Challenge for a Clever Staff Member

Jump to Last Post 1-9 of 9 discussions (36 posts)
  1. Sue Adams profile image96
    Sue Adamsposted 6 years ago

    I spend a great deal of my time reporting spam on HubPages.

    Spammers can join this site with no intention of writing any articles. Their motive for joining is exclusively to leave links in hub comments and new forum threads.

    . commenting on hubs and
    . taking part in the forum

    be restricted to those who have published at least 1 Hub?


    1. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image94
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I would rather see at least 5 as the limit.

      1. jackclee lm profile image84
        jackclee lmposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        You would think with the advances made in AI, we can have an automated system that will purge comments that are irrelevant to the subject matter.

      2. Sue Adams profile image96
        Sue Adamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, even better. That gives new members a chance to learn the ropes.

        So here is the new rule:
        Signed in users should have at least 5 hubs published before they can comment on hubs or take part in forums.

        1. SmartAndFun profile image95
          SmartAndFunposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          What about new members who need help from the forums to get their first hubs successfully published? I asked several questions before I was able to get the hang of things here. Maybe newbies could be limited to posting in that one category?

          1. Sue Adams profile image96
            Sue Adamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            That's true. And that's a problem. So maybe we could go back to newbies having to have at least one hub published before being allowed to comment on hubs or participate in the forum. Surely there is enough help in the learning centre to write one hub.

            No we can't deal with it in any other way. They sign up and spam. And we end up wasting time reporting and reporting and reporting and the spammers keep spamming.

    2. Sherry Hewins profile image92
      Sherry Hewinsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      You don't have to join HP to comment on hubs. Comments on hubs are open to the public. I get lots of useful and engaging comments from non hubbers. I would truly hate to see that taken away.

  2. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    Newbies are the ones who need the forums the most. I think we can deal with spammers other ways. Like moderation of new posters.

    1. DzyMsLizzy profile image91
      DzyMsLizzyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed, given that so many people apparently will not read the learning center posts, or if they do, have difficulty making sense of all that information overload and/or cannot find the topic for which they are searching.

  3. Mark Ewbie profile image81
    Mark Ewbieposted 6 years ago

    A maximum number of posts per day.  I would like to see that for ALL.

    Oh yeah.  And no memes.  Apart from stickmen.

    1. lobobrandon profile image88
      lobobrandonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I get some really insightful comments on some of my hubs from non members. People writing comments as guests. They don't need to signup to comment. And I wouldn't want to take away the opportunity of such members commenting.

      1. Sue Adams profile image96
        Sue Adamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        OK, we can moderate spam on our own hubs but how do we stop people signing up just to spam, without writing a single hub? And then the site ends up with thousands of empty accounts?

        What can be done?

        1. lobobrandon profile image88
          lobobrandonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          That's what I'm saying people can comment as guest users too. Allow that and prevent signed up people from commenting until they have at least 1 or 5 hubs or something. No spam forum posts too that way.

          1. Sue Adams profile image96
            Sue Adamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Here we go again: I start my day by reporting spammers who just joined the site.

            I think this could be the answer to the problem:

            Prevent signed up people from commenting and opening new forum threads until they have written at least 1 hub. If they need the forum to get their first hub to pass QAP, then by all means, let them ask for help in the forum. But by then they will  have at least made an attempt at publishing a hub which is enough proof that they have not joined the site with the sole purpose of spamming.

            So to recap:
            Only allow users to comment and join the forum once they've hit the publish button for the first time.

            That should be simple enough to implement.
            What about it, anybody awake at HP headquarters?

            1. makingamark profile image70
              makingamarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              I'd go further - stop them commenting until they have produced five hubs.

              Participation in the forum should be seen as a reward for investment in the site.

              1. Sue Adams profile image96
                Sue Adamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                Let us not go round in circles. People have said that newbies need the forums to publish hubs.
                One written hub should be enough of proof of good intentions.

                On top of all this, here is someone who keeps encouraging and welcoming spammers. That doesn't help either.
       is the permalink to a forum post to a reported and now banned spammer. Could they possibly be the same person? I wonder.

