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Many times spammers don't just post new answers (or questions) with their spam but also edit existing posts to insert their spam. Usually two high rep members will notice the spam and reject the suggested edit, but sometimes spam slips through; here is one recent example I bumped into earlier.

evil spam with example

I understand it was an honest mistake made by two approvers and of course I rolled back the edit, but it got me thinking: what if I wouldn't have noticed? Evil spam can claw its way into our decent community like that.

The spammer account was quickly nuked, but unless one will notice edits made by that account they could be left alive for good.

My suggestion is that when an account gets nuked due to spam (guess manually by a moderator?) all edits suggested or made by that account will be automatically rolled back to the previous version.

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In my experience (with a couple of rare exceptions), spammers are too lazy to do too much damage individually. It's them against dozens of potential flaggers. –  Robert Harvey May 16 '12 at 14:47
Possibly apply to any existing such approved edits too (so, deleted users who were deleted as spammers but have had approved suggested edits and no subsequent edit/rollback) –  Oded May 16 '12 at 14:48
The problem is: What if the post was already edited by someone else in the meantime? –  Time Traveling Bobby May 16 '12 at 14:50
@GardenGnobobby Well, then the system could either assume the damage has been undone and ignore that post, and/or issue a Community flag for manual review. (For those not familiar with the flag queue, Community already does flag some events, like rollback wars or posts with lots of comments.) –  lunboks May 16 '12 at 15:39
Agreed that the approval was a mistake, but how do you make a mistake like this? "Oh, it looks like OpenDirectory has moved to luxuryfashion.com"? Seems like the approvals need to be more careful... –  Kevin Vermeer May 16 '12 at 15:40
@KevinVermeer: I agree. It's not like there were additional changes in the edit that could have distracted the reviewers. –  Matt May 16 '12 at 16:04
edit weight would likely help reviewers to be more attentive. Currently, edits queue is a crazy mix of good, not-so-good, afwul and braindead suggestions - really hard to keep focus when every new item comes as surprise –  gnat May 16 '12 at 16:26
@RobertHarvey not much damage, but if we can prevent that little drop of spam it's also good. :) –  Shadow Wizard May 16 '12 at 17:54
@Oded yes, my thought as well. –  Shadow Wizard May 16 '12 at 17:55
@Kevin many people are too eager or "trigger happy" or whatever it's called like - I see many with 1000+ approvals and 100- rejections. Guess in this specific case the first thought "probably dead link replaced, it happens many times" and approved then the second saw one approval and followed in the first approver's lead. –  Shadow Wizard May 16 '12 at 17:58
As much as I like the image: what about replacing it with a screen capture of the example you linked to? That makes it easier for me to link to that example and this very post! –  Arjan Jun 16 '12 at 15:26
@Arjan good suggestion! Still wanted to include the picture so done some experiment - I was never really good with graphics so my attempt might be horrible; in such case feel free to roll back. :) –  Shadow Wizard Jun 16 '12 at 19:05
Your comment made me fear some animated GIF ;-) (I am actually often referring to this post as your example suggested edit was actually approved, but that indeed is not what your post is about...) –  Arjan Jun 16 '12 at 19:22
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1 Answer

I like the idea, there is a point that needs some reviewing though:

What if this happen with a hacked account (or simply left session open) that made a lot of good contributions?

The solution for this is to don't rollback all his posts automatically, e.g:

  • only rolling back posts in which he added links
  • if he had have a good history we are 99% sure he is not the real owner, therefore only revert post X months ago
  • ...

And a lot more of checks to try to reduce the possibility of removing legit contributions

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An account with a … history of usefulness will probably not be deleted. –  toscho May 16 '12 at 17:53
Good point, in such case maybe checkbox "Rollback all edits" in the ban user page. –  Shadow Wizard May 16 '12 at 17:59
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