Hot answers tagged

183 votes

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

Maybe SE simply shouldn't publicly show profiles for users that have no interaction at all on the site. Users that have never voted, posted or done anything at all are just noise in the user listings ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
141 votes

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

I'm sure this will be unpopular, however... I don't feel this is a good policy, nor a necessary one. Some key points: Every job I've received, (day job or otherwise), in the last 4 years was due to ...
Brad's user avatar
  • 2,618
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
  • 87.8k
101 votes

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

A further refinement to Ilmari Karonen's answer (which refines Mad Scientist's): make profiles of new accounts that haven't done anything visible only to logged-in users. This does a few things: ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
97 votes
Accepted

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

That's on me, and I'm really sorry about this! As Glorfindel explained, I accidentally CC'd everyone entitled to a watch from this contest, instead of BCC'ing... :\ One of the recipients then sent ...
JNat's user avatar
  • 23.8k
91 votes

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

Thanks for the way this is brought to us! You really learned from previous posts with hard deadlines and lack of clarity. A few points. I really think it is good to protect our content here. I ...
Patrick Hofman's user avatar
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
  • 448k
73 votes

How can we handle spam faster?

Tl;dr a decent portion of the community of spam fighters went on strike. Expanded answer We have extremely good community spam protection. Or, we used to. Normally, there’s a number of tools used to ...
cocomac's user avatar
  • 13.1k
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
  • 13.9k
70 votes
Accepted

Does the Charcoal team plan to run SmokeDetector again?

Unlike Makoto or others who have commented here, I am a member of Charcoal, and though I'm not an admin in the Charcoal org, I run the bulk of the infrastructure that is necessary for SmokeDetector to ...
Thomas Ward's user avatar
  • 1,999
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
60 votes

The rate limiting system for posts is on strike; can it please be made to work?

This is really not a new problem. What has changed is that Smoke Detector/Charcoal is on strike together with many moderators. Fix the core Stack Exchange problems -> end the strike -> turn ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
58 votes

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

It turns out a Stack Exchange employee accidentally sent an e-mail, related to this contest, without putting the 110+ recipients in the BCC as required by data protection regulations. Therefore, all ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 251k
45 votes

How do we stop users from using the "spam" flag when there is no "promotion of a product or service"?

The moderator flag queue is biased towards bad spam flags. Posts that are deleted by 6 spam flags from the community have their flags marked helpful. This removes the flags from the moderator queue. (...
ArtOfCode's user avatar
  • 36.3k
44 votes

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

As a subtle alternative to Mad Scientist's suggestion, we could simply add a noindex meta tag to the profile pages of users with less than some minimum amount (say, 5 or 10 points) of rep. This would ...
Ilmari Karonen'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
39 votes
Accepted

Scammer spam autocompletes when entering team name in profile

This is bad data coming from CrunchBase - I am working to address it now. Update: I have done a huge amount of cleanup from the data source and just deployed a new Elastic indexing using it. Here's ...
Nick Craver's user avatar
38 votes

What is the policy on destroying users with very spammy profiles but have not posted spam yet?

There isn't a clearly defined policy available because... we don't have one. We actually don't encourage moderators to seek out these kinds of users and destroy them because it's usually a waste of ...
animuson's user avatar
  • 189k
38 votes

Why can't we blacklist questions with a description containing a mobile number and the string "loans"?

The SE spam filter is notoriously broken and has been like this for a long time. Usually the difference is caught by the Charcoal project, but hostility from SE has caused the project to go on strike ...
Mast's user avatar
  • 6,713
37 votes

-100 rep penalty effectiveness for spam?

It's worth remembering there's two (and half) types of spammers. There's the big commercial operations - your garden variety rx spam (probably automated) and manual (mostly software). These are beyond ...
Journeyman Geek's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

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

Adding this as an answer for visibility: thanks for bringing this to my attention- just pushed out a fix. I had added flagging to election nominations and accidentally included a bad check. This ...
Jane Willborn's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

How to deal with an otherwise salvageable post with a spam link?

If, at first glance, the the post looks good but has an apparent spam link at the end there's a good chance that it is really spam. The legitimate content will have been plagiarised from somewhere (...
ChrisF's user avatar
  • 100k
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
31 votes
Accepted

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

This is clearly off topic; close it and delete it. But these "take my survey" questions often ask users to go off site to collect that content. If they do, don't worry about the dictionary definition ...
Robert Cartaino's user avatar
29 votes

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

Small suggestion for the text: Under no circumstances will Subscriber use the Network or the Service to [...] person, or (d) knowingly post any false, inaccurate or incomplete material, or (e) ...
wythagoras's user avatar
  • 9,316
29 votes
Accepted

Should we vote to delete spam posts?

You should do two things: (1) flag it and (2) if it's really a low-traffic site, consider alerting a moderator or other users who are willing to help it go to 6 flags over spam.* First, Flag It ...
elixenide's user avatar
  • 3,698

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