For years, online comments have remained stagnant and fairly boring. Today, this is not the case and there are new technologies shaking up what was once a traditional and text-based industry. Comments were introduced to us back in the 90s in blogs, and in the mid-2000s in major news sites. In recent years, many news outlets have chosen to change the way they manage their comments sections and developed new strategies for user engagement, and much of this is down to the way they manage and interact with spam.
Drowning in spam
On the one hand, comment sections are great for user-engagement, but on the other, they are prone to high quantities of spam and abusive messages. Managing this reality through basic comments platforms is often like a game of whack-a-mole with trolls. You bash one down and another immediately resurfaces. In light of this, many sites dedicated a great deal of manpower to monitoring and removing irrelevant or abusive comments. Some even went so far as to remove their comments sections altogether. At a certain point, some outlets tried to switch to Facebook comments so that users were forced to use their real names. The idea was that this would help limit spam, but the reality was that fake profiles and online anonymity ultimately meant this wasn’t a very effective tool.
When spam hits your site, ignoring it might seem like a great and carefree option. However, it’s imperative that you don’t and here’s why. Spam comments threaten you blog. They provide backlinks to unsafe sites as well as malware and spyware that can cause your users to lose trust, gain viruses, and leave your site for good. In addition, a blog chocked full of spam looks like one that has been ignored. Just imagine inviting friends over to a house covered in trash – it’s a similar concept. Your readers want to see your site as a safe space that you care about and not as a garbage dump full of unsafe content.
Today, thankfully, there are strong safeguards available on commenting platforms. Instead of manually wading through hundreds of angry sexist comments, most platforms will help publishers by automatically weeding out the majority of useless and abusive posts. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of user verification and spam censorship varies by platform, and it’s important to pick one out that is actually effective. One way to do this is to opt for platforms like Heyoya that use voice authentication to verify commenters. This provides an added level of security to prevent spam.
Retaining some measure of control
While today it is much easier to automate the entire spam filtering process, it’s advisable to keep some measure of control. As well as having a robust platform that helps you filter content, you should still aim to keep a close eye on things. After all, it’s your site and some spam will inevitable slip through. On the other hand, legitimate comments may occasionally be incorrectly filtered as spam. To maximize user engagement, opt for a platform with a great dashboard and analytics portal so you can easily manage the back-end of comments and make sure all your readers see is a great conversation.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments platform that brings voice to online publishers, improving user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content. Heyoya’s prevent spam and abusive content through voice authentication. Join Heyoya today and grow your community.
For more information on Heyoya, click here.