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Boss

Tip! A tool to spot link stuffing and hidden links

Hi Atlas! 

We've been dealing with lots of spammers lately so I wanted to share a tip thats helped us discover new tricks up their sleeves. 

TL;DR Using a CSS extension you can change how links appear which can help you spot link stuffing and hidden links 

The tactic lately is link stuffing and including hidden links, set to the communities background color so they're hidden. We nofollow everything but to help catch and remove this garbage we started using a CSS extension so the links stand out.

This is how the post appears in our community using our current UI - do you see the hidden link or link stuffing occurring?! 

 

07-29-kucu1-c2fvh

After installing the User Javascript and CSS extension I was able to add some CSS that overrides our UI so these thing stick out. 

07-29-exf09-5t94k


In the screenshot above the text added links to google.com whereas the period links to the nefarious APK site - the link stuffing 😄 

The code used in my case to capture the two approaches commonly taken by Spammers in our community is below: 

 

 

 

a[href*="apk"] {
  background-color: red;
}
font[color*="FFFFFF"] {
  background-color: red;
}

 

 

 

If you’re not familiar with CSS a peer might be but with a little bit of work you may have a new tool at your disposal to help find and squash spammers 😄 

To set this up

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Install the User Javascript and CSS extension 
  3. Go to your Community and click on the extension 
  4. Click Add New+ and enter the code above, customized to your site or needs 

As a non-dev, but dangerous with Google I hope this helps but please feel free to call out areas of opportunity. If theres a better method to do this we'd love to know! 





2 Replies 2
Community Manager

Love this idea! Way to thwart those pesky spammers, and thanks for sharing your code and ideas for customization as well. 

Another option I've heard is to turn off HTML access to all users, then grant it back in a role that can be given automatically upon reaching a specific rank.

Since spam accounts are typically at the lowest tiers of the rank structure this can really help mitigate spam and ease the workload on the mod team.

(Hat tip @MichaelC for that excellent suggestion.)

I like this, added it into our backlog to do it.  Good suggestion! 😁

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