2

This user joined today and added links to 7 questions all with the same text. I don't know if the site is legit or not, but I don't think this is behavior we should support or encourage.

I imagine the possibility where users sign up just to post links of varying quality and overwhelm the site. This isn't a good thing.

Question 1

What should be done with his link spamming?

Question 2

What action should we take with dealing with these questions? Here are a few ideas:

  • Require a minimum of 200 rep to post links, comments, etc

  • Lock the posts and prevent new answers

  • Mark the questions for deletion.

Here are some sample questions that were List-like (asking for links). On most SE sites, these types of list questions would be marked as off topic, but as Bitcoin matures we may adopt that policy as well.

3

This is a difficult one to be honest. We do a lot to combat spam and we're always trying to do more, but a lot of the suggestions we get just don't work that well.

We're already talking with SE staff about crawling links to prevent url shortener spam and we already blacklist common spam sites as they appear. Requiring rep to post links unfortunately isn't a great idea since we want new people to be able to ask questions, even when those questions include links - especially since a good link is often a better resource for finding solutions than the question itself.

For now the best solution is to flag these things for moderator attention and, if you have sufficient rep, vote to delete.

Note: Voting to delete requires a negative score, so downvoting these is also very important. Your downvotes will also prevent many of the twitterbots out there from tweeting the spam since most are based on StackBot and have a minimum vote threshold.

Indeed the best thing we can possibly do to combat spam is get enough 4,000+ rep users on the site that we can successfully vote to delete without moderator intervention.

  • Does Vote to Delete require the question to be closed first? – Highly Irregular Jul 10 '13 at 5:24
  • The link you provided states: "Voting to delete questions immediately after they are closed (even if they are new)" so that seems to answer my question. – Highly Irregular Jul 10 '13 at 5:26
2

Well, seeing as I am one of the people that actively combats those links more often than not, here is what I do:

- Downvote the question - this makes it possible for other people to vote to delete it and I think it can also make the question disappear from the front page - Edit the question's title and body - this way the spam links disappear and have no use. The spammer in question will not be able to edit those back - they don't have the rep. - Flag the question for deletion - if we get enough attention on it, it will be deleted

  • Flag the question for spam (6 votes are required, no moderator intervention is needed)

All of this takes a few seconds per question if you are dealing with multiple questions at the same time. Asides the obvious benefit of keeping this site clean, it also gives you some benefits:

  • It gives you points towards your badges for editing
  • It improves your flag weight, which will also give you a badge
  • If you are doing this through the review tool, you also get points towards a few more badged (close votes, first posts, etc)

So in the end, you can wire yourself to view those troll posts as something positive - you have a way to reward yourself for editing them and you have a good feeling about doing this community a service :).

  • 3
    You are wrong about editing posts (see here and here). You are making it harder for other to think about flag-ing the post. It's the only thing which is required really (downvote is automatic). All it takes is six spam flags and the post is gone. – Stéphane Gimenez Apr 4 '13 at 13:23
  • Looks like they have to be closed before I can vote to delete. Deletion is automatic with 6 spam flags, but that could take quite some time on Bitcoin.SE, making it different to SU and SO; perhaps there is good reason to edit the post here? – Highly Irregular Jul 10 '13 at 5:32
  • Perhaps this is a good strategy? ie add a spam warning to the top of the post: meta.superuser.com/a/3577/91656 – Highly Irregular Jul 10 '13 at 5:33

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