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An easy way to find Pinterest spammers.


I think the spammer moved his affiliate tag to womansdesign-20.

It's also an easy way to generate a lot of false positives. To be a spammer does not mean to take advantage of affiliate revenue. I would say this method would be too sloppy to use by itself. It would need to be a small part of a larger set of signals.

Edit: DanielBMarkham's comment does a better job of conveying why this would be a bad approach.

I don't think it generates a lot of false positives. Obviously not every amazon link with an affiliate tag is spam.

Take a look at how many of the accounts there solely spam affiliate links from Amazon, are from a Twitter account, and repeatedly post the same items.

Right -- you just used three separate signals together to identify a possible spammer. I'm fairly sure we're on the same page.

We aren't on the same page. You think it generates a lot of false positives. I don't.

You don't, yet when you go to explain how it could be used you include two other signals (came from Twitter, posts many items more than once) in order to make it work. I had originally said "I would say this method would be too sloppy to use by itself. It would need to be a small part of a larger set of signals."

So alright, we aren't on the same page, but you're saying exactly what I just said.

No single heuristic is perfect. How about you tell us your 1 flawless method?

Just because I used 2 different signals to prove to you that the method doesn't generate a lot of false positives, doesn't mean that looking at amazon links is a bad method.

If I was at Pinterest, I would slap a captcha on all Amazon links with affiliates until I had time for a fancier solution, and it would probably get rid of 99% of the spam.

Breaking captcha is easier. Deathbycaptcha, decaptcher - Two of the services that provide clean APIs for the bots and breaks the captchas for you. And on the other end there are even human sitting and cracking the captchas. It doesn't cost much and for the $2k he earns per day, these captcha breaking service is just drops in the ocean.

http://pinterest.com/source/amzn.to/ has lots more, and they all have the default Twitter avatar which gives them away. Lots of them have terrible or inaccurate descriptions and are in the wrong category.

How are they not picking it up as spam? The same affiliate link from multiple accounts... The description also looks like a snippet of one the product reviews on Amazon

They aren't picking it up as spam because they aren't trying to stop spam. They will soon, and it will become very difficult to make much smaller amounts of money. Or, if they don't, they will end up in a place where pinterest is the Myspace of pinboards.

That's how the money is made, isn't it? Something gets re-pinned by others and the affiliate ID gets spread around. You'd need to determine which single affiliate IDs originate from multiple accounts.

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