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Is this spam? #11

This is a continuation of the topic Is this spam? #10.

This topic was continued by Is this spam? #12.

Spam Fighters!

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Nov 10, 2017, 6:10am Top


New member, joined today, no books. The message itself is fine, but it looks like an attempt to push homework writing site. I flagged both, but left a note on the profile.

Nov 10, 2017, 4:22pm Top

Just as a quick reminder (since it doesn't seem to be coming over):

This is NOT the spam reporting thread.
This thread is for asking if something should or should not be considered spam. It is meant for questions and discussion.

The actual spam supporting thread is here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/273927

Nov 10, 2017, 4:50pm Top

I posted here in the hope that people would look a little more carefully and not just flag because I had posted.

Nov 10, 2017, 5:10pm Top

>3 MarthaJeanne: I know, that was for people not used to the spam fighters group.

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 7:36am Top

This has had a few flags. While it's outside accepted usage, I'm not sure it is spam.

both by:
and in his own group:

User has been a member for 3 years, so it might be a step outside bounds, rather than spam.

Nov 11, 2017, 7:38am Top

>5 Helenliz: I looked at that group, but said it was just someone spouting their opinions, even if not encouraging discussion. Didn't see it as spam, because he'd not pushing his own works (so far.)

Nov 11, 2017, 7:47am Top

One is by friends of his, though.

Nov 11, 2017, 7:48am Top

>6 gilroy: I'd agree. The group and topics have been flagged a few times, so I thought I'd open it up to discussion. I've left a message saying he has been flagged and that he might like to read the T&Cs & clarify his position.

Nov 11, 2017, 7:54am Top

>7 MarthaJeanne: go on then, where did you find that - I can't see it. What am I missing? (Answer: probably quite a lot, always keen to know more)

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 8:04am Top


"But this wonderful book by my friends in ministry, John Hull & Tim Elmore,"

Of course, he hasn't bothered to enter the book.

Nov 11, 2017, 11:40am Top

>7 MarthaJeanne: We really start down a slippery slope when just mentioning a friend's book can be labeled as spam...
Though I can maybe understand the one thread catching the flak, but not the whole group or more than that one thread.

Nov 11, 2017, 12:19pm Top

We've had cases of people joining just to push a friend's or relative's book. This wouldn't bother me if it were one in a long line of previous books. The group and the other book are not spam.

Nov 12, 2017, 1:58am Top

And I certainly don't understand why people are flagging the latest topic.

Nov 12, 2017, 10:23am Top

>13 MarthaJeanne:

Nor do I, and have counter-flagged. I also don't think the group is spam. It's odd to form a group merely to express one's own opinions about books, but it's not spam.

Nov 12, 2017, 11:58am Top

>14 lilithcat: I agree - not spam. What was in the removed threads? "A wonderful book" even if by a friend of the poster, is really no more than a review. And the 'reviewer' has openly declared an interest.

Nov 13, 2017, 8:17am Top


The home webpage explicitly describes the book reviews as part of a paid promotion deal.

Edited: Nov 13, 2017, 8:45am Top

>17 gilroy: lilithcat already gave them a rebuke back in September

Nov 13, 2017, 8:47am Top

>16 2wonderY:

They were told back in September, but have continued to violate the TOS anyway.

Nov 13, 2017, 8:50am Top

They've carried on, they have posted nearly half of their reviews since the september mail.

Nov 13, 2017, 8:59am Top

All the reviews have been red flagged to death.

Nov 16, 2017, 7:13am Top


Non-profit, but appears that profile is established just to get web presence. See descriptor and tags on profile picture: https://www.librarything.com/pic/6095743

Don't flag yet. Please discuss first.

Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 7:20am Top

I wouldn't call that spam. Sad that they need this site to gain a presence, yes - but spam, no.

Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 7:24am Top

Unless they start doing otherwise harmful things, obviously.

And who knows, they may have a library they mean to enter.

Nov 16, 2017, 7:25am Top

I would say that it is probably not commercial spam, but still spam.

Nov 16, 2017, 10:28am Top

>24 MarthaJeanne: Agree. Another similar charity profile was removed:

If they add books, fine. Otherwise, it seems to be nothing more than here we are, please send money.

Edited: Nov 16, 2017, 10:57am Top

And this one doesn't seem to have basic information on their site in English. The only English I could find was similar misuse of other sites. But they don't want you to just send money. You are supposed to volunteer in Benin.

Nov 29, 2017, 9:53am Top

I'm pretty sure this is spam


Nov 29, 2017, 10:12am Top

>27 2wonderY: Probably since that is a photo of (Hindi film actor) John Abraham.

Dec 1, 2017, 10:03am Top

https://www.librarything.com/work/15421953 has been suggested as spam, but I don't think it is.

Dec 1, 2017, 10:55am Top

>29 MarthaJeanne: I said no because 1) it's book related, 2) because Tim has said we can catalogue anything, and 3) because it's not advertising a specific site or pulling people to said site.

Dec 1, 2017, 11:09am Top

>29 MarthaJeanne: I can't see why you'd catalogue that, but that's not my call. It does exist. I also voted no on that basis.

Edited: Dec 1, 2017, 11:43am Top

>29 MarthaJeanne: I went to look at what the item might be, and after voting against it being spam, I got curious as to what sort of person this might be. Thank you for pointing this item out, since it's a library filled with books I like (and some I own), and my favorite way of discovering something I'd want to read, if I'd only known of its existence.

Excellent way to start out the month. :-}

Dec 1, 2017, 12:19pm Top

>29 MarthaJeanne:
>30 gilroy:
>31 Helenliz:
>32 Lyndatrue:
Thanks all for the support for my luggage tag ;-). As a long time Penguin Books collector I have a few non-book Penguin related items, coffee cups, playing cards, etc.. I hope the way they are catalogued keeps them away from Combiners and recommendations. You used to be able to buy a deck chair in a Penguin cover design but that was a step too far, even for me.

Dec 2, 2017, 6:46pm Top

Apparently some kind of arts and crafts organization just joined and added 70 books (OK) but . . . I don't understand their post—or why it's in the bug collectors group. Link to LT announcement from 2006 has been added. What does that have to do with anything?


