Identifying users who only want to sell their product/services

I’ve had my forum online for less than 6 months but it’s growing everyday.

But today, I had my first “shiller” (or whatever the term is). Basically, someone who joins signs up and leaves a reply in a post leaving a link back to their product or service. Classic reply example:

You have highlighted a common issue. Some customers are not comfortable with [Problem]. We purchased a [Product] from [Company] and that really helped us. They have an amazing reputation and their customer service is spot-on, checkout [Link to Product].

In my case today, it was really obvious because he/she switched from “We purchased…” and ended with “We now offer a convenient…”. That mix in language speaking from the alleged customer to the sellers perspective tipped me off.

Normally, these can sometimes be pretty hard to spot if done correctly. How do you deal with these people? I just don’t want to upset any genuine users by flagging their genuine replies or posts.

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I think you can filter genuine and spam replies based on user trust level. In my experience a user with trust level 0 linking to another website in their reply, is almost always a spammer.

Do you have the Akismet plugin installed on your community? It’s quite good at catching this kind of advertising post.


I think the recent update that says “This is the first time [name] has posted — let’s welcome them to our community!” is also a good indicator.

It can’t hurt. I’ll do that, thanks.

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