Spammers and bots become a problem that can undermine the integrity and user experience of any app or platform. They make platforms unattractive to advertisers and real users. They flood community platforms with irrelevant content, hurting everyone involved.
However, there are a number of methods to combat spammers and bots and streamline the user verification process. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of some of these methods and analyze their effectiveness.
This is one of the most effective ways to protect against spammers and bots. Requiring users to pay a small fee for the app or platform creates a hurdle that deters malicious users. Most importantly, you could use it to pay for more efficient moderation. However, this method is not feasible for most apps and platforms, as community platforms usually depend on a large number of users and a pay model would also deter too many real users.
This variant allows users to report suspicious activity and even block spammers and bots directly. This way, malicious actors can be quickly identified and stopped. Although it is highly recommended to build a user reporting system, it is quite time-consuming to develop a suitable and robust system. Bad actors can determine how your system works and will try to use it to their advantage. Spammers and trolls will try to remove quality content and genuine users.
The latest developments in artificial intelligence make image-based CAPTCHAs pretty useless. I guess that's also why Google tells you that it doesn't make much difference if you enable "images" for the latest reCAPTCHA v3. And besides, there are actually CAPTCHA farms. They consist of real people solving tons of CAPTCHAs for bots and trolls all day long.
Access logs can often be used to identify suspicious activity on an app or platform. Developers or even automations can look for patterns within the IPs used by spammers and bots by evaluating access logs. Large and careless bot farms may be able to be stopped as a result. However, troll farms and spammers often use VPNs or other methods to avoid such patterns.
How about an "invite-only" system to prevent spammers and bots from accessing an app or platform? With an invite-only system, new users only have access to the platform if they receive a referral from an existing member or have been approved by an administrator. This can limit the growth of the platform if members are not actively inviting new members. In addition, this method can be used by troll factories and spammers to their advantage. A troll can invite others and so on. They might even join your platform faster than real users. An "invite-only" system alone isn't the answer.
Users are very unlikely to reveal their identity to you if do not have very good reasons for it. Usually, less than 10% of users verify on community platforms because anonymity on the web is so important. This can be an effective way to ensure that a user is a real person and not a bot. Make sure you also handle VoIP phone numbers correctly and integrate rate limiting and CAPTCHA to protect your verification from attacks.
Let user prove they are a real person while remaining anonymous. Trusted Accounts is a not-for-profit and trustworthy third party that verifies users for you while keeping their identities secret. It combines the security of a KYC Verification with full user privacy. It will help you increase your verification rate, and hold off scammers, bots and trolls efficiently. Users trust Trusted Accounts because it is a not-for-profit company and is fully transparent throughout the whole user process. It will care about VoIP or rate limiting for you.
In conclusion, there is no one solution for all applications to fend off spammers and bots. Ultimately, a combination of several methods is necessary to achieve the best results in combating spammers and bots. Trusted Accounts combines the best of the two worlds of privacy and security and is integrated within 30 minutes. It is a great starting point and will help you to defend against most spammers and bots with very little effort.