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How to Identify and Report Spam

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Tue May 18, 2021 7:29 pm
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Big Brother says...

Hi everyone,

You may have seen spammers advertising novel sites and apps on YWS in the past few months, as well as spammers advertising completely unrelated services. While the mod team tries our best to stay on top of any and all spam, there are some forms of spam that we’re not as aware of. Spam sent through PMs is especially hard for us to notice, as we don't regularly monitor PMs unless they’re directly sent to us.

Therefore, if you do see spammers, either in PMs, literary comments, reviews, forum posts or wall posts, please immediately contact an online junior moderator or global moderator listed in the YWS Team page. Alternatively, you can report the spam through the Contact Mods option at the very top of the site--but contacting a specific, online moderator is the fastest way to bring spam to our attention.

There’s a few things that can suggest if a message is spam, some of which being:

  • If a website or contest is being advertised, the details regarding it and the reason you’re being contacted about it are vague. They may mention a work you’ve posted on YWS, but they don’t mention the details of the work other than the title.
  • A service completely unrelated to YWS is being advertised, like a tech product available on an unfamiliar website.
  • If there are links in the post, there is no reason for them to be there.
  • Furthermore, if there are links in the post, the url code is messed up.
  • The post is in a thread or section of the site that hasn’t been active in months or even years.

If you see something and you’re not entirely sure if it’s spam, still report it to a moderator. We’ll take care of it as soon as possible. Also, if you do see spammers for specific novel writing sites and apps, please censor it when mentioning it in wall or forum posts. Censoring the name of the service prevents it from getting pings when searched. As the goal of the spam is to increase the traffic that the app/site gets on search engines, this discourages spammers from interacting with YWS. Two examples of censored names are 600dnov3l and N0v3lst4r.

Beware of advice—even this.
— Carl Sandburg