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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:
 
:iconzhengjiuyishu:
ZhengjiuYishu Featured By Owner Edited Apr 27, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just created this account. And I went to comment for the first time and deviantart says I'm spam?

It works here for some reason...but I can't comment on someone's image ;w;
Reply
:iconperfectpinkwater:
PerfectPinkWater Featured By Owner Edited Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This user :iconaxalona: has been spamming me on several accounts by being butthurt. Do I need any proof to convict them because I know they'll keep doing this and try to get me in trouble.

EDIT: Nevermind, they've been dealt with. Thanks, guys!
Reply
:iconphoenixmaster13:
Phoenixmaster13 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
help
Reply
:iconphoenixmaster13:
Phoenixmaster13 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

:iconleaojs:

I believe that deviantant is spamming but I don't know how to report them

Reply
:icontesseri-shira:
Tesseri-Shira Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
been having some sort of issue. right after I reported a comment on my page I went to report another and now nothing will pop up. I cannot block a user, nothing.
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
If this is still happening to you then you'll need to file a bug report in our customer service area.
Reply
:icontesseri-shira:
Tesseri-Shira Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Actually I figured it out. Chrome automatically checks a box to stop more dialog from popping up when DA asks if you want to report a user or spam. If you miss unchecking it, it will stop any dialogues about your attempt to report from that point on. Clearing History and Cookies solved it for me. Thank you though! 
Reply
:iconperfectnaz0:
PerfectNaz0 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
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?

comments.deviantart.com/4/8339…

(Sorry, I'm new at this)
Reply
:iconlyricallark:
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.
Reply
:iconemopunkangel3388:
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.
Reply
:iconmilovanf:
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.
Reply
:iconleonardschmidt:
LeonardSchmidt Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014
Ugh, I must be doing *something* to piss off the spam filters...
Reply
:iconfarraigefuar:
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^^
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
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,
Reply
:iconfiomera:
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 reznor666.deviantart.com/
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
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.
Reply
:iconfiomera:
fIOMERA Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
What a relief! thankyou very much!!! APH England sigh of relief 
Reply
:iconthebamas:
TheBamas Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
I had been here sens the first beginning with a other few other acounts <_< I had been trolled  to many times and 

Do anyone else then me that had been accused to be a art thief if so I'm not the only one here -____-
Reply
:iconatarster:
Atarster Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
I report spam some mean messages that someone sent to me, so I HATE MEAN COMMENTS!!!!!
Reply
:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014   Writer
What about if you're advertising a legitimate opportunity to specific deviants?
For example, I was messaging deviants that i watch in regards to an online magazine that is open for submissions, but then it said that I couldn't post anymore because dA thought my message was spam. :(
Reply
:icon76859thomasreturn:
76859Thomasreturn Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
can you remove this person off please?

blakeandalex12.deviantart.com/…
Reply
:iconavristed:
Avristed Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Professional General Artist
I know that this is old, but I have a question: Would it be appropriate to report a user you suspect is mass-submitting pieces of artwork to groups, irrespective of strict relevance to the destination galleries?
Reply
:icondahanci:
DaHanci Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
So chain-mail is now officially spam. Thank the good lord.
Reply
:iconharli5:
harli5 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013
Every time I leave this (deviant art) site I immediatly receive spam in my inbox; usually from the same venues vivid-hosting.net and bitly.com. Anyone else have this prob? 
Reply
:iconmerilintinkus:
Merilintinkus Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
if lets just say a person reported my comment as spam, can i see that my comment was reported or does it dissapear to others when reported?
Reply
:icondark83:
Dark83 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Reply
:iconphyreburnz:
Phyreburnz Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013  Student Artist
kikithecreative.deviantart.com…

