Introducing @pleasestop - Here to reduce comment spam

in #spam5 years ago (edited)


Introducing @pleasestop

How many times have you seen "Nice post!" and other generic comments commonly perceived as spam and just wanted to yell, "Please stop!" Yelling isn't going to help, but fortunately you don't have to since @pleasestop is here to guide the community toward better content and ultimately stop this sort of behavior.

The idea for @pleasestop came from my work with @duplibot, who is a sibling to @pleasestop now. With @duplibot I am focusing exclusively on duplicate comments posted repeatedly, but not all spam follows this pattern and I've been considering ways to both expand my reach and continue testing new approaches to stop spam.

Success with @duplibot

My initial approach with @duplibot was to comment in an effort to raise awareness and discourage upvotes and that was met with varying degrees of success. I was hesitant to downvote but the community made it clear that downvotes are supported and I turned my attention to removing rewards.

I've been posting asking for help removing pending rewards and that has been very effective. We've even seen a couple of accounts flagged to a zero reputation which completely hides all future comments from these accounts.

While @duplibot was entirely manual at first, I began looking at ways to script some of my work. I began replying to an account posting the exact same comment every 30 seconds and offered an upvote for any downvotes on this account from the community. My reply and the voting was fully automated and the community took notice and started handing out TONS of downvotes! We moved that account down to a reputation of 5 and it stopped posting in less than a day! The other thing I learned here was that my voting power ran out far quicker than expected since the community responded so well.

I've learned so much from this work and @duplibot has evolved considerably and now I've taken these insights forward into @pleasestop.

Why is this spam?

I have a list of phrases that appear to be spam that I've built by looking at comments that @spaminator replies to. These are the "great post" and "please follow and upvote me" sort of thing that are pretty obviously not unique or meaningful content. I'm watching for new comments containing any of these phrases.

Of course, there actually are legitimate reasons to say some of these things so the use of these phrases alone is not sufficient to summon my reply. After seeing a new comment I look to your previous 100 comments to see how often you're using these sorts of phrases and I only proceed when there are many examples. There are a few other criteria that I use to filter out comments but this is part of the secret sauce I'm going to keep private for now.

Part of me would like to open source my code and share everything with the community, but that is literally a roadmap for the path that spammers could use to avoid me so for now I'm going to keep my exact algorithm private, but I do want to speak to my approach generally.

The @pleasestop approach

Today, @pleasestop is automatically replying to any comments meeting the criteria of my algorithm. I'll be carefully watching and may stop the automation if things get weird, but I've been capturing data without posting for a while now and everything is being identified correctly.

My comment today looks like this.

Please Stop

You've used 42 phrases that may be considered spam in your last 100 comments.

You've received 3 flags recently and I encourage the community to continue flagging comments like this.

In this comment you said:

nice pic1

You made this exact same comment 11 times in your last 100 comments along with these additional phrases:

nice pic13
nice post6
nice content13
great post3
good work7

These comments are the reason why your Steem Sincerity API classification scores are as follows:

Spam: 64.20%
Bot: 6.50%

Please stop making comments like this and read the ways to avoid @pleasestop and earn the support of the community.

I was thinking of stopping after my first post, but then I decided that it's easy to avoid me and I believe my persistence will prompt most to change, while also informing the community about recent posting habits to discourage upvotes. As I have done with @duplibot, we'll see how this plays out and I will evolve as necessary.

Did you stop?

Now this is where it gets interesting.

After I've replied to an account I'll continue monitoring it to see if these comments persist. If so, I'll gather up any posts with pending payouts and ask the community to remove those rewards. If the spam continues after that, or an account is otherwise unbearably aggressive, I'll even ask for help pushing the account to a negative rep to hide everything posted going forward. Both of these approaches have already proven effective, but of course all this negativity is so negative.

What I'm really hoping proves effective is a new approach focusing on the positive aspects of dealing with comment spam. For those accounts that actually hear my message and stop posting, I want to not only support that with my own upvotes, I plan to share posts from these accounts and ask the community to consider upvoting the account to help make it clear that the community will support you far more when you stop spamming.

I plan to create a series of posts around those accounts that have abandoned comments like this and now are focused on creating unique and original content while properly engaging with the community. A lot of accounts making these comments are just new and trying to find their way around here, so my hope is that by pointing out the obvious folly in these sorts of comments that I'll raise awareness among new accounts and make it obvious this is not tolerated.

And most of all I hope that we can send a few votes to those reformed accounts to make it clear the community not only rejects spam, but supports and encourages legitimate content and wants to see your account find success!

