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Author Topic: Bitcointalk and reflinks: don't produce refspam, please  (Read 213 times)
1miau
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August 05, 2019, 12:19:24 AM
Last edit: August 07, 2019, 12:11:53 AM by 1miau
Merited by bones261 (2), tbct_mt2 (1), DdmrDdmr (1), tranthidung (1), dkbit98 (1), Coyster (1)
 #1

When dealing with cryptocurrencies you'll hear about so-called reflinks very soon. Reflinks, often also known as referral links or affiliate links, are customized links leading to a page where you can register to use a service. It’s possible to receive your own reflink from the website of the service, if you are logged in to your account. If you are sharing your reflink now, other users click on it, and then sign in to this service, the person whose reflink was used (you) will get a small commission for referring this new user.
Reflinks are different from normal links where the person sharing the reflink receives a small commission and reflinks are usually also visible in the link, often the link contains an individual letter / number combination or an username.

Therefore, reflinks are very popular, because the "owner" of the reflinks can earn a bit by sharing it. Unfortunately, this fact often results to so-called "Refspam" that reflinks are posted everywhere to get users who sign up via this reflink. Because of this, Bitcointalk does not allow you to post reflinks in your posts, as it would otherwise produce a huge amount of spam:

4. No referral code (ref link) spam.
Source: Unofficial list of (official) Bitcointalk.org rules, guidelines, FAQ
 
If you post reflinks, your posts will be deleted, and if someone is systematically repeating refspam posts, it may even end up in a (temporary) ban.
Therefore, you should always be careful and avoid posting reflinks.





To avoid getting troube you should follow the rules and use legal ways how you can use reflinks in Bitcointalk:


1.) Reflinks in your signature

It is allowed to use reflinks in your own signature. In order to be able to wear a signature, your account has to be at least Jr. Member. But it’s not possible to click the links in signatures of Jr. Members, other users would have to copy them in the URL by themselves. In signatures of Member accounts and above, it’s possible click on links in their signatures.

It’s described in 2.) how to change your personal signature.



2.) Use reflinks as a website in your profile

Reflinks can also be linked in your own profile page and then referenced in a post. Linking a reflink in your own profile page works as following:
Choose Profile in your profile => Forum Profile Information and there you can insert your reflink at Website URL. If you like, you can select a name at Website title, which will be displayed in your profile in Website.

In Profile => Forum Profile Information you’ll find also the option to change your personal signature.









In a normal post on the forum you can point out that you have a link in your profile at "Website". It will look like that:






3. Refliks in your personal text

It's also possible to post your referral link as personal text. You can find it in your account settings, described by sheenshane here. It should work if your link is not too long because your personal text is limited and you can only use a limited number of characters.

Thanks to hugeblack for suggesting this.




I hope this little guide will help for you to avoid misunderstandings if you are honestly sharing your reflink.
But please, don’t spam reflinks in normal posts, better use the strategies described above. Refspam is annoying and not allowed. And if you are abusing these strategies to produce sigspam / spam to refer to your reflink in your profile you’ll also get a problem. Better be careful  Smiley

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August 05, 2019, 02:03:43 AM
 #2

But please, don’t spam reflinks in normal posts, better use the strategies described above. Refspam is annoying and not allowed. And if you are abusing these strategies to produce sigspam / spam to refer to your reflink in your profile you’ll also get a problem. Better be careful  Smiley
For user interest, they should not add ref links in their posts, and spam them around. This strategy will cause account bans (if they repeatedly spam ref-link-contained posts, and reported). This rule was added into list of unofficial rules years ago.
Forum moderation policy
[ ... ]
4. No referral code spam
[ ... ]

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August 05, 2019, 02:47:10 AM
 #3

Nice easy guide!

I am still thinking what is the best way for newbies when they register to read basic rules.
Maybe some knowledge quiz/test that will let them register only if they first read the rules, and then pass the test.
This is maybe one way to reduce spam.

Same could be done before newbies post from time to time with random question.
Questions could be forum and Bitcoin related.

  ●  POLYX EXCHANGE - the easiest and safest way to buy Bitcoin in Europe!
  ●  SECURE AND FRIENDLY
  ●  MAIN TOPIC  ●  GO TO SITE  ●  OUR TELEGRAM  ●  BOUNTY
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August 05, 2019, 05:06:37 AM
 #4

Maybe some knowledge quiz/test that will let them register only if they first read the rules, and then pass the test.

AFAIK, theymos has been considering something along those lines. A welcome message for brand new members was suggested and admin also came up with a sample of what it could look like, and also suggestions were made on the thread.
Last time I checked it had not yet been implemented.

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August 05, 2019, 08:10:58 AM
 #5

Maybe some knowledge quiz/test that will let them register only if they first read the rules, and then pass the test.

AFAIK, theymos has been considering something along those lines. A welcome message for brand new members was suggested and admin also came up with a sample of what it could look like, and also suggestions were made on the thread.
Last time I checked it had not yet been implemented.
Maybe some knowledge quiz/test that will let them register only if they first read the rules, and then pass the test.

