Instructable SPAM combat

I looked around a bit in the forums and didn't see anything on this topic, but I may not have looked far enough...

I keep tabs on Instructables.com by watching my RSS feed, and I'm frequently annoyed by seeing blatant SPAM coming up in the feed.  Usually SPAM instructables have a photo/video with hyperlinks to an external site, and they're the very first published instructable under an account that was created only hours (or minutes) earlier.

Is there a way that new accounts would be put on probation, requiring that their first instructable pass the sniff-test before being published in the RSS feed or elsewhere?  Perhaps long-established or trusted members with good karma / reputation (yes, borrowing concepts from other sites here) would have the privilege of giving a thumbs-up to non-spam instructables?

Now, I'm not suggesting that this be a complex moderation system or that the instructable even be halfway decent -- just that it's not blatant spam.  If a first-time publisher posts spam, they get a thumbs-down with a boilerplate explanation of why their post isn't in the RSS feed.  They continue to be on probation until they post their first non-spam Instructable.

Now, of course I realize that logged-in members to Instructables have the ability to hit the "SPAM" flag on an instructable, but in my opinion the damage has already been done.  At the very least, these users can be directed to the Marketplace forums.  

I look forward to your constructive criticism. :)

sort by: active | newest | oldest
1-10 of 44Next »
https://www.instructables.com/member/Clip+Ins/
I have now flagged these & a few others I came across.
It seems a favorite method of spamming lately is to add hyperlinks to comments, short of trawling through every comment left on the site each day I think the only way for HQ to stop it would be to filter any comments or even 'ibles for that matter containing hyperlinks to be vetted before they hit the site.
good idea
The problem with doing this would be that it would slow down the appearance of genuine posts.
As Kiteman says below the spam which appears in comments only really impact a few people.
A better option would be for any posts containing hyperlinks to be forwarded to the service team as well as to the site that way genuine posts would not be slowed down & providing the service team were able to check through them on a regular basis even if that were only once a day the spam content could be removed fairly quickly.
When I worked for a large network integration company a few years ago our customers had access to an extranet which had a similar feature incorporated into it, anything posted to it that contained certain keywords email addresses or long strings of numbers like phone numbers was also flagged to myself or another member of technical support team who would then check it through to ensure the customer had included the correct data, anything that was incorrect could then be brought to the attention of the customer or removed from the site.
It's not a perfect solution but at least it would enable spam to be filtered without impacting on genuine members use of the site.
Which would mean my comment below would be caught...

Individual spam posts like that cause relatively little annoyance (to anybody except the person who gets the comment). The worst spam is the kind posted as instructables or forum topics (which seems to come from outside the US, since I tend to catch and flag large amounts of watch THIS online spam during a UK morning, when most of the US is fast asleep).
If you know a member is spamming, the best action is to email service@instructables.com, or send a PM to one of the HQ staff about it.

This subject seems to have died down a bit recently but I've had a bad couple of days so I feel like a bit of a rant.
In the last four days one new member has posted the same two advertibles twice.
Granted they are thinly veiled but they still quite obviously spam, all they contain is a few pictures & a link to their "blog" which surprise surprise leads to further links to their shop.
While I do like their work & love the fact that they are re-using & re-purposing things that otherwise would likely end up in a landfill they are not instructables & are merely there to advertise the things they are selling.
Another posting for a drywall contractor isn't even trying to be anything other than a blatant advert for their services; it has now been on the site for two days has several comments about spam & I for one have flagged it as such yet it is still here.
Surely it's time something like Kitemans suggestion which he posted here on October 13th should be implemented, I hope he won’t mind that I have copied his suggestions below....


Here's how I think it should work:

1. New pro members don't get any restrictions at all. I think it's fairly safe to assume that spammers will avoid actually paying to post the spam. That's kind of the point of spam.

2. New free members can post comments and replies immediately.

3. New free members can create forum topics and instructables immediately, but they go into quarantine until a human being has checked them and hit an "OK" button.

4. The human beings involved should, preferably, be spread around time-zones so that genuine members suffer as little delay in being approved as possible. There's no point inconveniencing genuine Makers, just because of the spammers.

5. I have no proper idea how much work the above four points would generate, but I would assume that it would need no more than two or three individuals to deal with the 2/3 of the working day not covered by official HQ office hours, and I'm sure that Californian weekends could be shared amongst HQ staff.


Even if it were simply a case of keeping new members postings moderated until they have posted one or two genuine 'ibles it would help to filter out at least some of these people who are looking for free advertising space & will never be genuine contributors to the site.

That's my rant over for now & I must say I do feel better for it ;-)

lemonie6 years ago
lemonie6 years ago
Twinmum lemonie6 years ago
That guy has 15 instructables that are all spam!
1-10 of 44Next »