I just suspended 223,000 accounts from Tabulas - in about 2 weeks they'll go through the deletion process. This has shrunk Tabulas by 66% in user count, but I think we've gained a lot more in quality. 

The first step to getting Tabulas back on the road to recovery is to deal with the rampant spam problem. I've been tackling it on various fronts over the past few years - but today the ban hammer came down hard. I won't get into details, but spammers had been running past the spam filters by not posting any spammy content, but instead setting their user description with spammy links. 

I started running the spam filters against the user descriptions, but decided to take a more extreme measure and simply set to delete all accounts with no entries and no images. I then cleared out all unclaimed accounts (~30,000) for a total of about 250,000 accounts removed (or set to be removed) from Tabulas. 

The site is down to about 115,000 users, but I think the quality (and the discoverability) of the community should rise. 

I also shut off user registrations for Tabulas - I don't ever plan on opening up completely free registrations. I will be looking at implementing a invite system that will allow valued members of Tabulas to invite their friends into the system. 

It seems a bit backward to be proud of deleting so many accounts (I can no longer say Tabulas is 500,000 users strong), but it feels like the right thing to do. This great post from Dalton made me realize that even with 115K users, we have critical mass with Tabulas. I'm convinced we can make this community great again. 

Future idea: limit # of friends to 50 users per accounts. 

Posted by roy on August 6, 2012 at 12:57 AM in Tabulas | 5 Comments

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Comment posted on August 21st, 2012 at 04:44 AM
I have noticed the trend of using user descriptions to place spam links around a year ago. Aside from the obvious spam posts that get into the front page and users can police around, with the report spammer link. That particular type of spamming was very hard, even for me, to handle as i have to pore through the userlist and check manually which username and descriptions appear as spammy.

Very glad now they're gone :)

My question would be regarding that future idea: does the amount of friends an account has have an adverse effect on the whole network?
Comment posted on August 21st, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Thanks - yes, I noticed that as well!

I don't think having more friends makes your Tabulas experience MORE effective... so a limitation should be interesting to play with.
Comment posted on August 21st, 2012 at 05:52 PM

Well with that, i will defer to your judgement.

And there are other ways to stalk follow people (including rss feeds

Comment posted on August 21st, 2012 at 06:50 PM
we'll see. part of why i don't like FB is because you end up with SO many friends that you end up not interacting with a big majority of your friends.

i'm interested in building tools that build more lasting, deeper relationships.
Comment posted on August 8th, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Hmm, limiting the # of friends to 50 users is an interesting idea.