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125 votes

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

I see a very big difference between moving to 4 or to 5 automatic flags. I wouldn't have any issue with 4 flags, but 5 flags means that only a single user is required to nuke the post. This would ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
113 votes

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

Stack Exchange has its own spam detection and prevention system. If I understand its design goal correctly it prevents spam from even being posted. What SmokeDetector finds are basically the posts ...
rene's user avatar
  • 88.8k
76 votes

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

The biggest advantage I see in how the Smoke Detector project has operated thus far is its transparency: one of the most frustrating aspects of using these sites is how difficult it can be to ...
Shog9's user avatar
  • 450k
72 votes

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

We determined we can beat those numbers and eliminate spam from Stack Overflow and the rest of the network even faster. (Emphasis mine) What, if any, work have you done to ensure the robustness of ...
TylerH's user avatar
  • 14.2k
69 votes

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

The thing that concerns me about 5 auto-flags is that sometimes users are wrong and now it only takes one user to spam-delete a post. A statistic that would help me better evaluate this is: on each ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
45 votes

Stack Exchange needs its own anti-spam system

I'd argue that it would be very difficult to replicate Charcoal without a fair amount of effort. You can automate flagging and removal. However the 'rules' used to detect spam are manual, community-...
Journeyman Geek's user avatar
42 votes

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

Art mentioned this in a comment: However, while some people are more zealous than others in flagging I dunno whether bad luck, or good that it occurred, this happened yesterday: The red color ...
Bhargav Rao's user avatar
  • 10.8k
38 votes

How should a bot earn enough reputation to perform the actions necessary for that bot?

As this is a discussion topic, let me just post the obvious thing. Stack Exchange needs to have a process for requesting, granting, flagging, and revoking specific privileges for bot accounts. Bots ...
tripleee's user avatar
  • 14.1k
35 votes

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

Smoke detector is a fantastic project, it has inspired many of us to do other type of moderation bots. However once Brad Larson stated in this comment on a question that I made I'm not terribly ...
Petter Friberg's user avatar
33 votes

Can we do more to stop bots from posting?

They are not bots; they are humans who get paid a miserable salary in exchange for posting spam. They're smart enough to solve the captchas Stack Exchange already throws at them and some even use ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 251k
32 votes

How should a bot earn enough reputation to perform the actions necessary for that bot?

I think it's stupid. Of course, I'm not a big fan of bounties under any circumstances... But abusing the sandbox to get rep into a sockpuppet while preventing others from using it for its intended ...
Shog9's user avatar
  • 450k
28 votes

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

I feel that the increased automated flags should be opt-in with the agreement of the moderation team, and community involved. At a broader level, I think the individual communities ought to have a say ...
Journeyman Geek's user avatar
27 votes

Should I search for posts to make trivial edits to?

No. Please don't do this - when you edit a post, please fix as many of its problems as you can. It is acceptable to edit posts you come across organically, to fix as many errors as you can. You don'...
D.W.'s user avatar
  • 13.1k
23 votes

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

While Charcoal HQ and your GitHub and website have been publicly accessible in the past, posts like these will increase your visibility across the Stack Exchange network and maybe even reach the top ...
SpockPuppet's user avatar
23 votes

Can bots which require moderator privileges operate on SE?

No, bots should never be given moderation powers. This exact discussion came up on MSO 3 years ago: Should moderators run automated bots under their accounts?, and I think the top-voted answer by Cody ...
caird coinheringaahing's user avatar
21 votes
Accepted

Smoke detector bad keyword detection

One way to quickly see the reason for the report is clicking the "MS" link: (metasmoke) In your case it leads to this page where you can see this: Reason weight: 97 Bad keyword in body - ...
Shadow Wizard Love Zelda's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Why can metasmoke and SmokeDetector get reputation?

Well, they're not really bots. They are just regular user accounts, like yours and mine. So there was a user that at some point wrote this question, and manages these accounts. It is not illegal to ...
Luuklag's user avatar
  • 36k
20 votes

Chat bots are dead, looks like being blocked by something on the server side

When connecting to any chatroom, the websocket connection that's meant to be formed immediately errors out. In the console, I see: master-chat.js?v=8e20450acb97:7 WebSocket connection to 'wss://chat....
Spevacus's user avatar
  • 26.8k
19 votes
Accepted

Is this a troll or a bot answering?

Probably a troll, but it could just as well be a bot... Either way, posts like that should be flagged as "rude or abusive".
Cerbrus's user avatar
  • 7,802
18 votes

Can a machine be taught to flag spam automatically?

I understand the question was rhetorical, but let me answer anyway. The English Wikipedia has had such a machine for a while, mostly ClueBotNG, which follows some rules and a bit of learning. Some ...
Nemo's user avatar
  • 4,072
17 votes

Has anyone ever tried running an answer bot on Stack Overflow?

Yes. There was an answer bot created by the University of Antwerp which ran on Stack Overflow. It mainly focused on Git questions. This is the paper which gives us more information of the bot. ...
Box Box Box Box's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

robots.txt was changed to block saving hot questions page in Wayback Machine, why?

robots.txt was changed to block saving hot questions page in Wayback Machine, why? Nope! The robots.txt hasn't changed since May, 2015. And the Disallow: /*? directive has been there since the file ...
Nick Craver's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Bot answering for reputation

You can handle cases like this easily by raising a moderator flag. Click on the "flag" icon below the problematic post, click the "other" button, and type in a description of your concerns like you've ...
Cody Gray - on strike's user avatar
14 votes

Is there a bot on Stack Overflow?

Yes. There was an answer bot created by the University of Antwerp which ran on Stack Overflow. It mainly focused on Git questions. The bot is currently closed. It had answered lots of questions, ...
Darsh kotecha's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Is there a reason why this year's Winter Bash site prevents crawling?

Google's spider was hitting it... A lot... This was causing a lot of unnecessary load on the server. Best to just block the bots so as to let real people enjoy it.
Shog9's user avatar
  • 450k
14 votes
Accepted

What kind of actions are bots allowed to do?

As an advocate for automation on Stack Exchange, I'd say that it boils down to one thing: Use common sense. I've written various bots/scripts which edit posts or suggest edits, to repair broken stuff (...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 251k
12 votes

Should we have special accounts for bots?

No, there should not be a special "bot" type of account. Stack Exchange provides an API that let's you do a lot of things automatically including: Upvote Downvote Flag Edit Accept/Unaccept an answer ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 21.4k

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