Stopping the bots is easy. Stopping a real person from joining your community and spamming people is much harder.
I was asked this week, how to stop human spammers without changing your community platform or spending more time removing them once they’re identified?
You can’t. They’re real people. You do have a few options.
- Approve all members. This is a pain as members can’t participate when interest is highest. However, if the story is members have to apply to join, this works well.
- Ask a question only someone interested in the topic would know. This is a great verifying question, have a few questions that only someone with an interest in the topic would be aware of. This should stop most human spammers.
- Referral codes only. Close your community, only let existing members invite newcomers.
- Force newcomers to fill out profiles first before they can message others. The extra step should scare a few more members aware.
- Give newcomers limited access to the community. Limit the number of forums or pages that newcomers can do for the first week.
- Approve a newcomer’s posts before they go live for the first week. When a newcomer joins, approve their posts for the first week.
This is also why most community guidelines are a waste of time. The people that are going to break them, aren’t the people that read them.