We have about 20 to 40 spam posts a day. Why shouldn't there be a feature to prevent this?

Some ideas as to how we can do this:

  • Search for words, and if post matches... (I've found the most common ones are advertisements for fake muscle enhancer, fitness enhancer etc. type of products)
    • ... block post
    • ... warn poster
    • ... put a Captcha barrier
  • Captcha on every post (not type-a-string-in-picture kind of captcha, Google's easy reCAPTCHA style)

1 Answer 1


We already have an unofficial spam detection system.

There's a bot called SmokeDetector which is maintained by some users that checks every new post on all sites using a great load of filters and if it spots a spammy, offensive or gibberish post, it notifies the community through some chat rooms. Our users can then check that post and flag it as spam if necessary.

6 normal spam flags then lead to automatic deletion of the post.

In my opinion it could be good to implement a system like SmokeDetector directly into Stack Exchange to check posts for potential abuse before they appear on the site. So posts that pass the filter appear immediately, but suspicious ones are placed in a queue that has to be reviewed by human users first. I think it should be a separate queue because posts in there would not be visible to the public, so it should be processed fast. However, I see that this would be a major network-wide change and is probably not going to get implemented in the near future.

Adding Captchas for every post is in my opinion an awful idea. Captchas are horribly annoying and I personally tend to dislike sites which prompt me with a Captcha more than once when I log in the first time.

  • Why not set SmokeDetector to check posts from new users?
    – user423626
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 12:57
  • 2
    It checks all new posts. However, as it's not an official part of Stack Exchange, it has no special rights. It only has standard user privileges. Also, it does not take any moderating actions itself because there is always the risk of a false positive. You can see SmokeDetector rather as a watcher who notifies regular users in chat about potential spam/offensive/bad posts. It's only there for helping regular users spotting all bad stuff and taking the appropriate action.
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 13:24
  • 2
    6 spam flags delete a post (each spam flag comes with a free down vote as well) and give a -100 rep penalty to the user, see here
    – rene
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 12:27

You must log in to answer this question.