Spam 101: How to Prevent and Manage it in Your Community

Carol Nelson

An externally facing Jive Community is a huge opportunity for a company to interact in a more meaningful way with its customers and partners. As you share knowledge and ideas in a public forum, you will be deepening the relationships you already have, and building new ones. Unfortunately, your community at some point may get some unwanted attention from unfriendly bots.  Fortunately, Jive is on top of that and has a strong spam prevention service built into the product to protect your community.  


What is Jive's spam prevention micro-service? 

Right out of the box, Jive provides basic spam prevention. With this service, you can configure the spam prevention to meet your basic spam requirements.  Jive also offers an advanced spam prevention micro-service, free to customers starting in Jive versions 2015.3 and 8.0.2. The micro-service is an independent service sitting between the Jive platform and the internet. The micro-service layer is independent of the Jive platform making it easy for Jive to add to the existing anti-spam logic and enhance that logic quickly as new spam patterns arise. Jive's spam prevention micro-service is disabled by default, and we at Social Edge Consulting recommend adding this service to your instance. The service can be enabled with a Jive Support case via the Jive Community, again, at no additional cost. 


What are the benefits and how does the Advanced Spam Prevention Micro-Service work?

This additional service will benefit internal and external communities, as well as help community managers gain control over their communities. Jive applies the out of the box moderation rules first and then the content will be sent to the advanced spam prevention micro-service. The micro-service scans the content and responds to Jive with a verdict of spam or not spam. If content is judged to be spam, Jive places it into moderation. by examining the spam content across all Jive customers to give the most current spam detection methods. It "listens" to the Jive community for all content creation and reviews content with external links to a domain not whitelisted. Additionally, the micro-service can evaluate all non-English posts if the community is set to English; all posts by a user account less than 24 hours old, and all posts that are repetitive and puts that content into the moderation queue. 


How do I get started?

Once a Jive admin turns on the spam prevention micro-service, all configuration options are available and configurable via the Jive admin console by the community system admin. Here are the options recommended and the benefits of them. You will need to assign one or more moderators to use the advanced spam prevention micro-service feature. This feature does functions with the out-of-the-box moderation enabled, however, note that the out-of-the-box moderation setting will supersede this feature.


First steps:

  1. Turn on the Spam Prevention Service
  2. Registration verification
  3. Create Keyword Interceptors 


Options to use as needed to further protect your community:

  • Limit content creation by new accounts to 5 posts in 24 hours
  • Profanity filters
  • Ban users by IP address
  • Moderation controller 
  • Block embargoed countries
  • Moderate content (Note: this option will override the Jive Advanced Micro Service) 


What to do immediately after a spam attack

Follow these steps for best practice when dealing with Spam Removal moving forward, these are manual steps to be performed by the Community System Administrator.

  1. Turn on the Spam Prevention Micro-Service (If not already enabled)
  2. Registration Validation (if not already enabled)
  3. Deactivate User Immediately
  4. Create Spam Secret Quarantine Group
  5. Move spam content into a Secret Quarantine group
  6. Verify content didn't bypass the Keyword Interceptors (if available)
  7. Create new or additional Keyword Interceptors
  8. Bulk delete user content
  9. Moderate Content with External Links

NOTE:  Refine the settings under System > Moderation > Spam Prevention Service Configuration   

Ongoing management tips

Social Edge Consulting recommends a review of your spam settings and interceptors on a quarterly basis, or when a particular spam attack is noticed.  


Don't ignore a spam attack. Once successful, it typically overwhelms the system. Ignoring the attack just invites more spam and your members will lose confidence in the community's content, including approved materials. A proactive approach is the best strategy.  Some suggestions include:

  • New user account moderation
  • Points threshold
  • Using the Message governor interceptor
  • Adding a domain blacklist
  • Change Open groups to Members Only so that you need to join the group in order to post content. This creates a barrier for the spammers to post.