Dec 2, 2017, 7:02pm Top

They are upset that a link in that blog post no longer works. Why that should upset, or even surprise anyone is also rather confusing to me. The link is to a nonexistant profile. "Error: This user doesn't exist"

Dec 2, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>34 Taphophile13:, >35 MarthaJeanne:

That was an odd one. I suppose they may have spent the month since joining randomly perusing the blog and clicking links. Weird, but possible. The member they tried to link to was suspended a long time ago. Why they would care about someone mentioned in a blog post from 2006 is beyond me.

But they certainly seem to be a legit organization with quite a few books so far.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 4:15am Top

This author (https://www.librarything.com/profile/Shay_Lee_Soleil) reviews and rates (5* no less) her own book:

The review for her other book has already been removed, though not the rating:

She also posted a link to her website in the haiku summary, which is why I came across her name, but I've already deleted the summary (not a haiku) and her website address (spam).

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 7:03am Top

She is allowed to review her book. - If it were her own review.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:06am Top

>37 passion4reading:

Those are either not her reviews or she is using false names on them, either of which would violate the TOS.

There's no way to remove a rating.

Dec 3, 2017, 12:33pm Top

>38 MarthaJeanne: >39 lilithcat: Thanks for clarifying.

Dec 12, 2017, 6:27am Top


New member, joined today, no books. I think this is spam but I can't make sense of his (?) message, though he's trying to promote a website.

Dec 12, 2017, 7:20am Top

>41 passion4reading: I guess enough people thought it spam, cause it's gone now.

Dec 12, 2017, 2:51pm Top

>37 passion4reading:, I think what happened there is a couple of people did review her book and gave it five stars, but they did not do so here on LT. So she copy/pasted their reviews into LT, under her profile name (but note that she cited the original reviewers' names). Intention seems honest, but yes, appropriately flagged.

Dec 14, 2017, 8:00am Top


I can't find an author link between the poster and the booklet he points to, but he's obviously not answering the OPs query.

Dec 14, 2017, 11:03am Top

>45 2wonderY: It looks like he's trying to answer, without actually answering. I'd already ignored that thread because the answer should have been go to the Name That Book group...

Dec 21, 2017, 11:29am Top

I'm poking through my reviews page and I stumble across this review:

It says it's a summary provided by GoodReads. Does this make it a Red or Blue flag. So far, I've been doing just a blue (the user has several of this nature) but I wanted to check if they qualified as worse...

Dec 21, 2017, 11:34am Top

>47 gilroy: I checked Goodreads and it is, word for word, the summary that is on their site. It is not a review, it is the book summary. In which case the chances are that user hasn't written this. In which case, is that not a red flag for violation of copyright?

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 11:39am Top

>48 Helenliz:

It is not a review, it is the book summary

On LT, a book summary qualifies as a review.

So the question is whether or not the user wrote it. A quick Google search reveals that both the reviews Clippers posted are the publisher's book description. So red flag, but not blue flag.

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 4:42am Top

Please can someone explain what the correct procedure is for members who use their profile page simply to promote their book, often the only one in their library, with a link to where the book can be bought? Latest example: https://www.librarything.com/profile/bbcary


ETA: And here's another one: https://www.librarything.com/profile/ElaineA.Piha, though she hasn't added a link to a sales platform.

Dec 30, 2017, 4:41am Top

>50 passion4reading: that is an example of a "teachable moment". Usual procedure is for someone to send them a message, pointing them to the terms and conditions (http://www.librarything.com/privacy#terms), how authors can use LT (http://www.librarything.com/about/authors) and the author groups (http://www.librarything.com/groups/hobnobwithauthors, http://www.librarything.com/groups/writerreaders).

Don't flag the author, but it is OK to flag posts that are overtly promotional and not in the author groups.

Dec 30, 2017, 4:59am Top

>51 Helenliz: Thanks for the explanation and links. I've now left both members a polite message, referring them to the links you listed in your post.

Dec 30, 2017, 8:41am Top

>50 passion4reading:

Members can use their personal profile for pretty much anything they want. Looking at the two links you've posted, I don't see anything wrong with them. There is no "violating activity" that would call for a comment. Self-advertising is okay on an author's personal profile (just not on the author page).

Dec 30, 2017, 9:00am Top

>53 lilithcat: Ah. I followed Helenliz's advice (at >51 Helenliz:) that seemed to indicate they were "teachable moments". I find the information in some of the posts on the Wiki, initial posts on each spam reporting thread and individual posts in Spam Fighters very confusing and sometimes contradictory. Maybe it's time to update them?

Dec 30, 2017, 9:56am Top

>53 lilithcat: Yeah, tell that to the Great Profile Hunt that kills them regularly.
I think Helenliz was right. However, of the two profiles, they appear to be drive by authors. (One was from 2011.) I doubt we'll ever see or hear from them again.

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 11:55am Top

After the above debate what constitutes spam when posted by authors promoting their work, here's one for discussion: https://www.librarything.com/profile/Frank_Elder

Overzealous author who uses his profile page as a selling platform: "Purchase your signed copy for only $20 which includes shipping within the continental United States here:" (link follows).

Edited to remove erroneous touchstone.

Dec 30, 2017, 2:55pm Top

Here's the way I feel about it.

LT says that "Do not use LibraryThing as an advertising medium. Egregious commercial solicitation is forbidden." and "Do not post messages in Talk advertising your book. " (See How Authors Can Use LibraryThing)

It seems to me that if all an author does is put a link on his personal profile, that's not "egregious". That's not pushing it into anyone's face. Unless the person posts in the forums pushing his book, one would have to stumble onto the link.

And, after all, LT does allow an author to review his own books, and I think that's worse.

Dec 30, 2017, 3:07pm Top

>57 lilithcat: I can see your point, but to state upfront "Purchase your signed copy for only $20" to me seems to be egregious, i.e. shocking, blatant, commercial solicitation.

And I'm totally with you on authors reviewing their own books.

Dec 30, 2017, 5:18pm Top

I guess I just don't see something as being egregious if nobody can see it except by accident!

Dec 31, 2017, 3:44am Top

The same can be said for commercial spam profiles that don't add spam in Talk posts, but they're being flagged in the Great Spam Profile Hunt.

