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The Bitcoin SE site is full of spam.

I tried to ask about it on the site but they told me to ask on Meta, but I don't have enough points for that. Just look at the front page, the spam is overwhelming. They said that mods take care of the spam but look at all the spam that's there:

Some of the moderators don't visit the site for days.

FIX THE SPAM. No one deletes or closes the spam questions. They just leave it there. and my question asking to delete the spam is gone too so I should ask here.

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I believe that if a post is flagged for spam by multiple members it is automatically deleted. In addition, people probably shouldn't be editing spam posts since it makes it extra work for moderators to read them in the mod console. –  Jonathan Hobbs Jul 15 '13 at 2:38
    
@JonathanHobbs what about questions like this (bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/12112/…) that have many down votes but dont get deleted? isnt that what mods are for. –  user228226 Jul 15 '13 at 2:40
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How many people are actually flagging that for spam? Downvotes are irrelevant. –  Jonathan Hobbs Jul 15 '13 at 2:40
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I flagged all that as spam, it's all I can do as a non-mod. Sorry you're having a bad time in the network. If enough users flag them as I did, they will be automatically deleted. –  jmfsg Jul 15 '13 at 2:54
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I just joined for the sole purpose of flagging as spam; looks like at least one got nuked as a result. Also, some of those posts are days old... that's a little concerning. –  LittleBobbyTables Jul 15 '13 at 2:54
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All the spam posts are gone –  FDinoff Jul 15 '13 at 3:09
    
I find this video enlightening when it comes to dealing with spam. Monty Python - SPAM –  Old Checkmark Jul 15 '13 at 3:15
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@FDinoff one is still one the main page (bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/12181/…) –  user228226 Jul 15 '13 at 3:26
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In other news: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/12183/… –  Cole Johnson Jul 15 '13 at 5:59
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@ColeJohnson, I think we got a Spam Overflow situation. –  Old Checkmark Jul 15 '13 at 6:53
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@doubleDown throw new SE.SpamOverflowException(SE.Sites.Bitcoin, 12183); –  Cole Johnson Jul 15 '13 at 7:38
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You did well to come here and report. Many users here have more than 200 rep on at least one site so they can flag spam posts on any Stack Exchange site, and good chance you also made a wake up call to the moderators of bitcoin site, all three of them. :) –  Shadow Wizard Jul 16 '13 at 14:21
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Bitcoin.SE is actually a spam honeypot by the looks of it (Ripple marketing, etc). –  user7116 Jul 16 '13 at 19:59
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@user7116 yeah well 1 of the mods works for ripple so are you suprised? –  user228226 Jul 17 '13 at 11:22
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@BitcoinFan It was decided on Meta that Ripple is on topic, a lot of Ripple questions simply indicates an interest in Ripple. David who works for Ripple has been very professional about it, obviously he has good answers to the questions so it isn't strange that he answers them. If you have a look he has also been one of the most active users in answering Bitcoin questions. –  D.H. Jul 17 '13 at 13:02

5 Answers 5

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Undo's advice is pretty spot on. Who can handle spam on Bitcoin? The site's community! For example, that's what happened to this question.

That said, when there's a wave of spam coming in like this, it can be helpful for us (the community team) to step in and set up additional measures like URL blacklists. In this case, I blacklisted emocoe.com, so there should be no more spam coming in that mentions that domain. This won't necessarily stop someone from using URL shorteners or other ways to obfuscate the link, but it's usually a good enough roadblock to curb the abuse.

Having examined the mods' activity records, I think we should be okay for now. This looks like an isolated burst of spam. However, if the moderators aren't keeping up with the workload on the site, we can look into appointing additional moderators. After all, they're all volunteers and we can't expect them to be around 24/7.

You might also want to start a discussion on Bitcoin Meta to round up and educate more users about spam flagging and maintaining the site going forward.

Please do let us know (email team@stackexchange.com) if you keeps getting waves of spam that don't get addressed quickly enough despite the community's best efforts and we'll see what else we can do.

