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The easiest way to deal with a spammer is to just destroy the account, removing all spam posts with them. This works well in most cases, but it also makes it impossible for moderators to track patterns in recent spam.

In cases of particularly stubborn and predictable spammers, the moderators ask SE for additional measures to block them. To do that they need to collect some information about those spammers, and not just destroy them on sight. One workaround was merging the spam accounts into a suspended user, which then contains all the information needed. This is no longer possible, as moderators cannot merge users anymore.

Such workaround should also not be necessary, as all the information needed is available to SE. What would be useful is a mod-only page listing recent spam posts (= sucessfully deleted by spam flags) and the IP addresses they were posted from. It should be possible to group by URLs contained in the post and by IP addresses. The moderators could then ask SE to specifically block persistent spammers that are visible on that page.

share|improve this question
Though this may be useful, I's also not simple. Just because an IP is used for spam at one point may not mean we can readily block it. It could be a VPN endpoint, a proxy, it's not a 1:1 as it would seem, or we'd have almost automated this. IP bans aren't to be taken lightly, and in a decent portion of the cases it happens for spam it happens on multiple sites in the network, so a single site view wouldn't really suffice there either. – Nick Craver Feb 19 '13 at 12:45
@NickCraver: Most of us know the dangers of IP banning :) However, having a good way to keep track of spam IPs (maybe a "preserve data" option for the 'destroy account'?) such that it shows up in xrefs/etc is not an IP ban, just way to make life easy. – Manishearth Feb 19 '13 at 12:50
@NickCraver I would not automate it, I just want to avoid that mods keep spam accounts alive to collect this information before asking someone from SE to consider blacklisting an URL or blocking an IP. A global network view would be nice, but it would be problematic to expose this to mods. – Mad Scientist Feb 19 '13 at 12:50

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