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?
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.