SEOClerks

How do you deal with spam members?



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How do you deal with spam members?

Sooner or later these types of "members" will reach your blog, forum, website and test your patience (everything will depend on how fast your project will grow). So, be ready for it because dealing with them can be very annoying (and the headache is almost certain).

It's clear that the most obvious option is to always exclude them (is what everyone would think of as the first choice). But when they come up almost routinely... How do you deal with this "sea of ??boredom"?

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cmoneyspinner

I use various blogging platforms. The Wordpress blogs have a spam-catcher that works great! When I use Blogspot, I use the Google Plus Comments module and it catches spammers also. I don't have that many blog visitors to be overly concerned about spammers. It's very easy to catch the ones that do visit me. As for members at a particular site, if you don't own the site, contact the site owners and express your concerns. If you own the site, set up Captcha or something like that to block them.



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Tronia

Since you mean spam members and not bots, well I think that there aren't many options on how to deal with them. You can have the so-called soft approach or the strict one. The soft approach would be you sending a PM with a warning and elaborating why they need to stop spamming and what will happen if they won't. Or, some people prefer to be strict and they just simply ban the member right away without warnings to avoid even more spam.



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DarthHazard

Personally, I don't think that we should bother with warnings for people that spam. Of course, if it is just borderline spam where you could argue that they just are posting short messages without any meaning but they are trying their best then a warning may be a good idea. But if it is actual spam then a straight permanent ban is the best thing to do, to be honest.



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jpyy

One trick is to ask users (at user registration) to spell a word backward. This seems to stop most spambots. However, though, it doesn't always completely work, so to get rid of any others, you might need to ban users and IPs or perhaps hire a moderator to do it. Anyway, on my forums, backward spelling has stopped spammers on most of them, but there is one where a few still get thru, despite the fact.

Anyway, in regards to blogs, not forums, I'm not aware of any special tricks. Does anyone know any?



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augusta

I think spammers would always be there on blogs and forums.The best bet would be to issue a warning to show you have notice it and if they still resist then banning the IP would be the next action because even banning their account wouldn't work because they'll still sign up again.



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jpyy

I think spammers will always attack at some point, but the problem can be greatly reduced with a few tricks. Unfortunately, though, people who program the bots will probably eventually figure out the tricks. For instance, at one time, any old question seemed to keep them out, but they've gotten smarter.



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TommyCarey

First off you need to set up moderation guards so this type of crap doesn't make it live on your website or blog. With a forum it's not as easy because you want your members to post and build content, so you'll have to do manual moderation a little more.

With forums, blogs and websites you can always make it so that any URL that is posted won't show a live link. It will actually just be plain text, which won't help the spammer as much, but still looks bad on your pages. For this, you'll just have to manually moderate it if it does go live.

When it comes to bots, which I don't think you're talking about, you can simply just block them from posting (hopefully). Some bots spam the crap out of the same website, forum or blog and think they're actually benefiting from it. In reality they're just trying to get 1,000 backlinks from the same website and it will never help them out lol.

For registration, to block bots, you can always add a recaptch system so they won't be able to register. It's like a gate guardian blocking their entrance into the promise lands lol How do you deal with spam members?



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kgord

Alot of people use verifications that people have to answer correctly to stop spammers and bots. I hate those though as it is usually something like click on all the cars when you have portions of cars in many frames..or click on all the signs when parts of the signs are in all squares.



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Krisleen

Spammers can be really annoying for writing irrelevant comments on blogs or forums. They don't contribute and give value to you at all. But I don't think getting harsh on them is the right approach to deal with them. It will just aggravate the situation. Might as well send a formal first. If it doesn't work, then that's the time the spammer should be banned without swearing or cursing him. Things like that should be done professionally as a blog or forum owner.



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wiseagent

I was a little bit drastic in my initial placement, haha (when I created the topic), but I would act just like you: first, a formal statement about the whole situation. If that didn't solve the problem, I would ban the member without previous warnings.



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overcast

I use the Akismet and the anti spam plugin. And for me that works out just fine. I am not sure how many people make use of those plugins on WordPress. But they can save a lot of time on comment moderation. And it can save money in due time that being spent on the VA. I guess we just have to see what may or may not work as well. I guess spam prevention requires a lot of effort in that direction. That;s how I am handling the spam on my site and blogs.



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PinkTurtle

I think the easiest way is to make the warning in the rules that any "spam member" that arrives your blog/site will be block or exclude, I know you said it can become rutinary to block them but there's no choice but to ban them. You could also test them before they enter your site, but that could take some time. If you are trying to fight the bots then just add a captcha to make it harder for them.



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wiseagent

That's really good.

A kind of test (as if it were a training period) is a great idea. This could help to separate the people who really want to contribute by posting valid / important content from those people who just want to test - in a bad way - the patience of others.



