One of the first features we offered at HairBoutique, before the world even heard of Web 2.0 or Social Networks, was our HairTalk Forum. It allowed strangers to come together to share their own personal angst about their hair. The option of visiting HairTalk was a near perfect solution for many hair consumers with the exception of a few common message board hassles (trolls, interpersonal fighting, thread hijackers, forum copycatters, etc.,).
By far the number one hassle was spammers who felt the HairTalk Forum was their personal invitation to post their own advertisements.
Yes, spammers don't just attack your personal email box and bombard you with the latest sex and drug ads. They hijack message boards and post about their businesses, often not even hair related. The forum spammers don't just post one advertisement. No, that would be too easy to deal with.
Instead they post as many as they can get uploaded before someone blows the whistle and they are ultimately blocked.
Sadly this happens on a constant basis. Luckily at HairBoutique.com we have an army of loyal followers (thank you to all) who report the spammers almost the minute they pop up. Even with the requirement to register many spammers still find ways go attack the forums.
Unfortunately once they have spammed their messages, it takes time to delete the 100 posts about shoes from China or a salon in North Carolina who thinks its OK to post their own salon advertisements on every thread.
I often wonder if Saks, Nordstroms or JC Penney's has similar problems? Do spammers wander through the various stores and randomly paper the walls with advertisements about athletic wear from China or salon advertisements? Do they sneak into the restrooms and post colored fliers with pictures of cheap handbags, perfume and underwear hoping the contraband ads will survive at least for a few hours before being discovered?
If they do, what happens to them? Are the offending spammers and paper hangers sued, hauled off to jail or maybe taken out back and forced to break down empty cardboard boxes in the store's warehouse to "work off" their punishment?
I actually like the last option. Spammers might be tolerable if you could instantly capture them and force them to work off their posts in the warehouse. At least you would be getting the benefit of cheap labor and how much damage could they do breaking down boxes?
Even better, since many of the spammers can write (you have to write to spam), why not lock them in an office somewhere and make them blog until they have worked off their spamming crimes? Not a bad thought. Not bad at all.Of course there would be endless complications to locking up forum spammers and making them blog but that's another blog for another day.
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