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Questions tagged [spam]

This tag is for questions about suspected user spam, the spam flag or combating spam as a community.

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300
votes
2answers
30k views

What are the “spam” and “rude or abusive” (offensive) flags, and how do they work?

When flagging, there are two special case options: spam and rude or abusive. What is spam, and when should I flag content as such? What is considered offensive, rude or abusive content? How does the ...
141
votes
13answers
14k views

Limits for self-promotion in answers

It's been covered before that posting links to your own website is ok, but should there be a line drawn? There were several spam flags today for Ira Baxter's recent posts, presumably because they all ...
417
votes
9answers
18k views

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

TL;DR: We did it, so... yes. What is this? Charcoal is the organization behind the SmokeDetector bot and other nice things. This bot scans new posts across the entire network for spam posts and ...
149
votes
3answers
3k views

Should spam posts be edited?

I noticed that the posts of the recent spam surge on Ask Ubuntu were all edited by community members into something like EDITED - REMOVED SPAM ANSWER or similar. While I understand why the users ...
2781
votes
9answers
316k views

A Terms of Service update restricting companies that scrape your profile information without your permission

Update (April 19, 2016): This change is now live. You can view the updated Terms of Service here, or read about them below. tl;dr: We’re planning to make some changes to our Terms of Service to stop ...
67
votes
3answers
3k views

Why don't we treat rubbish the same as spam?

Spam gets fairly heavily punished - 100 reputation penalty, if I recall correctly, and the content itself gets hidden in the revision history. Now if we just have some rubbish: ...
83
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I report a specific bad user?

Every once in a while we get a question about how to report a bad user to the admins. Sometimes it's a spammer, sometimes it's a troll, sometimes it's just someone who had a momentary blip in the "...
127
votes
3answers
3k views

Recent Mass Football Spam

Is something wrong with StackOverflow's spam filter? Recently there have been huge numbers of spam topics related to football streaming. They have all been spam flagged and deleted but there are more ...
48
votes
2answers
1k views

Is spam in the "about me" field a reason to worry? [duplicate]

There are many inactive user profiles on SO that were clearly registered by spammers. The spam posts (if there were any) are already removed but the profiles remain. Some of them put their spam text ...
155
votes
6answers
3k views

Spam Profiles are getting my goat. Could we have better tools for mods to deal with profile spam?

Super User got hit by another batch of spammers creating profiles. They've got accounts on other sites from what I've heard from other mods and from the comments here. Last time it was streaming. Now ...
78
votes
8answers
4k views

Has Stack Overflow been haiku-hacked?

When for the first time A new question I answer This haiku appears: Little slab of meat In a wash of clear jelly Now I heat the pan Such a message is Very strange; is anyone Seeing the same ...
120
votes
5answers
6k views

Ban ImageShack images because they are reusing old URLs for advertising

There's a very popular topic on Stack Overflow's Meta asking to Ban ImageShack Images. This was created because ImageShack deletes old images to free up server space, making images within older posts ...
140
votes
4answers
820 views

Suggested edits that change links should jump out and punch reviewers in the face

This request is motivated by a sneaky sneaky spammer who replaced a useful link with a link to some youtube video. It fooled several reviewers, and if I hadn't noticed that the link text was the same, ...
41
votes
4answers
852 views

Remove links when a post is deleted by Community from spam/offensive flags

Recently a user had completely lost it after getting question banned and he posted 3 spam answers: 10k only - No mods were on at the time to process our flags, but we mob-deleted them from the Lounge&...
68
votes
2answers
1k views

Why shouldn't I downvote spam that I've already flagged?