Dec 31, 2017, 8:41am Top

This is a book site. Authors catalogue real books. Many interact with the community, becoming LT authors, providing their books via the ER and MG programs. Sure there are drive-by authors, but I'm not going to tar them all with them same brush.

I see a real distinction between them and escort services and the like.

Dec 31, 2017, 9:11am Top

I can see I'm fighting a losing battle. I would just like to remind you that LT explicitly states: "Do not use LibraryThing as an advertising medium". In any case, I've already spent too much time on this, so I'm happy to leave him be.

Dec 31, 2017, 9:21am Top

>62 passion4reading:

Not a losing battle! After all, opinions differ, and that's why we have threads like this, to discuss and argue (politely, I hope) our points of view.

Dec 31, 2017, 10:18am Top

Wishing all Spam Fighters a happy New Year. Here's to renewed efforts in 2018.

Jan 1, 6:55pm Top

The wording makes me wonder, is she looking for a sugar daddy? Is that a TOS?

Not sure what to think of these two either. They each cataloged one book and then linked to the same real estate site. Co-workers or advertizing?


Jan 1, 7:02pm Top

I'd say the two with the same real estate link in their profile, definitely spam.

The other... no clue

Jan 1, 7:03pm Top

I think those last two are co-workers. Looks like they joined about a week apart. A case of "hey, check out this site I found"? Each has a legit book catalogued, and each took the trouble to review the books.

I don't know that looking for a daddy here is a TOS violation, but I don't think plittle143 is looking in the right place!

Edited: Jan 2, 9:37am Top

Y'know, businesses can be members: http://www.librarything.com/organizations

Because of that, it's sometimes hard to differentiate between these legitimate members and the spammers. Often, a business will catalogue books that they use in their business or profession (the vet certainly seems to have done that). And it makes sense to me that a small organization or solo practitioner might want to do that.

Jan 2, 9:38am Top

I am aware, but all but the last haven't identified themselves as such.

Jan 2, 9:50am Top

>70 passion4reading:

True. I think that sometime businesses and organizations aren't aware of the possibility to list themselves as such. (I've never signed out and tried to join again to see how prominent that option is!)

Jan 2, 10:51am Top

Why was this flagged nearly to oblivion? https://www.librarything.com/topic/279816
There's nothing that warrants flagging. It's weird. It's possibly in the wrong topic. But I don't see spam.

Jan 3, 12:06pm Top

Member profile set up with the sole purpose to promote author's book of the same title:

Jan 3, 12:09pm Top

Not Spam, just tacky.

Jan 3, 12:18pm Top

Though honest, since the profile states "Manifestation Miracle is undoubtedly an e-book..."

Jan 15, 5:16am Top

>76 wcarter: Tanks for flagging. This is clearly commercial spam. For anything as clear-cut as this, please post in the current spam reporting thread.

Jan 15, 6:43am Top

Could just be a cut-and-paste error, but I'm not sure where to report it: a long description of a publisher, but it's on the WikiThing


Jan 15, 6:48am Top

>78 passion4reading: I'm of the mind to leave the private individual alone.

The author one is tricky. The URL profile is from 2010 while the non URL profile is from 2015. In both cases, should know better. The URL profile seemed more blatant, so I flagged it.

>79 karenb: Ugh. That's a repair that probably needs to go to lorannen because it was done in December 2015.

Jan 15, 9:34am Top

Same thing again as in >78 passion4reading:, author with two member profiles, with one linking to his Amazon page

As >80 gilroy: gilroy flagged the author in my previous post, I flagged the one with the Amazon link.

Jan 15, 4:26pm Top

>80 gilroy:

Thanks, gilroy!

Jan 15, 5:41pm Top

using reviews to drum up business?
the reviews are rightly red flagged but should the member be flagged as well?


Jan 15, 6:40pm Top

>83 Taphophile13: Those aren't even reviews by any definition of the term. I just flagged the account. The best part about flagging that kind of account is all the reviews will just fade away (which is as it should be).

Jan 16, 12:46pm Top

Worth a polite notice about self-promotion or not worth bothering with?

Edited: Jan 16, 4:41pm Top

>85 passion4reading: I'm planning on flagging the account (because I'm heartless). Two of the images in his gallery are the type that 2wondery often points out. They're just blatant spam.



Jan 17, 2:16am Top

>86 Lyndatrue: That was my thinking too, but I didn't want to jump any guns. I've flagged it. And "'Hot Doc' Dieter" - seriously?

Jan 17, 10:36am Top


This author has been around for several years and has a library consisting entirely of his own work, some of which have indications as to how to purchase them. Low-key and hardly offensive but he has posted today asking how to make friends on LT.

I don't feel like taking action (but I might if I got a random befriending request)

Edited: Jan 17, 10:52am Top

>88 abbottthomas: I considered mentioning in my response to his question about friends that he should watch what he does as an author but decided to keep an eye on and wait until he does something wrong

Jan 18, 10:05am Top


Don't take any action yet, but check back. This could be an inept spammer or a valid business expecting to catalog their library.

Jan 20, 7:43am Top

Another author with two member profiles. Though either page doesn't constitute commercial spam, I feel having two profile pages is coming very close:

Flag one but not the other? Or leave a note?

Jan 20, 7:46am Top

Come across this author's profile again:

Apart from being an author with self-published books, I feel she's using her profile page to drum up customers for her life coach business.

Spam or not spam?

Jan 20, 7:50am Top

>91 passion4reading: >92 passion4reading: I'd leave them all alone.

The first post are just sitting there. Unless they direct to it, they really are useless.
The second post her url is wrong. so there's no redirect. If she ever comes back and fixes it, then flag it to oblivion.

Jan 20, 7:52am Top

And another one. This one goes straight to the point: "Download free ebooks in pdf and in Kindle format. From here you can download any ebooks at free."

Does this qualify as a bookshop or as spam?

Jan 20, 10:10am Top

Quite possibly a scammer. They use the promise of free ebooks as a phishing lure.

Jan 20, 10:36am Top

This new member is using his profile to try to drum up business.
And all his catalog entries are books he has edited.


see the tags he's using on the profile image

Jan 20, 10:56am Top

>93 gilroy: OK, thanks, though it irks me a little.

>95 Marissa_Doyle: I notice that the member has been suspended. Someone obviously thought it spam.