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Pixie06

The best way is to give a warning to that member and if he/she still doesn't understand that the best thing to do is to ban them. I am thankful that I have not yet come across such a member. It is not that easy to ban someone from a forum especially if that member has referred many others to your site or if they were contributing positively in the beginning. Unfortunately we have to take such drastic actions at times for our own betterment.



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DarthHazard

To deal with automated spam bots, the best thing to do is to set up special security questions that are customised for your site to ensure that they cannot get past the registration process. Simple questions like "What colour is a banana" has worked for me in the past when I had forums. Bots never managed to get past that question but it was simple enough for normal people to answer. The only way to deal with spamming members is to ban them and try to ban their IP address as well.



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itommy

It depends on the level of spamming. if they are trying to advertise their services/websites or adding links into their posts then I can remind them. Honestly I have a few forums and I used to ban members if could not make them better or still continue spamming.



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DenisP

The problem with this is that it is going to be an absolute inevitability. There are people out there that literally have nothing better to do than to troll forums and blogs, and cause mayhem in your community. They are the lowest of the low when it comes to the hierarchy of internet users, and there are plenty of them. The only way to really circumvent this is to take appropriate moderation and security measures. Almost all forums have moderators for this very reason, and some go so far as to require approval before any comment or post is published, though this can be difficult if you run a popular forum that receives a lot of traffic.



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Tronia

I agree with you. I think that there will always be spammers no matter what. You can't completely eliminate them but you can shut them down as soon as they start spamming.

I think that spammers are most common on the forums and that is why staff is important. Like you have mentioned, having good moderators and admins is crucial so the spam can't get out of hand.



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keen2write

Yes, I can't stand spammers. I have a good number of blogs, My main blog which also as a forum I tend to get many daily spammers on my blog comments which I can approve or delete. But its just annoying deleting 100s daily as to people spamming crap about viagra and silly sexual videos. But, I delete them as soon as possible, some spammers tho do give some good feedback to what is on my blog its just pitty there links don't look all that good.



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Authord

Well, I think it depends on the type of spam, you are talking about , And since it's not spam bots, because I have not heard of members spamming , except in the aspect of advertising their stuffs on your website. Then if it's the later then that's why moderation comes into play. If it is in your blog, you set and disable auto-comment. If it's in a forum, you will set up moderation and anti spam bot.



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vinaya

I don't have a membership website. Therefore, until now I have not dealt with spam members. However, I do get spam comments on my blog posts. Since I manually approve comments. I the spam comments are not harming my blogs. I can control spam comments by introducing captcha feature, however, this feature will also deter the genuine competitors.



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overcast

I think spam comment removal is easy. but Spam content posters are a bit harder to tackle. The reason being you can see that spam is not easy to adjust with. And also some of the time you can see that it may not be always easy to work around on those things. It's kind of not easy if you ask me to deal with spam. You just have to curb members in that case.



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vinaya

In my user generated site, which had automatic approval for an article, I used to receive a lot of spam articles. It was very tiring to remove spam contents and ban the members. Then one day I changed the posting rule. I am now manually approving the articles.



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overcast

I think it'd be a good idea to make manual review. I have found out that people who do manual review of content. It seems like a good idea. And you can easily make members adjust with rules too. But it's just something we learn and take action. And overall process takes toll on our head. That's what I have learned so far.



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Baburra

For my blog, I used to just experiment with different methods. Once, I turned on captcha, but that turned out to be a bad move because my audience hated it and they ended up engaging with me less. I also turned to making each post approved before it went through but there's something about not seeing your comment get published immediately that turns off viewers as well. I have looked into using a third party app but I don't want to require my audience to use another service and have to sign up just to comment.



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Barida

I must say that having people spam on my blog has been quote frustrating for it will make it look like you have robots as members and not human beings that should be keeping the rules of joining the blog. What I always do is to communicate with the said members and air my displeasure to them.



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Soulwatcher

There is really noting you can do but keep on banning them. Because all they have to do is spoof their ip and they are back spamming on your forum or blog again. How ever if you keep banning them right away, sooner or later its not going to be fun for them anymore. Which is why I think that it's important to check your blog or forum multiple times a day.



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peachpurple

spammers always linger at forum sites, that is the most hateful thing that down grade a forum traffic and image. I would report it to the admin.



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mildredtabitha

Most forums have a verification needed to prevent bots from joining. I have also seen spammers getting banned from forums and their IP addresses getting blocked.



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jaymish2

Its actually really easy to spot spam members because they are always plugging something. Most of their comments are irrelevant to what is being discussed and they have a link to their website or a website of a product they are trying to promote. I think that the moderators have to be strict. First have a clear and simple terms and conditions for the site. When spammers post something that does not help the site, warn them if they do not listen, ban them from the site.



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Corzhens

The only rule in spamming that I know is the so called 2-hits which means you can forgive him for posting a spam although you have to do something with that post whether you delete it or save it in an invisible folder as evidence. When he repeats posting another spam then that is reason for sanction. By the way, I am talking about the forum. You can suspend that spamming member and inform him of his violation. That is the amicable way of settling the issue.



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