I noticed this network-wide spammer, with a network-wide suspension. They've filled their profile clear full of spam links, and the thing that delinks links in suspended profiles is working on per-site profiles. But on his network profile, the links are still links. They're nofollowed, but users can still (accidentally?) click them.

Can we unlink them on the network profile too? If they deserved a network suspension, they likely can't be trusted with clickable links either.


Update: As of November 13th 2017, all Website fields and links in the "About Me" profile sections are unlinked on stackexchange.com, for all users regardless of their reputation on any site. We can thank the increasing spam activity on the network (a.k.a. The Great Super User Spam Invasion of 2017). So, in other words... this feature request is .

This is one of those times when we overload terms. The word "network" in this case means slightly different things. A stackexchange.com profile is

  • in a different database/codebase
  • unaware of any site suspensions
  • a "network" profile in name, but not really in the "your combined network profile that knows all the things about your per-site activities" sense
  • informational only, so there's no such thing as a stackexchange.com suspension.

"Network suspensions" are just per-site suspensions with a certain reason. They don't currently notify stackexchange.com or update those profiles in any way.

With all that in mind, I personally would like to remove links from spammer profiles, but in practice this is probably more work than it is worth. Does anyone even look at these profiles? The practical damage potential here is very low.

And having said that, I solved this specific case with a network-wide deletion. :)

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    We were talking about this in chat, and my thought would just be to de-linkfiy if network combined rep is under 10, like the per-site limit. – hichris123 Oct 19 '14 at 3:51
  • all Website fields and links in the "About Me" profile sections are unlinked ... when a user is suspended/suspended network wide? I know that's what the question is about but I wanted to make sure I understand. :D – Catija Nov 13 '17 at 23:50
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    @Catija All users, regardless of reputation or anything. Simply not linkifying anything on se.com anymore. – animuson Nov 13 '17 at 23:52
  • Ah... wow. OK. Good to know. Thanks @animuson Truly a "nuclear" option, then. – Catija Nov 13 '17 at 23:53
  • @Catija yeah, overkill in its best... reminds me of Man catches house on fire to kill spider. ;-) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Nov 14 '17 at 8:56
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    Having to use the nuclear option is disappointing, and maybe does more damage than good. Is there no practical way to tie it to a rep threshold? Even "has earned the reputation bonus" would filter out most spammers. (I picked that one because it's probably easy to check, but other measures would be fine too.) – Monica Cellio Nov 14 '17 at 17:23
  • @Shadow, TBH, I don't feel that it was an overkill. I monitor all the new users on creation. When I first informed Shog about this, the devs were already aware, and had already created some boundaries. Exactly 10 hrs after that, they again came back a stronger wave, which was again fixed. 2 days later, they came back, and again and again. I've pinged Shog quite a lot in the mod room, and I guess that the devs would have noticed it more than what I've noticed. Nuclear option was the only way out, and I'm quite glad that they've done this. – Bhargav Rao Nov 14 '17 at 17:44
  • @MonicaCellio It's not impossible and I'm sympathetic to the collateral damage, but allow me to be frank for a moment (Hi, Frank!)... I do not have the time to bolt a rep (per-site or network-wide) tracker onto stackexchange.com right now. The sync from Q&A to se.com is already pretty limited and brittle (some of it my fault, too, to be fair), and I'm not even sure if se.com will continue to have "user profiles" the way it does now (although there are no changes formally planned). The best we can do at the moment is stop the spam damage and revisit this later if/when the time allows. – Adam Lear Nov 14 '17 at 17:59
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    Thanks Adam (or Frank :-) ), and sorry if I've added any stress to your day. If it's hard or just too much work for the available cycles, I understand. I don't know much about how the se.com stuff is implemented, and reached for something that I thought might already be readily available. It's not; got it. And yeah, maybe it doesn't even make sense to have the "about" blurb on the network profile at all; I only populated it because the space is there, but wouldn't be sad if it went away. (It's just that I was using it to link to some things, like an off-site SE blog. Oh well.) – Monica Cellio Nov 14 '17 at 18:26
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    @MonicaCellio No worries. :) I'll try to go back and take another look at how we do the rep graphs for users and see if I can reuse something out of that... I just realized that those are public, so we must be doing something already that has nothing to do with the actual profile sync. – Adam Lear Nov 14 '17 at 19:22
  • Having thought about this some more... I don't see a problem with just nuking the "about me" section from the network profile entirely. The value of the profile is in the data aggregation (list of sites, recent activity, reputation, etc), not in that stuff. If it's causing trouble, I say nuke it. – Monica Cellio Dec 10 '17 at 3:56
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    See here. I link to my SE profile in many places to avoid linking to half a dozen site profiles. Disabling links makes it harder for people who come across it to get to my site, to get to my LinkedIn or SO Careers profile, or to donate to me (yes, I've made a few dollars from what I'm guessing is SE). This change was poorly communicated (I found it by accident) and breaks expected profile functionality. I believe some kind of cross-site profile is essential. – Thomas Owens Jan 21 '18 at 20:20
  • I don't fully understand why links are allowed on individual SE site profiles but not on the Network Profile. Honestly I'd rather that the Network Profile delegate to a chosen site-specific profile (where the user can be suspended) instead of copying it. – jamesdlin May 14 '19 at 12:43

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