>96 2wonderY: At first I wasn't sure, but having seen the tags I agree with you.

Jan 25, 12:59pm Top

Post here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/285559#

by https://www.librarything.com/profile/gurusiksha

seems innocuous enough, albeit malplaced, but I'm sure it's from:


Jan 25, 1:23pm Top

>98 anglemark: I'm pretty heartless, and I've had caffeine, so I've achieved as much humanity as I'm likely to. I just flagged the topic. I'm considering flagging the profile (although I can be persuaded not to). For reference, I was about to post here on this (and thank you for doing the homework).

Jan 25, 1:45pm Top

>98 anglemark:, >99 Lyndatrue: Topic flagged but as the profile doesn't have a link to the website (at least not yet) I've left it.

Edited: Jan 25, 2:08pm Top

>98 anglemark: >99 Lyndatrue: >100 passion4reading:
As they haven't openly started pushing to that website (or any for that matter), I'm going to leave them be, but watch carefully.

If they start pushing, then I'll flag.

ETA: But it won't matter because someone's already put it in the SPAM thread.

Jan 25, 2:10pm Top


Jan 25, 3:00pm Top

>101 gilroy: and >102 2wonderY: Really sad, yes. The topic was deleted, which it should have been, but probably a note on the profile would have been just as easy as flagging the profile, and a more useful solution.

For the record, I'm not one of those who flagged the profile. I'd just checked back, now, to see the outcome. I usually try and refrain from posting things on the main thread when they're already here. It seems redundant, for one thing, and if it turns out that the consensus here is to not flag, posting there as well is guaranteed to override that choice.

Jan 25, 3:47pm Top

>103 Lyndatrue: I think I'm too soft and forgiving sometimes, because I don't like to flag unless it really is pushy or blatant. (Or if they should know better because of previous warnings.) And I would rather it not go in the main thread if it's here unless we say yes, kill it. But I don't know that everyone has the same thoughts as me. *shrug*

Jan 28, 1:11pm Top

It could be just a placeholder, but member: https://www.librarything.com/profile/kumperu has posted this message: https://www.librarything.com/topic/285698

I'm slightly hesitant to report it as spam because there's nothing immediately obvious to say it's spam.

Jan 28, 1:13pm Top

It was a placeholder. The profile and all the spam posted after that are dead.

Edited: Jan 29, 1:08pm Top


I think this is a spam work for a business network, but needed others to save me from myself.

ETA: I think something that made me question it more is the editions page:

Because it seems the bisnis canonical title is hiding the issues.

Edited: Jan 29, 11:18am Top

>107 gilroy: Even without adequate coffee, I might vote against it being spam. It belongs to a private member, and it looks far more like someone not understanding what LT is used for than anything. The "review" isn't really there, and the only piece of information besides the title is that it belongs to a series called "Local" (which has just that book as an entry).

CK (which has a surprising amount of entries) was entered in 2014. Here's the profile that seems to be associated with it all.


Then again, the single work in that library is also a bit odd; not the work itself so much as those who own it.


Okay, that's just about enough rabbit hole to make me need more coffee.

Short answer. I dunno whether or not it's spam.

Jan 29, 12:43pm Top

>108 Lyndatrue:

The "review" isn't really there

The review won't be visible because it's a private member's.

Jan 29, 2:09pm Top

>109 lilithcat: I understand this. It still isn't *there* for the rest of us (although it may have been).

What's your opinion on whether or not the work in question is spam? You tend to be one of the clearest voices on that, and I'd like to know what you think.

Jan 29, 2:17pm Top

>110 Lyndatrue:

Honestly, that's so weird I can't tell!

Jan 31, 9:49am Top

Dental surgery with one book in their library, but profile description is in my opinion blatant commercial spam:

Jan 31, 9:56am Top

>112 passion4reading: I agree. Spam profile.

Jan 31, 12:52pm Top

Link to schizophrenia website. I can't decide whether it's spam or a harmless link. It's the "What goes inside and how I can help" in the profile description that bothers me a bit.

Jan 31, 1:03pm Top

Others already thought it was, as it's gone now.

Jan 31, 1:05pm Top

No books, belongs to a (dormant) LT group, link to attorneys

Jan 31, 1:05pm Top

>115 gilroy: Wow, they're fast!

Jan 31, 1:08pm Top

Life (sorry, make that *success*) coach, no books, lists his favourite reads, but to me is blatant commercial spam (but then I'm heartless)

Jan 31, 1:09pm Top

>116 passion4reading: Not spam. Looks like they had an interaction with another member.
>118 passion4reading: I'd kill that one.

Jan 31, 1:10pm Top

>116 passion4reading: and >118 passion4reading: I'd leave those two be.

Jan 31, 1:13pm Top

No books, profile description sounds OK, but has link to detox center website

Jan 31, 1:15pm Top

>118 passion4reading: >119 gilroy: >120 2wonderY: One vote each for killing and letting him live. I'll let another one make that decision.

Jan 31, 1:22pm Top

Bud Bilanich is a valid author. I just added his photo to his author page. His profile page looks no different than many author members.

Jan 31, 1:22pm Top

>121 passion4reading: Yes, that's a typical spam approach. Mild. Put some ketchup on it.

Jan 31, 1:32pm Top

>124 2wonderY: >121 passion4reading: Profile is already fried.
>123 2wonderY: >118 passion4reading: I just wanted to check to see whether I was too hasty labelling him as potential spam and then found someone clearly decided he was - he's been provisionally suspended.

Edited: Jan 31, 3:28pm Top

What is the general consensus about books having a profile page devoted to them?

For example:

ETA a second offender.

Jan 31, 4:04pm Top

Two books in the library but still blatant plugging of their pest control services (in my opinion):

Jan 31, 4:50pm Top

>127 passion4reading: I just flagged the profile, and both reviews. Those books are there ONLY to provide "reviews" that have not one thing to do with reviewing. I hates the spammers, I truly do.

Feb 1, 2:15am Top

>128 2wonderY: >129 Lyndatrue: Thank you both. I have to admit that I didn't get as far as reading the so-called reviews.
>129 Lyndatrue: I couldn't agree with you more.

Edited: Feb 1, 12:49pm Top

What to do?

