Support Center

Spam Filtering

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2016 10:43AM EDT
What is Spam Filtering?

Hashtracking’s Spam Filtering is a Pro-Account feature that allows you to quickly and easily filter spam messages from your transcript and Analytics in real time. This can be useful in a number of situations, particularly with popular/trending hashtags that are more prone to spam attacks. With Spam Filtering you can confidently display your transcripts and reports live in real time without fear of inappropriate messaging.

What are the Spam Filter settings available for viewing my analytics and reports?

Data can be viewed with no filter (Spam Filter Off), Low Filter or High Filter for the most aggressive filtering. The choice is yours and you are free to create reports using any or all of the settings if you wish to compare the results with and without the filter turned on.

How does the spam filter work?

We’ve developed a proprietary formula that screens out most spam. It’s important to note that no spam filter is perfect. It’s impossible for anyone but a human to make the final call on what is, and what is not spam, to any given user. However we feel that our filters are quite adept at screening out the most common “nuisance” messages, preserving the spirit of your hashtag and the true measure of its reach.

Why does Twitter Search give me different results than what I am seeing with your spam filter? What’s the “Search API”?

Twitter has it’s own, generally effective methods of removing spam from the stream. This happens after the fact, and relies in part on reports from users. The filtered results, which differ from what was displayed live, are re-packaged for use in historical searches, via Twitter or a third party. The data source that these searches pull from is known as the “Search API”.

Like all spam filtering systems this is not perfect. Twitter does a great job, but some common problems that may affect report accuracy, persist. Using the Search API, there is no way to know what has been removed from the stream.

Hashtracking uses the streaming API to collect and calculate data, which is an unfiltered version of Twitter – exactly what you get live in real time. This gives you more power to choose what is, and what is not spam. It also means that no tweets are filtered out of your transcripts and reports, unless you choose to filter them.

Why would I want to view Analytics without a spam filter?

Viewing the transcript both with and without the spam filter can give you a better idea of the size of a spam attack, should you experience one, and a record of the spammers involved.

There is no way to be sure that any spam filter is 100% accurate. We always make sure that you have access to an unfiltered version your Analytics as well as Spam filtered ones so that you can be sure that no intentional tweets were missed.

How does Spam Filtering Work in Real Time and how can I share the results via a Report in Real Time?

Spam filtering is assigned via the Analytics screen.  Set the level of spam filtering for your hashtag to view the data with that filter.

To share your filtered data via public URL , first set your level of spam filtering on the Analytics page, and then set the date/time range for the report you would like to create. The report will be created with the spam filtering preferences you have chosen.

Pro Plan users also have access to “Display Mode” Reporting which is a perfect companion to Spam Filtering. With Display Mode you can share the top line Analytics and Transcript with your community, chat or event participants live. Results will be automatically refreshed every 30 seconds.

Can I change the Spam Filtering on my shared Reports?

Once your reports have been created, you cannot make changes to the Spam Filtering Options. You are welcome, however to create as many additional reports as you wish, including a second or third report for the same time period, with different spam filtering options. In the event that your hashtag has been “spamjacked” – hijacked by spammers, it can be useful to compare the fitered and unfiltered Reports.

Who needs Spam Filtering?

Any hashtag can become vulnerable to spammers but hashtags that are popular and/or trending seem to be more vulnerable to attack.

Spammers seek to either latch onto or shut down hashtags by blasting inappropriate, odd, pornographic, and potentially destructive (virus containing links, phishing scams etc) messages. While this behavior is damaging to any hashtag and the organization behind the tag, it can be particularly devastating to hashtags used for:
  • Conferences and Events where the hashtag transcript is displayed live to an audience
  • Live Branded Chats
  • Expert Chats
  • Regularly Scheduled Special Interest/Community Chats

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