Watch your spam folder!
March 3, 2011
We have recently experienced a few occurences of valid messages left by visitors that were marked as spam. Not good :-)
Since you probably never review your UGAL spam list (it is available under the "Tools" tab), a direct link to your list of spam messages is now available from your dashboard, on top of the UGAL news.
Next time you login, make sure to check that you do not have any spam there. If any, have a quick look at those messages.
How UGAL fights spam
We implemented a number of techniques to fight spam a few month back. They work well, and our first line of defense (timers, honey pots, obfuscated fields) stops a good 80% of all messages posted on UGAL. Those are mostly messages posted by robots, they are automatically discarded.
Our second line of defense is to analyze the content of the remaining messages (we use an external service for that). Of the 20% of messages that passed the first validations, only 5% end up being marked as spam based on their content. While it is a low number, a few valid messages still got marked as spam.
A small change
To minimize missing important and valid messages, we do no check anymore the content of messages originating from contact forms and product information requests. We still check the content of the news comments, as those are the most tempting for spammers (other visitors and search engines see those comments) and probably the less critical messages.
So, there is chance that UGAL might email you a message or two that should have been marked as spam. Let us know if it is the case, and shout at us if it is unmanageable. There is however much less chance for a valid message to be marked as spam.