One of the responses to the question about the mass of football spam said: The proper course of action is to flag the post as spam. Three spam flags will remove it from the front page, six will ...
31
votes
1answer
803 views

Unable to post Chinese characters due to validation filter

This issue occurs when I attempt to post the Chinese characters for the novel "Water Margin" 《水浒传》 as a quote on Mythology SE. The error occurs even if a single character 水 is posted. The question ...
298
votes
2answers
1k views

Add optional box for spam flags letting you say why you think it's spam

This came up recently, where a user had taken the time to look at the link on a post and realized that the post wasn't just off-topic, it was actually half-decently-disguised spam. So he flagged it as ...
18
votes
2answers
742 views

Are research survey questions expected to be handled with close votes?

This question (probably soon to be deleted) made me wonder what would be the right way to handle surveys like that: I'm doing a worker interview for High School and I want to be a computer ...
45
votes
3answers
431 views

Implement cross-site posting rate limits to slow down spammers

In the morning of March 19th, a newly-registered user posted 11 spam questions in as many minutes: While asking questions is rate-limited, these rate limits are not applied across sites, allowing ...
108
votes
4answers
1k views

Auto-delete/destroy 1 rep user when their post is deleted as spam

My common workflow when I see a blatant spam post by a 1 rep user is: flag as spam (when I'm a mod this auto-deletes) go to user profile As a mod, I destroy the user. As a regular user I spam flag ...
9
votes
1answer
835 views

Has there been an uptick in spam votes against established questions? [closed]

The last few days seem to have seen the resurgence of some old conflicts on Stack Overflow. In particular there have been attempts to delete some old and popular but non-technical questions(*) and a ...
34
votes
2answers
763 views

Let's re-evaluate the Question Timer

I know this seems like a good idea, but this far into the game you should be able to tell from network behavior that I'm not a spammer… I had a compound question. I broke it up because breaking it up ...
28
votes
1answer
356 views

Obscure the title and text when question is deleted by Community from spam/offensive flags

This is sort of a follow-up to a feature request that resulted in obscuring spam / offensive content from 10K-visible answers: Remove links when a post is deleted by Community from spam/offensive ...
9
votes
4answers
305 views

Is it possible to flag a user rather than just individual posts?

Came across an answer by this user on on one of my favourites, the answer was clearly spam so I flagged it, but then so are all their other answers. Is it possible to flag the user as spam rather ...
17
votes
4answers
742 views

Are people abusing spam flagging as a cheap way to gain flag weight? [closed]

I just took a look at the list of flags and saw a bunch of spam flags against some user. As it turns out, looking at his profile, pretty much all of his 111 answers that I have peeked at propose ...
12
votes
2answers
472 views

How do I deal with spam users?

See also: How to deal with persistent Spam-Users? I know of a similar question here, but it does not really answer my question: How do I deal with users which have just one purpose: Spam? On Super ...
170
votes
14answers
9k views

A machine can flag spam automatically. Can it do better?

Since this has been posted, we've done a few things: We now cast four flags on posts that pass an accuracy threshold (current 99.9% historical confidence) SmokeDetector now casts the first ...
44
votes
2answers
968 views

Please provide a flag option clearly designed for gibberish, contentless posts [duplicate]

MERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR <3 doingdoingdoingdoingdoingdoingdoingdoingdoing. 9.... YEAH baby. Shash. BOSH. :)) What this post would normally receive on its own is 8 "not an answer" flags,...
29
votes
3answers
620 views

Advertising users on the trilogy - Outlook plugin case

I noticed this answer on Super User this morning, obvious advertisement for some commercial plugin. Quite usual situation, happening frequently. What is more surprising, though, is the amount of ...
26
votes
1answer
229 views

Cannot unfollow locked post from Following tab

Initially I was unable to unfollow deleted posts from the Following tab in my profile. That seemed to been fixed recently so I was cleaning out the deleted posts when I encountered one that would not ...
21
votes
7answers
985 views

Usernames as Advertising or Spam?

While doing some flagging (yes, I'm a little bit addicted) I stumbled upon the user StarWind Software. At first the case seemed clear, Spammer, but...and that's a big one, he seems to be a productive ...
46
votes
4answers
3k views

Who wants to go spam hunting?

