We are all familiar with that category of spammers who join our networks and paste comments on members pages requesting them to email them at an email address included in the comment. They hate us NCs and our admins.
Well now they are using a new trick so that network administrators don't notice them. What they do now is visit members pages and click on Add as a friend and then include their messages in the friendship request. In this way a network administrator could be right there logged in while a network is been spammed.
I found this out yesterday on my network. The spammer signed up and cleverly set up a very neat profile with nothing suspicious. I was logged on. He / she had a short chat with me in the chat room then went quiet. I suspected something was going on. I refreshed my homepage several times but didn't see anything. Then I noticed members' profile pictures were rotating (This means someone is clicking on each one of them and doing something on their page which doesn't show up in the activity feed - and that thing is most likely to be requesting friendship)
So I turned on my network's watch dogs (two secret accounts I have) and there the spammer had requested friendship with the malicious message included. So by the time I kicked him / her out some damage had already been done.
So NCs, they are getting smarter. Get smarter too.
Now they are aware of the things that make them so obvious as they sign up. They don't use sexy pictures anymore, funny email addresses, etc. Now they come in looking clean, and less suspicious.
The best thing ever I can think of that can be done remains giving NCs the ability to set a limit to the kind of activities a new member can do within a set period of time on a network.
I have talked to my domain host about it.
I'd love to see a probationary membership where content controls are more limited than the general membership. Yet Ning has been saying that membership categories won't be integrated with content controls.
Denis, this is apropos of your earlier discussion about locking down content. The solution to both would be integrating membership categories with content controls. If you hear of Ning showing some interest in it, I'd sure love to hear about it!
I understand what you mean Jeff, but clearly this is not on the Ning roadmap yet so it is not something to expect anytime soon.
Probationary membership should be an easy thing to do I guess. There hasn't been any reaction from Ning yet about this idea.