Sometimes a site gets attacked by spammers/spambots. In such a case, the current procedure for moderators is:
- Request a blacklist from the community team. This is basically a regex that is tested against the post; if there is a match the post is not allowed through.
- Keep destroying posts and accounts while waiting for the community team to reply (This affects mods living in The East more, as there is only ~one community team member around)
This is rather inefficient, as moderators have to keep a constant watch on the site and pick of spam. A few weeks ago, Physics (and AU) were being hit by a certain spammer, and I had to keep picking off spam posts from the main page.
Blacklisting is a RIGHT NOW feature -- it is most effective when applied immediately.
After a few hours of waiting, the moderator has probably spent a significant amount of time (which can be better spent doing other things) watching for more spam and killing it. Besides, there's a chance that the spammer may get tired of it too (doesn't always happen, but there's a good chance it will).
With this in mind, I propose the following: Allow mods to set temporary blacklists (which expire in a capped number of hours -- IMO 24 hours is enough). These blacklists can be reviewed by the community team and extended/removed if necessary.
I understand that blacklisting is a feature that is prone to misuse and if not used carefully can lead to many false positives. With this in mind, further restrictions can be imposed:
- Require two moderators to initiate this, similar to the current system for adding custom OT reasons.
- Allow the blacklist entry only if it matches N recently deleted posts1.
1. Original idea credit @ChrisF: "It ought to be that if N users get destroyed or M posts get flagged as spam then any urls in the posts are automatically added to the blacklist or at least sent to the team for review."