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Looking at the flags raised by a user, I noticed spam flags for which the account was not destroyed, and for which I didn't see any spam flag raised for us moderators. At first I though another moderator handled the flag, but I find difficult to believe he would not destroy the account.

Sometimes, I notice the IP is marked as blocked, but sometimes it is not. So my question is: What should I do as moderator, in these cases? I understand the absence of flags as telling me "there is nothing for you to do," but is it really so?

To put it in different words, can those accounts do any harm, or are they already blocked from posting on the site I am moderating?

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  • 1
    This isn't a question that can be readily answered by moderators in public, because it concerns the way SpamRam functions. I'm pinging you in TL, though.
    – user206222
    Oct 1 '15 at 5:59
  • 1
    I am really looking for an answer from the CM's saying "Don't bother with those accounts." or "If you find those account, delete them." It doesn't really require to explain how the spam sistem works, and I don't need it. I just need a confirmation that those accounts cannot do any harm because the account is blocked from posting.
    – apaderno
    Oct 1 '15 at 6:03
  • Ahh, got it. Nevermind, then!
    – user206222
    Oct 1 '15 at 6:15
  • @kiamlaluno you mean that you expect a single post being flagged as spam cause an automatic post ban or suspension? Oct 1 '15 at 7:51
  • @ShadowWizard No no, but since I don't see the flag, I thought that maybe the system was telling me "don't bother with them." I didn't actually check how much posts were flagged as spam; I deleted the account and move over. Now, since I saw there are other IP statuses, I wondered if one of them meant "the user was caught as spammer in more sites, and it is now blocked from posting here."
    – apaderno
    Oct 1 '15 at 7:59
  • I see. Well, only CM can answer this, let's hope one will notice this question and reply. :) Oct 1 '15 at 8:03
  • @ShadowWizard If none of them reply, I will take you are right when you say I can delete those accounts I find in that way.
    – apaderno
    Oct 1 '15 at 9:31
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    @kiamlaluno - Oded's replied below with the general process, but I can add that I have seen spammers revisit previously-blocked accounts and use them to spam again months or even years later. These can cause a problem, because they will sometimes no longer be the subject to First Posts review. I've taken to running a locked:1 deleted:1 query every now and then to find spam posts that were destroyed and seeing if we missed any accounts associated with them. Sometimes that leads me to other spam posts by the same user that terrible reviewers let through. Oct 1 '15 at 14:39
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Destroy the account for spam.

That is an additional signal for our spam filters, so, though the account can't be used, we get more information and can block future spam coming from the same IP address.

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This most likely happens when 6 spam flags are raised by ordinary users, before you had chance to handle them yourself. This cause automatic lock and deletion of the post, and the flags vanish.

Since you can see the deleted spam anyway and thus confirm it's just a spammer and not some misguided new user, I can't see any reason to let the account live. Just nuke it and move on to the next spammer. :)

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  • I had to look at the flags raised from a user, to notice those accounts. At the end, I guess I am asking if those accounts cannot do any harm because they are blocked from posting, in a way or the other.
    – apaderno
    Oct 1 '15 at 6:04
  • @kiamlaluno automatic post ban requires several downvoted posts, and some sites don't have post ban at all. So no, the spam accounts are usually not blocked and I've seen cases of spammers using same account for months, posting spam once in a while Oct 1 '15 at 6:09

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