrations so that spam bots don't just use the API or template HTML pages to fill out registration froms. Hope that all helps.

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