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I'm keeping track of some statistics on 3 beta sites I participate on, by listing bi-weekly the site's statistics from Area 51. I've been doing this for about 4 years but today I noticed that for the first time the 'total users' count of a site went down. This happened on all 3 sites. For example Martial Arts had 5479 users on January 10th, and today it's 5397 users. For interested people, the historic statistics are in this Sustainability SE Meta post, this Martial Arts SE meta post and this Personal Productivity SE post

Has there been a cleanup of user accounts again (this post says it's not done anymore)? Or has there been a change in how this number is calculated?

  • It's even less, according to the actual users page, there are 4982 users. I guess the difference is unregistered users who are not listed in the /users page, and the drop is due to spam accounts being mass nuked, not something automatic. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Jan 24 '18 at 8:24
  • @ShadowtheHedgehogWizard Nuked by who/what? As a moderator on Sustainability SE I occasionally delete a spam account, but I never saw a (big) drop in the total users count because every 2 weeks there would be more new users that signed up than spam accounts deleted. Unregistered users indeed do not show up on the 'all users' pages. stackexchange.com/sites also says '5397 registered and unregistered users' when you hover over the Martial Arts 5.4K users stat. – THelper Jan 24 '18 at 9:11
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    By SE staff members, there was some discussion about spam profiles not long ago, maybe they decided to take action. I've asked in chat now, let's see if they reply. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Jan 24 '18 at 9:21
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    For what it's worth, number in Area 51 matches the results from select count(*) total_users from Users; (The public data shows a smaller number because it's from a few days ago.) – Jon Ericson Jan 24 '18 at 17:55
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I deleted a bunch of spam accounts last week; somewhere around 46 thousand network-wide, including 114 users on Martial Arts, 107 on Sustainable Living, and another 114 on Personal Productivity.

There are, of course, plenty of spam accounts left... But this took care of about 4 massive campaigns that had URLs and/or phone numbers listed in thousands of profiles network-wide, so hopefully it'll help make these sites look a little bit less spammy.

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