Stopping Spam Before It Starts
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Everyday here at Ning, our Spam and Abuse Prevention team wakes up and thinks about one thing with singular focus: fighting spam. While spammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so are the ways that we’re fighting back. Our goal is to balance fighting spam with ensuring that legitimate members are able to seamlessly join and contribute with as few roadblocks and work as possible.

And that’s what we’ve got to talk about today.

This week we deployed a back-end service for detecting and blocking spammers. This new system first came online as a beta at the start of the year and is now disabling more than 200 accounts per day. We are actively developing the capabilities of the system and the rules that we use to identify spammers. And we are planning to be increase this number significantly over the days and weeks to come.

Additionally, we’re launching a new CAPTCHA system for posting content early next week the week of Feb. 14 the week of Feb. 22. Members who join your Ning Network after this release with unverified email addresses who are not part of a moderated Ning Network will now have to enter a CAPTCHA when they post content to a Ning Network.

For legitimate members, this will take an additional few seconds while preventing “bots” – or automated scripts from spammers — from adding spam.

As we work to combat spam behind the scenes, there’s something you can do at home to help us. When you use the “Suspend for Spam” feature when disabling member accounts, it feeds into a system that we will use soon across Ning Networks to automatically disable spammers before they start.

Martin is Ning’s Manager of the Spam and Abuse Prevention Team.