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I don't think the OP has the 5 reputation required to participate on their meta. –  user7116 Jul 16 '13 at 20:00
    
@user7116 Good catch. It shouldn't be too hard to get 5 reputation, though. –  Anna Lear Jul 16 '13 at 20:23
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I was going to go find something of theirs worthy of an upvote, but... They haven't done anything on BTC.SE. –  Undo Jul 16 '13 at 20:36
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I'm only recently familiar with the BitCoin site because of this thread, but I'm starting to think a fourth moderator is needed. This question has been sitting around for 6 hours, and two of the moderators haven't been on today yet to even see it. You would think there are enough users active on the site that the question would be flagged as spam enough to be deleted, but apparently not. –  LittleBobbyTables Jul 18 '13 at 17:04
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@LBT Yeah, we're in the process of appointing a fourth now. –  Anna Lear Jul 18 '13 at 17:13
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@AnnaLear - any progress on this? I'm a relative newcomer to the BitCoin site, but I'm a little concerned about the moderation there. This question has gone unanswered for multiple days, despite the fact that all moderators have been on at some point since then. Combined with the fact that I still have flags that are days-old and unattended, I get the impression there that no one cares. In fact, I'm pretty concerned with the quality of the questions in general. –  LittleBobbyTables Jul 25 '13 at 13:37
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@AnnaLear also the mods dont go on the meta site it looks like so i dont think tey would see anything i post. look at this question (meta.bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/439/…) also if you look at mod users (meta.bitcoin.stackexchange.com/users?tab=moderators) they dont visit or at least they dont respond to questions –  user228226 Jul 25 '13 at 21:49
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@BitcoinFan - Yeah, I've got flags open since mid-July, and suggested edits that just sit there for days at a time. The site is apparently a ghost town. –  LittleBobbyTables Sep 11 '13 at 13:18
    
@LBT There are two unhandled flags on Bitcoin right now, both of them from a few hours ago. All of yours have been resolved as far as I can tell. –  Anna Lear Sep 11 '13 at 14:07
    
    
@LBT Ah, the "recommend closure" flags. Mods don't see those anymore, so I keep forgetting about them. They just go into review and that does seem to be a bit backlogged. –  Anna Lear Sep 11 '13 at 14:14
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@AnnaLear - Interesting, thanks for the update! Also, good grief that is clogged, all around. For future reference, would it be better to e-mail team@stackexchange.com, ping you here, or just patiently wait for situations at Bitcoin.se? I hate to be a pest, but I find weird things to fixate on. –  LittleBobbyTables Sep 11 '13 at 14:24
    
@LBT There's not much we can do about it. It's not like if you email us, we're going to swoop in and clear the queues. :) We might help out and we generally keep an eye on this sort of thing across all sites, but it really is up to the community to sort itself out. Posting a discussion on the Bitcoin Meta site would be a good starting point to try and rally the community together. –  Anna Lear Sep 12 '13 at 18:40
    
@AnnaLear Do you have any suggestions for alerting the community to meta posts? I joined the bitcoin site when a few of my answers were migrated there, and even coming from another beta site, the meta on bitcoin seems deserted. I've even flagged questions for moderator attention, hoping to notify someone about them, but most of the recent discussions, including LBT's post about the backlog of the review queue, seem to be LBT, another user, and myself alone. –  John Bensin Sep 16 '13 at 3:26

The site moderators are the ones to take care of this, but a post will also be removed if 6 members of the community flag it as spam.

If you believe that the moderators for your site aren't doing their job, you can contact the Stack Exchange team at team@stackexchange.com.

They're nice, I promise. They don't bite too hard.

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is noone flagging it for spam then? when i see a mod (bitcoin.stackexchange.com/users/22/david-perry) who hasnt been seen in 2 days (says his profile) but hes been on stack overflow a couple of hours ago (stackoverflow.com/users/429040/david-perry) i dont think they care. –  user228226 Jul 15 '13 at 2:42
    
@BitcoinFan In general, the community rights itself from these errors. Give the moderators some time, they might be new to the job or taking a vacation. If all else fails, ask the community team for help. –  Undo Jul 15 '13 at 2:43
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if a mods on vacation and cannt visit the bitcoin site why can they be on stack overflow and not the bitcoin site? –  user228226 Jul 15 '13 at 2:47
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@BitcoinFan I'm just proposing a theory. You should talk to the SE team if you are worried about it. –  Undo Jul 15 '13 at 2:49
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If the same 5 people who cast close votes instead flagged the questions as spam, all it takes is one more spam flag. The spammers are annoying, but in theory, this should be able to be managed by users until mods can/need to intervene. –  LittleBobbyTables Jul 15 '13 at 3:04
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@BitcoinFan it could always be that a mod is accessing stack overflow for work and has a heavy workload preventing from checking in on bitcoin. –  Joe W Jul 16 '13 at 18:38