New member is using tag feature to sell his books (which he has combined into one work)



AH! It's this other member who added the worst of the tags


See any similarities?


Edited: Feb 1, 12:53pm Top

I'd leave him a polite note and say that's not how LT works. I wouldn't have a clue what to say, so I'll leave that to the more knowledgeable and experienced members. If he keeps doing it then mark him as spam.

ETA: Two profiles? I'd mark one as spam.

Feb 1, 12:53pm Top

>131 2wonderY: I'm about to flag everything, and this profile looks to be the "author" as well.


Self published books are the ruin of us all (okay, I'm annoyed, but I'll live).

In addition, it probably *is* only one book.

Feb 1, 1:09pm Top

Does he think because his last name is Faulkner that will do anything for him? Geez...

Edited: Feb 1, 1:35pm Top

I notice that both profiles have been suspended.

>134 gilroy: Maybe he thinks, Everything he did I can do better!

I love books, but some of these self-published authors ram the fist of self-promotion so hard down your throat, it makes one choke. So even if some of the books were the best thing I've ever read, with someone so desperate to promote their work, I'd always stay well clear because it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Eurgh!

Edited for typo.

Feb 2, 3:29am Top

>136 passion4reading: They are allowed to put what they want in their member gallery. It's only if they try to add things to the author page there's a problem.

Feb 2, 4:07am Top

>137 .Monkey.: Thanks for clarifying. Guess he's off the hook.

Feb 2, 5:45am Top

>138 passion4reading: You can see on his profile he did put promotional images on the author page a long time ago, which were then removed as usual. So presumably he's learned that's hands off. ;)

Feb 2, 6:07am Top

>139 .Monkey.: Thank you, this is very helpful. Now I'll know what to look out for when combing for authors who cross the line between self-promotion and spamming.

I seem to recall having seen a few like this already. I'll leave them a note, following lilithcat's own wording.

Feb 2, 6:34am Top

>140 passion4reading: Yeah it's common for the self-pub type authors to try that stuff, so then when you flag the image you just add the standard "Not a photo of the author" or whatnot. :)

Feb 2, 6:49am Top

Got it, thanks.

What about stuff like this, when a book or a series of books is given a profile page? This is the latest offender I found, two others I queried in this thread have been suspended.


Edited: Feb 2, 8:49am Top

>142 passion4reading:

There's nothing wrong with that one. It's the author's profile page, and I don't see why she shouldn't use her book/series name as her user name.

Feb 2, 8:53am Top

>143 lilithcat: OK, thanks for clarifying. I'm still learning the ropes to distinguish between what's legitimate self-promotion or spam.

Feb 2, 9:00am Top

>144 passion4reading:

As far as authors are concerned, as long as they confine their promotion to their personal profile page and forums such as Hobnob I leave them alone.

Feb 3, 6:26am Top

Erm, you really need to pay attention to all the details. The first three were added by https://www.librarything.com/profile/METIER3 - an organization-member since 2015 with 1,945 books.
The next was added by https://www.librarything.com/profile/RobertForsythe - a member since 2011 with 7,201 books who works with transit/railway stuff.
The next by https://www.librarything.com/profile/Bouman - a member since 2008 with 1,391 books.
The last by https://www.librarything.com/profile/alaskayo - a member since 2007 with 21,427 books.

Just because something has "supplies" in the title does not make it spam. I think perhaps you should ease up a bit, your searching seems to be getting a bit overzealous.

Feb 3, 9:10am Top

>147 .Monkey.: My searching is not getting overzealous, and I'd appreciate it if you got off my back over this. I couldn't make sense of what I was seeing, and when I don't understand something, I ask a question, which is what I've done; I have not flagged any of them. Agreed, maybe I should spend a bit more time investigating before I post here, but I didn't know what to look for.

Feb 3, 9:48am Top

>148 passion4reading:

I didn't know what to look for.

On the work page, you can click on the name of the member(s) who added it. The information on the profile should help you in figuring out whether it really is suspicious.

Feb 3, 1:36pm Top

Catching up today, I saw this thread posted yesterday


and I'm surprised the post is still up, with no notice to the member.

Am I missing something?

Feb 3, 1:38pm Top

>150 2wonderY: I'd be willing to say the group didn't object, but...

I'll leave the profile notice anyway.

Feb 3, 1:43pm Top

>151 gilroy: Elegantly done. Thanks!

Feb 3, 5:49pm Top

>150 2wonderY: Looking at who has his books, he's got two accounts as well. Not really actionable and probably not on purpose, but it might be pointed out to him.

Feb 3, 6:33pm Top

>153 anglemark:

Created a couple of years apart, so I'm guessing he forgot his user name, as happens when folks haven't been around for awhile.

Feb 9, 7:43pm Top

>150 2wonderY: Chapter 1 was flagged into non-existence but he's back with chapter 2:

gilroy's message is still on profile: https://www.librarything.com/profile/sky2lord5

Edited: Feb 9, 8:00pm Top

>155 Taphophile13: and >150 2wonderY: Well, there it is. When someone thinks that the rules only apply to other people, it's time to flag the profile as well as the topic (which needed, last I looked, one more flag to be gone).

Yes, I already flagged both profile and topic.

ETA: Chapter Two is now gone. The profile is still worthy of flagging. YMMV.

Mar 1, 7:32am Top

I'm not sure about this one:

but highly suspicious because he's an SEO marketer.

Mar 1, 7:33am Top

His homepage isn't clickable, so I'd say leave him alone.

Mar 1, 7:37am Top

Also keeping an eye on

I've left them a comment. Perhaps I'll hear back today.

But I had to share the oddity of their profile pic

with one posted this morning by another new member

Mar 21, 7:56am Top

This one looks like Spam, but doesn't reach the threshold. I'll be checking back to see whether they add content that pushes them over the edge.


Mar 21, 8:20am Top

>160 2wonderY: That looks as bad as most of the others posted, just short a URL. Is that the "threshold" it didn't make?

Mar 21, 8:31am Top

Well, that's open for discussion. It lacks an address for one thing. They could conceivably want to catalog materials on their shelves, too.

Mar 27, 8:49am Top

>163 2wonderY:

I'd say, "not yet". But one to keep an eye on, perhaps.

