Disclaimer first. If it's not something known (that I'm ignorant of), then the question might be opinion based (or at the very least only answerable by guessing). In such case, I'd be delighted to see those guesses anyway but I want it clearly stated that I'm aware of a possibility of it being off-topic.

My suspicion is, though, that the phenomenon is indeed known to others and that it's some kind of scam or such. In that case, please extinguish my curiosity.

In a reply, a user posted a looong text of 0-9.a-z recurring with no meaning. The screenshot below is actually a contraction of the whole shabang.

Any ideas what's the purpose?

enter image description here

  • 2
    Primarily opinion based indeed. Also, I am not sure what benefit it would have to know the answer. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:09
  • @PatrickHofman It appears that there's a reason that's well-known, so the opinion-based part might be weaker than what we both feared. See Shadow's reply below. As for the use of knowing - knowledge is power and the curiosity is the mother of all discovery (the clumsiness is the father, hehe). One benefit is to learn about what might go wrong if I try any API and connect to Stack Exchange myself in the future. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:15
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    Looks like an attempt to attack/DDOS the site. The pattern looks like a regular expression, so it could be that someone is trying to see if they can craft a post that will cause excessive processing on our servers (thus a venue for DDOSing Stack Exchange).
    – Oded
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:59
  • @Oded OK, so we have at least three suggestions. Still, 4 votes to close. Sight... Anyway, your comment is more of a reply, isn't it. :) Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 16:04
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    @Oded come on, we want this as answer. :-) Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


I see those all around the network (there is actually an open source chat bot which among other things, automatically detects and reports such posts, which just now reported the very answer you mentioned.)

Most likely there's no purpose behind these. No spam, no evil scam. My best guess is those are people trying out the API, unaware of sandbox, or too lazy to use it.

Personally I would love to see such users suspended and those accounts nuked, but all I can do is flag as what this is: Very Low Quality content.

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    No fuel for a conspiracy theory? No hidden agenda? I'm immensely disappointed... Good to know about it for future reference so that I won't make the same mistake. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:17
  • I might be wrong, but it's just that I really can't find anything. We get enough spam, and it's ugly and direct, with links and everything, so those simply don't appear to be the case. If those are really spammers trying their luck with what they think is innocent spam seeds that won't be touched due to being, well, nonsense, they're not really smart spammers. :) Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:19
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    Right, I agree. We've spoken with the guys here and the speculation were very vast. One suggested that it's about SEO and lowering the whole contents' value on SE, while copying it (except the nuked part) and displaying elsewhere. The aim would be to make Google to grade the other site's quality as (evidently) higher, hence ranking it accordingly. How's that for conspiracy theory? Hahaha. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:29
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    Good one, I'll give you that. But given SE self moderation system, it's really rare for such posts to survive for long, so it's all pointless to begin with. Same as with actual spam. :) Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 15:31
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    You should flag this as inappropriate for respectful discourse (offensive flag), since it is inappropriate for any discourse at all.
    – wythagoras
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 18:59
  • @wythagoras Whom are you writing to? And what do you refer to that should be flagged? Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 19:44
  • @KonradViltersten The post you see in the picture should be flagged as offensive, not as VLQ.
    – wythagoras
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 20:21
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    @wythagoras that's not really what offensive flags are for. I would go with NAA or VLQ.
    – apaul
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 22:27
  • @wythagoras I don't think so. From what I know, the spam/offensive flags carry special weight, and eventually trigger auto block. I don't think the term a-z.0-9 should be blocked. And I don't find this offensive. Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 22:28
  • {I know this is old, just come across it with some random Google search} /// it's "abuse of the system".
    – user202729
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 7:10

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