We are working hard to get our next version of InstantForum ready. I just wanted to share some of the key areas we are focusing on for the next release.
Whilst we have some nice approval & moderation features already within InstantForum to help combat spam it's a constant problem for many online communities (we are not excluded) and we really want to improve the tooling and features we provide within InstantForum to help you combat any span that may pop up in your community.
To achieve this we are working on the following areas for the next InstantForum update...
- We'll be adding a new option to enable automatically generated and / or user generated questions that will be displayed during the registration process as an additional step to help combat automated bots. The automated questions will be random and will look like (4+1-2=*). Of course you must provide the correct answer of 3 before your registration will be accepted. You will also be able to define your own questions that must be answered corectly before the registration will be accepted. For example "How many letters are in the name John Doe" The correct answer would of course be 7.
We are working with the StopForumSpam.com API to assign a automated spam weight to new messages posted within InstantForum. As an administrator you can then set-up additional automated actions based on the assigned weight. For example you can automatically delete or prune posts that are above a configurable threshold or have additional moderation steps for probable span. .
Improved "Report Post"
We are improving the "Report Post" feature to allow users to select from a list of reasons why they are reporting a post. We are also adding a new view that will allow moderators to see all reported posts and will allow them to filter by the reasons the post was reported. For example some possible reasons for reporting a post could be "Abusive Content,, Spam Post, Link Baiting, Off Topic, Wrong Forum" etc etc. We will be providing you the ability to add and customize the list of reasons.
In addition we will be keeping track of how many times posts have been reported for each user within InstantForum. We will also present this data on the Edit Profile page for each user within the Admin CP.
Improved User Banning
We are adding the option to temporarily ban or suspect users. You can define how many days the user will be banned for and the reasons why the user was banned. The user will be sent an email with the reasons for the ban and will not be able to post again until the ban is either lifted by an administrator or the duration expires. Some spammers are getting clever and often try to appear as genuine users. It can often be hard to identify who is a genuine member and who may just want to increase their page rank. For this reason if you're unsure now you can temporarily ban users and provide them with a reason for the ban.
Mass User Pruning
We'll be adding options to help you quickly delete groups of users. We are seeing customers that have lots of users who have never confirmed their email address and so are still left in the awaiting activation group within InstantForum. We want to add tools to help you clean-up inactive users.
Password Policy & Resets
We are making it possible to customize the password requirements for your community. This will allow you to define the minimum and maximum length for your user password as well as how many numbers and spacial characters must appear in the password.
We are also adding an option that will allow you to force users to reset their password upon the next login either globally or if there current users password does not match your new minimum password requirements. This will also allow customers using older versions of InstantForum to easily upgrade to the newer encryption and salting options offered in newer version of InstantForum.
There are other improvement planned for the next release however our primary focus will be on improving the tools available to help you combat problem members & spam. We want to make it so you don't have to worry about spam and if spam creeps through our automated checks you have the tools to quickly train the system and deal with the member.
Stay tuned as I'll be posting updates on both InstantForum & InstantKB as we have news, Don't hesitate to leave any comments below.