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Frequently Asked Question #395. How do I deal with spam?

Spam comes in a variety of ways, and how it is delivered constantly changes. Marking comments, entries, and messages as spam instead of just deleting them helps LiveJournal to identify and remove spammers. You can control your exposure to spam, and deal with any spam you receive, by taking the following steps.

Dealing with spam

Because of the variety and amount of spam that arrives daily, it's important for LiveJournal's staff to see what is being called spam and how it arrives. Marking comments, entries, and messages as spam, instead of just deleting them, helps to identify repeat spammers and the latest avenues of attack.
Spam comments on your entries
Spam will often take the form of random comments in your journal or in your communities. By clicking on the "Spam" link or button for that comment you will mark it as spam, delete it from your entry, and ban the commenter from your journal.
If you have enabled Spam Protection for comments and messages comments that are likely to be spam will be screened and sequestered in a separate list of comments to an entry. When you click to view these suspicious comments you have the option to unscreen them or delete them. Deleting them from the suspicious comments list has the same effect as marking them as spam from the regular comment listing.(

Spam in communities
Spam in communities can come in the form of entries or comments. The community's owner or maintainers can delete an entry in the community as spam. They also have the same ability to mark a comment as spam as the entry author. Community moderators can reject any entry in the moderation queue as spam before it's even posted.

Spam private messages in your inbox
Spam messages are less typical but still possible. If you receive a spam private message in your inbox you can delete it by clicking the "Mark as spam" link below the message. Notifications for spam comments cannot be marked as spam in the inbox; you will instead need to mark them directly at the entry page the comment appears on.

Email from or about LiveJournal
If you are receiving unexpected email from LiveJournal, and you do not use LiveJournal, you should first look to see if your email address is associated with any active LiveJournal accounts. If so, you can delete the account to stop any future emails from LiveJournal.
Beyond that, you can read more about the various emails that LiveJournal does and does not send. If you believe that any of the emails you have received are spam, please contact the Abuse Prevention Team to report this spam and to receive assistance.

Protecting yourself from spam

The following options can all help limit your exposure to spam, and to separate likely spam away from your journal/community/comments.
Spam comments on your entries
You can enable Spam Protection for comments and messages from the Privacy tab of the My Account Settings page. You may also want to consider changing your comment settings to restrict who can leave comments on your entries. Restricting anonymous comments, or disabling comments entirely on certain entries popular with spammers, can help relieve any spam problems you are currently having.

Spam in communities
There are many ways to moderate your community to prevent spam entries from appearing. A combination of moderated membership and moderated posting can help to protect your community from spam, but you should examine each option fully before choosing what works for your community's situation.

Spam messages in your inbox
Spam Protection for your messages is part of the same option that enables spam protection for comments in your journal. You can also limit who is permitted to send you private messages.

Email from or about LiveJournal
If you do not use LiveJournal, you can prevent future email spam by looking up and deleting any LiveJournal accounts that may be associated with your email address. You should also consult with your email provider to learn about any available methods for blocking unwanted email.

Help! My entries and/or comments are being marked as spam

Due to the variety of anti-spam features that LiveJournal employs there is always a possibility that your legitimate entries or comments will be mis-identified as spam. If your entries or comments have been incorrectly mis-identified as spam, please open up a Support request, making sure to include where you were trying to leave the entry/comment and providing the exact text of of your entry/comment. In addition to contacting Support, you can also contact the journal owner or community owner/maintainers and ask them to mark your comment or entry as not-spam.

Last Updated: March 11th, 2013

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