On Drupal Answers we just had a spam question (now deleted).

The question's title was, in its entirety:


I can't think of a good reason that any reasonable question, on any site in the network, could consist of only a URL.

I think such questions should be blocked before they are asked; can this be implemented?

And another one today (a couple of months later):


Over a year later and it's still going on:


Any chance this could be looked at?

Updating yet again as we just had a particularly disturbing one advertising something called "mutilation theatre". www.mutilationtheatre.com.

I don't think there's any question we do need this, hopefully someone from Stack Exchange will respond this time.

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    Your question didn't go unnoticed: chat.meta.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/3242905#3242905 – rene Apr 2 '15 at 10:58
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    Super @rene, so we just need to get that bot to talk to SE's bot and we should be fine... – Clive Apr 2 '15 at 11:00
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    "get that bot to talk to SE's bot and we should be fine" Or, StackBot begins to learn at a geometric rate and becomes self-aware ... – James Apr 2 '15 at 11:17
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  • Are you sure it really is a big problem that needs dev time, given the current numbers for url-only in title and url in title – rene May 12 '16 at 9:25
  • It's just basic validation IMO @rene, somewhat surprising that it's not already implemented. Not trying to say it's a pervasive problem, but as I deal with at least a few of these posts a month, it bugs me. TPTB obviously disagree or this wouldn't have been ignored for so long! – Clive May 12 '16 at 9:30
  • I have 383 spam flags on Drupal only a handful for url in title, there is a lot more to be bugged about I think... we will see if your bump has any effect... – rene May 12 '16 at 9:34
  • Doubt it @rene, but I'm happy updating this every few months to see if it makes a difference. A response from the staff would be useful, even if it's a "no, stop wasting our time" – Clive May 12 '16 at 9:38
  • I don't want to smash your hope but this is status-declined ... – rene May 12 '16 at 9:50
  • Thanks @rene, I do remember reading that a while back. I'm not holding my breath for a response :) – Clive May 12 '16 at 9:54
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    That is wise. With practice you might manage to hold your breath for 6 to 8 minutes, but not for 6 to 8 weeks ... – rene May 12 '16 at 10:01
  • oh lol at the content, "Beautiful girl drinks human blood and then vomits". – Cœur Nov 30 '17 at 1:16

I just checked on The Workplace, a medium-sized site, and we've had 34 of these in the last two weeks. (I haven't attempted any broader analysis; that was just taking a sample.) That's slightly more than half of the spam questions in that time. So spammers would still attack via questions if we blocked URL-only titles; they already are even when we don't block titles.

Instead of building a better mousetrap and spammers building better mice, it might be better to accept URL-only titles -- but drop them from the front page and automatically raise one spam flag on them. That'll bring them to moderator attention if the community doesn't get 'em first, but leave the spammers thinking they succeeded. (I'm assuming that spammers look at their post, not the site's front page.) I don't know what typical response times from the Smoke Detector brigade are these days, but I suspect these posts don't live long. (I trust that Smokey is already detecting and alerting on URLs in titles.) Deleted spam posts also feed SpamRam, while prevented posts don't.

Elsewhere on Meta.SE are requests to make it easier to destroy accounts that have been used only for spamming, so I won't go into that here.

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