In regards to this post: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4174865

What, if anything, should be done with questions which post source-code that are really viruses? Should the user account be deleted as well?

I'm all for studying viruses, but there's a bit of active discussion when one is studying the behavior of a virus. Not post once and leave. This one is hard to defend, and I haven't seen too many other posts about virus or virus-like activity on SO, and I've been around a bit (not saying I've seen it all tho).

Is there an official policy?

  • 1
    Apparently said question has been deleted. So I guess "yes".
    – Nick T
    Dec 14, 2010 at 18:08
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    Interesting. That wasn't really the result I was going for. Can a SO 10k+ tell me why? (or a mod if that's necessary) I really wanted to see a dialog on "good or bad for SO" rather than an outright deletion. As it stands, this leads me to believe the policy should be deletion. Which I'm perfectly ok with, just want clarity.
    – jcolebrand
    Dec 14, 2010 at 18:13
  • With my VBScript knowledge, I think that code only spreads but does no further harm. That's interesting to some extent. Sep 9, 2018 at 6:54

1 Answer 1


Personally i have no issue with the OP asking specific questions about the code, as it is programming related after all. There is nothing wrong with studying viruses, it is the use of the code that is criminal.

IMHO however this OP needs to get the smack down for not being open and honest and at least posting a warning that the code acts maliciously. You will get occasions where the OP is oblivious to what the code does and is quite innocently asking a question to an expert community, but in this case i think it's obvious the author was trying to see how many people would be stupid enough to run the code*. In any case the aforementioned expert community caught the post pretty quickly, so there is arguably no need for a policy as common sense prevails.

*you don't "find" scripts on "client" machines unless you have a certain amount of technical knowledge, so this author should have known better than to present the question the way they did

  • Glad to see it appears we agree on this one. At the moment I just want to see at discussion, so in the future there's something to refer to. Thanks for your well written commentary. :)
    – jcolebrand
    Dec 14, 2010 at 5:41

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