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I've been seeing way to many people editing spam, upvoting spam, downvoting spam, closing spam, and using the wrong flags for spam. So, this is a reminder. If you are not on strike, flag spam, that's it. Even if you are on strike, don't do anything. But certainly don't upvote spam.

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    I have seen people claim that flagging+downvoting counts as 2 downvotes, and gets spam off the front page faster. Is that correct? If so, that would go against your (implicit) recommendation not to downvote spam. Jul 10, 2023 at 21:52
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    @FedericoPoloni, if it moves off the front page the flags might not occur as quickly, slowing the process of removal.
    – Buffy
    Jul 11, 2023 at 11:52
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    @Buffy Then it depends on if your goal is removing it from the front page as quickly as possible or deleting the question as quickly as possible. I see arguments in favor of both. Jul 11, 2023 at 12:01

2 Answers 2

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Clearly flagging doesn't work, or at least doesn't work fast enough in the current conditions. Plus, people run out of flags (and downvotes).

Right now the situation is farcical. Although enough flags will delete a question, there are so many spam posts and they arrive so fast (they come at the rate of about one every 15seconds now) that it's not possible for a post to accumulate enough flags to close.

Even if the spam poster is banned, another account under a different username is immediately created to keep the wheel moving.

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    It's indeed farcical, and calls for intervention by staff. It also seems they have things to fix.
    – Anyon
    Jul 7, 2023 at 14:29
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    No, flagging does work Jul 7, 2023 at 15:00
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    I think the site has a way to ban people by IP address, actually, which should help if they are awake and aware.
    – Buffy
    Jul 7, 2023 at 16:26
  • I don't know why, but removal seems to happen more quickly in the past day or so. There may be a bot at work now.
    – Buffy
    Jul 11, 2023 at 11:54
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Update

With the moderation strike ending, moderators are back to flagging. If you do see spam on this scale again, spam flagging as much as you can will help posts like these get in front of mods — at least if they're online. (It's too soon for Charcoal to have discussed its own direction, but the outlook is positive.)

Old answer is below. Let's not get to the point where we need it ever again (SE Inc, I mean).


This cannot be solved with just flagging

(But close voting or editing is absolutely useless.)

I took a look at one spammer and then another. Ten posts from the first and fifteen from the second. Since I have 25 flags, this would have used up all my flags without even putting a dent in the mass of it all — remember, each one of those posts needs other spam flaggers, or four total per post with the current configuration. The sheer number of posts is why spam is usually handled by a semi-automated system (which is now on strike) using flags from users who may not even participate otherwise on this site (many of whom are also on strike). Failing that, mods would step in, but, at least on Academia, the strike strikes again.

Desperate times call for "Contact Us"

Without diamond mods, there are only diamond employees. As a moderator (elsewhere), I used the "Community Emergency" option under my site's contact page, which sent an expedited message to the community team. Shortly after this, the spam posts disappeared. While regular users won't have this option, your message sent via the contact form will eventually reach staff. Then they can handle it, and maybe even pass the pressure on upwards so that the strike can end.

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    Theres a community emergency button? What are the rules for trigguring it Jul 7, 2023 at 23:04
  • yeah my original idea of editing out contents is entirely inadequate for an attack of this size. I did not expect things would get that bad… Jul 7, 2023 at 23:05
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    @Starship-OnStrike Only diamond moderators have the "Community Emergency" option. But even just using the regular contact option would be helpful in a situation like this (especially since it happened during business hours).
    – Laurel
    Jul 7, 2023 at 23:58
  • @Laurel it has started again so please consider using your button. Jul 8, 2023 at 0:08
  • I had no idea we had a "community emergency" button. Very cool.
    – cag51 Mod
    Jul 8, 2023 at 17:56

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