Mar 27, 10:30am Top

>163 2wonderY: >164 lilithcat: Yeah, agreed. Not yet but one to watch.

Mar 31, 5:05am Top

This one joined in 2012 and has seen no action since. No books, URL not clickable, but postal address is home to many businesses with "call" in their names. It looks spammy to me, but the 2012 date suggests we're leaving it alone? (Still learning about All the Things Spam here.)


Mar 31, 5:11am Top

Another vintage account: profile is all about a doll, complete with live links. No books, no activity, just selling a doll.


Mar 31, 5:47am Top

>166 karenb: and >167 karenb:. Both prime Spam. Welcome to the sport!

Mar 31, 6:08am Top



Apr 1, 2:17am Top

This has one book but still seems just a commercial: https://www.librarything.com/profile/WindowIT

Apr 1, 3:34am Top

School with no books, just links: https://www.librarything.com/profile/CRYPTOCIPHER

Apr 1, 4:37am Top

Is it commercial if it's for a religious person? https://www.librarything.com/profile/dillministries

Apr 3, 3:14am Top

....and they're all provisionally taken down. OK then!

Found another one:
This work talks about gmail passwords: https://www.librarything.com/work/21100102/details/151392938
Written by this member whose text and link match those found in the work: https://www.librarything.com/profile/TechGmail0

I'm guessing spam? Though flagging the work will leave a stray author (but then that's the way LT works, yes?)....


Apr 4, 12:45am Top

The description talks about a guy whose name has popped up before (D---- C----), but the link is to a real URL at the EFF:


Apr 4, 12:56am Top

>175 karenb: It isn't spam. Leave it be. It hurts no one by being there.

Edited: Apr 4, 2:10am Top

Which is why I asked! Thank you.

(It resembled a bunch of spam profiles I'd just found.)

Apr 11, 8:15pm Top

test cases for user Gangerli -- don't know if this is LT testing or someone from outside. Any idea?


Edited: Apr 11, 8:36pm Top

>178 karenb: He's a strange one, yes, but he's been around for a long, long time. Maybe he forgot he made those. Here's his real profile.


Apr 11, 8:39pm Top

>178 karenb: I'd leave them.

Apr 11, 10:40pm Top

>178 karenb:, >179 Lyndatrue:, >180 gilroy:

I'd leave them, too. gangleri did a lot of weird stuff (he's responsible for all that VIAF info in the disambiguation notices, and has the strangest collection of tags!). He hasn't been around lately, though. I hope he's okay; I seem to recall he had some health issues.

Apr 12, 12:08am Top

Thanks, all! Leaving them alone.

Apr 13, 12:34am Top

Is the short biography spam?
Also, should the image be flagged for not being a person?

Apr 13, 12:43am Top

>183 Collectorator:

That image has already been flagged.

The "biography" is not a biography, so I'm deleting it.

Apr 13, 12:52am Top

Apr 13, 3:36am Top

There's a guy who has created a dozen or so accounts, including two for his publishing house, from 2015 to 2018. He has written & published books & DVDs, but he is not a LibraryThing Author. Each profile lists a different URL and advertises his writing and courses. His name is Anth*ny M*rris*n.

This is certainly borderline spam, but the person is an author too, so what to do?

Apr 13, 5:55am Top

>186 karenb: Can you post a link to one profile?

Edited: Apr 13, 7:14am Top

I'd say the latest is definitely spam. The oldest... I'm on the fence about.

ETA - I've separated out the Author page to two different Anthony Morrison authors. Just a gut feeling this success peddler isn't the cognitive psychologist.

Edited: Apr 14, 7:35pm Top

>189 gilroy:

sounds reasonable to me.

What about https://www.librarything.com/profile/cignainsurance? Profile just says grad student (with a person's name) and has no links.

Apr 15, 3:08pm Top

>191 Marissa_Doyle: I'd say yes. I've already flagged the topic. Here's the profile, and I'll leave the standard post on it.


(Remember, please don't flag the author profile. It's only posted here since the topic will go away.)

Apr 15, 7:44pm Top

Hmm. Maybe not spam, not sure. New member / author has started a group for reviews. "Here you can offer your books for others to read and grade."

It probably bears watching in case it turns out to be a way to promote his own book. Note that he misspelled the title of one of his books. I was under the impression that LT is a site for reviews.

Apr 15, 7:55pm Top

>193 Taphophile13: So is it a place to set up "you review my book and I'll review yours" exchanges? And does he not know about the Member Giveaway program?

I dunno...

Edited: Apr 15, 8:36pm Top

>194 Marissa_Doyle:

And does he not know about the Member Giveaway program?

Probably not. He just joined today, so may not have explored the site that much.

Apr 16, 7:08am Top

>193 Taphophile13: Looks like someone already felt it spam and has flagged it accordingly.

Apr 18, 5:10am Top

This account name matches the business in the link -- but they are also members of LT ER/MG.


Apr 18, 6:35am Top

>197 karenb: I wouldn't call it spam.

Apr 18, 7:15am Top

>197 karenb: Just having a link, not spam.
Being a business with a link to said business, not spam.
Being a business where the write up is obviously meant to drive traffic to the link to the business, SPAM.

Apr 18, 7:18am Top

>199 gilroy: Well done!

Edited: Apr 18, 4:13pm Top

>198 2wonderY:
>199 gilroy:

Thank you! That's what I was thinking but couldn't put it into words.

Apr 19, 10:10am Top

This one teeters on the edge. Note all the uses of his name on profile pictures.


Apr 19, 10:52am Top

>203 2wonderY:

I'd keep an eye on it, but I don't see anything wrong with identifying the content of your profile pics.

Apr 19, 11:44am Top

>203 2wonderY: There are a lot of profiles like that--mostly professionals who don't quite offer a price sheet, but post their CVs and multiple social media links and make it clear they're very open to consulting or speaking gigs. I've mostly sighed and ignored them.

Apr 25, 8:57pm Top

another iffy one: "social media consultant" with live link to own consulting firm. Two books on topic (at least). No physical address given. Account opened 2008.


Apr 25, 9:37pm Top

>206 karenb:

I vote "not spam". There is no rule against having a link to your own website* on your profile, even if it is a business. The books are certainly legit (each has hundreds of copies here). Both were added a couple of days after he joined. My guess is that, like a lot of folks, he just didn't follow up after an initial burst of interest.

