Dealing With SPAM, Part Two: Troublemakers

Last time I talked about spam I stuck to the most common form of spam that you will might find on your site: spam bots. This time I want to address the other side of the issue: humans.

Every once in a while in life, you come across that one person that you just don’t want to listen to anymore. There could be a myriad of reasons for this. They could lack coherence in their statements, or they might make false accusations, or simply be annoying. On the internet this isn’t really anything to be bothered about when it is a single post. It’s the nature of the world we live in that we won’t like or agree with everything someone else says.

However, sometimes you may find a person on your blog, forum, or even email account that seems to keep repeating the same tired points over and over. You get it, but they don’t seem to want to quit. Well this is another kind of spam and you don’t have to put up with it.

The first thing you might want to do is simply send a private message on a forum or leave a comment in your own comments section reminding users to keep on topic and not repeat themselves. For most of your users a polite warning will be enough to get them back on track.

If that doesn’t work then there are other options available to you. You can choose to suspend the users account for a limited amount of time. A week, or even a month will be sufficient. If the user attempts to circumvent the ban then you may have to take more drastic action. A permanent ban will solve the situation. If the user registers under a new account you may have to make an IP ban. An IP ban ensures that even if the user registers under a new account they will still be banned because the unique number that identifies their computer to your site will have been recorded.

Don’t feel bad about banning. It’s the nature of life on the internet. Just as in real life when you decide that it’s time to end a relationship that you find damaging it will be the same occasionally with yourself and your users. Your user base will appreciate you taking action and ensuring the well-being of the community.

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