23

Currently, the procedure for dealing with a spammer is this:

  1. Find spammer
  2. Go through all the spammer's posts
    • Undelete the ones that aren't spam-flagged, then re-flag them with your binding moderator flag - this is so that the system can learn to block the spammer
  3. Actually destroy the user.

When a moderator goes to destroy a user for spam, this is what the label says:

This user was created to post spam or nonsense and has no other positive participation

If the user had only posted spam/nonsense, the system should automatically train itself on the posts every time. However, this isn't always the case - sometimes there are users that started out good, then went crazy, etc.

The vast majority, though, are spammers through-and-through, from the beginning of time. For these, it's fairly easy to see that all of their posts are spam, and it's cumbersome to go manually spam flag them.

Let's change that. How about we add a checkbox to the destroy dialog?

enter image description here

Wording would need to be changed, but you get the idea

This would automatically mark all the user's posts as spam (with a binding flag from the moderator), feeding them to the spam-blocking system automatically.

Thoughts?

  • 7
    "cumbersome" Understatement of the year. In the time it takes to click, wait for the flag dialog, click spam, click Flag Post, and wait for refresh, all for one spam post, I can delete 20 NAAs from the queue. If spam is supposed to be more urgent than NAA, why am I deleting NAAs 20 times faster than spam? – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 25 '15 at 16:37
13

I don't flag spam posts before I destroy the user, and if it is actually correct that this is needed then it's just a bloody stupid mechanic and should be changed.

We'll need an SE employee that actually read the SpamRam source to confirm, but my understanding is that spam flags provide a weak signal, and account destruction a very strong signal. I always assumed that the small additional signal probably doesn't matter, and that is how I remembered the explanation when this was introduced. I know the recent explanations seem to contradict this.

Account destruction is by far the strongest signal a moderator can send. It means the account has done nothing but but post spam or offensive content, or is exploiting the system in some other way. There should be no need for any further signal, if I destroy a user with the spam/nonsene destruction reason, you can safely assume I would have flagged every single one of their posts. There is no other reason to use this option except that every single one of their posts is crap. Or at least that the posts I read are blatant enough that I am certain that the rest is just the same blatant spam.

It simply shouldn't make a difference if I flag a post as spam and then destroy the user, or if I save a few clicks and just destroy the user with the spam reason.

The checkbox you propose doesn't make any sense, if I didn't want a user to be blocked by SpamRam I wouldn't destroy their account with this destruction reason. There is no case I can imagine where I would leave it unchecked, so we might as well skip it and let the account destruction be the only signal mods need to send, no need to jump through any additional hoops.

  • some users like this one are writing products in their about me and put links to that products in all their post. I think this is a typical situation of a user created only in the aim of spamming with no interest in any stackexchange sites, and that kind of user should be deleted directly. – user2284570 May 28 '15 at 9:42
  • When I asked a CM a few months ago about this, I was told to just destroy the user, and that flagging was not necessary. I heard otherwise here on meta recently, but you may be right. – bfavaretto May 28 '15 at 20:05
  • See also: meta.stackexchange.com/a/192847 – bfavaretto May 28 '15 at 20:24
  • this might give some insight: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/4?m=21562783#21562783 (cc @bfavaretto) – ɥʇǝS May 30 '15 at 20:56
  • @ɥʇǝS That contradicts what I heard from Shog apud Gabe in the pt.so mod room. Robert sounds more confident, but I would prefer if they agreed with each other :) – bfavaretto Jun 1 '15 at 15:00
  • Okay, now it's clear – bfavaretto Jun 25 '15 at 20:06

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