This is not a duplicate of Should Stack Exchange have a spam filter? (Does it already and I’m not aware?) which is asking if there's already a system in place.
I am asking for a review of the existing structure, which relies heavily on volunteers, and breaks abysmally when those volunteers withhold their efforts.
I'm aware of our current anti-spam structure - Charcoal, Charcoal-HQ & Metasmoke. I'm also aware of large explanatory info sources about this - A machine can flag spam automatically. Can it do better? and similar.
Also ref recent questions from other users who weren't aware of this setup - such as How can we handle spam faster?
And, before anyone else links to it - this is the SE blog telling us how good the spam protection already is - How does spam protection work on Stack Exchange? - written by one of Charcoal's leaders, ArtOfCode.
What the astute reader may also notice is
- In addition to SpamRam [about which I can find very little] it already relies on Charcoal, and
- When Charcoal is off you get this, multiple times a day…
Click for full size
What I wasn't aware of until only this week, is that it seems to be entirely volunteer-run.
That the volunteers don't currently wish to engage is already part of a larger issue, which I don't want to add to here.
It's time Stack Exchange had its own spam filtering.
How could this be practically achieved? Does the company have any plans to implement a viable structure, rather than relying solely on the goodwill of volunteers?
The first thing that springs to mind is that we already benefit from a system that works reasonably well under normal circumstances. So, my first suggestions would be…
License the structure & pay for it.
Alternatively, or in addition,
Change the number of human flags to just three, or even fewer, if detection heuristics put it above say 98% spam already.
I am not, btw, advocating we just hand this whole task, lock, stock & barrel to any form of 'AI' & remove human checking.
I'm open to other suggestions.