Moderator from Ask Ubuntu here. Anybody else sick and tired of spam? We've had a lot this morning.
We've been through dozens of spam waves over the years but also several rounds of "improvements" to the automated systems. I love you guys but they just don't seem to be working.
I find three things particularly upsetting about all this:
- Many of the messages rely on easily identifiable common information (certain spam domains, keywords, phone numbers, etc) which are unique to spam.
- A community-run bot Smoke Detector is spotting spam 99.99999999% of the time with only very rare false positives.
- If I mark spam and that blocks the IP, that still leaves the messages from that account on other SE sites. Their moderators have to clean up.
And yes, the cycles of improvements might have brought us less spam, but it's still at thoroughly annoying levels.
I personally feel it's time to put some of the Stack Exchange spirit into this and crowd source it properly. You have a metric buttload of moderators and trusted users who know the system. They know what spam is.
So with that in mind I'm suggesting the following:
- A single common blacklist for every site that contains entries that can contain simple single-line wildcards. I don't think we need regexes. And multi-line is dangerous.
- Moderators (and/or super trusted users) from these sites should be able to suggest new block items that are applied to all sites.
- It should take a few users from any site to edit the list, like a network-wide close vote.
- Sites should have their own override whitelists that their mods and trusted users can edit.
- On adding for consideration, existing posts inc. deleted that match the glob should be displayed so we can see the impact, network wide.
- The content of the blocklist should be protected. So maybe moderator-only because we're already under an agreement.
I don't know what to do with the new posts that match. I've seen the opinions on hell-bans before but at the very least this should earn a number to flags so that it takes less work for our users to get this muck off our sites.