Prevent spam through social network APIs?

Combining 3 different APIs (Rapleaf, ToneAPI and my own Murrion APIs) I wanted to see if they could be of any use in helping identify spam that comes through forms on websites such as Contact Forms.

I built a simple form that could be on any website, asking a user for a name, email address, subject and a message to send.

You can try out a demo here. The form doesn’t submit the information anywhere other than back to the user on the screen to see the results.

  • The Name field is passed to the Rapleaf Utilities API to determine if the name is Male, Female or Unknown
  • The Subject and Content message are sent to the ToneAPI to try and determine the positive or negative tone of the content.
  • The Email address is passed to the Rapleaf API to see if it can return any information about the user.
  • The IP address (which the user isn’t asked for but is determined automatically) is sent to an API of my own which uses the Maxmind location database to convert an IP address to a geographical location.
  • The Browser agent (Ie the web browser programme the user is using to view the page, such as Internet Explorer) is sent to another API of my own which can tell if a browser agent is a normal user, a web bot, a mobile device or an Unknown browser agent.

Combining these results could allow a website to filter or block the information coming through their form in any number of ways.

For example if the Name wasn’t Male or Female, if the tone of the Subject and/or Content message couldn’t be determined, if the Location couldn’t be determined and the browser agent type was unknown, then that message could be labelled as spam and not delivered to the users inbox.

If the tone of the Subject or Message as overly negative it could be sent directly to the complaints department in an organisation.

Its probably not going to solve all of the worlds spam but it was an interesting experiment nonetheless. At the very least, these APIs can provide additional information to incoming information from a website.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Using social networking APIs to prevent spam + code samples | Murrion Software Ltd

  2. Pingback: Testing out ToneAPI from Lymbix | Murrion Software Ltd

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