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Why aren't we doing something about SPAM?

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Written by   7655
1 year ago

That's the question I now get multiple times a day.

We actually are doing a number of things.

What you are seeing is the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of bans and removals going on that you haven't even seen.

This only the spam we have removed today. We remove only obvious spam (see below).

To figure out why you're still seeing spam you need to understand how hard the task at hand is.

read.cash has a somewhat permissionless registration process. You need an email and that's about it. With Badger Wallet you don't even need an email.

So, let's say we see a big time spammer.

What do we do?

Well, we ban him.

What does the spammer do?

He registers a new account in about 1 minute and continues to do what he does.

Ban an IP? Proxies are cheap.

New emails? Free, with tons of free services.

Put captchas everywhere? Spammers can buy access to captcha solving systems for less than $0.001 per captcha solved. Normal users on the other hand will be annoyed to no end that they now have to enter captchas.

As we grow bigger and bigger, the problem of spam will become even more sophisticated. There will be bots registering new accounts, posting spam faster than we can even read it, nevermind react to it.

You can't fight this by bare hands. You need software (think: bots) that protects the site.

Then there's an issue with what exactly do we ban? Let's say somebody posts: "Hey, thanks for the article! It's really useful"... Is it spam? Can we ban for it? No. We can't really, because there's nothing wrong with this post. Sure, maybe the guy posts this under every article (though it's already not really possible). But overall it's not malicious to thank the author.

We could of course say "Relevant comments only," but who and how decides that a comment is relevant? Especially for hundreds of articles per day and thousands of comments.

That's why you (as an author) already have the tools to block people under your articles. That's one first step we've made.

In the meantime, we are deleting some big time spammers and closing loopholes (such as posting same or very similar comments) and developing some stuff (which we'll reveal in due time).

Again, spammers have a lot of time on their hands. So, if there are one hundred spammers - that means we need to read thousands or tens of thousands of comments/articles and decide whether that is spam or not. It's not possible with our small team.

So, there are four ways to solve the problem.

First of all, we could, of course, cancel the point system. But that doesn't mean that spam will go away, because Facebook, Instagram, Medium doesn't pay authors (see here, for example, and Medium has 80+ employees, we don't even have 5, Medium is 8 years old project with tons of money, we are 7 months old with barely any money), but the problem of spam is still there on Medium.

Cancelling the point system will also be discouraging for new authors, because they won't be earning anything (just like it was before the point system).

Second, we could develop tools that can detect and react to spam faster than our team can. That's one of the things we do. But, software development is a slow process. We don't want our software to be blocking good authors and removing good content, so we need to test it rigorously.

Third way is to make it not worth spammers time to spam. Building an economy of sorts where spamming is more expensive (in time and money) than the rewards. That's also one of the things we're working towards. As an example, as of today, you can't post comments that are too similar to any comments you posted recently.

But again, we need to develop the software that will enforce these rules. Again, it's a slow process.

Four way would be to either close the registration or close the site. Neither of these achieves anything good.

Wouldn't it mean that some good authors will leave?

As sad as it is, yes, that means exactly that. We don't have any way right now to stop that from happening. Maybe they'll come back one year later when the problem is mostly behind us, maybe we'll see other new good authors. Who knows. In the meantime, the only thing that we can repeat for now is "Sorry, we're working on it, have some patience."

We have published an even longer explanation of what we do and why we do it here.

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Written by   7655
1 year ago
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Comments

This has always been the case on any writing to earn sites. You're not the only one experiencing such a problem. Hehe. At least thanks for all the effort in keeping read.cash the way it is. :)

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Is there some way that people can help, contribute to the platform? Is there a volunteer program? So far is a good place, I’m very young here, but I like it.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

As you mentioned, this task can't be done manually. So the only option here is the development of a software that will enforce the rules. But that takes time. I know that the actual situation isn't that good for authors and i'm included but we need to be patient. Making this platform better means that the Read.Cash team must work hard and even add new members if they have to, and authors should help with creating original content and being patient. All of us are involved with this and we all want to make it bigger. Spammers are a danger because they only absorb the fund without anything in return but trashy spams. In the end i can only hope for the best and wish that the development of the software goes well and finish as soon as possible.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Keep up the great work! I think we appreciate that it is a complex issue. Community needs to play its part too and report abuses.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

You are doing great. Personally I prefer the second idea which is mentioned in this articles. Tool for Detecting the spams. Though it may take a lot time and patience. But if it is done correctly then many users who managing their time for writing a quality article will be benefited. We want use this site for life time like facebook, Instagram etc. So keep up you're purifying job untill Read.Cash becomes 100% reliable.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Thats a right decision.I am new here.when I came her,I saw many writers commenting the same thing on my comment box..so I have also follwed them for 2days.But then I thought it is not right and changed my way to normal path.Now whatver I did before,will it also impact my result now? I even cannot find people and reedem my work! ButI am happy that you have taken this decision.Improve the quality.It will be better for all.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Well, I really understand your hard work with banning spamming people ! Hope we will ban every spamming account :D God bless you !

