OK, so I deleted the spam post. What's next? Should I destroy the user? Put it in suspension? Ignore it? And what should I do if the spammer opens a new account from the same IP and spams again? Is there anything that can be done if the spammer opens a new account from a different IP?

EDIT I'm referring to 100% purity spam, not something that might be considered spam by some people. The user(s) involved will obviously never contribute anything of value.

  • Is the user "hfudsa9fal" by any chance? – ChrisF Jan 9 '11 at 13:16
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    @ChrisF and its twin, hfdusiadsa8. But it has happened to me before, so I'm asking about the general case. – Oak Jan 9 '11 at 13:19
  • (I understand folks might not reveal too many details on this, but: I'm curious too! Like what odd tactics are used...) – Arjan Jan 9 '11 at 13:19
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    Well I've suspended him on Web Apps and Programmers' but he's on Super User and Boardgames too. – ChrisF Jan 9 '11 at 13:20
  • @Arjan merging all the users into one big account is cool, but not very helpful for preventing future spam posts. – Oak Jan 9 '11 at 13:21
  • (Ivo suspended this user on SU too.) – Arjan Jan 9 '11 at 13:22
  • This user's been found on English (in both incarnations) and Server Fault now – ChrisF Jan 9 '11 at 13:25
  • @Oak, I guess merging might help to find the pattern of the IP addresses or posts themselves? But indeed I wonder if this is successful, and if there's any added advantage above using the flags themselves. And: wondering if editing spam posts to get rid of the content before the post is even actually deleted might actually interfere with trying to find the patterns. Like I wrote: just curious! – Arjan Jan 9 '11 at 13:26
  • I flagged the post in question and it was just blatant spam. There is no chance of that user suddenly posting meaningful content here, the account should be deleted, IMHO. – Mad Scientist Jan 9 '11 at 13:33
  • This would be good to know -- we've had both spammers over on Board and Card Games now, and we destroyed them in both instances. – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir Jan 9 '11 at 14:47
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    Draw 'em and quarter 'em! – Pekka Jan 9 '11 at 15:38

Roll them up in one account, so we can count the scalps of all the failed attempts to pollute our sites!

If you're really competitive, let all the mods have one of their own!

Plus it leaves the devs with a nice backlog of spam messages they could use for heuristics or blacklisting across the network

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    Who says mods can't have their fun every once in a while... – Ivo Flipse Jan 9 '11 at 16:13
  • Yay! I'm totally in favour of this. We need to start a competition to find a fitting name for that account. – Pekka Jan 9 '11 at 16:50
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    @Pekka unix.stackexchange.com/users/3191/dev-null – badp Jan 9 '11 at 17:08
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    Still wondering where that Ham Sandwich disappeared to – random Jan 9 '11 at 17:09
  • I gave it a shot. – Oak Jan 9 '11 at 18:06
  • The Web Apps one – ChrisF Jan 9 '11 at 18:35
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    I wish I had been doing this from the beginning. I'd have so many scalps by now... You fill me with regret. :( – Bill the Lizard Jan 9 '11 at 18:52
  • I've asked in the chat before, and then understood that replacing the content with a "I am spam" message does not bother you — but doesn't help either. Sorry, asking again to be sure folks like @random agree: does editing really not make the heuristics a bit harder? Of course, as long as the post is not transferred then looking at the very first revision will give you the spammer's content if needed after all. Is history transferred as well then? – Arjan Jan 10 '11 at 13:54
  • @Arjan, their posts are simply merged, so if they can poll the history of a post, merging shouldn't influence that. Currently there are no heuristics based on spam, so no need to feel sorry @Arjan. Your cleaning up is much appreciated! – Ivo Flipse Jan 10 '11 at 14:11
  • (It wasn't my edit, @Ivo, but others are doing a good job too!) – Arjan Jan 10 '11 at 14:12
  • As for my earlier comment about editing: editing spam is not recommended. – Arjan Aug 12 '13 at 14:47

Specific IP addresses can be banned, but I think that's a developer action rather than a moderator one - I've not come across the option. This would have to be done on a case by case basis.

Suspension might be enough, but deletion/destruction of the account might be preferred.


When it's a clear case of the account existing solely to spam, I just destroy the account. If I notice the same URL being spammed from multiple accounts I'll recommend it for the black list.

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