Are you an internet publisher? Do you provide a medium for visitors to contribute information such as blog comments, a message board, an article or business directory or a classified ads board? If so, you are.
If so, are you a responsible one?
In the quest for building link backs to their sites, link spammers look for abandoned blogs, forums, and classifieds, anything that allows unmoderated postings, to post their garbage. Even requiring registration doesn’t deter the spam posting, I constantly have to delete spam ads from the classified section of a community site that I publish even though I very clearly state (in red and bolded letters) that postings of that type will be deleted.
Askimet catches hundreds of spam comments per month on my WordPress blogs, and that doesn’t count the stock comments that don’t look like spam at first glance, until you notice that they post hundreds of that same comment across the internet . . . including five other posts on your own site.
After noticing a change in traffic on a client’s site recently, I found that the forum area that the client had started and then abandoned had become a haven for porn spammers . . . not the best representation for a business.
Even though you can do a two minute install of PHPbb or WordPress through Fantastico, a web site requires upkeep beyond the installation. If you publish a site that allows for user input, you have a moral obligation to monitor the type of information that is posted on your web site. If left unmanaged, the user input will sink to the lowest common denominator, which can be pretty low on the internet.
Tips to Monitor User Web Postings
Set Your Terms and Conditions for Use
Posting the terms and conditions of your web site is a must, both to let your visitors know what is allowed on the site, but also so that they know how any information they leave on your web site will be used. If you allow users to input content on your site, it is especially important to line out what is allowed and what is not allowed.
Require User Registration
While requiring registration will not deter the persistent spammer, it will make it a little more difficult by adding one more step.
Include a CAPTCHA image for Submissions
Adding a CAPTCHA requirement will help cut down on automated spam submissions.
Log IP Addresses
Most CMS, forum, and blogging platforms will log IP addresses that will allow you to block problem users.
Use SPAM Blocking Services and/or Black Lists
Just as there are SPAM blocking services for email, services such as Askimet help cut down on the junk submissions for blogs.
Monitor the Site on a Regular Basis
Make sure that you monitor the site on a regular basis in order to catch potential problems before they get out of hand.