I've seen plenty of posts about flagging spammy questions, but now it seems to be mutating to profile spam. Not that much of a problem, but there don't seem to be any moderation tools for this on the site.

Am I wrong?

Example: https://stackoverflow.com/users/668788/petcarerx-discount-code

6 Answers 6


Actually, why bother? If that user does not contribute any content, no one will ever see their profile (except for you linking it here, that is).

This site is about the information, not the people. It sounds so trite when quoted so much, but it is really true. That user spent a bit of time creating the account and it will amount to exactly nothing.

This entire site is about what people do, not about who they are. If the spammer posted a few questions or answers, I would say "flag one of their posts." But they did not post anything — they did not contribute anything to the site — therefore, for all practical purposes, they do not exist.

I'm not saying the account should not be deleted. I am saying that the effect is so negligible to non-existent, it does not warrant adding a "feature" to fix a virtually non-existent problem. You can always write [email protected] to rid the system of this type of noise.

"Spam" problem solved.

  • True. I guess that's true, but it's interesting that I ran across it. I think it came across the 'recent badges' list because we award the Autobiographer to anyone who fills in a profile.
    – Nuby
    Mar 21, 2011 at 21:45

You should simply flag problematic content.

If that problematic content often rolls up to a particular user, believe me, we'll take note of that.

If, as in the case you specified, the user has no content to flag then yes that is more difficult. Shoot us a quick email -- click the "contact us" link at the bottom of every page.

  • 1
    Ugh. Email. :-)
    – tvanfosson
    Mar 22, 2011 at 0:03
  • 2
    @tvanfossen I know! Email is soooo 1982!
    – Pollyanna
    Mar 22, 2011 at 1:39

The profile links are nofollowed (except for users with sufficient rep), so in theory they don't get any SEO benefit.

If you find a reason why they are making your experience on stackoverflow worse, you can deal with them by emailing team at stackoverflow, or flagging one of your own posts and putting the info in there.

  • None directly, I was just surprised at how (on a site with capabilities to do vote/comment/flag/share everything), this particular thing could still exist.
    – Nuby
    Mar 21, 2011 at 21:44
  • @Nuby From the beginning Jeff and Joel have been dead set against making it so users can mark other users (ie, their accounts) in any way, so lacking a flag account function stems from that. Since most spammers post spammy messages, it's usually easy to flag their post, and subsequently the account will be investigated and possibly deleted, but this is an odd case where they've made no posts, but they have registered.
    – Pollyanna
    Mar 21, 2011 at 21:46
  • What rep is required for the profile links to be followed? And is this a spam-prevention strategy, or simply a reward for attaining rep? ...sorry, but this is one of those things that I hadn't heard about, before righ now... :) Mar 21, 2011 at 23:38
  • @David 2K rep, see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6905/…
    – Pollyanna
    Mar 21, 2011 at 23:47

Or, in the egregious case, flag one of their answers/questions and note to the mod that the user's profile is somehow not consistent with the site's policies.


A feature like this would have helped with my question about a user doing spammy edits, though I'm not convinced (yet) that it'd be useful often enough to qualify it for a full-on feature addition. The workarounds suggested in my question (email mod, flag a post and write a note to the mod) would apply here as well.


As this has been declined, let me say that I'd be more than happy to banninate. Flag anything and leave a link to the user's account explaining.

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