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Regarding these answers:

(...and maybe more)

More:

Are we currently being spammed to be annoyed or what's behind these answers?

Note: All of these have been deleted; available to 10k+ rep users.

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  • $\begingroup$ Someone is PUI, I think. $\endgroup$
    – user10945
    Feb 17 '17 at 8:05
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    $\begingroup$ I am not going to point fingers on anyone in particular, but we did have a pretty angry rage quitter not that long ago - it might just as well be coincidence. As Pᴇᴛᴇ said, it's certainly have the looks of being a single person. $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Feb 17 '17 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Mrkvička Thanks for the information. $\endgroup$ Feb 17 '17 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ Seems to be over now. There was one last Anonymous edit attempt that I slapped down. I'm guessing that he got himself banned. $\endgroup$
    – user10945
    Feb 17 '17 at 11:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Mrkvička Pointing fingers can be misleading. Recently my answer to question was edited by the OP to completely change it. You never know who might be culprit. Under any set of circumstances there will be several likely suspects, and usually it's someone else. Best to ignore the varmint & keep deleting the garbage. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Feb 17 '17 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android I agree - and I would like to point out that I intended my comment to be sincere with that I do not accuse the person I hinted about. I merely mentioned the coincidence between the trolling and that someone rage quit recently, as that could be a motive. There could be completely other motives and a completely different person that is doing the trolling. Whomever it is, they either will get bored soon or (if not) will have surprisingly much time on their hands which could have been used constructively instead. $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Feb 17 '17 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Mrkvička I don't doubt your sincerity. My concern was it's easy to suggest likely suspects, without evidence we're guessing, but someone else might take the guesses seriously. Your suggestion is a possible motive. But who knows? Let's hope the nuisance goes away and we can forget about them. I'd rather be exercising my mind here and not worrying about such silliness as I'm sure you would too. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Feb 17 '17 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ Any chance of getting some screenshots for us plebs below 10k? These posts certainly sound ... intriguing... $\endgroup$ Feb 28 '17 at 21:16
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Yes, this was a case of large-scale trolling, all apparently by the same person.

I just nuked the accounts from orbit, so to speak. They originated from the same IP address, as far as I can tell, and they only stopped when that IP address was blocked automatically by the system, which happened about five hours ago.

A few things to keep in mind if you see this in the future:

  1. Do not edit any of the posts to change content. This may only confuse future flaggers. There's also a bot that checks for spam and offensive posts, and it may not see some of these posts if keywords are edited out. Flag, vote to delete, downvote, and move on.
  2. Don't hesitate to use the rude/abusive flag. Nonsense is one of the cases it should be used for. Six such flags will delete the post; this happened in the case of the question you linked. Also, don't hesitate to use the custom mod flag to let us know that there might be a problem, but preferably use rude/abusive.
  3. This was a relatively unsophisticated attempt. The accounts only stemmed from one IP, and once that was blocked, the person gave up (it seems). In the future, it could be worse.

Thanks for letting us know, and thanks to everyone for flagging. At the time, no mods were around, so community flagging and deleting was absolutely needed, and people did the right thing (though again, more rude/abusive flags are always great). This is now under control.


There was actually a previous, smaller round of trolling two hours before this last one. I've dealt with that, too.

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  • $\begingroup$ It certainly seems to be over. I think there was about 10 posts over the course of a few minutes. I'm guessing that it was a past/current SE/WB poster who got home late after a night on the town and decided to have some fun. Thanks for getting this cleared up. $\endgroup$
    – user10945
    Feb 17 '17 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, well that explains it - and answers my question (well "answer") too. New question: how rapidly did the auto system figure out that it was happening? $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Feb 17 '17 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Mrkvička I don't know quite how quickly, but it wasn't more than a couple hours after the first post. After that, there was an hour's gap, the a second flurry, and the system responded to that in less than an hour, as faras I know. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Feb 17 '17 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ Cool, cool - well, it's nice to see that it worked. I guess some of the time it took for the system to kick in was from when the person was generating new accounts. $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Feb 17 '17 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Mrkvička the automatic system is fed by spam/abusive deletions. The best thing to do with these is to use those flags; ordinary delete votes (for 20k users) don't have the same punch. "Rude or abusive" is a valid flag in these cases; the posts are abusive to our community. (Abuse doesn't have to just mean profanities and personal attacks.) HDE, consider editing some more-specific flagging guidance into this answer. $\endgroup$ Feb 17 '17 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Done. I linked to Charcoal so folks are aware of that system and how it can fight stuff like this. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Feb 17 '17 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio That is good to know. I have flagged the posts I have seen, but I have not used the rude/abusive flag since the description have been suggesting it to be the wrong flag to use. I will try to use it more in the future. $\endgroup$
    – Mrkvička
    Feb 17 '17 at 15:18
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Certainly looks as though it's all the work of one hand. Thanks for the warning, I'll flag more as I see them.

He'll get bored at some point and move on.

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  • $\begingroup$ Happy flagging :) I'll join, when I see a new one $\endgroup$ Feb 17 '17 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ shadow ban - shadow ban - shadow ban $\endgroup$
    – Mindwin
    Feb 17 '17 at 12:55
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It certainly seems to be trolling. But the persistance and quality of answers rather borders to art - so the question is: should we archive these attempts and showcase them before deleting everything?

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    $\begingroup$ Art lies in the eye of the beholder :o) But yes, a WallOfShame.wb.se would be nice $\endgroup$ Feb 17 '17 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ The posts remain; revisit this once you get to 10k and you'll see. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Feb 17 '17 at 15:45
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One thought - if this is truly the doing from one single person, then that person have recently created and logged in to a lot of accounts from the same/narrow band of IP addresses. Ought there not be a WB function that would trigger any "weird behaviour" alarms? I guess that might not be implemented if this has not been a major problem before, but it should be fairly easy to give a few hours ban to IP addresses which logs in suspiciously many users in a short time frame.

On the other hand, there might be legitimate reasons to do so too - I personally do the very opposite as I log in from several different IP addresses at short notice when I use both my phone and computer, so I guess I might trigger suspicious behavior in that case too.

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    $\begingroup$ The system automatically banned the IP address, so there's currently infrastructure in place to deal with this. Unfortunately, it took a short while to get to work. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Feb 17 '17 at 13:23

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