SoundCloud Gives Away Its Anti-Spam Tool, Sketchy

‘Sketchy’ was developed to stop… sketchy behaviour

Audio distribution platform SoundCloud has released Sketchy, a framework it developed internally to fight spam, to the open source community.

Sketchy helps monitor user-generated content and notifies flesh and blood moderators once it notices something out of order.

According to GogaOm, the strength of the tool is in the ability to customise it to detect not just spam, but “general sketchy behaviour”.

The source code for Sketchy is available on GitHub.


SoundCloud, founded in Germany in 2007, has grown to over 20 million registered users, and it has worked hard to keep the community-driven platform free from spam. Now it wants to share Sketchy, so other start-ups dealing with web applications don’t have to build their own tools.

JoeBakalWith Sketchy, administrators can set thresholds for things like advertising content and identical messages, or customize the tool to address a broader range of issues. It also features machine-learning algorithms to help find potential troublemakers.

Once Sketchy detects suspicious behaviour, it warns the SoundCloud’s community management team, which can then issue the first warning. If the user continues to misbehave, their activities can be blocked completely.

This is not the first time SoundCloud has given away an internally developed piece of software. The company has uploaded more than 100 projects on GitHub, including app components, plugins and libraries.

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