I'm one of the moderators on the Bitcoin site. Lately it seems that all of us have been busy with other stuff so I will raise the question with the other moderators and the StackExchange team about adding additional moderators. Don't be too hard on us, we're all just doing this on our spare time and sometimes life gets in the way. :)

That said, it would also be great if we could get more community involvement on the site, all ideas on how to increase voting, editing etc. are welcome!

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can you go on the meta site and answer some questions there? –  user228226 Jul 26 '13 at 2:24

You can help with spam too, through the review queue. It's an easy way to spot spam. You'll need a certain level of reputation to use it, however. As of this update, the threshold is now 350 reputation on beta sites for the sections I'll talk about here. The queue provides a quick way for you to examine first posts by new users, late answers to old questions, etc. Most spam posts fall into one or both of these categories (although the reverse isn't true). Once you have 15 reputation, you can immediately flag posts as spam right from the review queue, thus contributing to the six flags that will result in automatic deletion.

If you're a low-rep user (like me), the review queue is an easy way to contribute to the overall health of the site. If you build up enough rep through questions, answers, edits, etc. there's certainly room for you to help.

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I think it's only 125 rep currently, too. –  Undo Jul 16 '13 at 4:00
    
@Undo Thanks for the correction; I wasn't sure. On a related note, it's a bit unclear where to find this information because just looking at the privileges page, I don't see it mentioned. Once I click through each link (or have someone tell me that it's 125), it's easy to spot, but not before that, unless I'm missing another page. –  John Bensin Jul 16 '13 at 4:04
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@Undo I updated my answer because the threshold is now 350 on beta sites. –  John Bensin Jul 26 '13 at 15:53

One alternative, similar to the thread here in Meta for reporting copycat SO sites, is to actively engage the community by creating a new Question in Bitcoin Meta titled something like "Help Flag the Spam Posts (Ongoing)".

Have the text of the question start with:

This StackExchange site is not patrolled enough to properly control the spam-based questions. This question exists as a perpetual dumping ground for spam-like questions.

  • Edit this question to list links to questions that need to be flagged for spam.
  • Click into any questions here and flag them for spam if you see fit to do so.
  • Edit this question to remove any links that have been removed due to being flagged as spam.

Current List of Spam Questions:

{list}

Note: This is a request for moderators to set this question to community wiki

You'll need to update the new meta question with links to spam questions and keep the meta question maintained. Flag the question for moderation and explicitly request the question be set to community wiki, and remove the "Note:" sentence once it is applied. As a community wiki meta question, maintenance of the meta question is opened up to the rest of your Bitcoin community as well.

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Much better to get people to flag rather than edit a random CW question, it only takes 6 users. This would just be another step/dumping ground and mean users won't flag. –  hayd Jul 16 '13 at 22:40
    
i.stack.imgur.com/Bj3aP.gif –  JoshDM Jul 16 '13 at 22:41
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I'm not sure this is a good idea. As hayd mentions, it's likely to be a way for people to avoid flagging. Meta sites on SE 2.0 also don't have that much traffic, so this would possibly have zero effect despite the effort spent to set up and maintain the list. –  Anna Lear Jul 16 '13 at 22:43
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I don't understand how it's a way to avoid flagging if the intent is to get the list of questions in front of those who are capable of flagging in order TO flag them. –  JoshDM Jul 16 '13 at 23:26
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I think the issue is that the flags are not handled in a timely fashion (via closing/deleting the spam posts); there is probably no lack of flags, after all anyone with >15 rep can flag a post. If one person sees a post that should be flagged, he'd probably flag it, and chances are he's not the only who does so, so there isn't really a need for such a wiki to tell 50 more users to flag it. 1 flag is all that is needed to get attention (I think), from thereon the close-voters/moderators take over. And it seems like BitCoin is/was having some trouble with this last part. –  Old Checkmark Jul 22 '13 at 20:16

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