10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2017 6:50 AM by mnevill

    Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.

    kristengastaldo

      This is really a 2-3 part issue.


      I get 3-5 spam accounts created in my community daily. Sometimes their posts get caught in moderation, so I know they are spam. Generally they have the first same and last name. Sometimes it's "maleenhance" and easy to detect. I feel like we've got ALL the spam filters up and running ... email verification to join, catching links from people without points ... We really want to make it easy to join and ask for very little to create a profile (these are developers). Anything we can do to stop these people from joining?

       

      But today I found about 15 spam accounts that snuck by and had content make it through as well. Kept digging, 45 more. Deleted about 75 total, many with content posted in the community. How did these sneak through?

       

      Here's where I run into trouble. I've got a video to check out, but basically:

       

      I search "male" or "health" in the search magnifying glass.

      Find 10-15 trash posts.

      Look up user in admin console.

      According to their profiles in the admin console, most of them have no content.

      Shouldn't their spam questions show up as content here?

       

      2017-08-22_1205

        • Re: Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.
          Sarah O'Meara

          Do you have your community configured where users under a certain amount of points are moderated? That's one of the ways we handle spam in JiveWorks.

           

          If you have a special user group for certain members (such as customers), you can always white list that user group so they won't get moderated.

           

          If you don't have commonly used user groups, the way we make sure users don't get moderated every single time they post until they hit the point threshold is to add them to a whitelisted user group we created JUST for new members who are definitely not spammers (we don't use it for anything else).

           

          It does take a few minutes to go through the moderation queue, but it's a great way to make sure spammers who DO make it into your community never have a chance to publicly post their content.

           

          A bonus I discovered: Having the first post by a new user getting moderated has actually helped me detect new users who are posting in the wrong places. I'm able to greet them and help them faster!

           

          Tip: make sure you have moderation capabilities in spaces with disinherited permissions, otherwise you won't see users stuck in moderation who post in those spaces.

           

          Let me know if you have any questions

            • Re: Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.
              kristengastaldo

              I did have that setting on (moderate anyone with less than a certain number of points), but turned it off after a huge influx of posts to the moderation queue. We have 10 or so moderators, so it's not a huge amount of work for anyone. I was more concerned that people join our community because they have a technical question, ask said question, and then have to wait for that question to be posted. The setting would catch all the spam - but it also catches all the new people (as it seems most people join to ask a question). I go back and forth on if cutting out the occasional spam is worth a posting delay to all new people ...

                • Re: Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.
                  Sarah O'Meara

                  Having to decide between catching spam immediately and causing an inconvenience to first-time posters is indeed something that will need to be considered. I generally clear out my moderation queue quite quickly (I also get notified by email when someone enters moderation) and I don't think it has terribly impacted first-time posters since there is generally a wait for a reply regardless. I hope you are able to figure out something that works for your community! I hope you hear more ideas from other community members as well

                   

                  You also may want to join the Spam Management Ideas group to get ideas and see what everyone else is doing with spam!

                  • Re: Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.
                    mnevill

                    I personally think it is demotivating to a user that took the trouble to find your site, go through the registration process, and figure out how to post only to see a message that they are being moderated.  A good first user experience is critical and it is a hard thing to balance against SPAM prevention.  Most spammers are going to use a generic address of some type.  I have a list we use for registration moderation so we can do extra checks and balances with those while allowing other legit users to get in quickly.  One thing I thought about doing was putting the people with a generic email address in a special permissions group and moderating them until they were considered safe, but it won't work with the current option under Admin Console > System > Moderation > Configure Spam Link Prevention.

                     

                     

                     

                    We kind of need the inverse of this available too.  Ex: Moderate everyone in these groups as well as the existing option for don't moderate anyone in these groups.

                • Re: Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.
                  Toby Metcalf

                  Agree with Sarah O'Meara and use this too. "Do you have your community configured where users under a certain amount of points are moderated?"

                  There seems to be a small silver lining: these accounts are not flooding your community with content; I have been hit by spammers dropping 50+ pieces of junk into the community that have to be removed.  I always watch my mod queue closely and enable notifications to ensure "real" content and questions are not held up in the approval process.

                  Along with automatic controls, I get help from my Community Champions, my power users - they alert me to profiles and content that is questionable so I can take action.

                  Best,

                  Toby

                   

                   

                   

                  • Re: Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.
                    historian

                    One of the easiest ways to stop spam is to turn on "Require email address validation for users creating their own account" and to block domains that allow Free email addresses (e.g. gmail.com, outlook.com, yahoo.com, yandex.com). Everyone has a business email address these days and a lot of people have personal domains so encourage them to use them. I think most of us run B2B or B2C, so there is no reason they couldn’t use it.

                     

                    Funny thing. I own a four letter ????.com domain. I monitor all of the emails that get sent to it and random people will use it to sign up for all kinds of services that have email confirmation turned on.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.
                      gsvivek

                      Unless you enable registration moderation or are very strict with allowed domains, you may not be able to stop such registrations. But you can look at some options to reducing the spam content being posted by these users:

                      1. Keyword interceptor - setup keyword interceptor for common spam terms (in your case, maybe medicine?) that you are noticing so that those content go into moderation. You can look at the kind of content that come into moderation and then update it as needed.
                      2. Message governor - If you are seeing back to back SPAM content being posted within a short period of time by the same person, you can enable message governor that will prevent this. A 3-5 minute window should be fine, depending on the user response trend on your site.
                      3. Blacklist registration using free email services like mailinator and yopmail. You cannot stop gmail and outlook spam users but you can make sure they go through that extra step to setup an account for spamming you
                      4. Enable link whitelisting and allow only domains that you know your users use
                      5. Look at enabling the Spam prevention service that gives additional options as listed here: Spam prevention service and 3rd party integration: mollom offering

                       

                      Once you identify a spam user/ content, before deleting user/ content, check the user domain, keywords in the content and also the IP address of the user. If you see a pattern here, you can blacklist the domain or IP or update your keyword interceptor.

                      • Re: Issues with spam accounts joining, posting content, and not finding it in the admin console.
                        mnevill

                        Another way to help make sure nothing slips through the cracks is to have committed people subscribed to each area.  I know that isn't always possible, especially if you don't have an executive sponsor help, but if there are always eyes on it, they can alert you as well as use Report Abuse to immediately quarantine.