In recent times the Suffusion forum, which is driven by phpBB, had been plagued with hordes of spammers. I initially thought people came, spammed, then left. But then I was alerted by a user that the spammers had infested the boards by creating lots and lots of dummy logins, and in effect my Captcha was broken. I had earlier switched from GD Image Captcha to a Simple Captcha, because sometimes GD Image Captcha was too tough to figure out for humans as well. The result was that OCR (Optical Character Recognition) was easier to carry out for Simple Captcha, and everyday there were hundreds of spammers thronging the boards.
The net result was that I had to spend almost three hours cleaning up the user database. I brought down the total number of users from 7800+ to just around 2200+. In this process I am sure I have deleted a few legitimate users, because I used the criterion “0 posts” for most of my cleanup. I know that some of you have sent me PMs but haven’t posted on the forum. If that has been the case, then your account too would have been deleted. If so, please go ahead and re-create your account. I have changed the Captcha to be of a “Q&A” form, so this should keep out Spambots. Let’s see how it goes. Spam has been one of the reasons I have thought very seriously of building a Bug Tracker kind of add-on for Suffusion (using Custom Post Types), but that is something that needs lot of time and devotion.