*I see that the website is no longer in existence, though that doesn't cause me to change my opinion. Lots of people have websites that disappear and they don't bother to go back and change it everywhere they've provided the link.

Apr 26, 5:00am Top

>206 karenb: Going back to the handy guide in >199 gilroy:, that's a no, not spam.

Apr 26, 1:51pm Top

Thanks. That's what I thought too, but I wasn't sure.

Apr 28, 6:46pm Top

I'm not sure what kind of website digisok.com is (and don't want to click on it to find out) so I'm not positive about this one:

I just get a spammy vibe from the post.

Apr 28, 6:52pm Top

>210 Taphophile13:

I won't click on it, either, but there's no doubt in my mind that that is spam.

Apr 28, 7:01pm Top

>211 lilithcat: And it, and the profile, are gone.

May 5, 1:32am Top

What about this? It claims to be a nonprofit organization, but I can't find info on the usual sites (give.org, Charity Navigator, or Charity Watch).


May 5, 5:35pm Top

Oooh! I was looking for outside verification of their existence and didn't find the second link. Thank you!

May 17, 5:47pm Top

Contest & giveaway from 2010, but it's related to a book. I think it's spam, but I'm not sure.


May 20, 3:31pm Top

Motivational stuff? Seems to be affiliated with mostly one person, who isn't named in the profile.


May 21, 2:56pm Top

Account to keep an eye on: http://www.librarything.com/profile/stacks12
our friend Tywan is back but as far as I can tell has not done anything flag-worthy from this profile....yet.

Edited: May 21, 3:22pm Top

>218 norabelle414: I mentioned him to Lorannen because I thought he seemed underage from his actions. Not sure if she ever checked him out or not.

May 26, 9:49pm Top

Here's an odd one-- someone took an existing book and renamed it with a spam name and gave it their own (spam business) name as author. Thoughts?

They listed another work here which is more clearly spammy, though I held off on marking it as such: http://www.librarything.com/work/17438617/128094117

May 26, 10:09pm Top

>220 Marissa_Doyle: The miscreant anuj777 has already been suspended and recalculating restores the title and author.

The second one is obviously spam so I did mark as such.

May 29, 11:49pm Top

A book that doesn't exist, though it doesn't contain links or anything else. Clearly fake, but is it spam?

Author is a user that I plan to mark as spam after this question is settled.

May 29, 11:53pm Top

>222 karenb:

Yes, it is.

May 31, 5:39pm Top

I think this is a Spam profile; not sure


May 31, 5:41pm Top

>224 2wonderY: I'd vote "yes" on its being spam. It's SEO boosting.

Jun 6, 4:47pm Top

>226 Taphophile13: It looks like an honest collection of resources. Interesting use of the site; I wouldn't consider it inappropriate.

Jun 6, 4:55pm Top

>227 2wonderY: Thanks. I haven't flagged it because it looked as if they might be using the site as a sort of Rolodex, not actually trying to send business to those places. A bit unusual but LT has a certain amount of oddity.

Jun 12, 9:23am Top

>229 2wonderY:

Doesn't (yet) seem spammy to me.

Jun 21, 3:08am Top

Stock photo, description mentions SEO, has programming-related books and groups (but never posted). Live link leads to jewelry site. Y/N/Maybe?


Jun 21, 3:39am Top

It's possible for the blog to have disappeared and been taken over by an ad server. The Flikr photostream has gone too.

Given this guy has been a member since 2007 and only added 8 books (the most recently published in 2008), I suspect it's probably a dormant account.

Edited: Jun 21, 12:33pm Top

>226 Taphophile13: I haven't seen this before but it belongs to the Princess Alice Hospice, for me a local Palliative care facility, and very well regarded. As >227 2wonderY: says, an interesting use of LT.

They list books they have in the Hospice library as well as recommendations for books obtainable through public libraries. Also contact details of a wide variety of useful organisations. Some of the books have reviews and most entries have useful descriptive Comments. An excellent resource. I wonder if it would fit better on TinyCat?

As with the majority of hospices in the UK the organisation is not-for-profit and a registered charity. definitely NOT spam.

Jun 21, 12:50pm Top

>233 abbottthomas: Thank you for the additional information. You are very fortunate to have such good care facilities available to you. Many nursing homes in the US do not have good reputations.

Jun 23, 3:53am Top

This user has posted on a number of threads and started new threads. I can't decide if it is pushing the book, or it just sounds like it.


Edited: Jun 23, 8:28am Top

I think she's an enthusiast, so not spam. See posts 86-88 here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/291724

However, she's being enthusiastic in the wrong places. Why would you post in a non-fiction thread about horror stories? Perhaps she just doesn't get the site. Think I'll drop her a note.

Adding: she's definitely not the author! http://www.librarything.com/author/quirogahoracio (who, I must say, looks pretty interesting).

It's all her fault: I found another book by him at my library and now have a hold on it. The Decapitated Chicken, and other stories

Jun 26, 11:47pm Top

Another collection of users for the same person: Roberts Liardon, who is an author (though not a LibraryThing Author) among other things. Each profile lists a slightly different description and a different URL -- though five of the URLs take you to the same site (firstnamelastname.org). All the sites were created in August & September, 2011. What to do -- anything? I don't think they're spam, necessarily, but maybe an overzealous assistant?

In chronological order:

Jun 29, 12:47am Top

This account is supposed to be spam, but the href links "contruction maison" take you . . to the LT user profile. So, spam? (A moment's entertainment, if nothing else.)


Jun 29, 12:51am Top

>238 karenb: poorly "constructed" spam at that

Jul 1, 8:56pm Top

work? https://www.librarything.com/work/20705455/summary/148586527

user: https://www.librarything.com/profile/flaaw: "Our travel agency will act like travel agent for all tourists we provide services like tourism, vacation house booking, honeymoon trips, desert taxis, fishing"

Jul 1, 9:47pm Top

>240 karenb: For sure, both the work and the user.

Jul 2, 1:39am Top

Edited: Jul 7, 2:41pm Top

https://www.librarything.com/author/anchorhocking (not inc. the top two items which have some literary merit... just)

with entries like : https://www.librarything.com/work/11550977/

Private member for most of these, and has added a photo of these items - which appear all to be glassware.

