40

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

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 ...


35

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 ...


33

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!


20

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. ...


16

I see three possibilities as to how that question ended up edited into spam: The account was compromised sometime between when the question was posted, 2018-11-23, and when it was edited into spam on 2019-02-11. The question was originally posted with the intent to edit it into spam at a later date. The question was originally posted in good faith, but the ...


14

I'm a room owner of SOCVR and a regular in Charcoal-HQ and those rooms are involved in fighting spam posts across the SE network. Thank you for noticing these spam posts and offering ideas to put a stop to them. That specific spam is rather well known and persistent. Only on Ask Ubuntu over 2000 posts have been noticed and flagged. Even today 7 of such ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 and ...


11

If you suspect that something harmless-looking might be spam related, check whether it was plagiarized. That question was copied from another question, and the user's profile text was copied from some random web page (https://ancu.me/thong-tin-thi-truong-bat-dong-san/danh-sach-cac-chua-dep-gan-sai-gon-cau-binh-an-dip-le.html). (I've raised a custom ...


10

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 ...


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

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 ...


8

The question got a lot of views quickly and then was automatically protected after three none answers were posted by 1 rep users. As this happened ages ago (Aug 5th), I have unprotected the question and now 1 rep users can answer it again, consider contacting the user you mention in this post if you can. There are no reviews for protected questions, ...


7

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


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

In addition to Videonauth's answer, which points out that the site mentioned is popular with Ubuntu users and linking to it is not normally considered spamming, I would suggest that we can't actually tell whether the author of the post is affiliated with the site they link to. The condition you mention in your question title: Should a post be flagged as ...


5

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 ...


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 won't:...


5

I have edited the answer from the new question into the stub answer posted by the OP and merged the new question into the old one which moved the answer there. I should probably have noticed that the question got protected last time it got a new NAA (because it was me who deleted it) and unprotected it, because the first two answers posted were by the same ...


4

Spam flags are magical things. Get more than a few and your account starts seizing up. Get more than that and network-level blockers step in. For that reason we try to make sure that only really spammy spam is hitting the spam filter. The post in question (now deleted - but some users can see it still) was more of community outreach and announcement. It ...


4

There's always spam around this time. Bots or people make new accounts and paste the stuff in. We have a bot in the AU chatroom that notifies us when something trips it. If it's spam, we all flag it as spam and it goes away pretty quickly. If a mod is in the room and/or sees the post on the main site, they'll be able to delete it right away, We can't ...


4

Lets start with the definition of a spam flag: This question is effectively an advertisement with no disclosure. It is not useful or relevant, but promotional. That's a good start. Now we can ask ourselves Is this an advertisement? Does it read like an advertisement? Spam usually sounds very promotional. Is there a disclosure? (i.e. "I work for ...


3

What to do with comments... I don't know if there's a better approach available than just manually removing all the comments that link to the old domain (and have thus become spam) and replacing them, in cases where it makes sense to do so, with new comments. As I mentioned, moderators can delete comments, but I don't know if they have any automated means ...


3

Looks like vandalism to me. But as suggested it's an audit to determine if you are paying attention.


3

Just flag as spam, there are some automatic mechanisms that will automatically block spam network-wide if enough posts are flagged and/or the users destroyed as spammers by mods. Trying to detect phone numbers sounds like it would be too dangerous, the chance of false positives would be too high.


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