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Let me start this off by first saying I'm sorry if this is completely off-topic. I just don't have experience posting on Meta.

So I've been active on AU since late April. In that time, I've noticed several posts that come up that are ads for cosmetics and such. I've even seen a few asking what medicines/drugs would be best for certain situations. My question: are these ads and questions spam, people mistaking AU for something else, or both? Also, do these questions appear on the other SE sites?

This post partially answers my question (and I don't know how I couldn't find it), but the other parts still remain.

marked as duplicate by muru, Mateo, kos, guntbert, Fabby Sep 18 '15 at 21:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Spam. Flag spam and destroy those posts on sight. – muru Sep 18 '15 at 1:14
  • @muru That sort of explains it, but what about the questions asking for opinions on medication? – TheWanderer Sep 18 '15 at 1:16
  • I have never seen anybody asking for opinions on medication. O.o – muru Sep 18 '15 at 1:18
  • @muru It was here like a month ago. They asked if a site was a trustworthy place for some brand of laxatives or something. Until then I put the ads off as spam bots, but this changed my opinion. – TheWanderer Sep 18 '15 at 1:19
  • I'm not convinced. I'd say that's still spam advertising for that site (or that brand of laxatives). – muru Sep 18 '15 at 1:20
  • @muru I don't know. It just made me think it could be something else. I added a little to my question. – TheWanderer Sep 18 '15 at 1:20
  • Without more details, I don't see how this question can get any different answers from the other one. – muru Sep 18 '15 at 1:21
  • @muru I don't really like the answer there, since it only gives a brief explanation for one part of my question. – TheWanderer Sep 18 '15 at 1:24
  • What other parts are there? O.o – muru Sep 18 '15 at 1:25
  • @muru The part about questions about drugs: is Ubuntu some sort of synonym for "drug?" The part about whether or not it's on other SE sites – TheWanderer Sep 18 '15 at 1:26
  • No, yes. Here's a 10k-only link to one such post: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/211254 – muru Sep 18 '15 at 1:27
  • @muru I have a 5th of the rep required to view deleted questions on AU and a 100th on U&L. – TheWanderer Sep 18 '15 at 1:29
  • :shrug: Spend more time on other sites and you'll see those posts there too. – muru Sep 18 '15 at 1:30
  • @muru Well that's the question. Dankeshon. – TheWanderer Sep 18 '15 at 1:30
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If you see something obviously off-topic that looks shady, flag it as spam. There are only really two possibilities here:

  • Either the person asking really really has no clue what they are doing

  • or it is just (not) so cleverly disguised spam. Trust me, this is the case 99.99% of the time. Spammers want you to think they are legit and will go to quite long lengths to make it seem that way, including "asking" about their products in the 3rd person and then "answering" them with another account (probably what you saw here). So flag it as spam and move on to a question that really deserves your attention :)

And yes, this happens on other sites. Spammers don't just target us ;)

  • Thanks. This answers a lot. – TheWanderer Sep 18 '15 at 1:28
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    You can probably add a few more 9s to that. – muru Sep 18 '15 at 1:30

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