I'm posting this here in response to a query we received:
On the old IQ software, we had an increasing problem from spammers and trolls attacking the site. This was probably not noticeable to most users but it took up an increasing amount of moderator time as the site became more popular and visible on the internet.
In one instance, a particular individual (which we traced to China) created many, many hundreds of dummy accounts over a period of a few months presumably with the intent of launching some future mass spam attack. We actually had to write our own software utility to keep deleting them as soon as they were created!
We've had numerous other individuals trying other disruptive tactics but on a much smaller scale. From our experiences, we've identified a few factors that would make the site dramatically less attractive to those who wished to disrupt it in some way.
The most dramatic reduction has come about through insisting on a validated email address before posting to the site, whether registered directly on IQ or through the OpenId system.
One of the less obvious little tricks that we've found highly effective is simply instigating a minimum character limit on questions and answers. This is currently 100 characters. I don't feel this forces too much of an imposition on genuine site users but it does seem to create enough of an annoyance for troublemakers, presumably using automated scripting tools, to go elsewhere.
That's why the limit exists and I see it as a small price to pay for a forum that has relatively low levels of spam and trolling with (now) relatively little moderator/administrator effort.
asked Jan 30 '12 at 04:08
Simon Templeton ♦♦
Thanks for the swift response Simon,your explanation makes perfect sense.Thank you for the great work you do.
answered Jan 30 '12 at 05:52