The last activity indicator currently reads something like
asked/answered/modified x minutes ago by display_name, and obviously stays that way until a new activity is conducted on the thread.
In the case of spam/RA posts, a lot of display names are also spam/RA. The result being that the homepage proudly features a
answered x minutes ago by naughty_username, even if the post has been deleted since. This offensive username is displayed on the site's frontpage until someone deletes the account or reverts the username to default
user123456 (mods can do both, I reckon).
I understand that automatic detection/blocking of certain keywords in usernames would be hard to efficiently conduct, but maybe the username-reverting to default could be automated when someone's post is flagged and deleted as spam/RA, to avoid the homepage displaying spammy/offensive stuff?
From a discussion in SFF's chat with mod Rand'al Thor, it appears that in the case of a false positive:
It's not likely to impact any genuine users, and those who make abusive posts may well also make abusive usernames. - Rand'al Thor (permalink)
Some other comments:
- Yes, it would revert
John Smithas well as
naughty_usernamebut then again if John is a random passer-by troll/spammer and their account is going to be deleted eventually, who cares about their display names then?
- There's a limit to how much times/period you can change your display name, I reckon. I don't know if the reverting would trigger that period? In the case of a false positive, or a true positive but user was just "unaware" and then went on to actually contribute, people might want a more custom display name than
user123456but then again, one can live with that until the next period kicks in.
- That situation probably does not have the same impact on all stacks. My home stack is SFF. We get 20ish new questions a day (per sites rankings), edits to previous QAs must be around this number too, so the offensive username doesn't stay in the top of the list for too long, but maybe it would on sites with less activity? (and "more likely to attract trolls" scopes)
- Of course, mods will probably see it at some point and manually do it (or someone can ping them if it's really urgent and they're around), but mods 1/ aren't our slaves and 2/ can't always be there.