Various question about cleaning up an imported vbulletin

I imported a 20 years old forum to Discourse.
It has many unused or spam accounts and spam messages.
I’d like to do a cleanup.

I set up all my users to trust level 0.
I tried to know how many users have never posted any message with this data explorer query:

SELECT COUNT (DISTINCT user_id) from posts

It counts 28530.

I tried to know how many total users I have:


It counts 180000 (vBulletin stats said we indeed had 180000 accounts)

I triggered the CleanUpInactiveUsers Sidekiq job.
Only a few hundred users were removed. I looked at one of these unused profiles and saw no activity: no post, no topic… However, Discobot sent them a message after I imported all the users from vBulletin. It was 5 days ago.
So I Discourse settings, I set clean up inactive users after days to 1.
I trigger CleanUpInactiveUsers Sidekiq job again.
I lost about 1000 users.
I still have 178000 users and I know that most of them are empty and unused profiles with no message.

Any idea why they aren’t removed by CleanUpInactiveUsers?

Plus, since there are many spams accounts and messages. Is it possible to trigger spam detection on existing users and messages, and clean all that up too?

The job has a limit of 1000 per run, to avoid clogging the sidekiq queue

You could run it from the rails console like{})

And then put it in a loop like

100.times do{})
  puts "Done iteration. Total user count #{User.count}"

What kind of spam detection were you thinking? Akismet?


Thanks for the clarification!

Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know what Discourse uses to detect and prevent spam.

Also I believe a fair number of my spammers posted messages on public users’ profiles, a feature that doesn’t exist on Discourse.
These messages were imported on Discourse as “regular” topics, with no category and no title, making them easy to identify.:

Example of a spam profile:

I don’t want to delete all these titleless messages, most being harmless and potentially containing information that some users would like to get back

What I’d like to do is delete users that posted only titleless topics and remove the user’s topics too.
Could such a thing be done fairly easily with rails commands?

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It might take a little experimentation, but yes. Something like this might work as a starting point:

User.find_each do |user|
  untitled_topic_count = user.topics.where(title: "").count
  titled_topic_count = user.topics.where.not(title: "").count
  if untitled_topic_count > 0 && titled_topic_count == 0
    # delete the topics and/or the user

For the record, here are my conditions:

In my case, a spammer must have:

  • More than 1 post
  • at least 1 titleless topic
  • No titled topic
  • The same number of posts as the number of topics (since a topic IS a post)

So I just added conditions:

User.find_each do |user|
  untitled_topic_count = user.topics.where(title: "").count
  titled_topic_count = user.topics.where.not(title: "").count
  topic_count = untitled_topic_count + titled_topic_count
  post_count = user.posts.count
  if post_count > 1 && untitled_topic_count > 0 && titled_topic_count == 0 && post_count == topic_count
  	puts "SPAMMER ?"

Let’s hope that won’t target legit users, but that seems safe so far, looking randomly at targets. :wink:

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