A NON-Instructable: How to PREVENT SPAN in this site we all LOVE

Hi guy

Latelly spam is getting nasty.
I do my best in flagging it all out as much as I can, because I hate spam nad love the site

I've come up with a couple of ideas that could help  preventing spam:

- Moderate the first 'ible of new users:
Almost all spam comes from new users and their very fist 'ible is spam.
Just hold the 'first ible of any new user 'till a moderator sees it and approves it.

- Allow site users to do the job for you:
That's what web2.0 is all about: users signal with the spam flag and you can remove the posts
asap (saw this happend seldom times, or with a long delay)

- Promote some users as moderators that have the right to "umpublish" (not delete) 
posts that are flagged as SPAM. This status can be revoked if user gets nasty and bossy.

How about it?



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Jayefuu5 years ago
The majority of spam on the site is squelched from the get go by automatic checks.

Instructables already do the last two of your suggestions. I would imagine they avoid the first suggestion as it might confuse rather than encourage new users.
I fail to see how moderation would confuse anyone!
I'm a member of plenty of groups & forums that moderate new users & I have never heard anyone complain they were confused by it quite the contrary most people seem to appreciate the effort taken to keep the content friendly & relevant.
A simple note in the sign up page along with a follow up email when they make their first post would be sufficient to avoid any confusion there may be, the first is a simple matter of editing the sign up info & the second could be very easily automated.
I would argue that very few people read any of the "paperwork" when they join a site, so would not notice any, er, notice. Personally, I must have been a member of the site for over a year before I bothered to read the ToS. So, the best solution would be a pop-up message that appears the very first time a member hits the "publish" button on an instructable, advising that there might be a delay in their work reaching the main site.

I would also note that only 1% of the membership ever become an author, and of that fraction, only a small minority ever post more than one or two projects before fading away. Any delay in the process of getting your first project online would be a discouragement to new authors.

On the other hand, for projects posted during Californian office hours (as the majority are), the delay in a quarantine filter would probably only be minutes at worst, less if members of the Community Team were able to pass new projects for viewing as well.

All of which is a long-winded way of agreeing with you.
lemonie5 years ago
The site isn't that bothered to make major changes like these as spam tends to go away well-enough and quickly enough.
Or "Spam can be ignored".

I can see your thinking but it needn't be a major change, we use a similar process on our intranet & extranet sites, they & receive tens of thousands of posts & alterations a day.
From the suggestion being made & agreed to the addition to the sites took only four days & three & a half of those were spent with me & my team bug testing it.
It doesn't remove the data it simply blocks access to it until it has been checked meaning that no part of it will be visible, instead there is a frame explaining that the information is being verified, a process that takes a matter of minutes & the block can be lifted with a couple of mouse clicks.
As for "spam tends to go away well-enough and quickly enough." I have seen spam items sit on this site for days on end without being removed & before anyone says anything I'm not talking about weekends but weekdays as well.
Certainly spam can be ignored, Please Lemonie don't take this as a personal crack at you but I have seen this said so many times & I have to say this, what other rules would you like to ignore? how about the "be nice" policy? should we start to ignore the competition rules & allow everything & anything to be entered? or perhaps all those members who live in parts of the world barred from contests should just lie about where they live?
Put simply spam is not only a breach of the rules WE ALL agreed to when we joined it is stealing; it's stealing from Instructables as company by posting unauthorised & unpaid advertising, in a smaller way it's stealing from members who have data limited web access because like it or not when they open Instructables categories the pictures & text from the spam will load along with all the rest of the images on the page, it may not be much data but it all adds up & has to be paid for.
In addition some of it is just plain offensive such as the one posted a couple of days ago promoting a slimming company which had Kiteman, Rimar2000 & quite a few others more than a little bit annoyed; so now we have slimming videos aimed at insecure teens what next companies promoting their new range of condoms and sex toys? should we just let spam like that simply sit there until someone finally gets around to checking it out? a simple addition to the flagging process we already have could have removed that particular spam at least a day earlier than it was.
I have seen plenty of suggestions made over the last couple of years regarding spam, none of them have been taken up which would be OK if something else had been done to get rid of it quickly.
This subject comes again & again & until something is done to remove spam far faster than it currently is it will keep coming up because it annoys & irritates people and occasionally really offends them.
As I suspected my suggestion of a three flag rule is not a new one which is no surprise as it seems to me it would quickly remove much of the spam which slips through the net.
I can see benefits to both proactive & reactive approaches, in the proactive method it's fair to say that nothing would get through although it would create a short delay to the publication of 'ibles for new members.
Alternatively in the reactive method there would be no delays but it does require action by members to bring attention to unsuitable content.
Personally I would in many ways prefer proactive, this sends out a clear message to the members as well as spammers that action is being taken to get rid of these people & companies who take advantage of an audience they have done nothing to deserve.
I'm sure there are many members in all time zones who would be happy to act as moderators I for one would happily volunteer.
Ultimately I think it would require a combination of both to provide a system that would remove spam from our favourite site forever but I do think the effort would be worth it & I believe that many would agree particularly bearing in mind posts such as the one that caused such a strong reaction a few days ago.
You are quite cross about this? I'm a bit more relaxed in thinking that I have better things to be bothered about than crap that I can ignore (life in general).
I would prefer that this site had more drive towards quality over page-hits though.

Surely the eradication of spam would be a step forward in the quality of the site.
I do get quite cross about it, partly because I hate the dishonesty & hypocrisy of it & partly because I have personal experience of the damage uncontrolled spam can do to an otherwise well run site.
blkhawk5 years ago
We need to define what is SPAM first, beyond the obvious shameful promotion of for profit companies. That way we all know what to look for before anyone flags or post an 'ible. What about non for profit organizations? What about joining a cause? What would be considered as SPAM so we all clearly steer away from it?
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