This guy has been pasting the same answer into slew of questions. Am I missing something?


So, the impression I get from the dialog below is that Timo posts a variable stream of answers. Some are very cookie-cutter, some are not. The cookie-cutter answers attract spam flags, and the not-cookie-cutter answers (on tags I don't follow) indicate that he's not ill-intentioned.

So I think that this question may have had the useful effect of educating him about the minimum nutritional requirement for an answer, and we're done.

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    The answers are different and don't deserve the spam flags they are getting. The issue is his answers are essentially very similar to other answers in the same question but only his are getting flagged. Before this round of flagging the majority of his answers had upvotes. I will admit I haven't see the ones deleted before this point. – HAL 9000 May 16 '10 at 10:10

I am the guy you are talking about. Can we resolve this without deleting all my answers?

I believe since I got enough upvotes people are interested in the answers. In many answers that were deleted I posted also code examples that were examples of how the problems can be solved with Querydsl.

So if I mention that I am working on the project and the answers differ and are relevant this is ok?

Sorry for posting answers that are considered as spam according to your standards. This was really not my intention.

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    Maybe there's a sampling problem here. I saw a set that seemed like copy-and-paste. Perhaps it's because the look copy-and-paste that they attracted flags. – Rosinante May 16 '10 at 14:03
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    Disclosure is important, but even more important is making your answer relevant to the individual questions. If somebody asked specifically for a library, then fine, a link and a short description is enough. But you can't just post as an answer to every question on a certain topic, "try my library, it's great." Explain how it answers the question. And try not to revive extremely old questions, either, especially ones with accepted answers; that tends to set off alarm bells. – Aarobot May 16 '10 at 20:05
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    But if an old question now has a better answer, it should appear there. Otherwise, people searching the web will come across the question, and think the accepted answer is still right. – Phil Miller Oct 21 '10 at 17:22

He's involved with the project he's posting about (follow the link).

From looking around on that website, it seems the project was only released recently. Is it possible that it's actually capable of solving the problems posed in the questions he's answered?

Yes, he may only be posting about that one thing, but if it legitimately solves the problems, then so what?

Also, it's not exactly spam, since his answers are distributed in time from Dec 2009 to just recently.

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    His posts don't engage in detail with the question. To me, that's symptomatic of spam. It's the database equivalent of 'you should totally stop what you're doing and use jQuery.' – Rosinante May 16 '10 at 2:36
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    @bmar: It's a fine line between spam and just a busy guy who is doing a lot of work on his project and doesn't have time to elaborate (or is unaware that more detailed answers are encouraged). Honestly, this doesn't feel like spam to me. – Jon Seigel May 16 '10 at 2:45
  • Spam is defined as unwanted... this does kind of answer the question in a way - even if it is software he has a part in. – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN May 16 '10 at 3:20
  • Some of the answers being flagged as spam are no worse than any of the other answers in the question (and the other answers have upvotes) – HAL 9000 May 16 '10 at 10:05
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    I agree with @bmargulies -- if it's CTRL+C, CTRL+V type stuff that doesn't address specifics, then it is spam, even if it is on on topic spam. – Jeff Atwood May 16 '10 at 10:38
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    Some of Tim's answers were not even related to the question (only by keyword) and were clear copy&paste. This looks spam to me. – Pascal Thivent May 16 '10 at 15:32

I would say it's spam. We have established a general rule that if you post a link to your project you must say you are affiliated with it, especially when mass posting like this.

His answers got upvotes sometimes though so I wouldn't be so hasty as to delete all his posts. But something needs to be done. Every answer he has posted has been the same thing. Now that's a problem and the equivalent to a human spambot

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    It took me till 12 000 rep till I knew about that consensus. It is a prefect valid assumption to assume as long as it answers the question you can mention it without mentioning your affiliation to the project. – HAL 9000 May 16 '10 at 10:07
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    @yacoby but if every answer you post is in the form of "let me tell you about my project that answers your question".. that's bad. – Jeff Atwood May 16 '10 at 10:09
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    @Jeff Why? If it answers the question what is wrong with it? EDIT: Ok, I didn't notice the time stamps, that isn't quite as good. I am a bit more borderline about it now. (Although I still think some of the answers were fine and don't deserve the flags.) – HAL 9000 May 16 '10 at 10:15

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