Fighting spam is a continuous battle. We are constantly putting in effort to improve our tactics and stay ahead of spammers. Here are the 3 main tactics you can apply to your community in the battle against spam:
- Spam Filter
- Rate Limiting
- Registration Approval
1. Spam Filter
The Spam Filter protects the community from Spam messages. The Spam Filter uses Machine Learning to automatically detect spam messages. However, to be able to learn what is spam and not, the filter needs to be fed with data.
Once we’ve activated the Spam Filter for you, you’ll need to mark lots of posts as spam before it starts to automatically detect whether a post contains spam (the exact number is different for each community, but usually it must be fed tens of posts).
The Spam Filter uses machine learning: the more information you feed it, the smarter it becomes. This includes unmarking non-spam posts that the Spam Filter marked as spam by mistake. It requires a sustained and committed moderation effort for the Spam Filter to become effective.
Tip: We sometimes see that users incorrectly are being detected as spammer due to the way they write their posts (e.g. a lot of code and urls), or due to a vpn which they use that our spam detection knows is often being used for spam. This can be prevented by not using such a vpn provider or by giving the user the primary role “Super user” (which automatically excludes them from the spam check).
How To Mark A Topic As Spam
- Go to Control → Content → Moderation Overview.
- Select one or more topics, then press ‘More’ and select ‘Mark as Spam’.
- The topic will now be removed from the community.
How To Mark A Reply As Spam
- Go to Control → Content → Moderation Overview → Click a topic.
- Find the reply that you want to mark as spam, click ‘Mark As’, and then choose ‘Spam’.
- The reply will now be removed from the community.
How To Unmark A Post As Spam
- Go to Control → Content → Moderation Spam.
- Select one or more posts that you want to unmark, then click ‘Not Spam’.
- The post will now be published on the community.
When you mark a member’s post as spam, that member will be automatically banned from the community. Take care not to accidentally ban a legitimate member!
We recommend that you frequently check the spam folder in Control and unmark any valid posts that the Spam Filter marked as spam by mistake (also, did you know that content that isn’t Spam is referred to as Ham?).
Members whose posts are marked as spam by the Spam Filter aren’t automatically banned. This is in case the spam filter accidentally marks a valid post that isn’t actually spam. We recommend occasionally checking the spam folder and banning these members.
2. Rate Limiting
Rate limiting applies when specific users or actions exceed a defined limit. We've developed the following rate limits:
- Post Topic limit on userid: New users, younger than 10 days, can only post 3 topics per day (measured per userid)
- Post Topic limit on IP: post from different users on the same IP is limited to 3 accounts per IP within 10 days
- Limit on failed registration: visitors from one ip might not do more than 5 tries per hour to register a user
- Limit on failed login: visitors from one ip might not do more than 5 tries per hour to login a user
- Limit on password request: visitors from one ip might not do more than 5 tries per hour to request a new password
Rate limiting is enabled on all communities by default. If you would like to disable it, let us know (email@example.com)
3. Registration Approval
‘New user registration approval’ allows moderators to approve new user registrations. When this feature is enabled a moderator must approve or deny a registration before the user can post content on the community.
How to enable moderator approval for new registrations
- Go to Control → Settings → Registration Rules
- Enable ‘Registartion approvals’
- Hit save changes, and you're done!
New community users will see a “Membership requires approval from moderator” message when they activated their account. At this stage the user is part of the community but he/she can’t create topics or reply yet.
Moderators need to approve a registration before the user can create content. Approving new registrations is a simple 3 step process:
- Go to Control → Users → Users Overview
- Filter on user role: 'Waiting for moderator approval'
- Open a user profile page and click 'Approve registration'
Upon approval the user will receive an email that his registration is approved, at this stage he/she can create topics and reply.