Today, the front page has been flooded by new answers in the tag.

The problem here (aside from the horrible formatting and nonsensical additional text) is that these answers are identical and by the same user. They're also an "all-encompassing" guide on this topic - only a tiny part of the answer actually relates to the question.

The user also has been warned before about misuse of the site.

Downvoting this behavior risks reversal due to serial downvoting, editing seems pointless as the answers have loads of problems in addition to not being specific enough and flagging them seems inappropriate as they are answers and they are valid ... Kinda, sorta. If you only look at the one question + answer.

So, what are we supposed to do in this situation? How should we solve this without going crazy?

  • If the user keeps doing it, flag for moderator attention citing plagiarism
    – user27134
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 13:28
  • 2
    @kalina Well, is it even plagiarism? It seems to be the user's own work. Just that they have ... posted it over and over again.
    – user98085
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 13:29
  • 3
    Either way, repeatedly posting unwanted material is spam, and this user is a spammer.
    – fredley
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 13:33
  • 2
    The problem is that this user refuses to follow advice and only copy the relevant parts from his "guide". He has been explicitly told not to do what he's doing, and he's doing it anyways. Yes, much of the information is valid, but there's no reason to post the same thing in multiple locations. It is currently meeting the definition of self-promotion spam.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 13:36
  • The bottom one isn't related as far as I can tell. That's someone else doing something else silly :P
    – agent86
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 14:11
  • @agent86 That might well be, that one was deleted by the time I added it ... Wasn't sure which one that was.
    – user98085
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 14:33

2 Answers 2


In my opinion this user's current behaviour falls under the definition of spamming, and as such that user should be treated like any other spammer.

There is however the fact that this user has made helpful posts in the past. Despite this, I'd still advocate disciplinary action be taken for the following reasons:

  • The bad content from this user far outweighs the good
  • The user displays an unwillingness to learn from past warnings

At the end of the day is this user going to benefit this site or be a detriment to it? From the available evidence I'd have to wager the latter.

  • 2
    From what i have read from him i'd agree with the latter too. He seems ignorant and waves away every advice highly valued users give him.
    – Madmenyo
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 17:32

When you have a serious issue:

  1. Step one is flag the issue.
  2. Step two is do nothing.

If you don't do step 1, we don't have a clue what is going on. Making a meta can be an alternative to flagging if it's complicated enough that you can't fit it into the flag box, but it makes step 2 more complicated.

If you don't do step 2, suddenly the user is being piled upon by a dozen people telling him slightly different information, which leads to confusion and frustration. It also makes it really hard for us to come in and give a definitive resolution.

  • 2
    As a follow up, I've contacted this user and explained why this isn't acceptable.
    – agent86
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 14:26
  • 1
    To be fair, this wasn't really anything that needed mod intervention until his recent actions. Before that, the community handled it without much of a problem.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 14:44
  • 10
    3. Check your flag history obsessively and then come to Meta and yell at badp when he disagrees with you. Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 15:00
  • 3
    Step 3 is the most important step. Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 15:04
  • @MatthewRead a moderator reviewed your flag but found no appropriate way to mod abuse the problem out of existence
    – badp
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 0:01

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