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Spam - any ideas to help beat it??

Travel Forums System Talk Spam - any ideas to help beat it??

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1. Posted by Peter (Admin 5844 posts) 11y

Ok, well, we have the 'Report Spam' feature for messages already of course, which works pretty well as soon as someone reports something. Of late though, the Nigerians are back with a vengeance sending out their business proposals. Some manage to get in a LOT of messages before being stopped.

We are VERY keen to stop them as quickly and painlessly as possible. So, if anyone has any *brilliant* ideas to stop them, please let us know ;)

One idea I have is to maybe put a limit on how many messages can be sent in a 10 minute period. 80 messages would definitely be too much, but would 10 be too much?? What would seem like a reasonable limit (one that most of us would NEVER notice, but still be effective)?

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

I think 5 in 5 minutes would already be fine. Most of us can't type 5 decent sized messages in five minutes so anyone able to send out 5 messages in 5 minutes is doing some kind of copy/paste job.... or else sending out really really short messages!


3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

At the risk of sounding like a complete techo-idiot...

Is there any way to "catch" people who copy/paste messages instead of typing them in? One or two copy/pastes might be reasonable if someone feels they need to post in a few forums, but 5 or 6 copy/pastes is most probably someone spreading their word. The spammed messages all read exactly the same, so...


4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

if anybody is going at more than an average of 1 a minute (excepting maybe on something like word association, which isn't hugely relevant to the site anyway) they are likely to be spamming, as to even open up new windows and type anything will take a chunk of that. 80 in 10 mins is an obvious spam.

I'd also say maybe have a longer window (i.e. less tolerance) for Private messages as opposed to posted messages, especially if they are going to different members. Anybody who tries to send a Pm to 5 different people within 5mins is almost certainly spamming.

Clever ideas, not just now, but i will have shortly!

BTW, there's a few posts i've seen which i've ummed about reporting and then left as i'm not certain whether you would count them as spam or not. Partly i don't wan't to look like some over zealous idiot who reports everything left right and centre and gives you extra work to reinstate them, but if you want us to start reporting anything even vaguely dodgy, say so and we can...

5. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

I've done the same. Some posts feel like spam written in a "hey, I'm just trying to help" tone - so I debate whether or not to brand them as spam. Somehow these are worse, though, since they're pretending to be nice while trying to dupe people.

Still, there's that small chance that they're legit so I leave it be.

6. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 11y

I'm missing something here: do you mean email spam or spam messages send to our individual message centre?

7. Posted by Peter (Admin 5844 posts) 11y

I mean messages sent to our individual message centers. No one (besides Sam and I) has access to email addresses, so there's nothing to worry about there. I think the posts/minute solution will be our best way to stop them.

As for messages where you're uncertain (but think it's pretty dodgy), I would lean towards reporting them as spam - we can then check how many other messages have been sent by that person and either warn them and clear the spam block or confirm that it is spam and block them permanently.

8. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 11y


How about this. Limit per day sending of only 20 messages. The total messages allowed will be deducted on each message sent. However, if the member receives a reply on that day, he/she gets to send another two messages. This way, non spammers will not be affected much.


9. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Jeez, what's Wocca going to do?? ;)

10. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 11y

I have never recoeved a spam message to my message centre.