Spam link plugin for BuddyPress

TL;DR: I wrote a small BuddyPress plugin to restore the “mark as spammer” link in the admin toolbar and add a “spammer” button to the activity stream’s actions. You can grab it on GitHub.

Here’s the deal…

I maintain a small BuddyPress site, and it gets hammered with spam user signups. I’m philosophically opposed to CAPTCHAs. I think spam is my problem as the site owner, and I refuse to offload that burden onto my users. But that means I deal with a lot of spammers. They’re easy to spot; since this group is for the alumni of a writer’s workshop, every legitimate user should sign up only for the groups corresponding to the years they attended. When someone signs up for every group we have, they’re obviously not one of us.

Until the latest version, BuddyPress had a “mark as spammer” button in the admin toolbar. That was very handy. I’d view my activity, open all the bogus users’ profiles in new tabs, and use the toolbar link to get rid of them.

In the latest version, though, that toolbar link is gone. A few weeks ago, I finally got fed up enough to go digging through the BuddyPress source code so I could figure out how to put it back. What I found was that the underlying hook for marking users as spammers had been commented out in 1.6. The inline docs don’t indicate why; only that the functionality was deliberately moved to the capabilities tab on the user’s profile page (which takes several extra clicks to reach).

So, until I have a chance to go through the changelogs and/or chat with the developers who made that change, I’m not submitting a patch to restore the link. Nor am I releasing this little plugin in the official repository. I’ve been using it for a few weeks, though, and it seems to work fine.

This is an excerpt from Content Strategy for WordPress.My latest books are Content Strategy for WordPress (2015) and WordPress for Web Developers (2013). Sign up to be notified when I have a new book for you.


  1. says

    Thank you so much for posting this! My buddypress powered site had an influx of spammers, and I really wanted to find a way to get the old admin bar spammer management functionality back. You are my hero. I really wasn’t looking forward to searching for all those users in the back end. Thanks!

  2. says

    This is perfect, thank you for writing this ‘Mark as Spammer’ link plugin. Found your blog by Googling to find the right hooks to use to add a ‘spammer’ link next to profile names. You’ve saved me plenty of time. Thank you.

  3. TokyoJoe says

    Did this ever get released as a plugin? Not sure how to integrate into my buddypress Version
    I like your idea of spammer button. I am always manually going in and changing user role to “no role on this site”

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