I was going to edit this question but I appear to be running into some kind of spam catcher.

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  • 5
    This. is. hilarious. However, not a bug.
    – Seth
    Aug 25, 2013 at 18:01
  • 3
    I love that The Walking Dead is the new spam-post auto-flag. I'm sorry you couldn't edit something though. I'm guessing it will get through if you do something similar to a ninja edit with a <!--- /---> inside the walking dead. Just saying. As long as it's harder to spam than it is to fix, SE is doing it right. Aug 25, 2013 at 18:02
  • 5
    Unicode zero width space for the win!
    – Mateo
    Aug 25, 2013 at 18:17
  • So... I fail to see what could, or needs to be done about this.. Isn't this what we want?
    – Seth
    Aug 26, 2013 at 17:44
  • 2
    @Seth No, being unable to easily edit posts that are already on the site, because of keywords already present in them, is not what we want. Aug 28, 2013 at 20:28
  • @EliahKagan I think it is, since it prevents spammers posting a (some what) legit question and then editing it into spam.. Or something similar to that.
    – Seth
    Aug 28, 2013 at 20:32
  • 3
    @Seth You're talking about preventing the introduction of new spammy language to an existing post. This bug is about how editing an existing post requires removing existing language from it that was already present. That's totally different. Furthermore, consider the possibilities: If it wasn't spam, it's a false positive. If it was spam, then the system forces editors to remove text that makes it easy to spot as spam (but not the actual "payload," such as links or email addresses). It's a lose-lose situation. Fixing the bug doesn't require allowing the introduction of new spammy language. Aug 28, 2013 at 20:44
  • @EliahKagan Ah, now I see what you are getting at.
    – Seth
    Aug 28, 2013 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


The phrase "The Walking Dead" was blacklisted a few months ago after a wave of spam. Unfortunately, it's not feasible for us to differentiate between new posts and edits when it comes to checking for blacklisted stuff. If nothing else, if edits were exempt, it'd make it easier for someone to edit blacklisted input into posts that didn't previously have it.

Either way, the last time this phrase was matched by an actual spam post was about 4 months ago, so I removed the blacklist entry.

We're working on other (and better) means of dealing with spam, so if another wave comes we should be fairly well-equipped to handle it without needed to resort to blacklisting input again.

  • 2
    "if edits were exempt, it'd make it easier for someone to edit blacklisted input into posts that didn't previously have it." Unless the system specifically checked for whether or not the banned text was present before the edit. Then blacklisted text could not be added to posts that didn't previously have it. Of course, if we can do away with blacklisting and use other, equally effective methods (as it seems you're indicating may happen), that's probably even better. Aug 30, 2013 at 13:55

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