I hope everyone is well. We've been hard at work on our InstantForum 2014 update and are now only a few days away from our first public BETA.
Our 2014 update aims to significantly improve our spam detection & protection capabilities.
This update also offers greater control over features available to users based on the users reputation within your forums. For example you can now ensure a user haw a minimum reputation level within your forums before they can private message or email other users. As we now use the reputation system to unlock specific features it's important we get the reputation system right and ensure users cannot game the system. We've generally improved the user reputation system and resolved several bugs to make this more robust.
You can try the 2014 BETA 1 update for yourself right now at the link below. We'll continue to keep this link updated as we progress towards release...
I just wanted to briefly give you a quick idea of what to expect in the forthcoming 2014 update. I won't go into great detail on each improvement right now but will be posting a number of updates over the next week or two offering more detail on the major improvements.
Added StopForumSpam.com Integration
Whenever a new post is made within InstantForum we will check the username, email address & IP address against the StopForumSpam.com database. If the API result matches the "Appearance" threshold you can configure via the InstantForum Admin CP the post will automatically be flagged as SPAM and queued (even in unmoderated forums) and an email will be sent to the forum moderators informing of the possible spam post.
If we detect a post to be SPAM the following message will be presented to the user...
This give you the opperuntity to still approve the post if the StopForumSpam.com API returned a false positive. If the post is indeed SPAM you can use the improved quick member moderation menu available alongside each topic or on the member profile page if your a forum moderator to Ban the IP & delete the ember and all posts in one click.
When you ban an IP address within InstantForum this will add the user information both the internal InstantForum banned list of IP addresses and more importantly the users username, email address & IP address will now be added within the StopForumSpam.com database if you have this integration enabled. Over time this should help us all keep our communities clean.
We appreciate this single integration may not be the complete solution to automatically catch all SPAM however we feel it's a good first step and we will of course continue to always improve & combat spam.
Adding your StopForumSpam.com API key
You can configure StopForumSpam.com integration via the Admin CP > Forum Settings page as shown below...
Restrict features based on users reputation
We've added a number of new options to the Admin CP > Forum Settings page. These options are designed to allow you to control access to features that reward reputation within InstantForum based on the users current reputation within your community. This helps prevent new users from gaming the system to artificially inflate reputation or for example it can help prevent new users from being able to send direct messages to other users.
- Direct Message Reputation Level Threshold
The minimum reputation level a user must achieve before they can send emails or private messages.
- Like Posts Reputation Level Threshold
The minimum reputation level a user must achieve before they can like posts.
- Rate Posts Reputation Level Threshold
The minimum reputation level a user must achieve before they can rate posts.
- Report Posts Reputation Level Threshold
The minimum reputation level a user must achieve before they can report posts.
- Follow Members Reputation Level Threshold
The minimum reputation level a user must achieve before they can follow other members.
- Subscription Members Reputation Level Threshold
The minimum reputation level a user must achieve before they can subscribe to forums & topics.
New Report Post Dialog
We've made the report post process super simple. We no longer navigate to the post page instead we simply display a pop-up dialog. We now provide a list of "Report Reasons" you can choose from when reporting posts. We've also improved the notifications for reported posts to ensure all forum moderators will be informed of the post and will be presented with the user who reported the post and the reason given.
- Added additional security checks within moderation functions
- Added country & date stamp to BAnned IP Page
- Added email logging option to monitor successful & failed emails
- Added IP address and country for IP address to member profile page within Admin CP
- Added new "Reset Reputation Level" option when editing members via the Admin CP
- Added new quick unsubscribe from all forums button on forum subscriptions page
- Added quick Approve & Queue button to expanded post previews (both within forums & the moderation queue)
- Fixed Emails.xml line break not showing in emails when the HTML email format is enabled within InstantForum
- Fixed issues with no line breaks appearing within emails generated fro the Emails.xml file if you had HTML emails enabled within the Admin CP
- Fixed incorrect PM count issue
- Fixed bug with date of birth not being hidden on registration form if disabled via the Admin CP
- Fixed issue that would cause users to have incorrect PM counts if "User A" sent a PM to "User B" and you then deleted "User A", "User B" would previously have incorrect post counts. Whenever you delete a user now we recalculate all PM counts for any recipient the user may have PM'ed.
- Fixed issue where reputation would not be removed for replies to topics if you queued or deleted the topic
- Fixed issue with carriage returns not starting search
- Fixed issue with reputation points not increasing for members when you approve posts or topics in moderated forums
- Fixed issue with users reputation level not showing correctly when viewing a private message
- Fixed issues with duplicate emails due to background polling
- Improved paging control (added first and last pages - jump to page menu)
- Improved user delete function - now removes all user specific data in every table
- Improved User Edit Menu (To Edit, Ban or Delete Members)
That;s all for now. I look forward to posting further news on InstantForum 2014 very soon.
If you would be interested in assisting during the BETA releases of course please don't hesitate to comment below or contact us directly.