Using the spam filter to prevent spam in your help center

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21 Comments

  • Rebecca Bratburd

    "Lite" and "Professional" plan users should be able to enable Zendesk's spam filters. Is "lite" that a typo? Should it be "elite" plan level? Or is the spam filter feature available to "essential" plan level Zendesk users? (Reference: https://www.zendesk.com/product/pricing/)

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  • Nicole S.
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hey Rebecca - 

    Welcome to the Zendesk Community! 

    You are correct, Lite and Professional plan users do have the ability to enable Zendesk's spam filters. It's not a typo; this is a functionality available for Help Centers on all plans. This article is specifically referring to the spam filter for Knowledge Base comments and Community posts.

    "Essential" is a plan level for the Support product (which is different from Help Center), but the Essential plan for Support does include a basic Help Center. So... yes, Essential users do have access to the spam filters. 

    I hope that helps clarify things - let us know if you have further questions. 

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  • Rebecca Bratburd

    Hi Nicole,

    That's very confusing, actually. I'm unable to find any spam filter options at all, other than to mark individual messages (or thirty messages in bulk at a time) as spam. Meanwhile, I'm receiving 4,000+ spam messages in my Help Center every day. Would you be able to point me in the direction of help with spam filtering?

    Thanks.

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  • Nicole S.
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hey Rebecca - 

    Wow, 4,000+ does sound daunting. I have a few questions for clarification so that I can better answer you: 

    1) What settings/options are you looking for?
    To get to the settings you want to go into your Guide Admin panel, and then click the gear icon on the left. From there, you can add words to your content moderation queue, which can be really helpful if a lot of the spam you're getting is the same stuff over and over or has similar words/themes. 

    2) Is the primary concern spam that is actually getting published in your Help Center, or is it getting caught in the filter and you're wanting to do something different from within the moderation queue? Unfortunately 30 at a time is all the interface allows for, so that's not something you can change. But, if it's not getting caught and is getting published, there are some things you can do to make the filter work better. 

    3) Are you suspending the users or just deleting the messages? 
    Suspending a user also deletes all of their messages throughout the entire Help Center, and prevents them from being able to create any new posts. This could help you get rid of things more quickly if you've got spammers who are posting a lot. Say, for example, one account posted 100 spam messages, if you suspend them, it will get rid of all 100 at once. Also, consistently suspending spammers helps cut down on it coming in. 

     

     

     

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  • Rebecca Bratburd

    Hi Nicole,

    I'm looking for internal spam settings within Zendesk to cut down on spam. After clicking the gear icon, I'm only seeing the following options under manage: people, views, macros, reports, tags, ticket fields. I don't see anything resembling content moderation queue. 

    Is Help Center the same as Dashboard/tickets requiring your attention? I'm assuming it is. I don't see a spam filter anywhere. All the spam is resulting in thousands of new tickets which all require my attention. 

    I've been marking spam messages as spam, by selecting Edit 30 ticket(s) --> Mark as spam. Unfortunately it looks like there's a slightly different email address behind each message. Is there a way to block messages coming from a certain domain? It looks like most messages are coming from email addresses @qq.com.

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  • Nicole S.
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hey Rebecca - 

    Yes, you can definitely block messages coming from a single domain by suspending the user. 

    First, make sure you're in your Guide settings area and NOT in Support - I make that mistake all. the. time. But you won't see these settings if you're in Support. This is the page you're looking for: 

    Once you've got that properly set up, you'll be able to moderate your spam via the icon that looks like a chat bubble with an exclamation point in it. Here's what the moderation queue will look like: 

    If you mark a message as spam elsewhere, it will show up in this queue. Then you'll see an option to "Suspend User" and you'll want to use that. 

    I hope this helps - let me know if you still can't find it and we'll see if there's some other troubleshooting that needs to happen. 

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  • Barnaby Clunie

    In the admin panel, it says Guide is a Legacy tool. Does that mean it's no longer being supported? Are there plans for newer spam filtering?