I got spammed by them just now, too.
Reply
:icondark83:
Dark83 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
sorry, this link spammed me kikithecreative.deviantart.com…
Reply
:iconixisnyx:
IxisNyx Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Actually i flaged it as spam so im not shure if it will show to others ^^;
Reply
:iconixisnyx:
IxisNyx Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
the first post on this deviation is advertisement spam.This is realy starting to get old. comments.deviantart.com/1/3857...
Reply
:iconrapturouscrytilian:
RapturousCrytilian Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Student General Artist
My friend had gotten spammed like 50 times on this deviation: [link]
Reply
:iconflarethekitty:
flarethekitty Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Student
i got 4 spam messages on the same picture i drew and on one that i made for my sister ( get better soon my dear little sis.) saying go here to work at home and make money online and i got another one saying stuff about a diet thing or whatever
Reply
:iconmarshallcarlylefaith:
MarshallCarlyleFaith Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Student General Artist
My sister got a spam letter from this person: [link]
Reply
:iconmarshallcarlylefaith:
MarshallCarlyleFaith Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Student General Artist
[link] Here I was led to some junk virus site, as you can see (The first comment).
Reply
:iconomarison:
Omarison Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
man ! what if someone invited others to see his art to tell them their opinion ? is that spam ?
Reply
:icondarkjanet:
DarkJanet Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I got spammed by Seiryuga.
Reply
:iconemau757:
emau757 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
tl;dr. I came here to report blatant commercial comment span on a Daily Deviation: [link]

~ vulafalu 51 seconds ago New member
until I saw the paycheck that said $7307, I didnt believe that my neighbours mother woz like they say realie erning money part time from there pretty old laptop.. there aunts neighbour had bean doing this less than 15 months and a short time ago paid the mortgage on their condo and purchased a great CitroŽn DS. go to, www.wow83.com

~ francesparker 4 minutes ago New member
like Crystal replied I am impressed that anybody can get paid $5032 in a few weeks on the computer. have you read this site link... www.jive4.com
Reply
:iconharli5:
harli5 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2013
Every time I leave DA and check my mail I find spam from Frontier.net (it is identified as such by SPAMCOP.NET). It ONLY
occurs at the time I am using DA and I am quite sure it is related. This is reported each time to spamcop.

Does anyone else have this prob ONLY when using DA?
Reply
:iconofmiceandjesse:
OfMiceAndJesse Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Student General Artist
I just got flagged for spam because someone disagrees with my comment, isn't that abuse of the spam button?
Reply
:iconrealitysquared:
realitysquared Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The "Report Spam" button cannot be abused- we understand that a percentage of members will not use this tool properly and that expectation is built into the system so that deviants can use the button however they please.
Reply
:iconofmiceandjesse:
OfMiceAndJesse Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Student General Artist
It can't be abused? Then why don't they make it where people who will brainlessly use it the wrong way be taught how to use it? It's very annoying to the admins/mods and the victims who are reported for no reason.
Reply
:iconauron-theguardian:
Auron-TheGuardian Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I totally agree with you.
Reply
:iconofmiceandjesse:
OfMiceAndJesse Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Student General Artist
Funny how staff didn't reply, but this is a really old comment omg
Reply
:iconauron-theguardian:
Auron-TheGuardian Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hehe yeah, but I know a few people who report comments like "Thanks for the fave!" or "Hello <insert name here>! " as spam and then you get a warning from the site.

I personally find it very offensive. It's a bit like thanking someone only for them to slap you across the face. Know what I mean?
Reply
:iconofmiceandjesse:
OfMiceAndJesse Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014  Student General Artist
Exactly. And they can just put up a notice that says "please do not thank me" instead of falsely reporting them or just suck it up and take the thank-you's.

I don't get how "the spam button cannot be abused"

Someone WILL find away to abuse it, it has probably already happened.
Reply
:icondemonlemon:
Demonlemon Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
Thanks for the clarification!
Reply
:iconhungrysohma16:
HungrySohma16 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I have a question about spamming. I have no intent on bothering other people in any way, and usually just give encouraging comments. I follow several groups and watch their uploads, so when I look at my inbox, I have over 100 pictures to check out. Mind you I try to pick the ones I like, but it still comes out to be a lot. Anyway, one day I was trying to reply to my messages and respond to pictures, and I received that I was considered spamming. I did some research and found that there is a limit on how fast you can comment with a certain number of comments. Is this true?

I really have hoped not to offend anyone, and now Im really afraid to comment at all.
Reply
:iconmiikymod:
MiiKyMOD Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I report 2 spammers, but those guys are only 2 enemys of mine, so they only spamm at me!

They send me like 48 mensages all filled with 5 links all leading to the same picture (An zoophilia gay porn...) and I report those 2 guys in the desk... So my question is:

How severe is the punishment for those 2!? I want them banned... Someone knows?

Thanks!
Reply
:icondeathpwny:
DeathPwny Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Apart from reporting, why not just block them? Then they won't be able to make any comments on your site FAQ #96: Can I block people from my profile page?
Reply
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