The trolls are driving me crazy; I'd like to experiment with a secret ban.

A hellbanned user is invisible to all other users, but crucially, not himself. From their perspective, they are participating normally in the community but nobody ever responds to them. They can no longer disrupt the community because they are effectively a ghost. It's a clever way of enforcing the "don't feed the troll" rule in the community. When nothing they post ever gets a response, a hellbanned user is likely to get bored or frustrated and leave.

Source: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/06/suspension-ban-or-hellban.html

It looks like there's no way to do this out-of-the-box with phpbb. Is there a way to hack it in?

  • 3
    +1 a new term for me :) However, OT it is, unless it's about a specific programming bit, which begs a more detailed/explored question.
    – pst
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 6:04
  • I clarified my question. phpbb doesn't do this out of the box; some coding is required here. Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 6:51
  • <personal>I hate this kind of thing :(</personal>
    – o0'.
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 16:29
  • @DanFabulich There isn't an easy way to add this particular feature to phpbb without making your own plugin/mod. You will either have to make your own or use a "slowban"/"errorban", which will work just as well.
    – user6901
    Commented Nov 29, 2011 at 21:40

2 Answers 2


I have found this mod for phpbb: http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=72381&sid=971f4e6c781831f545705d8b46db09fa&start=165#p3136484, but it only works for phpbb 2, not phpbb 3. You could upgrade it though.

This feature is also included in lots of other forum software, such as bbpress and vBulletin, and fluxbb looks like they will be adding this feature in their next release, but that might be a while.

In addition, there is another option that would have the same effect on users, and which is supported in phpbb. The article that you linked mentioned it as a "slowban" or an "errorban". What it does is it makes your site load really slowly/randomly log the user out/give them error messages/make it not work for them. This is a mod for this in phpbb, though I haven't tested it. Download it at http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=813545.

Also, a mod that you could use as a starting point to create your own mod would be the Ignore Users mod (it allowes users to ignore other users, so they wont see their posts, which isn't exactly what you want), which you could modify to do what you want.

If you are interested in making your own phpbb modification, this article offers some useful information and links.

  • @DanFabulich if you do make your own Mod/Plugin, post a link here. I bet that a lot of people would be interested in this :)
    – user6901
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 2:27

There is a troll mod that will make that will delay loading times and throwing random errors just for that user that will hopefully make them go away.

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