There have been few users spamming today with same augmented reality questions,

  1. How to Make augmented reality App for Ring Wearing On finger in ios?
  2. Augmented reality App for Ring Wearing On finger in iPhone
  3. How to Make Augmented Reality Apps in iphone?

Questions 1,2,3 have already been voted as too-broad and off-topic. I am sure the remaining one will also get voted. My questions is whether a more stern action is required to get the message clear, like blocking IP? How is in general this kind of nuisance handled?

  • 1
    You linked one question twice. And these are all different users, not the same one. You can flag one of these for moderator attention, linking to the others.
    – Oded
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:43
  • Oh sorry about that! How do I mark a user for moderators attention?
    – Amar
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:44
  • @Amar: Using the flag link beneath any of their posts.
    – Ry-
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:45
  • @minitech Okay, let me try that.
    – Amar
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:46
  • Don't try it on just any post - try to find a bad one.
    – Undo
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:47
  • @Oded In what cases, blocking an IP is considered?
    – Amar
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:47
  • @Undo Heheh .. With great power comes great responsibility, I know that!
    – Amar
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:48
  • why do you call this spam? Do you think they just want people to watch the video and then buy the app? Sep 6, 2013 at 13:48
  • 3
    Extreme cases. Actual, repeated spam from the same IP for example (these here are borderline, as they don't seem to try and sell anything). We don't like IP blocks as they can catch innocent users.
    – Oded
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:49
  • @KateGregory Isn't creating multiple of same low quality questions.. a spam, just asking?
    – Amar
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:50
  • 2
    "Spam - Send the same message indiscriminately to (large numbers of recipients) on the Internet."
    – Oded
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:53
  • @Oded Yes and as you said, this is border line, as they are not trying to sell anything.
    – Amar
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:54
  • @Oded Thanks for the clarification.
    – Amar
    Sep 6, 2013 at 13:58
  • 5
    @Amar on the wider internet "spam" is occasionally used to describe repeated content, but on SO it's reserved for those trying to sell purses, streaming nfl games, etc. Three questions on the same newish piece of tech could easily be 3 people who thought "oooh, how can I do that?" and don't know how to ask a good question here Sep 6, 2013 at 14:00
  • 2
    urgh to blocking IPs. they're often shared, so block one and you potentially block some/most of/an entire college, university, shared houses, big businesses, bigger businesses, proxies (genuine ones), ISP re-leasing the DHCP IP to someone else (bit rarer, however)... block users by name, email, etc. they'll soon get sick of creating new email accounts and names to register and post spam that gets removed in a few mins anyway
    – James
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


These posts are off-topic, poorly-defined questions, but they do appear to be genuine requests for help, made without any agenda (e.g., promoting a blog or product).

Such questions should definitely be:

  • downvoted (they certainly show no research effort)
  • closed (perhaps as "too broad" or "unclear what you're asking")
  • deleted (they'll likely provide no lasting value)

But "spam" flagging suggests a bad-faith effort to use SE sites as platform for link-spamming, obvious trolling, or complete gibberish.

Note that even if the questions aren't spam, repeated low-quality questions will eventually merit an automatic question ban, so if the user insists on posting more poor questions, they will soon be blocked.

  • 3
    They're creating multiple accounts to post the same badly formatted nonsense question. It's trollish behavior at best.
    – Wooble
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:28
  • @apsillers Wish I could +1 again for your edit. That link was really helpful.
    – Amar
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:36
  • 3
    @Wooble Hm, well, the behavior is spammy, but the posts, taken by themselves, are not very spammy (just low-quality, help-vampire shopping questions). The behavior deserves a question ban. However, I'd draw a distinction of intent between repeatedly asking a terrible question in hopes of getting a response (which I wouldn't consider spam) and repeatedly asking a terrible question in hopes of causing disruption (which is trolling, and probably merits a spam flag). In the first case, there's a (slim) possibility of reform with education; in the second there isn't.
    – apsillers
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:53
  • 1
    They're not going to get an automatic question ban because each account is only being used one time. Same as the infamous Python troll.
    – Wooble
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:54
  • 1
    @Wooble A rule of thumb I might propose: if there's a chance the account could, with proper education, produce a good-quality post, then its posts shouldn't be flagged as spam. Trolls and bots won't reform; clueless or rude askers might be willing to make a decent post if they had a better understanding of the system (regardless of how often this happens in practice). This is just my thinking on the matter, however; please feel free to disagree. If the asker continues, then I'd agree that the possibility of reform becomes more of an impossibility, and a spam flag becomes more justified.
    – apsillers
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:58
  • @Wooble Regarding the multiple-account problem: mods can merge accounts if they have good reason to believe that they belong to the same person (e.g., if all three of these very similar posts came from the same IP). Perhaps it's also worth flagging for an account-merge? I'll see what guidance I can find on the subject.
    – apsillers
    Sep 6, 2013 at 15:23
  • 4
    @apsillers - We actually can't merge accounts ourselves anymore, that's handled by SE employees. In this case, we've provided some stern warnings to the user behind this, suspended their main account, destroyed the rest, and they appear to have stopped for the time being. Sep 6, 2013 at 15:37

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