First of all: apologies for not communicating on one of my experiments sooner.
Second: what am I talking about?
As you all know, spambots bother us from time to time. Banning works, but has major drawbacks. For example you get a long ban list and you ban IPs. Also, some spambots rattle our gates every day. You don't see this, but it generates a lot of logs. From time to time you may see a spambot name in the recent members list.
So long story short, instead of banning, I built them a prison called The Cave. And put them in a special member group called Grues (zork reference, my dear fellow adventurers, as well as nicely in theme with the HoW.)
Grues can't do anything but post in The Cave. Which doesn't count to any statistic and nobody sees it but them. So posting is pointless.
They can't see anything else when logged in but the cave. No member list, no statistics, no pm capabilities.
Hopefully, this demoralises them more than banning. If not then the cave is easily cleaned out.
All in all, if this works as intended, life for the Staff should become better and mothers can tell scary tales of the grues to their children.
If you see a gray name on the recent member list, then that is a grue. Should be boxed and harmless.
If you see a new spambot or grue doing something she shouldn't, report to moderator.