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How to deal with spam on instructables? Answered

Guys, if you see spam, anywhere on the site, please do not reply to it, even if you are just saying "spam".

Adding comments actually slows down the removal of the spam, so just flag it and move on.

If it is really offensive spam, or it needs quickly removing for some other reason, then email service@instructables.com, or send a PM to any members of the staff or the Community Team who seem to be online at the time.

If you're running on UK/Europe times, that will likely be me.


This is good advice: Flag it and move on.

That's what I have been doing. The process is a little dreary though. I mean I think the dialog box says "thank you", or whatever.

What I'd really like to see is my spam-hunting skillz showcased with my other "stats". How many times have I set a spam flag? What percentage of my flags were correct identifications of actual spam? Maybe there could be worthless prizes, like patches, awarded for successfully flagging large numbers of spam posts.

Yeah. I know: Setting flags for the right reasons is like, serious business, still I wish it were more fun somehow. Or that I had some other feedback besides noticing the spam usually disappears a few hours later.

BTW: Thank you very much to whoever it is actually disapearing the spam. I appreciate it.

+1 Awesome Idea

I know Newgrounds used to have a short flash vid until they switched over to this system...

Basically the same thing! Even giving more pull to those who "Leveled Up" their status.

Could be the start of Instructables Anti Spam Squad :D

Hmm, gamifying spam-hunting might be fun for a while, right up until folk start creating fake spam accounts just so they can report them and increase their scores...

I would also want to know if there was any comment of mine that got deleted because it was "Not Nice", So I wouldn't comment something like that again...

Though many people would see that it got deleted, They would post the mean comment again just so they would "win" :(

Well no system is Perfect !

Any "Answer Fraud" should stand out in the Statistics right ? Still it`s worked at Newgrounds for well over a decade; I rarely see spam of any kind (Aside from pop-ups >.< )

I guess what I`m Really Asking for is a way to, more Directly, Help the community. Don`t get me wrong, I Enjoy my nightly Spam-Skeet-Shooting. It just seems there should be a better way then the classic Flag It Solution :)

The best way is to Be Nice - be helpful on the Forums & Answers section, offer constructive criticisms on folks' instructables. You might want to engage with struggling authors via PM to help them improve the presentation of an instructable, or with their language.

Flagging is useful, especially when California is asleep, but there is far more to maintaining a community than keeping things tidy.

Hey, is the procedure any different for tag-team spam? I'm writing about the spammers who work in two-man teams, or one spammer with two accounts, where one asks a question then the other answers it.

For example, this question-answer from a few days ago.


Superficially it looks legit, but then there's some funny stuff.

Funny exhibit A is both users, andresanabel855 (questioner) and bensilmak(answerer), joined on the same day, like 2 days ago.

Funny exhibit B is the answer is drops a link to some software product.

I dunno. I just flagged the post, and the answer.

The trouble is, identifying this as spam requires looking at two posts. It almost feels like there should be an extra button for "tag team" spam.

I put a comment on that spammer's orange board. If the email is working for them then they get counter spammed with notices that someone is leaving messages. However there is no way to know if they are getting those, currently I am not.

Maybe that is why its broken. to many emails going to or coming from spam accounts.

Yeah. I recall seeing those comments, something about putting out a fire with a hammer... There might not have been an email notification generated for that. A few days ago someone left a note on my orangeboard, and I did not get an email notifying me of it.

I remember seeing all those `Help me fix this courupted...`Posts, I was wondering the same thing !

In those cases, I flag the spam answers, then flag the question as well. Sometimes I make a comment (such as "opens popcorn") on a suspect question before a spam answer is given, and that often deters the later spam.

OK. Sounds good. Yeah, popcorn. I guess there is some suspense there, waiting for the second shoe to hit the floor, and I like the idea of them being intimidated. Ha!


3 years ago

Is there a problem with making comments on the users orange boards?

I mean nice comments, like complimenting them on writing spam that is totally unintelligible.

That's a waste of your time - spam accounts get deleted.

total BS question. You already answered it. flagged for spam! ;)

I "work" as a spm buster whenever possible ;)

Simply click on "Flag", mark as Spam and move on.

The more priveleged guys will see these notifications and delete the spam asap.

Must be in thausands by now and still keep flagging spam on a daily base.



3 years ago

Hi Kiteman I got this VERY GOOD ADVICE from HQ...