eg: All morning on the PHP tag there have been so many questions by brand new 1-rep users that are just so completely off-base that I feel like someone is trying to troll SO. I know that the PHP tag is usually a bag of cats, but it's just so much worse today for some reason.

Are there any alarm bells that start ringing at StackExchange headquarters when a large number of closed questions are originating from a given IP?

  • 3
    Flag their contributions if they are somehow inappropriate. And vote accordingly. If many of such questions get closed, the accounts will automatically be banned at some point. – Bart Aug 20 '13 at 18:22
  • But, like I said, it's always a different 1-rep account. Is there anything that aggregates information per-IP rather than per-account? Do the mods see this? – Sammitch Aug 20 '13 at 18:33
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    stackoverflow.com/questions/18342470/… <- this guy? – Mat Aug 20 '13 at 18:34
  • In that case a custom flag might be in order. Use the "Other" option and explain what it is you're seeing. – Bart Aug 20 '13 at 18:34
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    We've been dealing with this guy for a while. Also, it would be incorrect to assume they remain at the same IP. – Brad Larson Aug 20 '13 at 18:35
  • @Mat that's one of them. – Sammitch Aug 20 '13 at 18:36
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    @BradLarson do you guys have any meatspace-level bans you could apply? Could I apply them? :D – Sammitch Aug 20 '13 at 18:37
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    @Sammitch - In all seriousness, I think the guy needs attention from a mental health professional. We're not the only online community he's interacted with in this manner. – Brad Larson Aug 20 '13 at 18:46
  • @BradLarson So we should try to get him to contribute to Cognitive Sciences instead? – Servy Aug 20 '13 at 18:53
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    @BradLarson: spreading to Ask Ubuntu (askubuntu.com/questions/335054/…), are the mods over there aware of this guy? – Mat Aug 20 '13 at 18:53
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    Seems like he's revealing the secret behind his auto-troll comment reply stackoverflow.com/questions/18343042/… – StephenTG Aug 20 '13 at 19:05
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    @StephenTG, ack. I'd like those that call out the increasing quality of his questions (that'd be me :(), to note that he's using the answers he gets to attack SE. – Michael Petrotta Aug 20 '13 at 19:16
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    @StephenTG: my flag's still active, but I'm not sure I'd believe me if I were a mod over there - I have no 'buntu street cred :-) Plus it actually got an upvote, and that comment scared a dup-close-vote away :-( – Mat Aug 20 '13 at 19:32
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    @StephenTG: there should be a link in your profile to your flag summary. Unless you've never had a "helpful" flag there yet - then try askubuntu.com/users/flag-summary/180397 <- replace the number with your userid over there. – Mat Aug 20 '13 at 19:35
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    @MichaelPetrotta - You RUSSIAN SPY: stackoverflow.com/questions/18366126/… – Brad Larson Aug 21 '13 at 20:25

The moderators, assisted by the community.

Community members can downvote. -4 gets a question off the front page. Large numbers of downvoted questions from the same user account get noticed.

Community members can flag. If it's spam or offensive choose that; enough flags will auto-delete. If it's not spam or offensive but still inappropriate, choose an appropriate flag reason.

Community members with enough rep can vote to close.

Finally, moderators can take further action, but don't just wait for a mod to notice and act. We're all in this together.


Who handles the trolls?

The moderators. Regular users generally don't have the tools to deal with it.

If you suspect a problem requiring moderator attention you can flag posts using the "other" reason to state the problem that they should look into.

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    "Offensive" flags can be pretty darn effective. – Shog9 Aug 20 '13 at 18:40
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    Yeah, if you recognize this guy, cast an offensive flag. Offensive flags get put to the top of the moderator queue. Don't abuse this! – user102937 Aug 20 '13 at 18:43
  • @Shog9 Spamming SO with low quality questions that are just odd and completely offtopic doesn't sound like something that qualifies as "offensive" though... – Servy Aug 20 '13 at 18:44
  • Well, some of these posts definitely cross that line, @Servy. If it's a reasonable question, then that'd be inappropriate... But then, folks wouldn't be quite so upset about it then either. – Shog9 Aug 20 '13 at 18:47
  • Nothing straight up offensive, just annoying. There was one question where he posted some terribly-formatted pseudo-code and kept rolling back all the edits to format it readably. – Sammitch Aug 20 '13 at 18:50
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    I'm offended by massive trolling and ban evasion; sounds good to me. – Wooble Aug 20 '13 at 18:58

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