A Thought On curing forum Spam

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  1. yoshi97 profile image58
    yoshi97posted 14 years ago

    all the people I see spamming the forums are signing up long enough to post on the forum but aren't writing any hubs. So ... I was thinking. Why not require three hubs from a person before they can post in the forums? They would still be allowed to read to their heart's content, but they would need to earn their way to the forums.

    You could also elongate this a bit and offer that a hubbers first three hubs are placed in a holding area for new hubbers and judged by the members. After each hub has sit in holding for three days without a hubber flagging them as spam or against the TOS they are then released onto the site.

    And what incentive to offer for hubbers to go through these new hubs?  a new milestone ... The quality assurance milestone ... awarded to those who check through new hubs and mark them as good hubs or flag them as violating the TOS.

    As an added thought, those who have a hub flagged for violating the TOS get placed back into this holding tank like a new member and receive the same review. This gets new members off on a good foot and helps remove the wheat from the chafe.

    It's a bit of work up front, but I believe it would serve to reduce the workload a bit as it would deal with spammers, TOS violaters, and would give the community more of a resolve to join in on the good fight. smile

    1. Deborah-Lynn profile image61
      Deborah-Lynnposted 14 years agoin reply to this
      1. Deborah-Lynn profile image61
        Deborah-Lynnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        You have a good point, earning something always lends more value, more care is taken with something earned, also, the change of Hubs being damaged by "hit and miss" visitors would be reduced if they found themselves in an initial quarantine... hmm

  2. sunforged profile image70
    sunforgedposted 14 years ago

    one small problem:

    help with those first 3 hubs, setting up adsense, whats an rss, etc- are some of the most legitimate reasons to post on the forums at all

    1. Marisa Wright profile image87
      Marisa Wrightposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I agree - there have been some "no-Hub" Hubbers who've gone on to write great hubs and do very well.  They've taken their time to learn the ropes before writing their first Hub.  I'd think we'd want to encourage that.

      A lot of forums have controls which prevent new users from posting links until they've made a certain number of posts.  That would remove the most basic spamming.

  3. Jeffrey Neal profile image71
    Jeffrey Nealposted 14 years ago

    That's a good idea.

    For the issue sunforged brought up maybe only allow questions from new hubbers in the help-specific forums?  If any spam comes from a new hubber who hasn't received their "quality assurance" milestone, toast their account...gone.

    1. yoshi97 profile image58
      yoshi97posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Excellent point sunforged! ...Great solution Jeffrey! smile

    2. relache profile image73
      relacheposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Wouldn't that just result in all the spam being concentrated in those forums as opposed to an actual reduction in the amount of it?

      1. yoshi97 profile image58
        yoshi97posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        It's a possibility. If we can find a solution to that one problem then we might be able to kick this spam in the forums.

        As is, a person logs on, gets an account, then kicks out useless spam all over the forums. I flagged about 10 last night myself.

        Perhaps if we had a newbie forum (which yes, they might spam) but have it not show up for anyone unless they are interested in answering newcomer questions (I know I'm one who likes to help and I know of others).

        What about a 'questions and answers' section for newcomers, though they would need room for a few more words to phrase out their questions .. just limit them to say ... 200 words. Also, we could put a sticky on commonly asked questions and create a knowledge base from them. smile

        Could that work?

        1. relache profile image73
          relacheposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          There's already a FAQ page, a Starting-Out Guide, Hubs that offer help about making Hubs and sticky posts at the tops of the most common forums. 

          How would you get people to read this new Q&A section if they aren't finding and using all that presently exists which could help them?

          1. yoshi97 profile image58
            yoshi97posted 14 years agoin reply to this

            Relache: Yeah .. it's frustrating that no one seems to read all that great info. I remember reading through it when I first joined and it helped me a lot.

            Maddie:  Glad to hear something is in the works ... and you're right, we definitely don't want anyone gaming the system.

            Please understand ... I'm not proposing an idea like this because I think HP isn't doing it's job or because I think they are incapable of handling spam. I'm just looking at all you guys and gals already do and trying to see (from the benefit of my own prior experience) what could be done to make your lives a bit easier.