AFAIK, theymos has been considering something along those lines. A welcome message for brand new members was suggested and admin also came up with a sample of what it could look like, and also suggestions were made on the thread.
Last time I checked it had not yet been implemented.
Maybe some knowledge quiz/test that will let them register only if they first read the rules, and then pass the test.

AFAIK, theymos has been considering something along those lines. A welcome message for brand new members was suggested and admin also came up with a sample of what it could look like, and also suggestions were made on the thread.
Last time I checked it had not yet been implemented.

Thank you!
I posted some ideas there in hope of activating this question yet again

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  ●  SECURE AND FRIENDLY
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August 05, 2019, 08:30:25 AM
Merited by 1miau (1)
 #6

I think it is allowed for members to place links in their "Personal Text,[1]" and this may be the best strategy for getting money if your posts are high quality.

Also, I will not click on the links if it is from a SPAM member but I will do if it is from an active member who provides help and solve the problem that is facing me. Cheesy

[1] Go to PROFILE >> Forum Profile Information >> Personal Text.

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August 05, 2019, 08:43:29 AM
Merited by 1miau (1)
 #7

Good stuff and good suggestion.
Not all ref links are allowed if you are promoted the untrustworthy brand under your profile you might get a flag or negative feedback.
Correct, better be careful.

In addition to the OP post,

Due to excessive garbage-posting, you now need 1 merit to be a Jr Member. All existing Jr Members who didn't meet the requirement were demoted. Also, newbies can no longer set any signature or personal text.



Edit: Quite I'm late reply than this with the same thought. Cheesy Wink
[1] Go to PROFILE >> Forum Profile Information >> Personal Text.







.




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August 05, 2019, 11:11:48 AM
Merited by stompix (1)
 #8

There is nothing strange to see newbies post referral links in posts, some of them register on forum just for that purpose, post as much as they can before they get nuked. But when I see older members to do same thing, I know something is wrong with that account - the account was purchased and Hero / Legendary is just newbie, or member is spend years on this forum and he never read the rules.

Although the moderators delete posts with ref links, or just remove such links - I notice that in some boards people post referrals links without problems, and all my report of such posts are Unhandled for months.

For example, this user is posting his ref link in every post, hidden behind banner - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=881042.6740

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August 05, 2019, 11:48:32 AM
 #9

If someone is going to use a service and a poster provides them a link to the website with their ref link I don't see it as a problem.  Someone gets paid a small amount for showing someone to a service.  OF course the newbie account spammers that are just posting ref links with no request is totally different.




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August 05, 2019, 12:24:38 PM
 #10

I think it is allowed for members to place links in their "Personal Text,[1]" and this may be the best strategy for getting money if your posts are high quality.
Yes, good suggestion. I'll add it to my OP when I'm back later today.  Smiley

But I don't know if it's working well, some referral links are very long and the space for personal text is limited. So, only short (or not too long) links will work.

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August 05, 2019, 12:34:46 PM
Last edit: August 07, 2019, 03:33:24 PM by DdmrDdmr
 #11

<…> this user is posting his ref link in every post, hidden behind banner - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=881042.6740
The referral link hidden behind a clickable image is logically not allowed either. I’ve just reported one of such posts from the profile you mention, in order to see if it stays unhandled for ages too although, as you say, the profile has a habit of doing so recurrently. Let’s see how it goes.

Edit: Out of my 7 distinct reports yesterday, this one remains the only one unhandled so far.
Edit 20190807: Two days later, this report remains unhandled ...

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August 05, 2019, 01:54:07 PM
 #12

I’ve just reported one of such posts from the profile you mention, in order to see if it stays unhandled for ages too although, as you say, the profile has a habit of doing so recurrently. Let’s see how it goes.

We can not see our reports older then 30 days, but I have one which is some 2 week old, and it is still unhandled. I am 100% sure that I report same user 1+ year ago, and in total 4-5 times, even posted in Meta about that when there is some discussion about referral links. I doubt mods can not see that this is ref link hidden behind banner, but the puzzle remains why they continue to allow it.


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August 05, 2019, 04:20:17 PM
 #13

I’ve just reported one of such posts from the profile you mention, in order to see if it stays unhandled for ages too although, as you say, the profile has a habit of doing so recurrently. Let’s see how it goes.

We can not see our reports older then 30 days, but I have one which is some 2 week old, and it is still unhandled. I am 100% sure that I report same user 1+ year ago, and in total 4-5 times, even posted in Meta about that when there is some discussion about referral links. I doubt mods can not see that this is ref link hidden behind banner, but the puzzle remains why they continue to allow it.

Because it could be interpreted as an exception from Theymos:

~
However, if you are using the forum as a publishing platform to host something really substantial and useful, selling ads in that substantial work is allowed. To be eligible for this, your post must be in a topic that you started, and your post must be substantial and long enough to make the ad seem entirely insignificant. If in doubt, ask me.

