I published an article about making your Website Super Sticky. In it I mention that the key to get visitors coming back to your site is to have something that they can become part of and generate the content for you.
For example forums, galleries are all forms of this. Now this is called Web 2.0 where the visitor shapes the content on a site and the website provides the infrastructure.
There is a problem with this model and something that has needed focus from developers.
Once you open up your systems to content entered by your visitors, you also open yourself and your system up to messages and pictures that you may not want.
From sites like EBay and Trademe, to Flickr and Youtube, there is a necessity now for site owners to be censors as well, keeping the site safe for the real visitors.
This blog gets many spam comments, but I needed a plug-in to WordPress called SpamKarma to deal with the problem.
Other blogs that invite comments have the same issue.
I also have a forum using PHPBB, that even with a Captcha image got 10 new spam sign-ups a day, once I replaced the Captcha with a Human generated Question/Answer challenge, the spam sign-ups have gone to zero.
Similarly, galleries that ask for “tags” to categorise the content is also vulnerable.
Youtube is already up to it ears in lawsuits and challenges to videos placed on the site, they must employ an army to deal with these issues.
It is a consideration you need to take when starting to accept user input.
It all comes back to spam and the gullibility of people to fall for what they are selling.
What are your thoughts, or should I ask?