I'm getting sick of writing these posts. But, yep our homepage was spammed by a bunch of spammers. As usual my question is this:

  1. How can we prevent this? Note that these things have been happening before the strike, but has certainly gotten worse since.
  • 20
    So why do you keep writing these posts? You know as well as I do exactly why this is happening: because the community spam-detection machinery is on strike. It is going to get worse as long as the strike continues. Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 22:53
  • 4
    This post has a section: "Our conditions for ending the strike". I offer, that's what needs attention, and is the avenue to the solution.
    – Levente
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 23:24
  • 2
    The ongoing strike does influence the situation. I suggest, if you intend to address issues that had been observed before the strike, you need to wait until the conditions get restored to a comparable state to how they were before the strike. Only then you could hope to find the underlying issues causing those occurrences. At the same time, I can attest that a lot of people feel the way you do. Some respect the strike and hold back from flagging posts, some, who sympathize with your frustration strongly, flag nevertheless.
    – Levente
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 23:35
  • 6
    The only solution at the moment is patience at the moment I'm afraid... When there is resolution of the current dispute the network spam detector will come back online and both elected and community moderators will once again win against the spammers.
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 23:49
  • 10
    @Starship-OnStrike I'm going to address this from three fronts. First, spam. Every site on the Internet that allows free registration, etc. that is even remotely forum-like will get spammed. There's no 100% foolproof counter to it. Secondly, the mod strike. One of the major things that helped fight it is Charcoal and SmokeDetector/MetaSmoke. They're participating in the strike too. The primary lines of defense as a result (using autoflagging to help fast-nuke actual spam) is gone, meaning there's no support/shields for it. Thirdly, mods are striking, so nobody to nuke the spam.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 3:00
  • I do not recall ever seeing spam on Ubuntu Forums, at least not in the past ten years. Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 5:16
  • 3
    It should be noted that metasmoke was offline before the strike due to maintenance. That's probably why this situation started before the strike.
    – vidarlo
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 5:48
  • 10
    @Starship-OnStrike if you're on strike, then you shouldn't flag for spam at all. Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 6:07
  • 1
    I will flag for spam on strike when it is that big of a problem @ArturMeinild
    – Starship
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 9:13
  • 7
    @Starship-OnStrike Sorry, but then I don't think you really get the point of a strike. The mousetail letter explicitly stated that anyone signing will abstain from raising flags. But this isn't something I want to take any further here. Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 9:24
  • 4
    @ThomasWard-OnStrike There's a great way to reduce spam: manually confirming each account. I've ran sites that were 100% spam free. For years. Just don't start about scaling, it doesn't.
    – Mast
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 11:36
  • 11
    "I will flag for spam on strike when it is that big of a problem" - I'm not sure you understand the purpose of a strike. The whole point is to make the other party notice how big of a problem they have when their conditions force us to strike. The worse it is, the more effective our strike...
    – Nmath
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 18:19
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because it can't be reproduced. The premise for the question is non-existent - spam-handling works flawlessly when Smokey is running properly. Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 22:46
  • 4
    @ArturMeinild and I'm actively involved in Charcoal because I run Metasmoke. The point is, with no moderators, spammers are allowed to run freely, which is the point to prove why moderators are needed and such.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 19:38
  • 3
    @ArturMeinild note that signees do not necessarily have to strike. they just need to be in support of those striking. I have confirmation from Mithical on that.
    – starball
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 7:59

1 Answer 1


You have 101 reputation on AU, which was obtained for being a trusted user on other SE sites.

You clearly don't even use AU, so why are you posting about this here? How can you claim to have knowledge of our specific community's abilities to handle spam when you do not interact with this community?

I don't know about other SE sites, but here in AU, before the strike, our volunteer and elected moderators have been excellent at removing spam with breakneck speed.

Maybe this has been a problem on the other SEs you patron, but it has never been a problem here.

If a question like this were posted on the main site, it would be closed as "Can't be reproduced".

  • 2
    To be precise, while the mods (diamond and not) have indeed been very good and helpful, the vast, vast majority of the work was carried out by the Charcoal folks. Back before we had auto-flagging, seeing spam on the front page was a regular occurrence, despite the work of the mods and community. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 16:52

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