In this answer on the merits of the -100 reputation penalty for spamming, Journeyman Geek ♦ comments,
Its worth remembering there's two (and half) types of spammers.
There's the big commercial operations....These are beyond redemption. We nuke em from orbit....100 rep penalty? Foo.
But SE sometimes gets people who don't know better. They figure "hey, I can drive traffic to my blog!". They don't spend the time to get to know the neighbours and annoy them with bright neon signs.
These folks, well might have a hope. They might be good users eventually. They go "Oh, my, all these negative imaginary internet points! Mod messages! Oh my!"
Have there been any actual cases of someone coming to Stack Exchange for the purpose of spamming, getting some sense knocked in to them, and then remaining and becoming a contributing member? I'm open to any reasonable definition of "repenting and reforming", but would propose the following as a usable model:
- A user's first post was shredded as spam.
- At some point later, the user performed some action that resulted in the gaining of some amount of reputation (an upvoted answer, upvoted question, accepted answer, accepted suggested edit, etc.), and this action has not been deleted or rejected.
I'm not talking about ordinary users who might occasionally get a little extra self-promotional, get set back in line, and continue contributing (possibly with a minor penalty). I'm talking about users who arrived with no apparent purpose other than to promote a product or service, and then became real contributors.