What's SPAM?

  • Stupid
    Pointless
    Annoying
    Messages


    That's the meaning of SPAM. Basically those posts that are devoid of meaning or a point to exist. In general extremely short messages can be considered spam. For example just quoting someone else and saying "I agree" or saying nothing to signal that is what you think feel for many like a waste. Another example of spam is long posts that are actually completely unrelated to the topic at hand, in a different language or trying to advertise something external.


    So not all short posts are spam and not all long rants are valid.


    In my opinion to decide about SPAM post it is all about communication. Does the post allow for a discussion to flow? Is it trying to bring something to the topic at hand or is it creating a new topic we can chime in.


    What about you?

  • I'm a firm believer in the idea that the rules of a forum should service the needs of the forum. Activity that is problematic on boards with thousands of active members isn't necessarily going to be a problem on a board with fewer than 100. Obviously it would be bad if the forum filled up with stupid, pointless, annoying messages. But at present, that doesn't seem to be a real risk. We have a small member base sharing some lighthearted fun. An odd post here or there which might technically be defined as 'spam' isn't going to harm anyone's forumgoing experience. But heavy-handed spam moderation will.


    Spam rules should be moderated with a light touch. Threads don't need to be locked or deleted, they can merely be allowed to die naturally. Nobody needs to be called out in public, but a private message that says "Hey, your post broke the rules. Here's the rule about spam for your future reference: ~~~~~" would be effective. I think the rules would only need more active enforcement if there were an active problem.


    As to the definition of spam itself, I think you've hit on an important point, Kaynil: "Not all short posts are spam." Sometimes a single sentence, or even a single word, can be a vehicle to drive conversation forward. If we get it into our heads that short messages = spam, then we create a highschool environment. The kind where you finish your essay in 1 page, then have to write 2 pages of bullshit because the assignment was for a 3 page essay.


    If I had to write the rule on spam, I might phrase it like this:


    [INDENT]Members should avoid posting spam messages. Spam is any post which does not contribute to conversation. If you can't imagine other posters responding to your comment, consider not posting it. If you don't have anything to say, but you want another member to know that you read their post and liked it, consider using the 'like' button instead.
    [/INDENT]
    More than anything, I think we should bear in mind that it's more important to make people feel welcome here, than it is to maintain some strict ideal of utopian forum order.

  • Nobody needs to be called out in public, but a private message that says "Hey, your post broke the rules. Here's the rule about spam for your future reference: ~~~~~" would be effective. I think the rules would only need more active enforcement if there were an active problem.

    I am a firm believer that moderation should be behind the scene as much as possible and it is something I want to address with all of the staff. Forums now give us tools that makes in-post notifications a way to break the flow of the thread and unecessarily put a member in the spotlight.


    Spam rules should be moderated with a light touch. Threads don't need to be locked or deleted, they can merely be allowed to die naturally.

    I rarely like locking threads. I am more of separating diverting conversations in their own topic and moving spam posts to a thread to post random stuff.


    With that said, I believe it is still important to agree in what we can let slide and what kind of action staff needs to take when something becomes predominant.


    More than anything, I think we should bear in mind that it's more important to make people feel welcome here, than it is to maintain some strict ideal of utopian forum order.


    I agree with this. I think we both witnessed each others stupid mistakes trying to get the hang of forums back in TSR, so I always feel compelled to give the benefit of doubt. I always think that the intention and attitude is what should determine what comes next. Anyway, do not worry. The rules revamp is more about explaining better the 3 rules I originally exposed and perhaps adding a few more for things not covered by the original 3 "commandments".


    Personally I have no problem with SPAM areas and forum games. I used to turn down the post count there but that brings confusion on members so I don't think I'd be doing that. I also like to hide the post counter and joining datefrom the mini profile to avoid people being regarded more for their "veteran" status than their contributions. Again, that is not something I am actively considering doing here but I think it kind of shows the way I like to do things.

  • With that said, I believe it is still important to agree in what we can let slide and what kind of action staff needs to take when something becomes predominant.


    I think any hard line on the subject of SPAM has to be based on one multiple incidents of spamming by a given member. If a member posts 1 message that counts as spam, that's not really a big deal. If a member is noticed posting multiple spammy messages, that would warrant some action.


    Lets say we have a new member (or an old one, whatever). They pop into a thread and post something like "Zibba zabba zoo!" It sure looks like spam. It fits all the qualifications of being spam. But maybe it's a joke the moderator just doesn't get. Maybe it's a joke nobody gets. I'm sure we've all told jokes that have fallen completely flat before. It's embarrassing, and sending the member a message that says "stop spamming" would only compound their embarrassment.


    Now, if in a different thread they post something like "Flip Flop Floobity Bop!," then it might warrant asking the member what they're doing. And if they post "Gabbity Hup Hup B'zow!" in a third thread, then at that point it would probably be appropriate for a moderator to step in, and send a PM saying "Yo, you're breaking the rules."

  • Spam to me is when someone comes on and tends to continuously post just pointless posts such as "good post" or "awesome" just to increase their post count on a forum. I also find that people who come on and post threads linking to numerous different urls is also spam and something I hate to see.

  • Spam to me is when someone comes on and tends to continuously post just pointless posts such as "good post" or "awesome" just to increase their post count on a forum. I also find that people who come on and post threads linking to numerous different urls is also spam and something I hate to see.

    It is bad when they make it obvious they don't even read the topic. :XD:


    Bots are probably one of the most annoying ones. My old forums used to get spammed all the time but some of those scripts are vague enough to not leave you completely certain it is a bot or just a clueless genuine user not aware of the netiquette. :-(

  • Bots are the worst. Some of my old forums used to get bombarded with porn. Just threads with 20 posts, and each post had 50 porn thumbnails or something.


    Fortunately, that's not hard to really define. Bots and advertisements are bad and can be nuked without serious consideration. It's the spammy posts of legitimate members that we have to treat with a lighter touch.

  • I actually had no idea what it stood for so thanks for informing me of that :D. For me SPAM is pointless and off topic messages that do not contribute at all to the topic or discussion.

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