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Recently I noticed a couple answers like this one: SELECT LAST_INSERT_ID() *updated
all bearing same features:

  • old question
  • pointless answer, just duplicating ones already given several years ago.
  • it's the only answer from the account
  • a website mentioned in the user's profile.

I am just curious is it some sort of spam or indeed pointless answer from some unsophisticated person?

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8  
Looking at the link, it looks like a very incompetent attempt at spamming. Could be a real person, too, though. –  Pëkka Apr 15 '11 at 12:05
3  
While editing that answer, I considered this very thing. My general rule is to wait until a person has posted at least two or more similar answers before flagging it as spam. I'm curious what the community thinks. –  Cody Gray Apr 15 '11 at 12:38
6  
I'm now struggling with the question of how competent a spam attempt has to be before it even qualifies as spam and is deletable. –  Bill the Lizard Apr 15 '11 at 13:12
    
it is a form of spam: search term: [forum profile backlink spam] but it doesn't necessarily lead to spam posts - it just mainly creates users with one post (1 post needed so SE's follow user link to their profile) - the way to reduce is to only allow a profile link after a certain amount of rep (not foolproof but takes more effort on the backlink builders behalf) or nofollow them (not popular) –  clairesuzy Apr 18 '11 at 4:23
    
Maybe related: Usernames as Advertising or Spam? –  Time Traveling Bobby Apr 18 '11 at 12:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Edit: Owner or Moderators deleted his domain link on his profile now. (his old profile screen shot here)


I guess, it is kind of indirectional spamming.

He just want his domain known by the world a little bit better, since he didn't achieve selling the domain at Auction that ended today.

https://flippa.com/127050-LIVETRADINGS-COM-Trade-related-Domain-name

enter image description here

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4  
Hey, nice research! –  Pëkka Apr 15 '11 at 12:22
2  
But, he didn't post a link to that domain name anywhere. I'd have flagged the question as spam without hesitation if I'd noticed that. This appears to be just a dumb user. –  Cody Gray Apr 15 '11 at 12:47
2  
@Cody, Or he is smart enough to know that it would be spam if he post the link in the answer. –  YOU Apr 15 '11 at 12:48
    
Perhaps, but who wins in the end? He just got you to post a link with a bunch of images... ;-) –  Cody Gray Apr 15 '11 at 12:48
1  
@Cody, may be he still wins. I guess at least 10 persons browse his web page, and his domain might gets ranking higher a little bit more :D –  YOU Apr 15 '11 at 12:50
1  
It's possible that he's intending to ninja-spam-edit the URL in after a while. We've had to delete a number of year-and-a-half-old accounts that only recently started to spam. –  mmyers Apr 15 '11 at 14:57
    
Hmmm, @mmyers, as true as it may be for the above question: I assume you were sure the other accounts were not somehow compromised? (For example, many OpenID providers will provide some usage history; once an OpenID account is compromised, it's easy to find the sites it can be used on.) –  Arjan Apr 16 '11 at 6:28
2  
@Arjan: While I can't say outright that they weren't compromised, the usage patterns indicated that they were never real accounts. –  mmyers Apr 16 '11 at 6:33

If this is a spammer, it's the worst I've ever seen. Judging from the one answer which is left on his account, this looks more like someone who's trying to get some reputation by reviving old questions which he might be able to answer (and maybe duplicating other answers on purpose).

The site in his profile has Google Ads on it, but as long as he doesn't spam the link in his answers or questions I don't see anything which could identify him as a spammer.

Downvote, move on, nothing to see here.

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6  
Well, every spammer had to start somewhere! –  Pëkka Apr 15 '11 at 12:20
    
@Pekka'sothertrollingaccount: How many trolling accounts do you have?? –  Won't Apr 15 '11 at 14:56
    
@Will Just the two. I thought about having another, the backup trolling account, but that would have been silly. –  Pëkka Apr 15 '11 at 16:13
    
@Pekka'sothertrollingaccount: Does one troll the other? –  Won't Apr 15 '11 at 16:32
    
@Will occasionally! But their main mission is to wreak havoc on all of Meta. –  Pëkka Apr 15 '11 at 16:34
    
@Won't Pekka just changes his username, so he actually only has one [high-rep] account. (I figured this out last year after I'd asked him the same thing.) –  muntoo Jan 3 '12 at 6:27

According to the "flag definition", spam is "... effectively an advertisement with no disclosure. It is not useful or relevant, but promotional."

The answer has no advertisement content that I recognize as such, and does not appear promotional in any way. It may or may not be useful, but it does seem relevant.

It may be spam in the colloquial "crap I shouldn't be bothered with" sense, but not in the "flag it as spam" sense.

As far as I can tell, the only reason to flag it is as a duplicate or because it's a crappy answer to an old question.

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4  
erm, you can't flag an answer as a duplicate, can you? And the advertisement content supposedly is the website in the user profile, as elaborated in the OP. –  Hendrik Vogt Apr 16 '11 at 6:32
    
@Hendrik Vogt: You can, kind of...it's called down voting and commenting. ;) –  Time Traveling Bobby Apr 18 '11 at 12:34

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