Current status of the Ning Platform is always available on the Ning Status Blog.

Many Creators have noticed an increase in spam in the last couple of weeks on their Ning Networks. Starting around President’s day weekend we saw an increase in the amount of spam reported, reflecting an industry-wide increase, particularly from Canadian pharmaceutical companies.

What are we doing about it and how can you help?

We are aware of this issue and have been working hard to provide short term fixes for this increase and long term solutions to harden the platform against these trends. A lot of our work is in the background and not directly visible to Network Creators or Members.

That said, here is a run down of some of the features that you may see:

  • We continue to tighten and refine our rules for identifying and removing spam accounts automatically, which you should see as a decrease in unwanted activity.
  • We recently released the “suspend for spam” feature. We are now using this data to automatically disable accounts and analyzing it to help improve our ability to spot and remove these accounts more quickly.
  • Last week, we introduced a Captcha feature for Ning Networks who do not use member moderation.
  • We are working on a feature that will allow Members designated by the Creator to flag content and hide it from view...more details to follow.

We’re very aware of how spam affects Ning Networks and we are working hard behind the scenes to tackle this issue. In the next few weeks and months you should see significant improvements in our ability to block spammers before they hit your Ning Networks as well as new tools to help you manage unwanted content on your Ning Networks.

Martin Westhead (Martin runs the Spam and Abuse Prevention team at Ning).

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  • Can somebody tell me why the CAPCHA in the new member signup process, is NOT stopping these spam bots?

    As far as i remember, that's the reason for it to be there in signup...or? Are these robots now able to read highly scewed capcha words, cause then i don't get how these farma spammer robots can get thrue?

    Enlight me. Thanks.
  • Thank you for being so aware of the spam issue, had 2 attacks within these two weeks and really see it as a major problem, if it continues. I believe I will loose members because of spam, people don't feel safe around a site, getting viagra posts delivered directly into their comment stream.

    I had no problem when my site was public closed, but sinde i've opened it up, this problem has increased.

    I know it's a hard enemy to fight, but I hope you will succed.
  • These spammers are getting more and more aggressive. If you block them, or delete their content, they simply create another profile and add pharma spam...
  • Here is the problem I`m having. I`m having members locked out on a daily basis, and yes I`m a paying contributor to ning. I have just a social site for friends to keep in touch and to make new friends. I have members leaving because of this. It seems to me ning is winning out over the high dollar contributors. I just wish they would solve the problem. I have members whow are disabled and are homebound. They enjoy comunicating this way. I guess the future to ning is going the way of big enterprise....:(
  • I'm posting as I've had to lock down the paid communities we host at Ning over the past month and still have a majority of spam members applying for membership. I'm interested in stronger captcha controls and other tips to prevent the spam new members and blog posts. This defeats the entire reason we are building ning communities.

    I appreciate any recommendations.
  • Thanks Laura, that update page is very helpful! Good to have a better understanding of what is going on.
  • If you haven't yet, please check out our spam info page:

  • I now have one required multiple choice question which says:
    I will not advertise in this online community.

    I do not agree
    I agree
    I don't know

    Since I have added one required question, the spammers are gone!

    I turned if off for 5 minutes today, and they started again. So I put it back.

    I wanted to agree with Barney's experience above. A required question does seem to be keeping them away from our community too.
  • Thanks to the Ning team for sorting out our member sign in crisis - ref:00D8cCLt.50049q2cy:ref No spammers in sight at the mo- be careful out there people
  • OK, not stopped, but 5 vs. 100-plus a day... at least it works for the most part!
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