     

     

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  • Nicole S.
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Barnaby -

    What admin panel are you referring to? Is it the one for your system? It's possible that you are running a legacy version of Guide.

    Guide continues to be an actively updated product, and there is ongoing work happening around spam filtering. Sometimes product updates only apply to current versions - I'm checking to see whether the spam filtering upgrades will apply to legacy Guide implementations.

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  • Barnaby Clunie

    In our subscription list is says "Legacy" under the Plan column for Guide. (see screenshot)

    Is spam sent to "suspended", or are suspended tickets different from spam?

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  • Brett Bowser
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Barnaby,

    Suspended tickets will only include tickets that Zendesk views as spam. This will be separate from spam in your Help Center. You can find out more about suspended tickets in the following article: Understanding and managing suspended tickets and spam

    This article in particular is referring to Spam in your Help Center which will be included in your Guide Legacy plan.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

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  • Melody Quinn

    Is there a way to prevent end-users from posting 3rd party links?

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  • Nicole S.
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Melody -

    There's not a functionality to prevent it. I would recommend putting in your TOS or Code of Conduct that posting 3rd party links isn't allowed, and whenever people do it using the post moderation function to reject the comment.

    If there are things coming up regularly, you can put any words/terms you see popping up into the keyword moderation filter, so that it'll catch them before the post is live and then you can moderate from there.

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  • Melody Quinn

    Thank you, Nicole! 

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  • Nicole S.
    Zendesk Community Team

    you're welcome, Melody!

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  • Patrick Morgan

    We have an SSO setup with our product and, because we trust our users not to misbehave so much, I have content moderation turned off.

    So I was surprised to learn that a couple comments/posts were marked as spam. A couple questions:

    1) I have some ideas about why the posts in question were marked as such, but I'd love to know what criteria the filter uses to determine something is spam.

    2) It looks like I "Follow" the Spam queue, but I received no indication that these posts were considered Spam. Bug? Or do I need to do something else to make sure I'm notified?

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  • Chad Mathis

    A fellow Zendesk admin and I are also currently experiencing the Patrick Morgan described in their second point.

    We also have content moderation off at the moment. My colleague and I both follow the spam queue in our Guide Admin. The most recent example of this happened this past Friday, though over the last month there have been a handful of others.

    FWIW, we receive other Zendesk emails notifications without issue, such as updates to community threads we follow and daily suspended ticket notifications.

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  • Patrick Morgan

    Tagging Nicole S. to get eyes on this. Chad Mathis, this is exactly our issue. All our other email notifications are working fine—and I've quadruple checked my inbox rules to make sure they're not getting marked as spam (though I would appreciate that irony).

    If it helps investigate, I can provide specific comments that were filtered as spam which I can't imagine why they were considered spam.

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  • Anna Roussanova
    Zendesk team member

    Hey Patrick and Chad, I wanted to let you know that I created a ticket for Patrick to look into this issue. I'll throw an update on here once I track down exactly what's going on.

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  • Anna Roussanova
    Zendesk team member

    Hi folks, I wanted to let you know that our developers figured out the problem with content moderation emails not being sent and fixed it. So you should start seeing those emails now.

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  • Chad Mathis

    That's great news! Thanks for the update, Anna Roussanova.

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  • Jason K

    Hi there,

    I have a similar experience as Patrick Morgan. I'll echo the same questions here:

    • I'd love to know what criteria the filter uses to determine something is spam.

    Specifically, because I had a team member in support reach out saying that an end user had been posting for the past week and eventually noticed her posts weren't showing up in the community. After the support person reached out I took a look in the Spam filter and low and behold, it was there - along with other content. We recently started a contest encouraging end users to post in the community and we have had an influx of posts coming in. This is the only thing I can think of that would trigger the filter but again, I'm not quite sure why.

    • It looks like I "Follow" the Spam queue, but I received no indication that these posts were considered Spam

    I'll have to wait to see if I start getting them now based on Anna Roussanova's news.

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