Trolls incoming!

trollz!

Today was stressful.

The number of people online at Ask500 climbed from around 60 up to 130, the highest we’ve had so far. Registrations were speeding up and then we found that some of the new users were posting nasty questions and comments.

Argh!

Evidently there are groups of people out there who get together, target a site, register en masse and stomp all over it. We caught it pretty quickly and spent the next few hours cleaning it up. We closed registration, created ways to find and deal with abusers, opened registration back up and got in touch with people who’d had problems signing up.

I guess fighting abuse is just one of those things everyone has to handle. As traffic scales up it becomes more common. I had hoped we’d get more time to happily implement new features before having to deal with it.

In any case, we have a few more tools now to deal with the next wave, whenever that arrives.

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81 Responses to “Trolls incoming!”

  1. mike Says:

    Well done guys and thanks for the post on our website. Is there anyone out there not suffering from growing pains? Sad that there’s a bunch of people with nothing better to do than to attempt to abuse good work, but what doesn’t kill you ….etc

  2. Dave Hume Says:

    Hey Aaron! I dig the site. A great idea and lots of fun, too.

    Have you guys thought about a facebook app at all? I could imagine that might be huge, especially for folks using facebook for politics and causes.

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  3. Aaron Says:

    mike – exactly. Security issues are sort of like viruses attacking your immune system. Fighting them off successfully builds up your immunity to (that specific) virus in the future. There will of course be more we’ll have to do in time, but for now we’re better prepared.

    Dave – So glad you like it! We’ve definitely thought about a Facebook app, but there’s just so much to do right now. Are you thinking of the map itself embedded (Facebook doesn’t allow anything on a Profile page to be moving by default, which is probably a good thing) or the polls themselves showing up on a profile page. I’d love to know what you’re imagining for it!

  4. Bruno Accioly Says:

    Everything is gonna be alright.
    You guys are Very Talented and had a Great Idea!
    I loved the website, the service and wrote a post to help a little bit with the Brazilian Blogosphere.
    =)

    I intend to ask a LOT questions and make some suggestions from time to time.

    Best Regards!

    Bruno Accioly
    http://www.brunoaccioly.com.br
    http://www.designios.com.br

  5. Aaron Says:

    Hey Bruno,

    Actually aside from that initial problem everything’s been pretty smooth sailing. Whew!

    I’m excited for when we’ll have something more localized for you in Brazil. Thanks for jumping in with questions but the ideas you’re putting out there are even better.

    Thanks!

  6. Sally Says:

    Hi Aaron
    I stumbled across you on Mechanical Turk and decided to google you to figure why you were asking these questions!
    I have to say that Ask500 is a really excellent app :D
    What else do you guys do? Can I help you in any way? (UK based – access to large under 25s community)

    See ya

    Sally

    PS Check out Biffy Clyro – they are coming your way in the not too distant future

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