Idea: Anti-human spammer approach?

Stopping spam-bots from registering is one aspect in fighting against spam. But the more difficult problem - currently observable here at the site - is to deal with human spammers. Once they start posting their spam postings it's a very annoying sight until the account is deleted by an admin.

So far, the "Report this" button and the underlying plugin respectively only help to draw the attention of admins to these postings and the user account that was used for these postings. How about tuning the reportedcontent plugin to put reported content under quarantine as soon as a certain number of reports are made within a defined period, for example 3 reports per hour (of course it depends on the size of a community how many reports are made on average, so this parameters might be needed to be adjustable).

"Quarantine" in this context means banning the user's account, making all postings of this user invisible and sending notifications to admin(s) and the user (maybe it's a false alarm, so the user should be told that the ban will be lifted if the postings are alright). Coding the account ban might be possible already with Elgg. The problem seems to me how to make the postings invisible in a reversible manner (if needed). The access level of all postings could be set to private to make them invisible, but I don't know how to reverse this process, i.e. restoring the original access levels of all postings as they might differ (some might have been private, others might have been the default site access level etc.).

The report page could also be improved by offering the selection of some common reasons for reporting content (spam, illegal links, off-topic, harassment etc.). Depending on the reason chosen, the quarantine could be triggered immediately, after a certain number of reports or not.

The implementation of what I described is beyond my knowledge unfortunately. I don't even know if it's possible at all. I'm interested what you think about it. Maybe someone with the skills might be able to code it?

Feedback and Planning

Feedback and Planning

Discussions about the past, present, and future of Elgg and this community site.