Public Survey: Blocking/Filtering Automated Systems

08-06-2020 11:59 AM
New Contributor II

Is there a way to block automated systems (bots) from submitting forms?

The public survey will be on a Government (Drupal) website as a link (opens a new tab/windows), not embedded.

The link is the same URL provide on Survey123 - Submitter Tab - Share this Survey, therefore it is hosted on browser.

I am not familiar with "challenge-response testing". I am curious to known whether ArcGIS Online provides this capability/configuration on its sites, or is it a third-party app required to be embedded on the browser page? 

6 Replies
Esri Esteemed Contributor

Hi Vanessa,

There is not currently a challenge/response (also referred to as CAPTCHA, from one of the most popular systems).  This is because such a system would only restrict the loading of a form; the feature service (submission endpoint) would not be protected by this and still could receive non-desired submissions. 

New Contributor II

Thanks for the explanation! Yes, our organization uses CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA works when we embedded the submission in an iframe, however,  the organization is trying to move away from iframes as they are not the best for accessibility. I wonder are there any ESRI best practices for dealing with scam submissions? 

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Occasional Contributor III

Here's a cross-post  from @ZacharySutherby  outlining the issue and a potential work around, if acceptbale to your IT team.

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Occasional Contributor

Hi @VAN 

Did you get a response from ESRI? 

Maybe something like this would work. 

How to validate text entered in survey against a l... - Esri Community

Thank you

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Occasional Contributor III

Wow. We just had about 300 spam responses to a survey. 

Any options at all for preventing something like this?

Teresa Blader
Olmsted County GIS Specialist
New Contributor

I am having similar issues: Of the 400 survey responses we've gotten so far, we've had about 150 actual humans. The survey is supposed to be confidential, so it will be a hot mess trying to figure out what responses were spam and what were not. For ongoing data collection, I am wondering if requiring a generic verification question to proceed (ie having the user add numbers or something) could help reduce spam?  Has anyone tried that? 



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