Upgrade database bloated with spam
I’m dealing with a website that went through a period of neglect in which it was bombarded with registration spam and spam posts to its bbPress board. Nearly all the spam posts were caught by Akismet, so they aren’t being displayed. We’re installing reCaptcha and possibly other measures to prevent additional registration spam and cut down on spam posts.
The problem is the size of the database. Tens of thousands of spam posts that were caught by Akismet remain in the database, with the vast majority in status “pending” (although they don’t appear in the pending folder). The number is so large that manual deletion is not practical. The tentative plan is to use SQL to remove these posts and their metadata. Likewise, it seems we SQL will be needed to remove a huge number of bogus users and their metadata.
The dashboard has a message saying we need to perform a manual database upgrade due to the size of the forum. We aren’t sure how to proceed: perform these deletions in SQL and then do the upgrade, or do the upgrade first? Presumably the upgrades will proceed faster with a 90% reduction in the size of the database if we do the SQL operations first, but I don’t know if there are other considerations that point the other way. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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