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Community Building and User Generated Content Forum

Spamming forum membership accounts
What should a Forum Administrator do about them?

 11:06 am on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

What should I do when someone registers for my forum only so they can list a spammy website link in their profile?

Etiquette wise, is it okay to delete them?

Should I also ban their ip?

Or just leave it, and increase my overall membership accounts?



 3:15 pm on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why not make new users wait for a few months before links in the profile go live - spammers won't have the patience - you'll be able to see if they are active members or not.


 3:25 pm on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think anyone can find fault with the etiquette of deleting spam posts and/or the accounts of spammers.

One argument for leaving the account there (but removing all privileges) is that you have a record of the spammer, and, assuming that email addresses must be unique, you force him to register with a different one.

Some forums offer creative ways to deal with spammers, like making their posts invisible to everyone but themselves or simulating server problems for a flagged user. Both of these enable you to waste the spammer's time vs. outright banning or deletion, which is immediately apparent to the spammer.

IP banning can occasionally work, but is generally not too effective.


 3:27 pm on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

longen has the solution as it eliminates drive-bys.
If they don't stick around and contribute to your community they will see no benefit.


 11:53 pm on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the suggestions. I laughed at this one "like making their posts invisible to everyone but themselves".

My problem is, I run a community forum, and many of the members are local business owners. My fear is that if I didn't allow them to add their website link, it would turn them off.

Etiquettely speaking, is it wrong to edit the spammy links from their profile myself?

I am leaning toward just deleting their account.

I'm new to this forum admin thing. Something feels strange about having these bogus member accounts clogging up my community.

I wonder how those of you who run huge communities feel about this, is it something you are always policing, or do you just learn to live with it?

I read the WebmasterWorld T.O.S., but see no mention of rules regarding the types of sites we can link to in our profile. Is there a rule here about this?

[edited by: SenorLoco at 11:58 pm (utc) on Dec. 5, 2006]

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