Sunday, January 7, 2007

How to Avoid Misuse

Exactly how can we make sure the system is not abused by spammers and other unsavory characters? How to extract something useful from tons of geolocated posts? How can spam be avoided?

Ratings and classification.

Use categorization and labels to find and avoid certain types of notes/posts: Commercial, Geology, Bird-watching, Adult, etc etc.

Rating of content, users and also a rating of the accuracy of categorizations and labels to make sure posts are correctly labeled.

Make it hard to create several identities for a user. Demand registration using a credit card number or require activation through the sending of activation keys to a physical address or similar methods.

A possible problems with using ratings and classifications is that it might make the use of the system too cumbersome. Will people rate and label posts or just try to benefit from the system without contributing?

This could be a real problem that has to be addressed.

Possible solution:

Make it worth your while. You would be encouraged to rate and use the system responsibly if users are rated, either directly or by calculating a rating using the ratings applied to the users posts and labels. You could also take into account how active a user is in categorizing and rating posts. If you want other users to read your posts, you have to behave and help make the system better.

What if the initial post is wrongly categorized? Then you would have instant spam.

But only a few people would actually see this post. It would quickly be labeled as possible spam and presented to new visitors for rating in such a way as to stop people ganging up to mess with the system. Abusers will quickly be rated or labeled accordingly.

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