            HP has a PR of six. That comes about from a dedicated staff working hard to maintain an excellent site ... I just don't want to see that staff get burned out by all the influx of spam and I'm willing to help as I can. I've already started a nightly ritual of flagging what I see - as it seems the wee hours of the night are when the cockroaches seem to come out to play. smile

      2. Jeffrey Neal profile image71
        Jeffrey Nealposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Probably so.  I think spammers are usually looking for the path of least resistance though.

        Okay, what if there were a better compilation of help hubs?  Have staff and senior hubbers vote and narrow down a list on specific help topics to guide new hubbers to.  It really shouldn't take much for them to complete three hubs, and then they are good to go.  Just my ramblings...

  4. sunforged profile image70
    sunforgedposted 14 years ago

    lol, true, I though of that also but then all the spam would hit the only that location, if the were to have access to only one forum it should be the
    sandox with the neverending threads or the religion forums, nobody would even notice

  5. profile image0
    Nelle Hoxieposted 14 years ago

    I don't like the idea of limiting participation based on hubs. Some new hubbers are great right off the bat. Some folks just take longer to write. Hubpages has just hired a person to keep an eye on the forums. Maybe this will help and we should give it a chance.

    And what would we do without all of these sock puppets who never seem to write more than a hub or two? Or what about the folks who keep deleting their accounts and making new acounts?

    Well okay maybe I've just argued the other side's viewpoint.

  6. Maddie Ruud profile image73
    Maddie Ruudposted 14 years ago

    We are working on a way to prevent people who sign up just to spam the forums from posting, but we want to err on the side of caution, since we do not want to inadvertently prevent well-meaning new users from using the forums as a resource.

    (I can't say TOO much about how we plan on doing this, because spammers are always looking for a way to game the system... so the less they know, the better.)

    1. profile image0
      Nelle Hoxieposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Good to know Maddie, thanks for the info.

    2. Deborah-Lynn profile image61
      Deborah-Lynnposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Good answer Maddie, I have confidence, we don't have to know the specific in's and outs...

  7. yoshi97 profile image58
    yoshi97posted 14 years ago

    Maybe cut it down to just one hub then ... we just want to stop the fly-by-night attacks and this I think would help. smile

    Every time I mark off a bunch of spam I cringe, as I know another human being has to meander through all of those mines, and so often they are just caused by one reckless nut gone crazy on the forums.

    Besides, any reduction in spam would allow some breathing room for the staff. To be honest, I don't know how they do so much with so little staff, and anything anyone can suggest that might lighten their load a little bit I'm all for. smile

  8. wesleycox profile image70
    wesleycoxposted 14 years ago

    I for one am not the smartest computer literate guy at all but, in my humbled opinion.  A QA/QC systems for hubs would work out best.  That would allow the hubpages community to prevent spam and poor quality hubs before they were even published, saving the hubpages staff some work.  It could be three or twelve checks.  As far as needing assistance with common things, in the upper right hand corner of every page is a button that says "Help".  If that was the only thing I had and I needed help well I would click on it.  All the hubs offering guidance on how to hub could be posted in there.  Forum posts could also be posted in there.  Spamming the forums could be controlled by blocking new users from posting in the forums until they have three or five quality controlled hubs published.  This is just an idea from a stupid mechanic.  I think yoshi is on to something here.  Besides if new hubbers aren't allow to post in the forums it would teach them to use the help button when they need help, instead of asking questions that are in the TOS and FAQ pages.

    P.S.  Hubpages staff is doing a fantastic job in my eyes.

  9. Jane@CM profile image60
    Jane@CMposted 14 years ago

    I totally agree, but ya know, then all the alias people have to write hubs too (snickers to self while walking away).....

  10. Dale Mazurek profile image62
    Dale Mazurekposted 14 years ago

    Im really not sure on this.  I too hate the spammers that seem to show up each night after the office is closed.

    However I think the staff are doing a great job at getting rid of them.

    I say we just keep moving along and the staff will keep moving on and eventually come up with a solution we will all be happy with.

    HubPages staff rarely let us down so lets just wait and see what they have up their sleeves this time.

  11. Eric Graudins profile image60
    Eric Graudinsposted 14 years ago

    A technique that works well in other large forums is to employ some moderators in  different time zones to do "shifts" of reviewing new accounts, and immediately close them down if they are spamming.

    (Or just give Misha the power to delete the accounts of spammers.
    That would get clean them out lol )


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