                The situation is now ridiculous. Not only do I have to report
                1. spam forum entries
                2. spammer account names,
                but even
                3. irrelevant replies to spam forum entries.

                1. makingamark profile image70
                  makingamarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  No - newbies need "a" forum for help in publishing hubs. They don't need access to "the whole of the forum".

                  Sue - I'm reporting to HQ too because I'm equally fed up with the amount of spam I see on HubPages which really is spam!

      2. SweetiePie profile image84
        SweetiePieposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with you. I have a hub about friendship issues, and over the years I have had a lot of anonymous people comment on it. Sometimes people just need a sounding board, and they are not looking to sign-up and write here.

  4. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    Hubpages certainly could deal with it another way, specifically moderating everyone's first forum post. This is, after all, what almost every other large forum does-- using volunteer mods if necessary.

    And newbies sometimes need help working out how to create their first hub.  I would not want to just bin those novice users because they are blocked from reaching out to their peers. I distinctly remember having just that issue all those years ago when I joined and could make no sense of the help pages

    1. Sue Adams profile image96
      Sue Adamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      That is a good suggestion and could be the answer.

      All I know is that something should and could be done to stop people joining the site for the sole purpose of spamming.

  5. SmartAndFun profile image95
    SmartAndFunposted 6 years ago

    ^^^ Me too. Not only did I get answers to my specific questions, I was welcomed and received encouragement, too. It sounds corny, but those kind people helped me succeed here.

    1. viryabo profile image94
      viryaboposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Same here. Without such help in my early days, i would never have been able to make head or tail of how things work.

  6. makingamark profile image70
    makingamarkposted 6 years ago

    I have seen far more spam on HubPages than I ever saw on Squidoo - particularly in the Forum.

    I seem to recall with Squidoo that you couldn't post in the forum until you had published a minimum number of hubs. I think it was three but it might have been five.

    In other words they largely eliminated "the drive by spammer/troll" by making them do some work first. They then generally caught the worst spammers / trolls when they created their lenses (hubs)

    New hubbers can have their own forum for getting help. That was also an option that worked well on Squidoo.

    Spam on hubs can be regulated by hubbers. Personally I think moderation should be the default option and you should only be allowed to turn it off after you've 'graduated' from being a beginner and proved you are not a spammer.

  7. Marisa Wright profile image92
    Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago

    I would hate to see participation in the forums restricted to those who've published Hubs.   Newbies need encouragement and taking part in the forums is a good way for them to get that.

    There are many, many forums which manage to cope with spam very well - and they're not linked to any publishing platform at all.  They use a variety of methods to control spam.

    A common one is that newbies are able to post in existing threads, but not able to create a new thread until they've made a certain number of posts or achieved a certain level.

    I like that idea because it means newbies have to search for relevant threads before posting a new one - and since so many of them are asking a question that's already been answered, there's a good chance they'll find their answer anyway! 

    I also know a couple of forums where newbies are allowed to post in a special "Help" forum, but nowhere else until they've achieved a certain level.

    The big problem is that for some weird reason, when HP started its forum, it decided to create its own rather than use an established forum platform.  So if they want to introduce better controls, they'd have to program them specially and the forums have never been a priority for obvious reasons.

    1. wrenchBiscuit profile image72
      wrenchBiscuitposted 6 years agoin reply to this
      First of all, moderating forums is offensive . People need to grow up and deal with the real world. Even with the moderation here on Hubpages, when I participate in forums dealing with issues concerning race, I still know who the racists are. So what is the point in pretending, and hiding behind a social etiquette that is anything but genuine. I can understand moderating sites that little kids might participate in, but for God's sake, a lot of people here are getting ready to go to heaven! You would think they would have figured out by now that polite, phony, and watered down expressions won't make the ugliness go away.

      Secondly, if someone wants to participate in these forums then they should have to join the club. That would eliminate many of the trolls. For example, the KKK doesn't let just anybody burn crosses at their rallies. You have to get a sheet, and join the club first.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        No it's not - it depends what is moderated.   I'm talking about moderating posts by spammers - meaningless posts which aren't even trying to participate in discussion, purely to get links.  If there was no moderation, the forum would be overrun with posts like that.  I can see several on the forum right now. 

