Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


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:
 
:iconxenonnoble28:
xenonnoble28 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
www.deviantart.com/art/Throne-…

tczhundhi seems to be advertising random crap 
Reply
:iconlegendofspyrothedrag:
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

dragonesslife.deviantart.com/a...

also, take a look at these weird accounts:

1) ~rene1988

2) 
~cerner

3) 
~noodles009    they all appear in the same artwork (second artwok-link)
Reply
:iconlegendofspyrothedrag:
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)
Reply
:iconhuckleberrypie:
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.
Reply
:iconwhitephant0m:
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?
Reply
:icondpressedsoul:
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!
Reply
:iconshutter-shooter:
Shutter-Shooter Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Reply
:iconblackmoonrose13:
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
Reply
:iconwhitephant0m:
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.
Reply
:iconblackmoonrose13:
Blackmoonrose13 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ok
Reply
:iconmistykoopa:
MistyKoopa Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Student Artist
On the off chance that someone reads this post, where can I get in contact with someone to report a possible offender? Because although this person doesn't use journals to spam links, they create new accounts almost daily, and their personal info always includes links. The link isn't always the same, but I have noticed that it seems to be the same few links that are used.
Reply
:iconlablayers:
LabLayers Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Student Interface Designer
THIS IS AWESOME!!!!! YEA!!!! NO MORE DICK ENLARGEMENT SPAM!! :la:
Reply
:iconzanarky:
Zanarky Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Less Spam = Yay! :clap:
Reply
:iconnai-alei:
Nai-Alei Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
I have a question about spam :)

I have a special message I've made up to send to people who have newly watched me to say thank you. Nowadays I get alot more watchers than I used to so I send this message to more and more people. While I was going through my watchers list sending the thank you message to them, I got a box popped up saying the System thinks this message is spam and not letting me send the message or any comments or reply to anything for around half an hour :).
So, should I stop sending my thank you message to new watchers? I could just put a box on my account page to say thanks instead ^^
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
That's a comment velocity filter, because you were sending the same message repeatedly in a short space of time it took puts a temporary block on your commenting abilities to slow you down. I would suggest varying the message you are leaving, especially if you're posting a lot in a short time frame.
Reply
:iconmilovanf:
milovanf Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I have a question, I know this comment is old for 4 years almost, but does deviantART allow members to use a bot to boost their own pageviews and watchers? Because I found one who have nothing in his gallery but he made it to reached 50 million pageviews almost, 15.5 thousand watchers and 254 thousand favorites in 4 years. I think it's quite impossible to reach that much, no matter how super talented artist You are. I found many members who are here for years, and none of them weren't able to reach that huge level of views in such a short time.
Reply
:icongisapizzatto:
GisaPizzatto Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Featured: [link]
Reply
:iconzellfaze:
zellfaze Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't personally like the idea of putting nofollow on all the outgoing links.

Genuine links to other websites should affect their search engine ranking.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
To be honest though to get any real effect you'd have to post thousands and thousands of links here. Most genuine websites don't get much of a bonus because they aren't linked to en masse.

The links that are being linked to en masse are the scam sites, the counterfeit or pirated goods site and the malicious sites. Nobody wants to be associated with that and nobody wants to have to put up with a website full of spam like that.

Nofollow affects only a tiny percentage of the website that promote their genuine websites here. We only want to support your websites, we don't want to give free bonuses to companies that don't want to pay to advertise here, that defeats half the point of our ads system. We don't want to be associated with illegal or unscrupulous activities. Nofollow is the only real sure fire way of really affecting users.

Whilst we're not improving anyone's search engine rank, we're not damaging it. We're also not affecting how users interact with links and other websites with this. At the end of the day, we have a duty to protect our users from people exploiting our website. We don't really have a duty to improve somebody else's website ranking.

We are still running Adcast which you can use to promote your website to the community as a whole via direct deviantART related advertising.

FAQ #739: What is AdCast?
Reply
:iconmeihua:
meihua Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
Agreed. I hope that was a temporary solution.
Reply
:iconjust-a-little-knotty:
Just-A-Little-Knotty Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
What about those jerks who flood our inboxes with retail items & rarely ever give anything for free?
I'm so tired of having to leave my groups because of all the retail crap from [link]
If they wouldn't post so many at once, or possibly toss a few freebies out in-between it wouldn't be quite so annoying. They don't even tell you its for sale it just says download here with a link.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Are they flooding your deviantART message centre with stuff?

