chriswaterguy (chriswaterguy) wrote in appropedia,

Stopping spam on Ning  social networks handle spam poorly, which is a big turn-off for members of the networks. But it can be stopped.

If you manage a Ning network, this could help you. If you're part of one that's being hit by spam, please share this post with your network.

Stop spam easily

It's easy - just try registering on and note the two required questions. The really important one is the "type this word if you're a human" question - it's an ultra-simple CAPTCHA that doesn't make life difficult for the visually impaired. It's working for us.

When the spammers eventually get smart enough to solve this (hopefully not this year) change the wording, and maybe make it harder, such as "what color is the sky".

Existing spam & spammers

The easy way to remove a lot of the spam is to search the site for "pharmacy" and block anyone who has posted the spam. That automatically deletes their posts, too (though there'll still be a empty header until the deletion is fully processed). Then search for cialis and other terms if you like, but it should be pretty clear by then.

You should now have a spam-free network.

A message for Ning

Please make it easier to handle this - you could be doing this stuff automatically.

Even with the above hacks, your current system makes more work for us than should be needed. The main thing: Show us the answers to the profile questions in the "new member" email you send to admins, and include a direct "spam" link.

But of course it's a free service, that's useful to a lot of people. The glass is three-quarters full - thank you, Ning. (Just take this as business advice, free of charge.)


In just over 3 weeks, we've had one spammer pass the test. They still looked suspicious, as the required "About you" field had only one not-very-relevant word. So I did a web search for their details and saw they'd spammed other Ning sites.
Tags: ning, spam
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