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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2780
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
149
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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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
127
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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 ...
120
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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 ...
113
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6answers
3k views

We need to improve the quality of our spam!

Recently, I've noticed a downhill effect in the quality of spam posted on Stack Exchange websites. Take this as an example (found on Space.SE): There are a great many things wrong with this artifact: ...
107
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 ...
91
votes
1answer
934 views

Don't use spam post as audits in the low quality review queue

Spam posts, without proper context, especially those tricky ones, can be extremely difficult to assess; and even when you successfully identify it as "spam" the review queue doesn't allow you to flag ...
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 ...
85
votes
0answers
292 views

Posts destroyed as spam should trigger a retroactive audit failure for previous "No Action Needed" votes

As a moderator on Stack Overflow, I regularly look through the review history of obvious spam that has lasted more than an hour or so on the site. I often find one or two reviewers who voted "No ...
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 "...
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 ...
76
votes
1answer
553 views

Flag users who approve an edit that ends up rejected for vandalism

If an edit is rejected as vandalism, I think it would be useful to have some sort of flag or notification raised if anyone voted to approve it.
72
votes
7answers
618 views

How can we empower per-site mods to more efficiently dispose of network spammers?

Here's the problem, in a nutshell: Glancy T. Pony is a mod on our mayonnaise site, and wakes up in the afternoon to find that her site has been littered by Miracle Whip astroturfers. As Glancy ...
71
votes
0answers
556 views

2017: a year in spam

Last year, I posted 2016: a year in spam. Since that was pretty well-received, here’s the 2017 version. Ladies, gentlemen, aliens, and everyone in between: more statistics about spam that you never ...
68
votes
2answers
2k views

More than 15k bottles of Viagra from Kenya, asking 110+ people for money, seriously?

I received a strange mail from a well-known SE user with the following body two days ago: HALLO EVERYONE. I am writing to you from Kenya. I have recently come into contact with a great bunches of ...
68
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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 ...
67
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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: ...
62
votes
3answers
825 views

This user is edit-spamming dozens of answers with their affiliate code. Can they be removed?

See the activity here: https://stackoverflow.com/users/1071887/idan?tab=activity&sort=revisions Notice that most of the edits are simply adding that user's affiliate code to iTunes links. It's a ...
61
votes
1answer
674 views

Stop sending me emails I didn't sign up for

In the past few days, I've had eight separate emails from Stack Overflow. I signed up for none of them, and none of them are enabled in my email settings. The Overflow #17 Charcoal Digest - Tuesday, ...
61
votes
0answers
462 views

Please moderate Facebook comments on the SO page

Not a complaint or a whine, but a polite request because Facebook won't do it. I reported the comment above, which was posted from a fake account using your name to entice people to send them crypto ...
58
votes
3answers
635 views

Spam edit approved

Here's an edit that replaced the useful link with some youtube video: https://stackoverflow.com/suggested-edits/346238 I'm not sure how else to go about flagging it, but clearly the editor needs a ...
58
votes
1answer
451 views

2018: a year in spam

End-of-year posts seem to have become the tradition these days, so I'm back again with a third Year in Spam. Welcome back, folks, to another round of statistics you never needed to know. All times/...
57
votes
2answers
704 views

Automatically reject suggested edits where edit summary is an email address

Could we automatically reject a suggested edit if the edit summary is only an email address? We all know it is very common for spam bots to enter email address to the one-line field that is after a ...
57
votes
1answer
1k views

Scammer spam autocompletes when entering team name in profile

When I type "Google", "Microsoft", "Norton", "Canon", "Lexmark", or any of several other company names into the Company Name field in the Career section of my Stack Overflow profile, most of the ...
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 ...
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 ...
53
votes
4answers
539 views

Spam-polishing audits

A truly horrific thing happened on 2014-02-26: In case you can't see that, that's blatant spam. With a suggested edit to fix its link. That edit was unanimously approved. A suggested edit to fix ...
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 ...
51
votes
1answer
1k views

Can/Should we report companies who solicit astroturfing services?

I got an email from a company asking me to use my established reputation to recommend their product on Stack Overflow: Hello Oli! My name is [withheld], and I’m Sales & Marketing Manager in [...
50
votes
1answer
411 views

Deleting your profile clears the spam flag, but not the implicit downvote

While testing an answer to What happens to pending flags when an account is deleted?, I discovered something else: it's possible to serially downvote a single post using only one account. Steps to ...
50
votes
1answer
438 views

Timestamps for spam and offensive flags not shown

In the flagging summary page /users/flag-summary/<id>, the timestamp that the flag is raised for spam and offensive flags are not shown. Is this status-bydesign or a bug? I can't think of any ...
50
votes
1answer
332 views

Should the "Page Not Found" page for deleted spam suggest a search?

When a <10k user opens a deleted question, he is greeted with a "Page Not Found" page explaining that the question has been deleted by the author, or for moderation reasons, but more importantly it ...
49
votes
8answers
752 views

What can we do about all the reoccurring spam?

This last blast we had was really huge, it lasted almost the whole day. See: http://i.stack.imgur.com/OXvpc.jpg I have noticed across SE we are getting a lot of spam, usually titled "WATCH BLAH ...
48
votes
5answers
1k views

Who's supposed to stop spam on the Bitcoin SE site? [closed]

The Bitcoin SE site is full of spam. I tried to ask about it on the site but they told me to ask on Meta, but I don't have enough points for that. Just look at the front page, the spam is ...
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 ...
47
votes
5answers
2k views

Help this poor spammer out

I don't think this guy deserved to get his answer deleted as spam. Martin'Vobr vas Rebex linked to a product he makes as an example of a library to accomplish the task the OP sought, and did so in a ...
47
votes
1answer
458 views

Where did the "Spam" and "Rude" flags go?

The 'Red Flags' (Spam and R/A) have disappeared as options in the Flag pop-up for both answers and questions (see below). Where did they go?
47
votes
1answer
463 views

Allow moderators to handle spam flags network-wide

There has been lots of discussion here about the sports-related spam. On high volume sites, and sites with OCD^H^H^Hactive moderators, spam vanishes quickly. Either the users flag it to oblivion, or ...
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 ...
46
votes
1answer
337 views

2016: a year in spam

In the spirit of Shog9's recent post, "2016: A year in closing", I thought I'd do something similar for spam. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with all the statistics about spam you never needed to ...
45
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a "spam seed"?

Here I found a new terminology first time: Looks like a spam seed is a post, which "is designed to allow spammers to post questions so it looks legitimate". What does this mean? Maybe it is some ...
45
votes
3answers
429 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 ...
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,...

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