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dealing with spam on DTL

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POSTED IN: My DTL blog: Chris' blog

Spam is a problem everywhere, and we've seen increasing numbers of users signing up for the express purpose of posting comments, or sending messages, about unexpected multi-million dollar windfalls, magical solutions to marital problems and the like.  

By default, DTL protects you from most such messages, and gives you the tools to fully ilsolate yourself.  To do this, we use the distinction between a "guest user" and a "DTL member".  A guest user is someone who has self-signed up.  A member is anyone who has one or more colleagues.  To get a colleague, you need to be invited to be a colleague by an existing DTL member.  This means that in effect, DTL members are self-selecting -- every DTL member has been chosen by another member, through the invitation to be a colleague.  And in practice this means that the users who are signing up for purposes of selflessly sharing the path to riches and marital bliss are all guest users and not members.  

By default, the permissions on your blogs and documents are set such that only DTL members can post comments -- guest users cannot post comments.  You can of course change this if you wish, but the default should prevent spam comments.  The other important permission is your "D-mail permission" -- who can send you d-mail messages.  By default this is set to "guest users and members", meaning that if someone wants to sign up and send you a message about an unexpected windfall in Lagos, they can do so.  If you want to preclude such spam messages, you should set your -dmail permission (from your 'settings' at left) to 'DTL members only'.  But of course there's a tradeoff -- if you do that, then you may miss out on serendipitious messages from users you wouldn't otherwise have heard from.  

I'm keeping an eye on this -- it may be possible to eliminate virtually of the spam messages by simple keyword filters.  Perhaps if we black-holed first-time messages from guest users that contained the words "marital", "terminal",  or "million" we'd eliminate most of the problem.  TBD on that one ;-)

 

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About the Author

Chris Tennant

Chris Tennant

I co-founded Dream to Learn in 2013. I love the outdoors, growing and building things, and the challenge and beauty of writing computer code. I live in Eugene, Oregon with my wife Giuditta, my two kids Joshua and Rebecca, and our cats Sprinkie and Hugino.

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Created: June 28, 2014

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