Clearly somebody's noticed that sometimes questions appear in the active list with only a url of some sort for a non-stackexchange site as the title because when I try to go to the question to flag it so it will get deleted its already been deleted. It seems like its happening alot more recently though. I noticed one just earlier today and a different one within the last week or so. So, I'm wondering why this kind of thing had increased in frequency? Who is responsible and why?

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    \$\begingroup\$ They are spam posts usually posted by bots and happen pretty much everywhere all the time. Do you have statistics showing that they've increased in frequency? (Related: This, this, these) \$\endgroup\$ – MikeQ Jul 2 '18 at 5:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ The questions get deleted, so no, I don't have the post dates of them. Its not like I go out of my way to look for them. I just notice when they show up near the top of the list when I refresh the main page. You don't have to link me to what spam and bots are. I know what they are. Of course, with just a cursory glance at the question title there's no way for me to know for certain if it is a bot or a real user. \$\endgroup\$ – Loki Laufeyson Jul 2 '18 at 5:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe the mods have access to statistics about the spambot posts. To clarify, does "Who is responsible" refer to whoever is responsible for making the posts, or responsible for deleting them? \$\endgroup\$ – MikeQ Jul 2 '18 at 5:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ For making the posts. I don't really care who deletes them since they need deleted. As i mentioned, a cursory glance is not enough to tell me if it is a bot or a person. \$\endgroup\$ – Loki Laufeyson Jul 2 '18 at 5:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Geez, spam bots give bots like me a bad name... </joke> Anyhow, as long as they are dealt with, I'm happy. \$\endgroup\$ – Sora Tamashii Jul 13 '18 at 4:38

They’re spammers (which these days are sophisticated combinations of bots and humans paid to defeat captchas), and they were caught by our resident anti-spam bot, Smokey, plus one regular user casting a spam flag to confirm Smokey was right. Smokey is very fast, on the order of seconds, and posts alerts to our main chat room, so it disappeared before you got to it just because someone else was slightly faster.

There have only been four in the past month. That is an uptick though: we hadn’t seen any so far since last year until this mid-June. It’s still an infrequent type of spam though (until this batch we’d only seen seven total), and quickly dealt with, so it’s in the realm of business as usual.


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