        I do agree that moderating to prevent offensive behaviour is a very difficult tightrope. Where do you draw the line between free speech and allowing bigotry?  But I don't think that means we shouldn't even try.   I have certainly  seen moderators turn into "forum Nazis" who allow their favourites to post with impunity while silencing others - but in my experience (and I've been on a lot of forums) that's the exception rather than the rule.

      2. makingamark profile image70
        makingamarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Let me introduce you to LinkedIn Groups where their HQ has just removed moderation controls and some long-established groups which have been well-run for years and are now becoming totally overrun by spammers!

      3. makingamark profile image70
        makingamarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        There has been a spate of spammers on the forum today. Posting half a dozen new threads at a time.

        Have you ever seen what behaviour like that does to the participation rate of ordinary members who hate wading through spam to find the good content? It plummets very fast - and it rarely comes back.

      4. Sue Adams profile image96
        Sue Adamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Are you missing the point?
        This thread is not about racism or trolling. It is about spammers who do and are currently allowed to join the club with no intention of ever writing a single article. Their sole motive for "joining" is to repeatedly keep creating new forum threads exclusively for the purpose of spamming. That is what we are trying to stop happening. These spammers could easily be stopped from doing so if a rule was implemented that:

        Newbies have to prove that their intention for joining the site is a genuine interest in publishing at least one hub before they are allowed to create new forum threads.

        The challenge is to program this into the system.

        1. wrenchBiscuit profile image72
          wrenchBiscuitposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          No, I very rarely miss the point. "Troll"  is a subjective term generally used to describe a person who causes a disruption in an online forum, or who engages in some form of harassment. A spammer essentially does both, as they interrupt the flow of the thread, and if allowed to continue, spam can be seen as a type of passive harassment.

          My opening comments were not directed at the problem of racism, but at the problem of censorship, which is what forum moderation truly is. The issue of racism was simply used to make that particular point.  As far as the KKK is concerned: I am a musician, a writer of essays, a poet, and a songwriter.

          Each and every day, for over 30 years, I have engaged the creative process.  Thus, as a result, it is not unusual that I use a generous amount of dramatic license in casual conversation, or when responding to a post. The KKK is an organization, or a club, just as Hubpages can be considered the same. And so there is the relevance of my analogy. I could have just as easily used the word "club" and left out the "KKK". But that would not have been as colorful, or thought provoking.

          Furthermore, at the end of the day I responded directly to your question by suggesting that anyone who wishes to participate in these forums should be required to "join the club". I could not have made myself any clearer, nor could I have been more on topic.

          P.S. I do not define "joining the club" as simply signing up as a member of Hubpages. I define it as actually participating as a writer.

          1. Sue Adams profile image96
            Sue Adamsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            OK, sorry, that is where I misunderstood you. Usually, "joining" a website means signing up. So if you define "joining the club" as actively participating as a writer rather than just signing up to spam, then we are on the same page.

      5. NateB11 profile image91
        NateB11posted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Oral Roberts looks like he wants to eat us for lunch with lava beans and a nice chianti.

    2. makingamark profile image70
      makingamarkposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Aha - thanks for filling me in - I didn't know that!  What a shame they don't have the controls for refining access to promote education and control spammers at the same time.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I remember some Hubbers raising concerns about this way back in 2010 and 2011, and suggesting that HP should switch to using recognised forum software to avoid wasting resources on maintaining and upgrading their in-house version.

  8. LongTimeMother profile image92
    LongTimeMotherposted 6 years ago

    We don't live in a perfect world. Spammers are annoying but between all the hubbers on this site, we should be able to quash them quickly and effectively.

    As long as moderators respond quickly to ban those who are reported (as I've noticed happens in the recent past), I'm not too fussed.

    It would be more annoying to me if people's comments were inadvertently censored.

  9. DivineHeroine profile image61
    DivineHeroineposted 6 years ago

    What if they come up with a 'spam-proof authentication system?'

    What I mean is if...
    New members must read the rules and guidelines in order to post? With a verification form on the side?
    I'm not sure if that may work. I don't know.
    At least the reporting system exists.


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