I’m trying to join a forum using TOR and it keeps rejecting me and saying I’m a spammer. I’ve even tried using a vpn without TOR and still get the same result. I don’t want to join without having proper online anonymity. The software the forum is using is XenForo. Is there something I’m doing wrong? I have never taken the time to configure TOR or the vpn. Could that be it? Can TOR not be configured to get around that?
Sometimes websites will block Tor users because they can’t tell the difference between the average Tor user and automated traffic. The best success we’ve had in getting sites to unblock Tor users is getting users to contact the site administrators directly. Something like this might do the trick:
“Hi! I tried to access your site xyz.com while using Tor Browser and discovered that you don’t allow Tor users to access your site. I urge you to reconsider this decision; Tor is used by people all over the world to protect their privacy and fight censorship. By blocking Tor users, you are likely blocking people in repressive countries who want to use a free internet, journalists and researchers who want to protect themselves from discovery, whistleblowers, activists, and ordinary people who want to opt out of invasive third party tracking. Please take a strong stance in favor of digital privacy and internet freedom, and allow Tor users access to xyz.com. Thank you.”
In the case of banks, and other sensitive websites, it is also common to see geography-based blocking (if a bank knows you generally access their services from one country, and suddenly you are connecting from an exit relay on the other side of the world, your account may be locked or suspended).
You say even VPN without Tor produces the same result. Unless it just happens that they also block your VPN in particular, there’s something else that is triggering their system.
There’s many different reasons why a website might be rejecting your sign up, or a form submission in general. Some websites use a heuristic approach where neither a Tor exit node nor a throwaway email provider would raise a red flag on their own but both combined together will.
Here’s a couple of things you can still try:
- switch the Tor circuit
- use a different email provider - there’s some temp email providers that don’t seem to raise alarms on most websites (yet), and there’s some popular and “credible” email providers that allow registration over Tor without requiring a phone number
- as a last resort try using a web proxy - DO NOT do this for anything serious(!!!), but it works quite often because such a proxy usually changes your request fingerprint instead of just tunneling your request
Besides automated traffic detection: some sites use third-party blocklists (see: spamhaus as an example) … in those cases, offending IP addresses are reported to the blocklist maintainers. If the IP of your current exit node is on the blocklist a site uses, then you get blocked. They’ll usually present a message like “We’ve detected unusual traffic…” but it may simply be that your IP is on a list somewhere.
Some of these list providers maintain multiple lists, and one list option might be one that includes all Tor exit nodes. Tor makes its exit node list available publicly for parties that wish to know and/or block exits.
There’s nothing you can do about that, except do what Gus suggested and appeal to them to reconsider their position.
While others have already solved this, you may find
ctrl+shift+L a helpful shortcut to quickly change your exit node (multiple times if necessary).
May take a couple tries until you arrive with one off the blocklist.