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Submitted on
November 18, 2011


81,822 (2 today)
619 (who?)

Spam is a constant thorn in the side of every Internet user's daily life. From the mundane to the surreal, these emails appear in our inboxes so frequently, messages from South African attorneys offering $10 million dollars get marked as spam without a second thought to savvy users.

We define spam as the misuse of communication systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately to our deviants.  Typically, the content of spam messages is aimed at advertising a product that is often counterfeit or potentially malicious.  With the rise of social networking, there's been an increase in more direct spamming -- companies who directly target your social network profiles.

"Over the last few years, deviantART has had a small but unfortunate stream of such abuse.  Usually, it’s as easy as banning the offending members and moving on to more pressing problems, but recently something happened that caused us to re-evaluate how we handle spam issues."

Since the start of September, some commercial spam entities have been using deviantART’s high search-engine rankings to increase the search-engine rank of their own websites in a maneuver called “spamdexing.” How they manipulate search-engine results is fairly simple: create an account on highly ranked social-networking sites, post a journal or blog with some text, and include one or more links to their website. When someone arrives on that page via a related search and clicks through, the offending websites receive a higher rank in searches. This is an abuse of the search engine system, because higher-ranked websites are supposed to be the most relevant to the user’s search and not spam sites, which can be anything from innocent-but-annoying to malicious.

When we launched our Journal Portal, we immediately noticed that something was amiss, as we were receiving a high volume of these spam journals. That night, we closed a large number of accounts related to this spam attack.

Over the next couple of days, we continued closing accounts, but we noticed this seemed to be a prolonged and deliberate attack.  The team quickly met to discuss tactics for handling this, because it was becoming clear this was going to require a more concentrated effort just to keep up.  During the meeting, we identified key issues we needed to concentrate on, and we came up with a plan of action.

Action items:

Implement the ‘nofollow’ attribute to all outgoing URLs.

Prevent spam Journals from being posted.

Actively target spam accounts and IPs to be closed.

Without giving too much away about what we’ve done, these are the basics.  ‘Nofollow’ is essentially an HTML element which tells some search engines that a hyperlink should not influence the link target's ranking in the search engine's index. It was introduced specifically to reduce the effectiveness of this exact behavior and makes the spam Journals and comments worthless. They’re not gaining any benefit being posted, so hopefully that will encourage them to give up.  (We’re not alone in implementing "nofollow." Other large sites like YouTube and Digg have implemented this for similar reasons.)

Another of our prevention methods is a blacklist system. We are blacklisting websites and companies that spam us. Once we blacklist a spammer’s URL, it can't be used again, and you won't be able to click through to them from comments or Journals posted on deviantART.

Spammers are the reason we can’t have nice things.  :stfu:

What you can expect from us:

We are going to actively target spam accounts. This will involve checking for spam activity on a daily basis.

We will blacklist anyone using our website as a platform to spam their website/company.

We will ban any accounts found to be used to spam us.

We will continue to work on blocking spam before it’s posted and will work to make sure you never see it in the first place -- while trying not to alter the way genuine users access this site.

We will be treating commercial spam as a high-priority issue in the Help Desk.

DeviantART does not support spam, and we don’t want you to have to tolerate it either. If you see someone spamming their website or company, please let us know via the Help Desk. Let’s send a message to these spammers that they’re not welcome on deviantART.

The measures we've put in place will not affect genuine deviants.  Outgoing links can still be posted per normal.  Your deviantART experience has not changed at all -- except that you'll see less spam.  :thumbsup:

Add a Comment:
xenonnoble28 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014…

tczhundhi seems to be advertising random crap 
you guy have my respect. I have found something weird,here's THREE spams (do not get to the links if I forgeted to remove 'em! after the these links) here it its :

in all the links that I will include : keep going down (reading the comments) 'till you find a link,see what is it but DO NOT click on it
1)  this is from my friend: ~bakerGFXislamicDSner :bakergfxislamicdsner.deviantar...

2)  this is from another friend: ~DragonessLife

also, take a look at these weird accounts:

1) ~rene1988


~noodles009    they all appear in the same artwork (second artwok-link)
and they say: (from the first comment - the accounts)

1) I found an easy answer to our problems. Look at this I already started (virused link - I'm not gonna post it)

2) I had tried everything because of this im always one step ahead ive finally reached the top keep this between us (same as above - removed link)

3) I had tried everything finding this was the greatest thing thats ever happened my success was effortless just think of all the possibilities (same as above - removed link)
huckleberrypie Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012
I've seen a swath of "Download full movie" journal entries on the Journal Scraps section, and it's obviously polluting the search results. I think making use of Akismet or any other spam-filtering mechanism would do wonders or something.
whitephant0m Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"We will be treating commercial spam as a high-priority issue in the Help Desk."

I made a spammer report on the help desk but how come it says that the priority is normal as opposed to your announcement of it being a high-priority issue?
DpressedSoul Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
This will involve checking for spam activity on a daily basis.

I have reported several spam accounts during the last two days, but they're all still active.
Please take some action!
Shutter-Shooter Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
blackmoonrose13 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
um one of my friends is tring to comment but it wont let her because they are saying its spam is it a glitch she is a normal deviant
whitephant0m Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
that might be because she posted a lot of comments in a short period of time. giving time between posting each comment prevents this.
blackmoonrose13 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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