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Blocking their comments option via flagged would be the best and it would appear as “Flagged, blocked because spam comment”

$ 0.00
1 year ago

You already have the tool for that as mentioned in the article. If you mean that I should do it, then please note that there are THOUSANDS of comments per day and growing every day. It's not possible to read them all.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Thanks I’ll do it 🙌🏻

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I add that some free comments could also be given 5 a day the user would value his criticism, greetings from Chile!

$ 0.00
1 year ago

We thought about that too, but nothing stops that user (as I described) from registering 100 accounts and getting 5 comments on each account?

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Every Article should be screened to clarify that contents are safe and cool for community. Scam and fake Articles should be flagged. And if every writer takes think seriously to post only legit contents. Then community is safe every one will learn new thing everyday. That's how we can keep our community stay Legits.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Who exactly is going to do that? Me? Thousands of comments per day and growing daily.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I believe read.cash community is for everyone. We should support each other. Everyone Writer / An Author make sure that , they post only Legit contents so people won't get frustrated.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

This is what they are trying to do for the last many days. And this is what they are facing in order to make what you are saying in realitu amd make it work.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I strongly understand how difficult the situation is but i believe the authors can also play a big role in the transition. I would like to suggest a few things if they are possible to adopt. (1.) Let the author decide which comment pass for a point before the point it added to the overal point of the person that commented. (2). Introduce a word count system for the comment lets say minimum 100 words that way a "thank you for this article" alone wont get a point. Lastly is if you can introduce a bot that monitors those who spam the comments with unrelated comments. Thanks and keep up the good work. @read.cash. cheers

$ 0.00
1 year ago

There is already a minimum limit of 60 characters.

Letting the author decide along with the fact that you can easily register unlimited accounts would mean that I would have to just register one account for the article and another one for comment spam :) Two minute tops.

Lastly is if you can introduce a bot that monitors those who spam the comments with unrelated comments.

That's a really-really hard problem to solve even in English. It's a hard problem even for humans. Now add the complexity of dozens of languages on read.cash.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

60 characters is good, but only if the article was upvoted. The more upvotes the better. The upvotes of better ranked users should count more.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Yes, we're thinking in that direction too, but the problem is that determining "better ranked user" is really hard. You can literally register hundreds of accounts if you knew that would help and upvote yourself all day long (or upvote all of your accounts). I don't say it's impossible, but it's not quite easy to implement right.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

How about a system that allows @read.cash teams to attach a reputation score to the usersname of every user. This reputation score would increase per time based on how engaged the user is and how much good content the user brings to the platform.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Thank you for suggestions. It still requires us to read and evaluate each and every comment and article published. There are already thousands and they are growing each day.

Don't worry though, we do have a plan and we're implementing it. We'll announce it in due time.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Okay. I trust the process and hope whatever it is you guys implement works and moves the platform forward

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I am aware that it is not easy. You have a lot of user data, perhaps an algorithm can be built to evaluate it. Something like Google ranking. In the beginning it may be possible to do it manually. I don't know how to do it either. But I'm worried that your website is going downhill. It would be a great, great pity.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

That is exactly the plan - fine-tuning the algorithms, that is, not going downhill. :) We are actually working on big communities update. It should move the burden of site moderation more to community mods and reward them for doing so.

$ 0.06
1 year ago

Yeah and i already love the website and hope it would overcome this hurdles and thrive against all odds.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Yeah. You are right.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

people like you should be expelled from the community you are only looking for prestige

$ 0.00
1 year ago

No personal attacks. Ban next time.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I mean no harm and i only made suggestions. You can as well drop yours if you have any.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Please report or block people doing personal attacks. These are forbidden by the site rules. The user will be banned on second violation.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

You can temporarily put a Facebook login mandatory for registration. They confirm user's phone number so it's very hard to make multiple facebook accounts these days. I know it's not amazing, but it works until your other measures are working.

