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There is a particular Stack Overflow user who prefers to be spoon-fed rather than to connect the dots himself. No problem, I've put him on my blacklist and won't answer his questions any more. The problem is, I did a minor edit to one of his questions - which now allows him to ping me with comments (I saw that he tried the same thing on a different question but there it didn't work). He will regularly remove his comments on this question and create several new ones, all addressed to me. Which means that I look at my inbox only to find trash in there, rather annoying. What can I do about this?

  1. Nothing, he will eventually stop - been doing that for more than a week now, doesn't seem to work.
  2. Just answer his question - definitely not, I don't want to reward this kind of behavior. Besides, he got all the answers in his previous questions already but he wants us to connect the dots for him.
  3. Comment and ask him to stop - with this kind of hyperactive behavior it might instead encourage him to write more comments addressed to me.
  4. Just revert that stupid edit - unfortunately, this doesn't seem possible. Deleting an answer or comment is easy, getting rid of an edit isn't.

Did I miss anything?

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I'd flag one of their comments for moderator attention, explaining your issue to moderator –  gnat May 18 '12 at 7:36
Right, forgot to mention that - the typical reasons to flag comments don't apply here. But I guess that "other" will still work. –  Wladimir Palant May 18 '12 at 7:46
Juding by his rather needy whiny comments, 3 certainly isn't an answer. One more edit and the question would be pushed into community wiki, as well. –  tombull89 May 18 '12 at 7:46
This is what's wrong with being able to notify editors with @ replies... This is why we can't have nice things, because people will abuse them. –  Cody Gray May 18 '12 at 7:50
Wladimir, just use "Other" kind flag for reasons that are not tyoical - I added a screen shot how one can do that to Manishearth's answer –  gnat May 18 '12 at 7:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

You forgot option 5:

Flag the comment!

Flagging is the go-to option in cases like these. When something bad is happening – but the system doesn't let you handle it – flag it. Our mods have unicorn powers and can deal with it. Usually. They can delete the comments, send him a mod message (warning of suspension), etc. Use the "other" option in the flag and rant away.

Coming to meta is another good option in cases where you don't know what to do. You also get the whole meta force helping you with comments (and flagging the stuff to oblivion--see below). Sit back and relax while we nag him for a change ;-) Also, the mods hang out here, so they can help directly.

enter image description here

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@Mat: Hmm, yeah.. edits –  Manishearth May 18 '12 at 7:39
Thank you, I flagged his comment now. –  Wladimir Palant May 18 '12 at 7:42
@WladimirPalant: So did I ;-) –  Manishearth May 18 '12 at 7:42
@WladimirPalant: So did I –  abubacker May 18 '12 at 7:44
@WladimirPalant So did I ;-) –  Lucifer May 18 '12 at 7:46
STOP SPAMMING Wladimir :) –  Mat May 18 '12 at 7:47
Hey everyone, let's start spamming @Mat! ;P –  Yannis May 18 '12 at 7:49
@Mat: You asked for it! –  Manishearth May 18 '12 at 7:50
@gnat: A JPEG? A JPEG? A JPEG??? That's the most blurry, pixellated screenshot I've ever seen. –  Cody Gray May 18 '12 at 7:57
@gnat a JPEG? Please! –  Manishearth May 18 '12 at 7:59
@TheEstablishment Let me replace it with a screenshot taken with the camera of my mobile phone. Give me a sec though. I need to find a red marker for the freehand circles... –  Bart May 18 '12 at 8:00
@TheEstablishment camera of my mobile phone used for that screen shot does only jpegs –  gnat May 18 '12 at 8:20
the most disturbing thing to come out of this is- who tells someone to stop nagging on the internet? I think it's hilarious.. –  user223277 Aug 6 '13 at 13:18
Does the 4 remaining in the screenshot mean that 4 more flags have to be thrown before a moderator will take a look at the abusive comment(s)? –  crush Sep 27 '13 at 12:38
@crush Nope. However note that some number of flags (3 I think) on the same comment lead to instadeletion. Also, on StackOverflow, mods spend less time with comment flags because the main flag queue is full of more pressing things. One trick is to report the offensive comment in some chatroom and ask for flags; that gets it deleted pretty quickly. –  Manishearth Sep 27 '13 at 14:32

Flag the question for moderator attention. Explain in detail what's going on. This is something of an odd situation, so you'll want to make sure the moderator responding has enough information.

You could also flag individual comments, as Tim ManishEarth suggests... However, moderators don't see the identity of the person flagging when it comes to comment flags, so this could end up making their jobs harder (and thus reducing the chances that you'll actually get the help you need).

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Hmm, good point about mods not seeing the flagger on comments. I didn't know that :/. +1 for correctly linking my username, sans "Tim" ;-) –  Manishearth May 18 '12 at 7:52

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