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There has been quite a surge of spam accounts on the site lately. These are accounts that open up and post 1-3 pointless answers with a link to some malignant site or another.

What I do when I notice this is go to the user's page, and proceed to flag all of that user's answers as spam. However, it has just occurred to me that this may not necessarily be the best way for me to help with this (as I'm merely creating a lot of noise instead of dealing with the core problem, which is the account itself).

So I was wondering, what exactly should I do when I notice one of these user accounts?

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    Spam flags create less noise than other flags because they auto-resolve when enough flags are cast. And if a pure spammer manages to post a lot of spam, a mod can always just hit destroy and delete the user as well as any of his contributions, which also will auto-resolve the spam flags. – Mad Scientist Oct 17 '11 at 17:43
  • Duplicate over at Meta: How to flag abusive users? – Bobby Nov 5 '11 at 16:44
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In general, spam users are best flagged using the spam flags on their contributions. We get an overview of all live spam flags, so if a particular user has a whole bunch of them flagged all at once, it's quite easily visible that there is only one person behind the whole set.

In the off chance that it seems exceptionally necessary, a custom moderator flag on a post you're also flagging as spam, pointing out the user's consistent spam, can also help. In general, though, just the spam flags should be enough for the moderators to see that something is up.

  • Though I'd argue that if you've flagged more than 4 or 5 already and everything else is spam, I'd stop there and do a regular flag mentioning it's a spam account. Though that's my stance on the issue on Stack Overflow, I'd guess it's not that much of a problem here yet. – Jeff Mercado Oct 18 '11 at 19:14
  • How are these spam accounts coming in? Are they creating a profile at SE or using an openID from a particular domain? – CyberSkull Oct 18 '11 at 21:37

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