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39

Not to put down Mithrandir's answer or Charcoal which indeed does a terrific job, but it's not only the awesome Charcoal folks and SmokeDetector who keep Ask Ubuntu clear of spam, it's also site moderators and normal users like you and me. Until recently, every spam post had to be flagged by six site users (with at least 15 reputation) or one moderator to be ...


36

Good catch! You should flag this as spam since it is clearly spam. The OP is trying to hide their spam in a valid-sounding question. Actually, for such hidden things, a custom mod flag might be a better choice. Explain that it is hidden spam. Otherwise, the mod who handles the flag could easily miss it. In this particular case, I found the text of the ...


36

For those that don't know me, I work for Stack Exchange. We've been on top of this since it started. We noticed some abnormal spam activity going on here which your moderators quickly confirmed. We've taken the following steps to keep it out: Registration is now (temporarily) required to post a question Spam originating from Ask Ubuntu is dealt a much ...


31

You're welcome! ;) We're an organization known as Charcoal, or Charcoal-SE. Check out our website https://charcoal-se.org for some amazing spam detection! But seriously.... yeah, we're Charcoal, and that's our website. We detect spam all over the Stack Exchange network - not just Ask Ubuntu, but Stack Overflow, Super User, Math.SE, Bitcoin.SE, just to ...


29

Yeah, good catch. I completely agree with your assessment. Bombs away. Pew Pew. In addition to destroying all three accounts and their posts, I have requested the domain is blocked making it impossible for people in the future to post similar posts. Thanks for your help!


21

I strongly suspect "Free PDF to JPG Converter 2015" of being malware. There's no source code to download Only 1 .exe file. New project Very keyword-heavy summary It's Windows only and being spammed on Ask Ubuntu. It's not a question. It's not even close. These are only suspicions but if it is malware, that would explain why they're spamming it around. ...


20

surprise Well I am surprised that you wish to discuss this matter so openly - I'm very happy to do so. for the record... Just for the record, you have continually flagged for the following comment to be removed: did you consider encrypting your entire drive? Given your question about encryption/decryption etc, I considered this an entirely reasonable ...


18

So far what the community has been doing is great. Flagging works to get our attention and will also nuke the post if enough people flag it. When the moderators are online, we have easily been killing spam within 10-30 minutes. One thing I will say about web spam and the editing discussion: most automated spammers test a website to make sure that their spam ...


17

Hammer it with flags. The community will auto-nuke it if it gets enough. Or a real mod will see it and they can do fun stuff, like banning the user. If you want to edit it, you can, but don't do that at the cost of waiting to flag.


15

UPDATE: This is way more than normal, seems like a coordinated attack, I've informed a mod who will likely inform the StackExchange folks, please keep flagging until you can't flag no more! There's no need to worry, between you and the other amazing community contributors your personal limit doesn't really matter, there's enough people flagging to make ...


14

Logical simple way of viewing it lets us divide this in 2 types of spam: The post related to the question in case (as in: it could be an answer) but connected to a commercial product/information or owned/developed by the user; The post is pure spam and has nothing to do with the site or the information we normally deal with; First case should make us ...


14

Why we ask "Why?" Asking why is often done because something in the question suggests that the person asking is going about solving their problem the wrong way. In those cases, oftentimes, the best way to answer the question is offer a different approach to the problem. Sometimes, though, there's a specific reason why a person has to approach the problem ...


13

In my very annoyed opinion, ;-) product placement and spam are the same. Whether you just put a link to some product in the question (spam) or the answer (Product placement), the net result is the same: You promote the sales of some product instead of giving an impartial answer. Warning: This is my personal opinion, I've flagged product placement before as ...


13

This is one of those cases where I personally would flag for moderator's intervention because this is not so obvious of a case. Explain clearly that the post is spam and is disguised, point where the link is placed.


13

OmgUbuntu is not Spam; it is a much frequented Ubuntu blog and links to it pop up occasionally, and I don't believe we want such posts being Spam-flagged when we use links to it in chat or on the site, so this is not Spam. It is however not answering the question; it's saying thanks, so it is delete-worthy. As I was likely the first one to review this ...


12

You should not question the purposes, the if's and how's of why a particular person want to do a particular thing. The Questions should be asked as they are. The Question itself is not to be questioned. My dear friend, the above quote is a perfect example of sarcasm in action. Every open online community will want to know the intention of the questioner to ...


12

Yes, we should keep an eye on them Spam is bad for the site, it does not help anybody and it clutters all those good questions and answers we have here. No, we should not flag and delete them all These are my personal criteria that I keep in mind for cases where I may welcome a self-promoting answer, and I also upvote them: it does answer the question ...


11

The answer in question is not considered spam for several reasons. I will be quoting from Seth's answer on the related post about what constitutes spam to analyze this. Advertisement Is this an advertisement? Does it read like an advertisement? Spam usually sounds very promotional. The original text of the answer reads: I prefer to use virtual ...


9

Spammers are attacking every website. That's what spammers do; they spam. Just flag the posts you find. If enough people flag the system will take care of things automagically. Otherwise a moderator will nuke the post when we see your flag. We don't need a Meta post about every instance :p


8

To address the feature request itself: This feature should not be implemented. Unlimited spam flags would be bad, because spam flags are extremely powerful. A spam flag carries an automatic downvote from the system. This doesn't decrease the author's reputation, but will alter other users' perceptions of the post, and these votes combine with actual ...


8

Rejecting these as spam trains the spam filter, which very quickly keeps them out. It's very rare that the same spam network only targets one of our sites; those that hit Ask Ubuntu also tend to hit Magento and Stack Overflow, the sites all use the same spam data, so all benefit from the actions that everyone takes. What you might see, depending on the ...


8

Unless the link is something immediately harmful (But this being linux, one has less need to worry about malware - so maybe a shock site), there's little advantage to edits. New user links do not get picked up by search engines, and leaving the post as it lets a mod decide based on what is there whether its worth nuking or not. You may also consider ...


8

I've never thought about that but yes - it would be wonderful if you did!


8

In this case it is rather obvious. From what I could see on quickly checking their homepage their primary download directs to Windows and from my Windows office machine I could not find any downloads for Linux. Only on searching deeper into their help pages I found a guide on how to run this Java application on Linux. The advertising posts give no help ...


7

You don't need Data Explorer to find posts with links that need replacing: site search with url: parameter will do it just fine. See https://askubuntu.com/search?q=url%3Abodhizazen.net For comments, use the Data Explorer query pattern in comments - it finds 85 comments as of now. Keep in mind that SEDE is updated once a week, on weekends.


7

You just did it. Nuked, from orbit. Thank you for pointing it out.


6

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 ...


6

To add to what Oli mentioned there is no direct way to report a profile. The feature was trialed for a bit, but removed. I don't remember why, but I believe there were too many reports for non serious things. Instead, flag a post that the user has created. Or, if they don't have any posts, posting here on meta works. You can also drop by chat and ping any ...


5

Sometimes spam edits still occur. We may need to help users who only recently gained edit privileges to know about this to avoid this. For addrssing users who are not in chat it may be a good idea to increase people's awareness on this topic by occasionally tagging this post as featured to make it appear in the Community Bulletin.


5

If it's just one piece of spam, with very few few people on-line it can takes about 15 minutes before it's finally taken down, but on busy days, it takes about a minute and when we man the spam stations during a big spam wave, it takes about 2 seconds to get flagged into oblivion! ;-) So keep on flagging! Eventually the spammers will give up! No, they ...


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