Also agree that it's very tricky, those annoying comments like "nice article" are most of the time copy pasted for the hopes of free tips. It's hard to ban people for that.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Well, I, for one, am banned on Facebook for no reason at all, despite having proved my identity by uploading my passport and I haven't done anything there (I was on FB for 2 days tops, just added a few friends and tried their ad system, that's it). So it's not even possible as I won't even be able to get the client id/secret to install their login :)

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Ahh that's a shame, I'm also banned from advertising there and they don't give me a reason.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

You guys are thinking bigger than the rest of us read.cash users are apparently. I'm on board. Let's get as many people using BCH and spreading it to others as possible.thanks

$ 0.00
4 months ago

Thank you for your interest information. Keep up the good work and I hope to see your new post soon

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Hello, Talking Head.

Assuming the problem, I want to give some textual ¡CHEERS! you, and to your team.

Your site had helped my to delve deep on blockchain and crypto, meeting new authors and learning about all of this, also, ¡I've gained some of my first BCH!

I won't stop posting, neither i will stop sharing the site.

We understand. Keep working on it. We will be patient.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Of course, the issue of spamming is not what we can fight out in a simple way and just within a small time. I strongly believe that perfect solution will come up with time, and it won't be good days for spammers. Thank you read.cash.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I understand very well that it is a difficult problem. Because I wish you all the best I'll give you some ideas:

You should introduce an internal user rating.

The rating should include age of the account, money earned, rating by other users.

The higher the ranking, the greater the weight of the user's upvotes and downvotes and his personal points conversion rate increases.

The author of the article should decide which comments are not rewarded.

All this so that the newly registered users can earn their value and not immediately get the money from the fund. There should be no incentive to set up 10 accounts that write irrelevant articles and comment on each other.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Thanks for your input. We have already considered all these options, but the problem is that - most other sites went this way and now sites like Steemit are suffering from this. Old accounts are firmly in control of the site and don't allow any new blood in (and the content still isn't that great). That's a bad situation we don't want to find ourselves in.

$ 0.05
1 year ago

Strongly agree with this, Steem community had several cartels.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I do not know what measures you have taken, but the spam has decreased, the quality has increased. There are more and more different articles by different authors. You are on a good path. You make a good job.

$ 0.50
1 year ago

Thanks! Glad to hear it! We're just getting started. We really think that when we release the bigger communities update any kind of spam should become economically ineffective. Though it will probably take a few weeks.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I can not say I saw spam yet so if there is you do a great job.

I did find it very painfully I typed a long comment tonight and was called a spammer. This doesn't make me feel appreciated and I decided to keep my comments short. Happy day to you 💕

$ 0.00
1 year ago

It may be less spam than scam. There are users who create multiple accounts, follow themselves, write irrelevant articles and write irrelevant, identical comments everywhere.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I can understand the problem you are facing. As a member in this platform all i can do is patient and not spaming other. This is the only thing we all can do right now plase stop spaming.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Well I really don't know when a comment is spam. I am new here at read.cash and until now I really like it, mainly because of its rewards system among other features, I have been on other blog sites where my stay has been really a disappointment because nobody sees my posts or they see them and they don't They do not value (vote) nor do they take the time to leave a nice comment, in read.cash all these actions are a stimulus for the author and even more so when they are rewarded.

Many of us authors are blogging as a means to earn money that helps the family budget, keep in mind that for many of us an extra income makes a significant difference in our economy; so eliminating the reward system would not be the best for us.

The recomensas system encourages everyone to write comments, there is always something good to say or ask about the article we read, and that in addition to being rewarded is an acknowledgment to the author in his effort to write and share his articles, I do not see anything bad at it.

@Read.Cash thanks for the work you do to build and improve everyone's experience here

$ 0.00
1 year ago

What is the biggest problem? Articles or comments or ?

If articles then make it cost 2c to post - new users have to earn something by posting valuable comments first. This way you effectively decentralized the moderation.

If comments, then let authors set a price for the comments - globally, per article, per commenter. This has an added bonus for solving the censorship problem we discussed. Instead of banning an offending commenter, you should have an option to set a price for them up to a maximum of eg 10$ per comment.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I for one plan on continuing to use the site and think you guys are doing a great job. The explanation on reddit is eye opening and now I'm trying to think on your terms. You guys are thinking bigger than the rest of us read.cash users are apparently. I'm on board. Let's get as many people using BCH and spreading it to others as possible.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I think this is the problem any platforms that monetize their content will face and the one who cracks this problem will be the biggest winner by a huge margin! That being said, how about making it mandatory to register using phone number and only then you can monetize your content. The others can stay but they won't be able to monetize their content. And obviously only one registration per phone number.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

We'll have to keep phone numbers... no, that's a bad idea. Besides, I could show you a number of sites offering burner numbers for SMS/voice verification online for a few cents.

$ 0.00
1 year ago