I see an overarching opportunity for some form of curation around this idea to support and help these accounts get established, but I don't wanna reinvent the wheel as I know there are plenty of groups working in these areas. I guess I'm looking for your feedback as to ways I might coordinate with some of the curation guilds focusing on helping new accounts find their way around.

I'll focus on stopping the spam and curators can focus on showing these accounts the correct path to success.

Flags are coming!

Oh absolutely, the downvotes for this content are coming!

I actually have a larger mission here around that so I'm going to address this point separately soon. I have thoughts on a long-term, sustainable approach to deal with comments like this but I have a little more work to finish up on that first.

In the interim, I'm looking to the community to help with flags on these accounts and I'll make separate posts about that.

Please share your feedback

My work with @duplibot has evolved considerably in a relatively short period of time and I expect the same result here. I've outlined my general approach here, but all of this is likely to change in some way as I start to learn how everything unfolds.

If you've followed my work with @duplibot you know I welcome feedback from the community, humbly admit my shortcomings, and evolve into a better form of myself as I glean insights from my work and your feedback.

I have the same hesitations with posting more transactions to the blockchain so I expect to evolve even faster than @duplibot since this account will keep on replying.

Please share your thoughts. And most of all what do you dislike in my approach? I expect at least a little outrage from some accounts I reply to, but it is imperative for me to see the community validation of my work so I need to understand where I'm falling short so I can evolve to both earn and reaffirm that trust.


Lege post! ;)

the bot is really good tool to steemit

Do it 4 the steem fam

You good knight deserve an upvote even if my paltry contribution is just a spec of dust in the wind.

I mean nice post. LOL

Seriously I am glad to see someone doing this.

I humbly accept your support! And seriously thanks, I'm sure gonna see if I can make an impact.

This is a really great and useful bot. Thank you and Good Luck!

Gina told me about your mention of me and @duplibot in another comment this morning and I was truly humbled by your compliment there. Many many thanks for your support!

You deserve all the support. When I started out I was sick of seeing dumb superfluous spammers (some of them who had much higher reputation than I did) and I support any initiative that support clear abuse. As for grey areas like self voitig/circle-jerk etc. I support protocol level changes and I'm against flag wars.

Check out @miti I found him while I was getting sick of constant spam and he's been trying to educate spammers for few months. Good Luck!

Awesome, I'm thinking about ways to collaborate with others and get the community involved so I'll check out @miti and see what can be done.

Gayet başarılı yararlı bir yazı olmuş. Bu süreçten sonra ki yazı akışının sistemini başarılı bir şekilde ifade ediyor olacağız sizler sayesinde. Tebrikler

How about adding a comment at the beginning of the post. Saying this comment was upvoted. This way I can see who is getting a upvote or self upvote without having to click on every comment. It would make it easier to weed through the comments.

Awesome tip, thanks! I'll be able to catch opening self-upvotes but not much else, since I stream the blockchain and reply immediately to a post, basically seconds after it was created so there usually aren't many votes yet. I'll see what it would take to get that added to my script.

oh wow thats cool so you "stream" the steem chain , does that cost you extra server costs? Does it cost extra to get auto replies to all these short comments immediately? REALLy cool that you just mentioned that because I was wondering what it takes to create a system like this, because I have a whole list of ideas for this sort of system

foir example I just want to start mass messaging all the noobs who seem to eb doing the same soret of low effort posts. When I find a low effort postr that is under a certain word count by low rep scroe accounts I want to have an autpomatic message that just comes up when it detects a Lot of low effort posts that fighta certain strict criterion and then auto posts a message that asks them to please try harder and give s aLLISt of suiggestions from uploading Videos to @dlive to posting picture posts on @steepshot and this way I believe I can FUNNEL a lot of users who would naturally otherwise just become un knowing spammers into becoming more productive steemians. I could provide a LIST or a small lecture giving them "the talk" in an automated message. I have a nice lecture to give new users thjat recommends a list of things they can post about like taking screenshots of their own wallet or blog once they have made a little money, and showing it off to their facebook and youtube followers. This sort of strategy works and is something to keep enw users busy, promoting steem on legacy social media. I just have so many automated messages I want to bring up to all the low effort posters.

