It can sometimes be tricky to judge whether a first time poster is a spammer. Stop Forum Spam can help you discern spam from ham.
Forum spam can often be easy to detect; but occasionally you may come across a post that is difficult to label one way or the other.
For example, a post in the moderation queue of a forum I run from a new forum member contained info about a product and a link to the product; so that was a flag straight up. So was the broken English and the country of origin.
But other aspects of the post were such that it made it difficult to determine if it was a genuine fan of the product sharing some useful info or not as it was very relevant to the forum’s focus, which focuses on a niche market.
After checking the user’s profile, I ran the person’s email address through Google to see if that would show up anything and the only listing returned was in association with a site called Stop Forum Spam; which turned out to be my “find of the day”.
Stop Forum Spam is a great service – basically it’s a database of spam reports. It lists IP, usernames, email address and other info. Importantly, it also lists evidence along with the report.
The nature of the evidence was enough for me to be confident that the user should be zapped.
Stop Forum Spam’s database has millions of entries – at the time of writing it had 46,568,744 spammer records in its database. The service also offers an API that allows other software to interact with its database; so I’m assuming that you could use the API to stop spammers at the door when they register – i.e. not even give them a chance to sign up.
While no system is perfect, Stop Forum Spam is just another tool to add to your spam-fighting arsenal – access is free. You can also submit a spammer’s details through the service’s Submit a Spammer page.