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Today, stackoverflow.com seems to be suffering a small plague of foul-mouthed kiddies. They show up and post one or more profane answers.

When I see one of these, my current reflex is to:

  1. Edit to remove all the content and replace with something like [offensive content removed].
  2. flag for moderator attention.

I don't see why these should wait for an amusement park, and the rep charge won't have any effect on these one-point wonders.

Anyone find this objectionable?

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so.com sure is full of offensive things! –  Earlz May 6 '10 at 0:32
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That's reasonable. –  dmckee May 6 '10 at 0:35
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I for one should probably be grateful to those kiddies. Yesterday they helped me to get Yakety Stacks hat at Programmers, which is typically very poor on flaggable content for guys with 3K+ rep (who vote for closing instead of flagging). 3 or maybe 4 offensive flags were of a great help in getting hat requirement completed –  gnat Dec 20 '12 at 11:44

4 Answers 4

I usually flag as spam/offensive (depending on the content), since enough flags will get it auto-deleted. Depending on the time of day, it's likely to be faster than flagging for a mod.

I've definitely got no problem with people editing out the offensive content - very unlikely the perpetrators will ever come back to revert the edit, so it helps to keep the site clean if the mods aren't around and/or people aren't flagging.

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The only think that will get accounts deleted and IP's blocked is mod attention. So that seems called for in these egregious examples. I'm not talking Col Shrapnel here. –  Rosinante May 6 '10 at 0:41
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@bmargulies: I've been led to believe that users who get repeatedly flagged (spam/offensive) actually do end up getting suspended. But like I said, these posts are likely hit-and-runs, the users probably don't even stick around long enough to see that their account was suspended. IMO it's better to just get their post deleted ASAP. –  Aarobot May 6 '10 at 0:43

It's definitely the job of those who edit, to edit out the foul-mouthed stuff.

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The only problem with removing the offensive content (even with an edit to indicate that there was offensive content) is that future viewers don't see it and therefore are less likely to flag the post. This means it might take longer to get removed.

On smaller sites it's more likely that a moderator will see the flag and remove the post sooner rather than later, but on Stack Overflow it could stick around longer.

The solution I use is to flag and when the post hits a negative score vote to delete (though you do need 20k+ for that).

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EDIT
Seems this was a larger problem than I had actually seen on SO in the years I've been using it.


Could this be a side-effect of Winterbash? If there is a reward for flagging offensive / inappropriate items then there is definitely the chance that users will re-register with a different username to post this trash, just so they can flag it. Is there a way to check up on this and suspend any offenders?

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There's plenty of junk on Stack Overflow to flag, there's no need to go through the process of creating an account and post trash. Note that the question was posted a lon time ago ;) –  Rob W Dec 20 '12 at 14:18
    
I really doubt this is the case. Simply clicking through a few questions can usually yield something flag worthy (depending on the tag), which is much easier than using a second account to create a disruption to report. Additionally, this question was asked in 2010, there was no such thing as winter bash :P –  Tim Post Dec 20 '12 at 14:20
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That seems a bit too much effort just to get a "hat" on a site you've never posted on before. Besides, this was a problem back in May 2010, so Winter Bash can't be the root of the problem. –  Asad Dec 20 '12 at 14:22
    
Fair enough - it was just a thought, but if it existed outside the Winter Bash period, then it is obviously a bigger problem than I've seen on SO - I can't recall ever seeing more than one or two instances where this applied. Perhaps I've just been lucky? :) –  ZombieSheep Dec 20 '12 at 14:24

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