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Submitted on
November 30, 2011


7,229 (3 today)
31 (who?)

What is Spam? How do I report it?

Wed Nov 30, 2011, 4:17 AM by dxd:icondxd:
Hi guys, you may have noticed the hq blog that we posted a short while ago talking about our ongoing efforts regarding spam. Well, today I’d like to discuss what we consider spam to be and and how we would like you to report this to us.

What is spam? A brief history.
Spam is the Internet equivalent of junk mail you may receive in your post advertising some product or telling you that you might be the winner of a large jackpot prize. Typically this content is low level advertising sent out in bulk aimed at getting the attention of a handful of individuals. It often has some level of truth but often also has copious amounts of small print that say you must be no taller than 5 foot 10 but no shorter than 5 foot 9, you must have brown hair and wear your footwear on the wrong feet.

With the advent of the Internet and email mailing lists in particular, sending out this sort of advertisement and potentially misleading offers became much easier and cheaper. All someone needs to send out block advertisement is an email address and list of people to email. This then became a huge issue for email providers and users alike, it reminded many people of the popular Monty Python Spam sketch. So spam was born.

As more and more companies latched on to the idea that they could mass email people for negligible costs so did more unscrupulous individuals. Soon spam went from the mildly annoying to the potentially harmful or illicit. Emails about started ranging from advertisements for so called medications to money laundering scams.

Email providers caught on to this and built increasingly effective spam filtering methods. These companies and groups needed new methods of getting their content out to us. The rise of social networking was the perfect new method. With numbers in to the tens and even hundreds of millions of users, social networking sites were a gold mine of recipients for spam, purely because of the way they operate.

So deviantART and spam? What do we consider spam?
In brief we consider spam on deviantART to be the misuse of communication and submissions systems to promote a product or message in bulk to our community.

Now that may seem a bit restrictive or confusing for deviants and as such we view spam in stages or levels of severity.

  • Commercial or fraudulent businesses or groups advertising their product or message via comments, forum posts, deviation submissions, journals or notes. This includes malicious acts such as mass phishing attempts.
  • Deviants engaging in mass abuse of communication or submissions tools to promote a message.
  • Deviants engaging in the spreading of so called “chain mail” messages or indiscriminate requests for points.

Commercial business operations are welcome to advertise on our site but only through our advertisement packages as discussed in FAQ #574: Can I advertise on deviantART without purchasing an official advertising package? Commercial entities creating accounts to advertise for free, will find their accounts closed and potentially their websites blacklisted by us, preventing their links from being accessed via deviantART.

Deviants engaging in mass promotion of a message will be subject to warnings, suspensions and indefinite bans depending on the level of their behaviour and any previous warnings they may have had. When we say mass promotion, we mean posting hundreds of similar content messages trying to get other deviants to view their message.

When it comes to the spreading of chain mail or indiscriminate requests for points we first advise that deviants hide any such comments and block the requesting deviant. We will only take action in these cases if the deviants actions become extreme.

FAQ #263: What is "spamming"?

What doesn’t deviantART consider to be spam?
One popular misconception is that any deviant posting unwanted communications on a page is spam. We often see such messages complaining that a user has “spammed me with hate messages”. Whilst this is obviously an undesired action and potentially a cause for administrative action, we provide you with self moderation tools to hide and block unwanted contact on your profile page.

Of course, if you receive repeated contact from someone who perhaps creates multiple accounts to get around any blocks that you have created, you can send details of this into the “Abuse Reports” section within the Help Desk where they will be dealt with in turn.

I found some spam, now how can I report it?
As part of our ongoing battle against spam we have implemented a new reports category in the Help Desk: “Spammer Reports”. This new category will be monitored, and cases of commercial or malicious spam will be flagged as high priority. Please include links to the location of the spam and any relevant information you may have about the user account.

Tickets incorrectly submitted to as a “Spammer Report” will be relocated to the appropriate section where they will be dealt with in turn. It is important for both you and us that reports are submitted to the correct category, as reporting issues to the wrong category will only slow down response times from the Help Desk.

As always, we thank you for your co-operation in such matters!

Add a Comment:
PerfectNaz0 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  New member
Uh... I have been looking for a "Report" button next to people's comments, but I can't find it. Can you please tell me how I would report a user for spamming a comment like this one?…

(Sorry, I'm new at this)
LyricalLark Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Hobbyist
I think the "report spam" feature is only available on comments on your own deviations and your own profile and not others' pages. It's sorta silly in my opinion. We should be able to report spam on other pages when we spot it instead of waiting for the page owner who might miss it.
EmoPunkAngel3388 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Student Artist
I don't like any mean comments just now! I will report spam to these comments, especially nasa's.
milovanf Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
What about chain mails? Why deviantART engineers don't add filter for that sort of spam so it can be avoided.
LeonardSchmidt Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014
Ugh, I must be doing *something* to piss off the spam filters...
FarraigeFuar Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014
What about the people who promote himself in other accounts? Like this type of comments: "You can see my gallery as well, if you like my art you can watch me" It's spam?
I'm talking about people who do this in hundreds of accounts everyday.

Would be very helpful if someone give me a response^^
realitysquared Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
We have automated systems which monitor a wide variety of site interaction which help to moderate that sort of behavior so usually it doesn't need to be brought to the attention of our customer service area. If the profile appears legitimate, as in it's an actual member who is simply a bit too aggressive about self-promotion, then you should simply go ahead and add them to your block list. On the other hand if the profile appears set up simply to advertise then you should let us know over at our customer service area so someone can take a look at the profile,
fIOMERA Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Excuse me, Ive been accused of spaimng but I have never commit it, I gave the user a thank message for giving me a llama, and when the usser responded me he said he put a message above that says that any comment will be treated as spam, I didnt saw it couse I wanted to give him a thank message because of a hurry, and now I am afraid of what could happen for that, can sombody tell what what should I do??

Just in case, its this person
realitysquared Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You don't have anything to be concerned about. When the spam reporting tools were designed we fully expected that some members would not use them as intended by not only marking actual spam comments but any other comment that they just didn't like- unless you are actually spamming as we define it you have nothing to worry about.
fIOMERA Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
What a relief! thankyou very much!!! APH England sigh of relief 
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