nyanchat – how to discourage spam in realtime chat enabled webapps

On the dayjob we created this nice platform where you can talk about tv programs on the second screen. We deployed it as villavanthilt and enabled everyone with a webbrowser to talk along with the live TVshow and share the conversation. This all went well until we launched the realtime wordcloud as an app on the platform. It renders a wordle.net-like wordcloud as you type of all messages passing the view. The problem is people started spamming to get their word in the cloud. After one evening getting loads of spam, deleting loads of users who recreated their account, we decided to make it stop…

Of all the cruel ways we came up with to punish spammers, or all the gentle ways of changing their behavior, there was one that seemed spot on. As a plus it was easy to implement, needed because the show ends in just two days.

  1. find spammer
  2. I think  you noticed the spam, just click it to open the spammers profile
    Notice the two red buttons, one is remove user, the other is mark as spammer
    spam mainly comes from uneducated kiddies, not viagra sellers as there is bot protection
  3. mark the user as spammer, a websocket message is sent to the user forcing a reload, and making the villachat…
    nyanchat, replacing the spammers(mine in this screenshot) text input window with nyancat
  4. The user could still log out and create a new account but their logout (afmelden) button is gone, there session stays open and they can’t create a new username.
    regular users can logout
    spammers can't sign out, button is gone
  5. thanks nyancat
  6. As a bonus the nyansound is there too and the session stays signed in for four days. That should teach em. Oh yeah talking about teaching clicking on the cat opens the wikipediapage on spam, educating the user.

Feel free to check out villa.een.be, but don’t make me nyan you

    Thanks to everyone who helped thinking up this and other ways to punish/educate spammers. Happy spamming,I’m coming to get ya!

    2 Replies to “nyanchat – how to discourage spam in realtime chat enabled webapps”

    1. the nyannyan nag is integral to the bugging, PR guitarman just did the animated gif, but eternally gratefull for any kind of 8-bit pixelated animated graphics, so thanks PR guitarman!

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