I have noticed a spamming activity (even if it’s at its first step) on the forum and I wanted to write a few things about it.
There are several ways to spam in a forum and some of them may not be easy to recognize. Since this phenomenon is happening right now in another thread , I wanted to tell you how this spamming tactic works and how you can detect it.
Basically, some people are paid to promote stuff on forums and they use applications that automatize their activities, to maximize their profit.
One of these tactics consists into creating more than one profile in a forum, trying to behave as a normal user and, a few days or weeks later, using one profile to simulate a request for help about something and using a second profile to answer to that request, providing a link to the product/service that this person is paid to promote.
How to easily recognize these attempts:
If the number of posts read by a new user is zero or extremely low or if the time spent by this “person” to read posts amounts to just a few seconds/minutes, there is a good chance that the account was created by some application that doesn’t simulate the activity of a real person. You can see how many posts have been read by a user or how much time they have spent reading the forum visiting their profile page.
If the text of their first post is extremely generic and it has nothing to do with the main topics of the forum, I suggest to search for an entire sentence of it on Google, using quotes (") characters like this: “I am newbie here. I would like to say hello to all of you guys.”. If the search engine shows you a lot of forums containing the same text, it’s safe to assume that it was written by some kind of automatic spamming software.
Some forums, like this one, ask users for their favorite X when they create an account. Check the favorite X of the suspicious user (you can read it in their profile page) and see if it makes sense or if it has nothing/little to do with the main forum topics.
Behind these applications there are real people and that they can sometimes reply manually to threads, to show that they are not robots. For example, if you welcome them to the forum, they will probably thank you… however, they don’t spend much time writing texts that don’t produce profit and as a consequence their posts are always extremely short and rarely focused on the topic of the thread or forum.
I hope that this helps!