Another example for how I could find another use for your project, It would be nice to auto reply to people who post just single youtube links as steem posts, I want a auto reply comment that instructs them to please edit their post and include a sort of Review of the content, I want to remind these users that even if the youtube video is theres to PLEASE describe and explain that in the body of the text UNDER the Youtube Video link, OR to exp[lain whose video it is to cite and source the video well and to give credit to the original creator, and to explain why your posting someone elses work, it can be as a review or to point something out to us, I just want to encourage users to not post Naked youtube links alone, but to AT LEAST include a REVIEW of the video to create a more original sort of content.

So, I use steem-js for all my work and it does the job reasonably well. None of this requires any major resources so I'm running on a super basic server. There are a ton of great posts about steem-js and you can find examples of nearly anything to get started.

I definitely want to open source at least some of what I'm doing, but that's a clear roadmap to avoid me so I'm giving that some thought on how best to proceed.

Why fight comment spam by being it's biggest spammer yourself? Live the way you preach, son.

I've opened a dialog here and hope you're willing talk calmly and reduce this conflict. Please reply in the linked comment.

Well said blogbooster, lets fair game for everyone.. Let the best and most attractive content wins!

Great effort man. I completely support both this and duplibot.

Thanks so much, I appreciate it!

Thanks for your nice post. I hope this post will be helpful who work on Steemit.

Let's do something that creates value for our community and for ourselves. Thanks for this article, you too

Bueno estoy de acuerdo con tigo ya que los comentarios o posts deben de ser de forma consiente y transparente para que la comunidad tenga mas valor y vuelvo a repetir estoy totalmente de acuerdo con tigo @pleasestop

Y tambien debes de crear algo para apoyar realme a una buena publicación.

It opens my eyes while i am starting here a new life.

this is a very resourceful strategy...such post should be appreciated with so much emphasis

Unfortunately, as Utopian as the developers attempted to engineer this platform; like all things man-made and man-related; there are flaws & loopholes within Steemit that allow for bots to literally farm donations from desperate authors looking for more exposure.

The sad truth is; a lot of REALLY good content gets overshadowed/overlooked or not read at all due to the fact that it's not being re-steemed by hundreds of bots and the author himself doesn't have enough clout/steem power to get the exposure his content deserves; nor is he willing to pay to promote it (and why should he/she?

if the content is truly good than the community should reward what posts they think are best not what posts they think people will think are best

SMH it's gotten to the point where people are re-steeming and upvoting content for curation rewards that they aren't even reviewing. It should be a requirement to READ the full blog post / comment or WATCH the full Dtube video attached to each individual blog post before any comments/upvotes can be made. Otherwise it's just insulting to the author who spent time, effort, and resources creating a great piece of content that people don't even have the audacity to SKIM THROUGH... the post at the very least.

Stop the abuse! Let the flag wars begin!

It would take you all of what? 50 seconds tops? Is that asking for too much considering that the individual author spent easily 10x the amount of time making valuable content that can help you better your life/lifestyle yet is taken for granted..

As opposed to the hours of time each author puts into creating his blog posts & content. Putting aside the shelved and overlooked quality content posts author's don't get their due for; but when I see someone comment "great post!" and have $50.00+ in upvotes I get frustrated because I know with absolute certainty that the person who is posting 1-3 word comments on a very thought provoking and quality post is clearly no better than a troll who is commenting on something he obviously didn't read.

The frustrations with these accounts are very real. I hope to make a real difference and reduce these sort of comments

I'm with you 110% Followed/upvoted & re-steemed!

Many thanks for the significant support!

Good content, thanks.

You've made an important post very well,
The post was very important for newcomers like us,Wish you good luck.

This is nice of you for the community!

Realmente cometemos errores cuando desconocemos, pero es genial tu publicación. Gracias por eso tips

That's amazing, thank you. Are you working for Steemit or are you more of a volunteer who is invested into building a great community? Sorry if you mentioned that and I overlook the info.

a volunteer who is invested into building a great community

This describes me perfectly! I am independent and not associated with Steemit.

you deserve an upvote man!

Gracias por dejar en claro las reglas de la comunidad. Es un post muy útil !

longlife steem and kill for us youtube, twitter, facebook

Very good info,

Thank you so much for adding me on your list.
Really this is a really great and useful bot...

Love You :)

I don't mind. It will help me to be more creative in my expressive correspondence. Thank you for challenging me.

I'm new to steemit and this post is really helpful for newcomers :)

thaks very much i have got something to learn throung this post

Thanks man @pleasestop This is much needed for a community like steemit to protect larger interests and keep it going. Keep up the good work mate ✌️🙂 cheers 🍻

good idea, no more abuse!)

