Stopping spam in comments and forum posts

by Squark on 16 Sep 2011 07:27

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As you may have already read in one of our recent blog posts over the last few months we've been fighting the increased SEO-related spam activity on Wikidot. Though at first glance this war seemed like tilting at windmills, we've designed spam-prevention mechanisms that are surprisingly efficient, especially when dealing with automatically created sites. Even if spammers are able to create such sites, we delete them. We hope that spammers eventually will get bored of this uphill struggle.

Automated content creation tools and spam is a huge problem for us. As previously explained, low-quality content may harm the project because it appears to be less worthful and reliable for users, advertisers, investors etc. Who'd want to have its project hosted and managed by a service used vastly by spammers?

But we also need to protect our users' interests and fight spam on all levels. Many of you complained about the spammers flooding their comments and forums. From time to time we have also experienced such spam here, on our blog. In every single case the spammy comment contained a link to an external site.

Until a few days ago, we had been deleting such comments manually, being notified about them by e-mail. But what works for us might not always work for you. Spammers especially abuse blogs and forums with open permissions and count on the fact that admins will not notice and delete their posts. If a site is abandoned, they often succeed. So you either need to monitor your site closely, or make permissions stricter.

How did we solve it? Every site admin may now prevent anonymous (guest) users and users with low karma from including links in their posts. You can find these settings in your Site Manager » Abuse » Options

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We have observed that on many forums, new users have to earn some kind of experience or trust until they get full forum functionality. Now you can set the minimal karma level below which users are not possible to post links on forum and page comments.

This should effectively stop abusive comments, decrease the time you need to spend on maintaining your sites, but should not have affect on your regular users.

The options is enabled by default for all sites. If you want to enable your guest users or low-karma users to post links you need to change the option.

We hope that these settings will may Wikidot more reliable and will decrease comments spam prominently.

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