If so can you provide me with links to the comments please?
Reply
:iconjust-a-little-knotty:
Just-A-Little-Knotty Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
What they are doing is joining groups, then flooding the groups. Thereby flooding inboxes. Go to #Clear-Cut for instance and just see how many are in their gallery. 50 of them I had to delete this morning. Ive had to leave several groups because they flood them all! I'm about to leave clear-cut as well. I hate to do it, Ive been a member there since its beginning.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't really understand what you are saying.

Do you mean you are tired of all the messages you receive from #Clear-Cut? If so, we have no control over how many deviations they add to their group. You can stay in the group but choose to not see their submissions though.

If someone is using the deviantART submission system to upload commercial spam then I need you to link me directly to the spam content.
Reply
:iconjust-a-little-knotty:
Just-A-Little-Knotty Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
sent you a note with some links
Reply
:icongraphiclia:
GraphicLia Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
If you enter the search word "fatimahdaddah" into your browser you will find that this is the newest spam to hit the comments section of the deviations. I've spotted three different dA accounts as originators this morning already. All postings are from yesterday.

Sure hope these comments are monitored...
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks, I'll search out and ban those accounts!
Reply
:icongraphiclia:
GraphicLia Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
:thumbsup: Social Media = Virtual Disease
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I believe I've got all the accounts, it looks to be a variation on the recent string of "Hello I am looking for my soulmate" emails.

Please let me know if you see any more of those accounts, emailing violations@deviantart.com is the quickest method.
Reply
:icongraphiclia:
GraphicLia Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
Thanks, will do.
Reply
:iconkennymap:
kennymap Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:thumbsup:
Reply
:iconcybergranny:
cybergranny Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ohhh very good thing :clap:
Thanks for all the work :strip:
Reply
:iconjennystokes:
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you from me also!
I am interested in this 'Artflakes' site from Germany.
Is this a legitimate site.........I have been reading a lot on here about these people.........still do not know if this was 'spam' or not?
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I believe artflakes is related to art4love [link]

We in no way support either art4love or artflakes. I would encourage you to be very careful when responding to art websites that are asking you to join them or submit your art there.
Reply
:iconjennystokes:
jennystokes Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanx SO much for your reply...........I think I will withdraw everything I have put on there.
Reply
:iconkingmancheng:
kingmancheng Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional Filmographer
:#1:
Reply
:iconmisterslowniko:
MisterSlowNiko Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:D
Reply
:iconamdhuscias:
Amdhuscias Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
how about someone that access DA with Opera-mini then make a comment in journal?
everytime my friend comment using her cellphone, all comment in my journal disappeared....is that a spam also?
can someone enlighten me? or this is just a temporary DA bug?
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
That's an unrelated bug that we've been investigating for about a week. We thought we'd fixed it but it appears to have started again.

I've added the information you've given us to our report about this bug, thanks!
Reply
:iconamdhuscias:
Amdhuscias Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
ah, thank you very much for the reply and info! I truly appreciate that!
Reply
:iconminghii:
minghii Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Student General Artist
:iconallofusplz:

my friend's journal comments disappear after 40+ comments.... fff
Reply
:iconicytemporalist:
icytemporalist Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
'twould seem that this may just be having a better responce than Stash or the New Journal System.

Let's kick these spammers all the way out of Cyberia!
Reply
:iconninjakato:
NinjaKato Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011
Does this have anything to do with why comments are getting removed/disappearing from journals lately?

I just wrote a journal and I had 40+ comments I planned on reading after dinner...when I got back...there were only 6 (now 10)
I don't appreciate comments just disappearing...especially when they are long in depth comments containing opinions and views based upon the subject my journal was about.
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Can you submit that as a bug to the +help desk please?
Reply
:iconninjakato:
NinjaKato Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011
I already did
Reply
:icondxd:
dxd Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Great, someone will pick up your bug report as soon as possibly!
Reply
:iconghostfritz:
ghostfritz Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Good luck... Someone like that should be spammed within an inch of their lives...
Reply
:iconchaoticpuffins:
ChaoticPuffins Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So...Can we still write journals?
Reply
:iconheidi:
Heidi Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011
Absolutely. You can post journals and outgoing links just as before. :)

~Heidi
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconhq: More from hq


Featured in Collections

deviantART News by kit-y

journals and news articles by Brina1989

Site Updates by hq


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
November 18, 2011
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
82,961 (1 today)
Favourites
614 (who?)
Comments
3,090
×