Achtung! Read this first: Please use spam flags responsibly. Spam flags can have severe consequences on a user without any moderator action. Don't just spam spam flags, look at the user's activity. If ...
55
votes
2answers
1k views

SPAM deluge over at WebApps (and pretty much all over SE)

Related: Recent Mass Football Spam Web Applications's newest questions page is currently football-SPAM ridden to a surprising degree. Anything ordinary community members can/should do when something ...
-12
votes
4answers
905 views

When should we be enforcing the affiliation requirement?

The FAQ for this states: Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers. I'...
18
votes
3answers
548 views

Problem User Spamming Personal Library

I've flagged one of the posts of the following user as needing moderator attention, but I'm expanding here to explain the reason for my flag a little more in depth. User: https://stackoverflow.com/...
32
votes
1answer
296 views

Auto rollback any edits made by a spammer when his account get nuked

Many times spammers don't just post new answers (or questions) with their spam but also edit existing posts to insert their spam. Usually two high rep members will notice the spam and reject the ...
10
votes
5answers
770 views

What Constitutes Spam?

Over the course of the past several months, there have been one or more users who have been spamming about an XML parsing alternative named "VTD-XML". I have occasionally assisted the ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

How does Stack Overflow handle spam?

How does Stack Overflow handle spam?
54
votes
1answer
269 views

Include the option to flag posts as spam in the Low Quality queue

I guess this is an additional to previous requests like this and this. But I just came across this review item, and was unable to flag it as spam. edit: Since I posted this, the item has been ...
20
votes
1answer
492 views

What if six users conspire to nuke posts with spam flags?

From the guidance on spam and offensive flags: Additionally, any answer that accumulates enough offensive or spam flags will be automatically deleted. What if a bunch of lunatics simply cast ...
85
votes
2answers
701 views

Raise an automatic flag for spammers

When a post gets six spam flags, it is deleted. However, the user account remains in the system. When this happens, an automatic flag should be raised to allow moderators to check the account to see ...
19
votes
3answers
365 views

What should community ♦ mods do with spammers?

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 ...
-13
votes
2answers
353 views

Protect newbie questions from abuse and SO from spam

There has to be a balance between the ability of newbies to ask questions of gurus and the problem of newbie accounts being used to spaminate SO. On one hand, we see that experienced users frequently ...
52
votes
3answers
630 views

Getting flagged as spam should appear in the activity summary

This question brought to my attention something that was always there, but few knew: flagging a post as SPAM produces a 2 point rep penalty. The problem is I just got a 2 point decrease in rep ...
26
votes
2answers
417 views

Defend against flag spam in chat

We have incidents where we get 10+ flags from the same room in rapid succession. This happens on multiple occasions and we have reason to believe it's a single user doing this. I don't think it's of ...
4
votes
3answers
950 views

Can't post question on freelance. Says 'this looks like spam.'

The title pretty much tells you my problem, there is no other error message. It is a lengthy question, that's the only thing I can think of. *I just posted the original since it doesn't seem to ...
39
votes
5answers
432 views

Increase the number of daily spam flags with reputation

As a +10k-rep user on SO, I use the various tools to identify a lot of spam. There are two lists (new posts by new users and new answers to old questions) which are especially useful for tracking down ...
25
votes
2answers
472 views

Why wasn't this question automatically protected after 7 deleted spam answers?

I just destroyed a spam user, and noticed that one of their posts, which is to this question: Require anonymous user to register to add content-type Is the seventh spam answer to be deleted. I ...
11
votes
1answer
290 views

How to deal with persistent Spam-Users

See also: How to deal with Spam-Users? I've been flagging this guy already four times (same username, same advertised website), everytime he gets deleted, but he keeps coming back. Should I just ...
6
votes
2answers
217 views

Simple way to report spammy users?

I've noticed a handful of obviously spammy users (the most recent being https://stackoverflow.com/users/246855/best-penis-products) - there's no way to report the user, only their content. Are there ...

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