Jul 7, 2:42pm Top

>243 Ignatius777: Not spam (member isn't trying to sell the item), just an unusual use of LT. In line with perfumes, doll collections, dresses, etc.

Jul 7, 2:47pm Top

and they have a place on a library site ? (genuinely confused )

Jul 7, 2:59pm Top

Some people catalog some odd things. Take a look: https://www.librarything.com/list/99/all/Things-we-wish-were-not-catalog-u-ed-on-LT
I don't think it's against any specific rule so the strange stuff continues.

Jul 8, 1:05am Top

>247 karenb: I'd say yes. Mark the works as spam; I'll vote yes. I'm about to flag the user.

Jul 8, 12:06pm Top

Marking the works as Spam.

Jul 18, 11:04am Top

Is this spam? There's a real profile attached, not a newly created one from today.


Jul 18, 11:16am Top

>250 amysisson: Does not look like spam to me. Just over-use of all-caps

Jul 18, 11:18am Top

>250 amysisson: I'm on the fence. I can't tell if he's trying to advertise or just posting a whole bunch of things that he thinks is relevant. And the group looks... new ish.

Jul 18, 12:05pm Top

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, then. Thanks for weighing in!

Jul 18, 1:13pm Top

Edited: Jul 26, 5:30am Top

https://www.librarything.com/topic/294131 (Same post in five groups, this is just a sample)

New user User been here since December of last year, came in and posted in five different groups. No notice about this survey being approved by staff.
I'm leaning toward five way flag happy, but wanted to be sure first.

Jul 26, 5:59am Top

She does appear to be a legitimate member of faculty:


So I suspect it's someone not entirely au fait with etiquette here.

Jul 26, 6:30am Top

>257 Maddz: So that's yes it's spam?

Edited: Jul 26, 8:17am Top

>258 gilroy:

Not familiar with etiquette does not (necessarily) equal spam. I'm not sure on this one. It's not commercial, it's not advertising.

Jul 26, 8:19am Top

>258 gilroy: I'd say probably not, just someone who doesn't understand forum etiquette. I'd call it mildly spammy, but not actual spam - she just wants to get data points for some research rather than try and inveigle people into buying stuff or harvesting emails. Clicking the link and using Google Translate it does appear to be a legitimate survey (at least going by the first page). As my Arabic is (these days) non-existent, and I don't really use libraries (I have way too many books of my own), I didn't bother going any further.

So no, not actual spam. I think a quiet PM to say she ought to get permission/tell staff she's posting survey links will suffice but otherwise I would call it a perfectly reasonable attempt to harvest data from Arabic-language library users who use LT, belong to the groups she posted to and can be bothered to click on the link (probably a very small number). Also comment she really ought to indicate if she's cross-posting the same message to different groups (the lack of such an indication makes it look like spam even though it's not).

I also raise an eyebrow that as a professor of library science she's only managed to catalogue one book since last December... I suspect she's actually using the university library and doesn't own many books of her own (plus she seems to be affiliated with different universities so probably moves around a lot). Cataloguing her personal library and participating in forum discussions would actually make look like a real person too.

Jul 26, 9:00am Top

>260 Maddz: Well, one of the groups she chose was Talk about Librarything...

Jul 26, 10:05am Top

What about this account? You can't tell where all the links will take you.


Edited: Jul 26, 11:35am Top

>256 gilroy: Yeah, she emailed us about it (initially asking if she could message members directly—lol, no), and we told her she could post a link asking for survey responses on Talk in the appropriate group. I guess I didn't explicitly say she couldn't post it in five separate groups, but... ::sigh::

I'll email her.

Jul 26, 11:52am Top

Interesting that she chose to post here:

Jul 31, 5:13am Top

I'm saying overenthusiastic fan.

Jul 31, 5:20am Top

An overenthusiastic fan with no books catalogued at all in the 8 years since joining? Let alone the author that person is apparently a fan of?

Edited: Jul 31, 7:58am Top

>266 gilroy:


It's certainly not the author, because she's been dead for years.

Aug 6, 11:10am Top

Watching these two:


same location. looks like advertisement profiles. no books added.

Aug 6, 11:12am Top

>269 2wonderY:

"same location"? One is in Italy, the other in Utah.

One is selling tee shirts, the other is a learning research center.

I've flagged the first, I see no reason to think the other is spam.

Aug 6, 11:16am Top

I wonder if those are different programs within the learning research center.

Aug 11, 11:53am Top

Pretty sure this is spam, but like to check in here and make sure:
https://www.librarything.com/work/20312112 (their one work)

Aug 11, 12:08pm Top

>273 omargosh: Definitely spam — Zain 4G internet plans.

Aug 15, 11:34am Top

>275 2wonderY: I think advertising on his profile doesn't rise to the level of spam. If he starts posting anywhere else, that's a different story.

Aug 15, 11:52am Top

>275 2wonderY: Yeah, not spam (yet), but give him time...

I'd say his two author profiles ought to be combined, though.


(I'm not competent to do so right now, or I'd have just done it.)

Aug 15, 2:37pm Top

>275 2wonderY:

Also, having a book makes it more of an author page, which allows much more leeway.

Aug 16, 5:02am Top


Spam in my book but I haven't flagged the perpetrator. I expect someone will.

Aug 16, 5:05am Top

Enthusiastic Author. Message definitely spam. Profile, not yet.

Aug 26, 5:13am Top


No such legit organiation called the Pope Foundation in Georgia (per Charity Watch, give.org, & the IRS). Site has one page, only stock photos in the gallery (for future posts?).

Sep 14, 7:04pm Top

IP law? It would include copyright, though the profile reads like an ad.


Sep 19, 8:20am Top

Suspicious profile pictures, but no other promotional material or links yet.
One to keep an eye on:


Sep 20, 7:56am Top

What is done with tags that are links?

New author has created a tag that directs to Amazon:


I would remark to her, but she's got comments turned off.

Sep 20, 8:07am Top

It's a tag. It goes to a tag page. Not much we can do.

Sep 20, 8:43am Top

Time for a new thread.

This topic was continued by Is this spam? #12.

Group: Spam Fighters!

169 members

23,052 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

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