Later today, we'll be releasing the Spam Watchlist — a new tool to help you fight spam.
This feature surfaces a list of people on your Ning Network that might be spammers, based on an algorithm that analyzes their content:
It's totally up to you to take action (either to suspend for spam or whitelist as not a spammer). All the Spam Watchlist does is let you know who seems fishy. You'll find it on your Members Moderation page, and you'll only see a link when there are any members in the list.
The algorithm will get better as you and other Ning Creators interact with the Spam Watchlist — it learns as you either suspend or whitelist members who appear there (if you choose to whitelist a member, they won't show up in this list again). For that reason, we recommend giving it a few weeks to warm up. If you have any feedback on the feature, please let us know using the feedback link that appears on the Spam Watchlist page!
In addition to the Spam Watchlist, we want to help protect your Ning Network from profile comment spam, which we know is particularly annoying.
Today, along with the Spam Watchlist, we're introducing a new checkbox that allows you to completely turn off profile comment emails. Obviously this is bad for engagement and not recommended, but we want to give you a last resort option in the event you're seeing a lot of spam. You'll find this option on your Email Settings page.
Additionally, in the next couple of weeks we'll start scanning profile comments for spam as they are posted. When we see suspicious posts, we'll be able to not trigger an email notification, or throw a CAPTCHA. We'll have more details on that in the coming days.
Please let us know if you have any questions or thoughts.
Thanks, Nick and team, for this new feature. I think this is one step ahead in the right direction, although I do share the scepticism about its effectiveness. While the fact that members do not receive the email alerts is a good thing, the comments will still appear on the latest activity stream. And, how will NCs know that there is a spam comment posted if the email alert is turned off? So this might actually lead spam comments appearing on my sites longer... Thanks to the email alerts, I can immediately delete them now... (I can watch my emails all the time, not necessarily all my Ning sites.)
I agree with all the suggestions made by Denis, especially the first option which I have suggested in another recent discussion: that the default setting for member comments on profile pages and blogs should be "Wait for my approval". It will make us feel happier, Nick, if you can indicate that your team is working towards some of these options in the future.
Thank you Kanti for supporting those points no one else seemed to have understood what I was saying.
I think it would be easy to just set the script in such a way that all new members have a kind of temporary status with a checklist of what they can do and what they can't do. That way NCs can relax and only let new members have full access when they trust them.
Apart from stopping spam, the checklist of accessible features also helps to motivate new members as well as old members. I run a community where most of my students join just to play Mindjolt games. I wish I could set their profiles in a way that they would access games only after doing some activity like uploading their homework.
If NCs had such a checklist it would really be cool. New members join but can't post comments on others profiles or if they can, shouldn't be more than 3 - 5 comments. I don't see a new member joining a network and immediately commenting on 50members' profiles. That way spammers like firstname.lastname@example.org will simply stop visiting Ning networks.
...all new members have a kind of temporary status with a checklist of what they can do and what they can't do. That way NCs can relax and only let new members have full access when they trust them.
Yes. +many. Like like like.
Thank you Chris for supporting. To put it more clearly this addition would look like the example below.
In fact the page where we can have this checklist is already there at Dashboard = Members = Controls = There is a long list there of what NCs can allow members to do.
All that is needed is to add a sub section to that page that reads something like:
Allow new members to:
ِ1. = Post comments
2. = upload pictures
3. = upload videos
4. = befriend other members
5. = create blogs
6. = create groups
7. = create forum discussions
8. = ..............................
9. = ..............................
10. = ............................
At least _______ minutes / hours (time frame) after sign up.
The time frame could have pre-set options or left open for NCs to fill out.
This in my opinion and many other NCs is the best shot on spam and a huge relief on having to use the Approve New Members function which is like a kind of jail term on the NC.
The Approve New Members function is currently our waiting room Persephone.
The difference we are asking for is a waiting room with the new guests not having to wait outside the gate with potential competitors lurking around.
If ning takes to the new idea our guests instead of waiting outside the gate will walk right through into the community, eat, drink, visit rooms. But the NC will decide what food / drinks they can and can't serve to other community members until they get trusted in the community.
Just enjoying your "waiting room" metaphor.
BTW Your username rings a bell in my head. Lol.
Exactly Denis, if xtian then it would be purgatory and the decision can go either way ;). If not xtian then the analogy of the waiting room is perfect but damn those waiting rooms can be tedious.
Yes my alter ego is quite well known, ssshhh lest Hades finds me before summer even starts.
Profile comment emails? I thought we didn't have that on the Ning platform? Or did we get this recently? If so, good news.
And I very much like what you are doing here with the spam list as well, good job Ning!
Don't want to be negative about this feature but i do not think it serves the purpose for the issue i faced. Spam attackers typically register a new id, flood the entire network with comments and are done with the spam within the first hour of being active. Obviously they must be using some automated tools etc for registering.
Once i saw that i immediately banned the user and deleted all the content. I do not need a spam watchlist to find a person is spamming the network.
Instead what maybe more important is to see if a single user id is starting to continuously put similar kind of comments/spam comments etc or identify patterns and trends in their post and prevent them. Normally spammers will not wait for day. I think FB does this. Also more importantly are they using automated tools to register, can we prevent them from registering by having a captha, would that help ?
At this point i have been forced to enable user approval to prevent spam.