Someone seems to be playing with the Stackexchange Hot Question algorithm:


This question seems to be the coordinated work of about a dozen entirely new users (created today) to post a "question" that gets a high "hotness" score.

I don't know any Chinese and Google Translate is imperfect, but it seems to be entirely content-free (having only meta-content) and should only exist on their meta site (if there is a reason for it to exist at all).

The fact that all participating users seem to be entirely new and are up-voting is rather strange as well (and borders on cheating, in my book).

  • meta.chinese.stackexchange.com
    – Doorknob
    Jun 25, 2013 at 13:36
  • 1
    I was going to downvote for being in Chinese, but then I took a look at the site title. Jun 25, 2013 at 13:37
  • I thought there was a filter that removed mostly non-english titles from the hot questions list? Jun 25, 2013 at 13:37
  • 5
    Since it's currently #1 on the hot questions list I think this doesn't just concern meta.chinese.stackexchange.com. Jun 25, 2013 at 13:37
  • oh... I just saw this :O
    – Doorknob
    Jun 25, 2013 at 13:38
  • 1
    I would reject the Google translation as an obvious audit in the suggestion queue. Jun 25, 2013 at 13:39
  • 2
    The Chinese on that question does not seem like it's written by a native speaker, AFAICT. It's understandable, but weird. Maybe someone used Google translate.
    – zw324
    Jun 25, 2013 at 13:39
  • 1
    Too bad downvotes require at least 125 rep, and the association bonus is only 100 Jun 25, 2013 at 13:40
  • 7
    Sock puppet ring, it's one evil troll against all the might of Stack Exchange. Will be dealt with soon enough. Jun 25, 2013 at 13:40
  • 6
    This is probably sock puppets again.
    – Alvin Wong
    Jun 25, 2013 at 13:40
  • Google Translate: "Should be clear that the resources will not be written by one user or only by the multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, but by whoever wants to contribute." ... wat
    – user200500
    Jun 25, 2013 at 13:42
  • 2
    It looks like the job worthy of Flack Overstow. Perhaps it was created by this? Jun 25, 2013 at 13:44
  • 1
    I just noticed that Sparn Tesa and user2915 also has an account over at Christianity... wouldn't be surprised if that's the next target. Jun 25, 2013 at 13:51
  • 3
    @LBT Actually, no, that was the previous target. The mods and community team are aware of this situation. Please spam flag that post on Chinese. Jun 25, 2013 at 13:52
  • 2
    @JoachimSauer there are more to nuke there. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Jun 25, 2013 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


This is from a known individual that has been trying (without luck) to cause disruptions all over the network. We're aware of it, tracking it and working with the moderators all over the network to mitigate it.

There's always the person playing chess in the park that decides it's more fun to throw the pieces around instead. This is .. well, that sort of situation. Unfortunate, but much more of a waste of their time than our own.

And it was a full moon last night. Pretty sure that has something to do with it.

  • 1
    I would say he succeeded to cause disruption, even if just for couple of hours. Anyway, why not nuke all 12 accounts he created? Jun 25, 2013 at 15:01
  • @ShaWizDowArd It really only takes a few clicks to get rid of them, and I check every hour or two to see (unless pinged in the interim) and now that folks know what's up - it's really not that disruptive, no? :)
    – Tim Post
    Jun 25, 2013 at 15:12
  • 5
    It is proven that the weirdest behavior happens in the two weeks prior to and the two weeks following a full moon.
    – ale
    Jun 25, 2013 at 15:19
  • 5
    Random thought: Why is it that when an individual wants to create problems for Stack Exchange, it takes multiple people on our side to mitigate it? It seems backwards, and yet, this is what happens most of the time. Something's not right here.
    – casperOne
    Jun 25, 2013 at 15:19
  • 2
    @casperOne only takes one guy to commit a crime, but dozens to bring him to justice
    – wax eagle
    Jun 25, 2013 at 15:48
  • @casperOne isn't that how the world works? All systems involving people go on the assumption that most individuals are too scared of justice to do anything untoward. Jun 25, 2013 at 17:00
  • @casperOne - As a counterpoint, in a few minutes I can destroy a network of spammers by myself. On the balance, bad actors seem to waste more of their time than ours. Think of how much effort this guy has put into his vendetta. Jun 25, 2013 at 17:19
  • 1
    "fool moon" at collider seem to happen every month or two, this one is just a tad "fooler" than usual "hundred year floods". And easier to get rid of...
    – gnat
    Jun 25, 2013 at 20:49
  • @casperOne I'm working on it - yeah, it's backwards quite often.
    – Tim Post
    Jun 25, 2013 at 22:52

It's been deleted now from spam flags. The same trick had been pulled on Christianity (where, since it was in English, it was obvious crap).

If you notice this happening elsewhere, please ping a mod or a community team member and try to get rid of it.

With any luck there'll be an official answer on this soon.

  • 2
    We were able to delete the question with spam flags. Just out of morbid curiosity, what's to stop the spam ring from going malicious and doing the same thing (i.e. deleting random questions with spam flags)? <shudder> Jun 25, 2013 at 14:25
  • @LBT You're actually quite close to reality here. Fortunately, mods can reverse all that. Just that it's better to get rid of them before they pull a trick like that. Jun 25, 2013 at 14:33
  • What about the 12 accounts? Why letting them all live?? Jun 25, 2013 at 14:51
  • 2
    @ShaWizDowArd because none of us have the power to destroy them. No chinese mods online, and no comm team at the moment. Otherwise the whole thing would have been cleared up in a snap. Jun 25, 2013 at 14:52
  • Weird, I alerted Tim Post (who has Godhood powers :)) he commented back "Terrafirminated" and deleted both comments, and it appears nothing was done. :( Jun 25, 2013 at 14:53
  • @ShaWizDowArd Huh. I can't catch him in TL. Jun 25, 2013 at 14:56
  • Well, he's active here on Meta now hopefully he meant "I will check this out and deal with the evil troll" in the comment and will come here to update soon. Jun 25, 2013 at 14:58

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