But honestly, that topic is not really that substantial and useful, and the posts make the adds look smaller (nowhere near insignificant) just because the text is maxed out.

Probably you were the only one reporting and the mods rather than dropping a PM to Theymos fo a debate on what to do choose to wait and see if anybody else was annoyed by it. As  DdmrDdmr said, let's see what happens if more reports are done <insert evil smiley here>  Wink





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August 05, 2019, 06:45:11 PM
 #14

Even though its not in our official rules in the forum shilling too is something to be avoided as you will more likely to get tagged by promoting a certain website together with your ref link. I mean in most cases the ones who have ref links in their posts are always promoting and giving positive feedbacks about it which is really the reason why they get tagged in the first place. Also not all kinds of ref links are allowed in the forum. Sharing the ones related to a investment/pyramiding scheme or any kind of HYIP site and even fake cloudmining sites are not allowed and is considered as a scam, so you would also get tagged for that reason.

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August 05, 2019, 11:25:10 PM
 #15

All these referral links posted on Bitcointalk or other forums is so annoying. Especially when people create bots to spread reflinks on random boards and threads. I always report these kind of posts when I see.
But I have say that I also promote my referral links on Bitcointalk indirectly. I have created website where I upload various referral links and here on Bitcointalk I have separate thread where I advertise my personal website.




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August 06, 2019, 09:10:23 AM
 #16

If I want to use a ref link, I prefer to host a page describing the service, and place the link in the text. This gives better results, as it qualifies the traffic being referred to the site. Posting a link to the page ( without spamming it ) is better for Bitcoin Talk members in my opinion, as it gives them a chance to evaluate the service before visiting the site.

Ref links are also useful to scratch a few small payments to help with the running of support sites. For example, I have a few on the Fit to Talk English project.

Baronets is a private domain management service owned by Jet Cash.
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August 06, 2019, 09:24:51 AM
 #17

Because it could be interpreted as an exception from Theymos:

But honestly, that topic is not really that substantial and useful, and the posts make the adds look smaller (nowhere near insignificant) just because the text is maxed out.

Probably you were the only one reporting and the mods rather than dropping a PM to Theymos fo a debate on what to do choose to wait and see if anybody else was annoyed by it. As  DdmrDdmr said, let's see what happens if more reports are done <insert evil smiley here>  Wink


Thanks for that link, I assumed there was some exception for posting referral links direct in post, but as you say that user very likely does not satisfy that rule in our opinion, and we will see if reports from more then one user will change something.

24. Advertisements (including signatures within the post area) in posts aren't allowed unless the post is in a thread you started and is really substantial and useful.[9][e]

This user is run one more thread, dedicated to tennis betting picks, and if you look to OP there is mod note removed ref spam, but this is not stop that user to continue with posting his ref links.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1002400.0

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August 06, 2019, 10:23:39 AM
 #18


I am still thinking what is the best way for newbies when they register to read basic rules.
Maybe some knowledge quiz/test that will let them register only if they first read the rules, and then pass the test.
This is maybe one way to reduce spam.

Same could be done before newbies post from time to time with random question.
Questions could be forum and Bitcoin related.


I don't feel asking questions or conducting some quiz will stop posting of referral links. Even if they pass the test initially and answer the questions, later they might post referral links right? If people are here to spam or post referral links, then they do it any ways. If they are actually here to learn, then they will not think of posting any referral links. I think there should be some way to moderate those kind of users who try to spam or post referral links.
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August 07, 2019, 12:19:07 AM
 #19


I am still thinking what is the best way for newbies when they register to read basic rules.
Maybe some knowledge quiz/test that will let them register only if they first read the rules, and then pass the test.
This is maybe one way to reduce spam.

Same could be done before newbies post from time to time with random question.
Questions could be forum and Bitcoin related.


I don't feel asking questions or conducting some quiz will stop posting of referral links. Even if they pass the test initially and answer the questions, later they might post referral links right? If people are here to spam or post referral links, then they do it any ways. If they are actually here to learn, then they will not think of posting any referral links. I think there should be some way to moderate those kind of users who try to spam or post referral links.
A knowledge quiz is an interesting idea but I don't know if it's effective and fulfil its purpose. There might be some spammers who won't pass it because their knowledge is very limited but it doesn't take much effort for at least halfway experienced members and I guess most of the spammer accounts are operated by "business spammers" so they should know the questions.
And on the other hand most Newbies without knowledge won't have a chance to register here if they want to ask a single question.

So I guess a quiz would most likely affect the wrong people.




I think it is allowed for members to place links in their "Personal Text,[1]" and this may be the best strategy for getting money if your posts are high quality.
Yes, good suggestion. I'll add it to my OP when I'm back later today.  Smiley
Added:


3. Refliks in your personal text

It's also possible to post your referral link as personal text. You can find it in your account settings, described by sheenshane here. It should work if your link is not too long because your personal text is limited and you can only use a limited number of characters.

Thanks to hugeblack for suggesting this.

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