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WMT DMCA Complaints... new complaints every day

 5:38 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Receiving atleast 1 new Notice of DMCA removal from Google Search message in WMT..
We have been flooded since last 1 month (starting March 23) a huge spike in SPAM content posters everyday from few different IP accross globe.
These spammers post content from different websites on our site.
(posting revies/articles from other legit site).

Although, we manually verify this kind of articles, but this process atleast takes 2-3 hours, but we receive a new DMCA message in WMT next day.

To tackle this, for past few days we have started making a log everything.
Spammers IP, source url from where content was copied, email address etc.

But how to get rid this ?
This additional excercise is being very painful everyday, when we have to scan each and every content manually.



 8:27 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

We receive up to 5+ DMCA notices sometimes, 2 days ago we received 4 for different URLs on our site.

Surprisingly, they have also started posting this stuff in comments !
on our best ranked articles which we update twice every month since ages

[edited by: Future at 8:30 pm (utc) on Apr 25, 2012]

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:03 am (utc) on Apr 26, 2012]


 8:29 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does this content appear as soon as it is posted?


 8:30 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, It gets indexed in google in some minutes..


 8:33 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

The only thing I can think of (and this should hopefully help in other areas BESIDES avoiding DMCA - such as avoiding Panda) is to be more discerning in whom you allow to post content.


 8:37 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Then in this case, it means end of sites with UGC (User Generated Content) ?
Spammers can de-rank any site with UGC content ? including end of webmasterworld ?


 8:44 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Then in this case, it means end of sites with UGC (User Generated Content)?

That is a possibility.

Is there no way to have the content "on hold" for a period of time? Then if the user had made five approved posts 9or some certain amount) then they can post real-time without waiting for approval?


 8:56 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Users tend to break every limit, we have been working for past 1 year now..

The current criteria is setup to 50+ approved posts + atleast 10 days registration period with our site(s), only then users get authority to post links or content which is visible to world/public/all without moderation.

I have a stron feeling, this should be a deliberate move against us, which cannot be controlled now..

We can definetly increase the limit to 500+ or more, but legit users (source of traffic) will loose interest when there queries are unresolved for hours
it will become way too difficult to setup a new team who will check for every content made for plagiarism or duplication..

This should not really be end of this for sure, we will find some new creative ways to tackle it.
Can you suggest something for those dmca notices ?


 9:15 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, It gets indexed in google in some minutes...

Not what I asked.

But your later comments geve me clues as to what I was looking for... ineffective moderation.


 9:17 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Dear g1smd,
I agree with your criticism above, but does proper moderation means scanning each and every post/comment/reply made on a site against googles index ?

If yes, We will have to diversify our moderation process in a completely new way.. working with APIs etc.


 10:16 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

And I am sick and tired of having to submit several DMCAs per day for people who steal content from my site ...


 11:21 pm on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

You need to stop all new submissions, until you can properly put a system in place to moderate content. It's your responsibility. It's on your site. Otherwise, you'll deal with the consequences.

From experience, when spammers see that you're a Nazi with moderation, they step back and and your job becomes a little easier over time.


 1:52 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a stron feeling, this should be a deliberate move against us, which cannot be controlled now..

You might be right.

Does your system allow users to post outbound links? If so, then maybe they are not deliberately trying to hurt you, but just using your site with stolen content to try and boost page rank?


 2:00 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately when you experience "moves against you" deliberate or otherwise, you have to either wait it out or resort to drastic measures. I had a botnet attacking one of my sites that couldn't be stopped; I just had to wait it out and two months later it stopped as mysteriously as it started (for others it's still going on) If I was experiencing what you are, yea, I'd turn off all real-time posting and let the users know for the time being, new posts will be delayed while each and every one is moderated first. What other choice do you have? There is no entity who can step in on your behalf, I'm afraid.


 7:37 am on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately when you experience "moves against you" deliberate or otherwise, you have to either wait it out or resort to drastic measures.

Thank You for your helpful comments.
As an immediate step we have taken all new content behind moderation, allowing only direct rights to members who have joined atleast 1+ year ago and having 100+ posts..
Found nearly 50+ SPAM content (copied articles, in this process till now)

Now something more surprising, I found some new dmca notices against content made on our site in year 2006 to 2009.
I searched google thoroughly (first 100 results) for this content, and found exactly same content on 2 other domains, those domains were created in late 2011.
Our article listing is completely removed from search results.


 12:34 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe I do not understand, is it a discussion forum or an articles repository with visitors comments. If it's the later you need to treat it like a blog, ie: the content has to be original. Searching for phrases against the search engines about what posted maybe inefficient because a use of synonyms or keyword replacement will bring back no results. The key is you need to know or studied the discipline for the types of articles posted, ask for references for each article and also use moderation and good judgment to approve it.


 4:00 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

We have a mixture of following on this site:
1. News
2. Reviews/Guides/Articles (comments allowed here)
3. Video (inhouse made self hosted + hosted via youtube, allows comments)
4. Forums (allows discussion)
5. Blogs (allows comments)
6. Product pricing (allows comments)
7. Yellow pages (allows ratings + comments)

1. Spammers started making comments on our inhouse guides/reviews and reporting them.. as comments are visible on same article pages.

2. In duration of past 10+ years we received 3 DMCA complaints till day directly via our Contact US page + via our hosting provider and we took immediate action against same.

Only since last month March 23, 2012 we are bombed with this, only via Google WMT.. we have not received any complaint via our Contact Us form or via our hosting provider within this period.

We have now restricted every user-generated comment/discussion etc. + thoroughly scanning the same before approving.
Is there any more suggestion we should follow ?


 4:51 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, see if the spam is auto-generated by rogue bots. You should be able to identify this from the server logs (for example ips with direct comment submission attempts without even accessing the page).

If you can apply few filters to deny automatic submission it will ease moderation. Some js with ajax is handy because you can setup form signatures in the html page, outside the form. Custom validation methods aren't easy to identify.


 5:10 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

These spammers post content from different websites on our site.

This has been a known 'dirty trick' for a long time and it has multiple facets. Spammers found that copying comments was a sure way to get them accepted when their English skills were lacking. Once the content is posted to your site in comments (especially wordpress) one of two things happens...

#1 - DMCA requests
#2 - the addition of spam links to your site due to wordpress 'must have previously accepted comment' requirement. e.g. one good post gets in and then they post 100 more comments with links that skip your filter.

Solution - remove any non-javascript comment system in favor of known 3rd party systems.


 7:48 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Things seems to be settling down now, it was a battle with spammers.

For first time in past 10+ years, we came across a scenario where someone really tried to hurt our site using negative methods. (have always read about same here)

Since past 3 weeks, when we have taken almost everything behind moderation, there was a continous rise in posting of content from few ip ranges.. which has been stopped now.

We have deleted/banned nearly 80,000 users !

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