What is happening with the recent wave of spamming? I flagged as spam more posts today than the entire time I've been on EL&U.

I keep down-voting the questions and flagging them, but is there a reason why today there have been 4 spam questions?

  • 1
    I'm confused. What exactly is the definition of spam, as opposed to off-topic, puerile, pointless, antagonistic and all the other words we might use for unwanted/low quality contributions? Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 4:50
  • @FumbleFingers That it's a lot all at once and totally nonsense. :P
    – Alenanno
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 6:48
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    @FumbleFingers: as I understand it, intention is the difference. Most low-quality answers come from people who genuinely mean to contribute, but just don’t put enough effort in to make it any good. Spamming (or trolling) is when they aren’t here for the right reasons at all.
    – PLL
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 15:09
  • @PPL: I thought trolling meant actual people visiting places on the net to pick arguments or make snide comments, whereas spamming was something done by software trying to con you into buying stuff. Anyway, it doesn't seem to be a big problem on EL&U to me. By the very nature of the way things work here, it's fairly easy for all of us to spot "persistently worthless" posters, and I'm sure the mods can easily debar anyone who keeps messing the place up. Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 16:18
  • @FumbleFingers Yes troll is also that behavior. But spamming is also done by people, not just scripts. In our case, there were two users who actually was one person who kept posting questions with links and one answer with the other user providing the same exact link.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 16:21
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    @Alenanno: Well I know of at least one user who was briefly suspended for doing that to distort the rep system, but who's made many useful contributions both before any after the ban. I'd realised something was afoot there, some weeks before any action was taken - but I was a bit of a noob myself, so I said nothing. It's all water under the bridge now, but in retrospect I'm quite pleased with the way EL&U dealt with it. React only when forced to, not necessarily at the first hint of trouble. The dorky kids will probably just go away soon enough if no-one rises to the bait. Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


It's the same person who keeps spamming, but using different accounts. Spammers like posting multiple times to increase exposure.

A pattern was identified and the content placed on the blacklist.

On the upside, it's good for flag weight.

  • 1
    Thanks for answering. By the way, I never understood the flag weight thing... Maybe I never will. :D
    – Alenanno
    Commented Sep 18, 2011 at 19:26
  • 2
    Basically, if you flag things, your flag weight goes up which gives your flags increased priority when we look at them. However, there's a caveat- if you flag poorly (e.g. completely randomly), your flag weight goes down.
    – waiwai933
    Commented Sep 18, 2011 at 19:56
  • There was a bunch more today--was it the same person?
    – user10893
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 1:53
  • @simchona It appears so.
    – waiwai933
    Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 2:18

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