I understand that using two or more accounts to vote on the same post (or interact with it in almost any way) is against the rules. That being said, what if I encounter a blatant spam/scam post that didn't receive enough flags for a while and I happen to be logged in to another account.

Would it be okay to flag the post from both accounts to expedite the deletion? Or should I just stick to the "if you do something you can't do with the other account, it's abuse" rule?

  • 8
    This is a bit tangential, but I will check whether you're aware of Charcoal and Smoke Detector - see here: charcoal-se.org/about and meta.stackexchange.com/q/291301. I would guess that reporting a spam post in the Charcoal chatroom might be a more efficient than using an additional account. (Since after the reporting some automation kicks in - and also other people frequenting that room will notice the spam post.
    – Martin
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 3:55

2 Answers 2


Personally, as much as I would prefer that blatant spam not be allowed to exist on any site any longer than it has to, I think we should not allow an exception for this type of post.

Some reasons to consider:

Simple and absolute rules are easier to enforce

If some specific types of collusion are allowed, then that makes all sock puppet based investigations more difficult. Currently, if the same user's multiple accounts interact or perform actions collaboratively in a way that would not be possible by a single user, then it is in violation of the rules. Adding exceptions to this would require a more nuanced look which increases the time needed to review and the chance for mistakes.

Effective Moderator Powers

Because six red flags on a post will automatically delete it. If a single user can cast two flags then this lowers the total number of users needed to remove the post. This is an abuse of the system.

Beyond this, if two is okay, how about three? Or four? Would it be okay if someone used six accounts to nuke a post as long as it is "blatant" spam?

Or what if the limit is two accounts per user, but this is an accepted practice? In that case, three users on two accounts each could also nuke a post with half of the set number of users needed.

Conflicts with the Existing System

The Charcoal project allows users to sign up to auto flag posts based on some conditions. This can occasionally result in four flags instantly placed on the post without direct human input. In this case, if a user is able to post two red flags, the post could be removed with only a single user manually evaluating it.



This is effectively giving yourself twice as many votes toward the post's deletion. It would be similarly against the rules to cast two close votes, two delete votes, etc.

You can, however, ask other people to flag it: the Charcoal HQ room tracks spam across the network, and is always interested in hearing about spam posts. Drop by and mention in there that the post is spam. There's usually someone around to assist (though not always immediately).

  • But it's in use, with the spam bots that auto flag spam based on weight. Those bots are created and are technically alt accounts of users with their own accounts. I don't like it and want to see them nuked, but looks like SE is fine with it, somehow. Commented May 13, 2022 at 5:11
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    @ShadowWizardSaysNoMoreWar that is the user deciding, on their own, what criteria they wish to use to automatically flag spam. The exception is the "spam wave" functionality, but that's generally used in coordination with SE staff.
    – Ryan M
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 5:15
  • 1
    Well ideally, SE will create actual "bot accounts", with negative ID like in chat, that can be used for the auto flag stuff, in official way. Until then, it is messed up IMO. Commented May 13, 2022 at 5:24

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