I think this initiative is as like as fire, through which only pure gold can survive but the fake gold fired! a big thumbs up for this enterprise (Y)

yes any spam the person should be first be warn that my idea

Good initiative, thanks for doing the lord's work! Have a $5'er.

I'm humbled by your generous support, thank you so much!

Loud and clear and definitely taking note about this! Thank you!

Lege post! ;) Nise!

This is really a nice post, but only at that time, when you are dealing manually, if you are using auto then I think that there are a lot of sincere members may lose their confidence and their reputations without knowing what had happened. You can't do it alone. If you hire some moderators then they can do it for you, in most part of the day. This will help you to control spam in your forum.

I would like to thank my friend @vimukthi for mentioning my name, that's the only way I've known about your good initiative!
You have my support.

Haha, just mentioned you in a comment seconds ago! I'll definitely reach out to you as I find more specific ways for the community get involved here. Thanks for your support!

You can count on me ;-)
I've added you to my fanbase for now.

This is a great idea, and I appreciate your effort. Hopefully, you'll be rewarded well for this initiative too!

I have always told people to look at an account's past comments. If it is all the same crap, you know they are a bot and should be ignored, etc.

Thanks again for your help in making Steemit a better place for us all!

Thanks again for your help in making Steemit a better place for us all!

I so very much appreciate this and hope to live up to this compliment!

Very excellent contribution to the community and absolutely wonderful orientation... This is a wonderful observation and also a very thoughtful solution accompanying it. Thanks for enlighning me and other new writers

Thanks for information

nice post, thanks!

Thank you and Good Luck!

I saw your bot at work in someone's comment page....and as I was scrolling the feed found this!

Wow...that is dedication. I feel bad for those who are verbally challenged....sure does raise the bar in reading and commenting.

Thank you for your deep sense of integrity on this platform.

All the best. I sure hope I don't get flagged....I use a lot of Wow! Lol

Thank you for your deep sense of integrity on this platform.

I really appreciate this because I do keep my integrity top of mind in this work, thanks so much!

I love how everyone does their thing to keep this ecosystem happy and thriving.

So.....what a coincidence honestly, cuz I think I have a live one for you. Just saw it after I finished browsing through the feed and leaving comments, ironically after yours I think. LOL

I didn't click on the link as I wasn't sure if it might take me to some spam site. So do be careful. Rating is already really may already be on some radars.

I've already replied to this account and it is on my list. Even better, it is on the @abusereports blacklist, so it will be pushed below reputation zero fairly quickly if it doesn't stop.

I appreciate you bringing this to my attention!

Thank you for that update.

And, on a more human note, Have a good weekend. ;)

Agreed kchitrah, it will make short likes and upvote irrelevant now.. Woohoo!

Really useful, thanks.

Gracias por la informacion.

Great content! Though I m new, I know this will be happening. :D

es completamente razonable el post, acepto la idea y la integridad de la pagina. Saludos

I love how steemit is starting to be so different from the other social media. This is why I will keep uploading new content.

Amo cómo steemit está comenzando a diferenciarse de las otras redes sociales. Es por eso que seguiré subiendo nuevo contenido.

Nice..Thanks for the post

It's actually pretty uplifting to find this on my first day on the platform.
I honestly believe you deserve all the support you can get. God bless your unique initiative

Thanks for the advice! I'm new in Steemit, i'm learning how to use this

This sounds interesting, as a complete newbie to steemit it's all also a bit overwhelming to read and put into practice. Not just the spam bit of this post but the whole process of posting, following, formatting correctly etc. It's nice to see a structured community though! :)

This post is really helpful for newcomers!
Many thanks!

The one thing I've noticed now is that they have gone from saying great post, good post,etc., to stealing people's comments from previous threads days or weeks earlier....and/or taking those comments and mixing them up into mostly senseless paragraphs. It takes a lot more of my time to read three or four sentences of a paragraph to only realize I just wasted much more time compared to if I had just seen great post and moved past it.

Look at anupomdas and nirobdas comments on this thread...has to be the same person

look at hashcash comment here....I've seen that comment many times before....who could forget doesn't make any sense.

Take a look at this comment made by funbobby51 who I follow and I know he made this comment:

Now look at how this guy stole that comment and reused it days later:

You try to stop one thing and open a whole new can of worms.

Wow, in your first link @nirobdas says, "in such a way that they are each subjected to reciprocal controls" but if you look at the other comments the comments are normally like this:

dear,,sir i love your all post,,, very well writter...
all the best.

