NFL season is about to be back in full swing and I've seen two posts regarding NFL games and what is the best way to stream, blah - blah - blah, providing a link to said magic website! It is clear that these folks have no intention of using SO for it's purpose and are using it for an advertising platform. The last one was tagged PHP, the title: "Some Team vs. Some Other Team" without a hint of anything to do with PHP or anything close to germane to the site.

The community acts fast on shutting the questions down, but the users who are clearly and purposefully violating the standards of the site keep their profiles; why? Is there not any additional action that can be taken aside from removing their question. I realize that it's not that hard to establish a new user account and continue as usual, but it would be nice to force them to waste their time for wasting ours.

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    Flag their posts for moderator attention. If they do it often enough they will get booted, at least for a while.
    – Bart
    Aug 9, 2012 at 9:04
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    @Bart: Good to know, now all I have to do is be fast enough to flag it before it's removed:).+1 if I could!( -Oh, I just earned that right! Aug 9, 2012 at 9:11
  • I have seen someone doing stuff like this in "English language and usage". Moderator banned his profile! That dude was so persistent and pestered repeatedly by creating new profile. The ban extended to one year for both his accounts. :P Later,he apologized :) Aug 9, 2012 at 9:13
  • @BhuvanRikka: That's what I'm talking about! Aug 9, 2012 at 9:14
  • we can't do anything about it. They keep on coming with new profiles. And they'll be banned eventually. At one point,they realize that time taken to create new profile > time taken to block it At that point they'll stop doing this Aug 9, 2012 at 9:19
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    In stead of banning them could we make their questions visible to them only? Takes a bit longer before they notice it. Aug 9, 2012 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


Like someone said in comments: flag for moderator attention.

Moderators have the means to get rid of such users. Permanently.
Some even play a mean game of Frankenstein with them (which helps identifying new accounts, also). In the worst cases, there are also other things that can be done by the SE team, to prevent particularly insisting ones.

But again, from the user point of view, all what you have to do is to flag it.

  • That's pretty slick! Aug 9, 2012 at 9:34
  • If you flag before the post gets auto deleted by the community spam flags any pending flags will automatically get dismissed as helpful upon deletion.
    – Flexo
    Aug 9, 2012 at 9:54
  • @Flexo - even with the specific "other reason"? There wasn't this concept of "helpful" earlier, so I never had such issue. But if it does, then it's a problem, in my opinion. You lose valuable information to identify spammers, if answers are just deleted, and moderators lose track of it.
    – Gnoupi
    Aug 9, 2012 at 10:01
  • @Gnoupi I'm almost certain that even custom flags are auto validated on deletion (even self-deletion).
    – Flexo
    Aug 9, 2012 at 10:36
  • Well, to be clear, we can't get rid of the user, we can get rid of the account. We've been known to have users that are really determined for a short period of time which continuously make accounts. But yes, we have the tools.
    – casperOne
    Aug 9, 2012 at 11:42
  • @casperOne - We can't? On SuperUser, that's what we called going the extra mile with moderation. Oops.
    – Gnoupi
    Aug 9, 2012 at 12:52
  • @Gnoupi That's what I call my M-F
    – casperOne
    Aug 9, 2012 at 13:00

the users who are clearly and purposefully violating the standards of the site keep their profiles; why?

Simply put, there's no real reason to. 99% of such accounts are hit and run. They come with their disposable emails, post spam & run away - ergo, there's no real reason to put them away.

If the same user continues with the spam, then the profile's likely to be destroyed - but generally the post gets deleted(often by Community, marked as spam flag).

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