You bring up some excellent points that some of this stuff isn't nearly as obvious unless you're looking more carefully. I'm going to keep this in mind and see if there might be some ways to identify some of this stuff.

Here's another one for you to check out....look at the Magic8ball comment. First time I've seen that.

This one looks suspicious....there was no video in the article. Rubeldas...

plus there's more on there you might want to have a glance at.


nice post i ever seen .i also appreciate it

would be interesting a post in Spanish, this would attract the Spanish-speaking community and surely this space would grow, I'm new to Steemit and I'm attracted to this social network, but I feel limited by not having a high level of English

excelente, total apoyo!! Gracias!!

very good initiative. This will serve me a lot here to learn. Thanks for considering me :)

This is very useful. Thanks a lot!

Good content, thanks.

This post will play a vital role for all the New steemer

nice and good project

Hello.. Your post is very useful so I suggest you have a Spanish version so that more people can benefit from your content.

not doubt your this informative post really need more upvotes. Normally we are do comments like in this way and don`t care about the actual worth of commenting .

good post!

Reading and understanding an article is one of the things we should consider before dropping a comment, majority of the people who live your post with nice post didn't even get the chance to read it, they just want to comment because they want to build relationships here on steam, in building relationships we have to use the right words ,I mean giving an impact to people's works so that they can inturn visit your blog.

Don't expect to see a nice comment on your work when you go about dropping nice post etc.
This is my own contribution @pleasestop

Thanks for a perfect example of a thoughtful comment speaking directly to the content of the post! These are the sorts of comments people should be writing.

Am very happy to participate

Hello steemit fam, this is nice for our community to grow

Really good work, By doing this type of activity people will show their high attention about this website. So keep it up with honestly.

This is so nice.

I think you want to save every new steemit account and giving advice how to working steemit. nice post brother.

good post thank you so much for this.

I've thinking to do that if i dont seeing this warning. Thanks it's helpful :)

It is important that there are people like to help those of us who are starting in steemet to avoid mistakes that result in spam

There are people with surprising talents, as it would be good if they used that potential in creating and not destroying others, we would have a nice world

Steem will be then a better place than Youtube but, I have an objection...
These phrases may be used within a reply while saying something else as well. How do you plan on dealing with this?

Finally! A bot to downvote useless comments

Good to know! Thanks for this post!

thanks, visit my steem

Thanks for the tip, just like reading the constitution when you are new to a system. Will adhere properly

well thats interesting :D

thnx for this post! it's interesting

please visit my blog @zuhrafriska

Although I am new I would like to make it clear that it is a good initiative on your part and I would like to be aware of your future publications because they denote commitment and entrepreneurship

una idea genial!, a ver que tal funciona. La verdad es que normalmente te ves comentarios de ese tipo a punta pala en todos los foros con lo que no sirven para mucho, aun la gente no se ha percatado de que para eso esta el boton de like, jeje pero bueno ya se iran enterando.

Amazing post, Thank you so much!! <3

Done Bro Do follow me now!

Oh I like this bot. Newbies will learn from this indeed. :) Can I suggest you add the FAQ section direct link in the comments for them to read?

Anyway good work! Who is your owner?

Thanks for the suggestion! I've been thinking about something like this, but new questions are coming up daily so I'm going to keep learning a bit longer so I can build that list even further.

And thanks for your support! I'm @blervin and I run @pleasestop as well as @duplibot.

It's good you thought of this, it's badly needed around here. Whew. Thank you too. 👍

So you're trying to combat spam and plagiarism which is a noble endeavor indeed.

But what about those whales and upvote bots that are basically being paid to "discover interesting content"?

Doesn't that invalidate the entire concept of being rewarded for creating and curating good content? People just use money and accumulated influence to determine which posts are worth attention and that simply cannot be right.

So what can be done about that kind of manipulation?

Hello, I am grateful for this information, for me that I am entering, and that I just made my introduction; I consider it a very valuable information; which are aspects to be taken into account, and which will allow recognizing this type of actions. Congratulations for the creativity of the tool, to continue its development; it occurs to me that if you keep improving it and you give it the differentiating element; You can protect your intellectual property. And I apologize if there are errors in my answer in the English language.

I like how you give awareness to newbies especially for someone like me. Its a great way to let new people know on how to avoid this things. Thank you for this!

interesante post, esto hará mas prolijo las publicaciones es steemit

You are a helpful bot. I will stop use those words on Steemit. I have upvote and followed you. Please follow Okbit, Bitman will post articles about Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Money, News and Market Analysis.

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