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There has recently been a barrage of blatantly abusive posts by what appears to be a single individual, creating a series of user accounts that mostly have "kukel" somewhere in the username.

⇒ How do we prevent this more effectively?

I'm an admin over at EN Wiktionary, and there are tools we have over there to make things more difficult for persistent trolls. These include:

  • IP blocks, including blocks of IP ranges -- makes it harder for trolls from known addresses. These blocks can be auto-configured to expire after a range of times selectable from a dropdown, such as "1 week", "1 month", "3 months", "1 year", etc.
  • Rapid deletion of all posts from a specific user -- makes it quick and easy to clear out cruft from a turd-dropping troll.
  • Rapid blocking of logged-in accounts -- makes it quick and easy to deactivate known-problematic users.
  • Content filters -- regex based, allows for the definition of known-problematic content that is not allowed. Users can enter this in the edit window, but cannot save.

Are there any such tools here?

If so, who has access to them?

I was dismayed to see pornographic images in answer posts from this user, lingering in full view for what seemed like an hour or more.

What can non-moderator users do to help stem the tide of such abusive posts?


Related to this and the How are these fake accounts being created? thread, is there any way of flagging a user account, not just a comment or a Q&A post?

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    Re: the pornography, I had a similar concern with how long it took for flags to take effect here: japanese.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2272/…
    – jogloran
    Jun 22 at 21:57
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    One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet: if you see any R/A material, report it in Charcoal HQ. They people there can help deal with it (including reporting to the bot - SmokeDetector), and that will get more eyes on it. The Charcoal group tries to deal with spam and R/A material on SE. See this page for more details about Charcoal. But reporting it there will get more eyes on it, and getting those posts into Metasmoke (via SmokeDetector usually) is good
    – cocomac
    Jun 23 at 3:15
  • @cocomac, what is "R/A material"? Jun 23 at 23:38
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi R/A is short for Rude/Abusive - so inappropriate images, name-calling, or, more generally, anything inappropriate for normal conversation
    – cocomac
    Jun 24 at 0:12

1 Answer 1

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Thanks for flagging. If you have been flagging these posts, please continue to do so. We try to delete them as they appear but it's not a long term solution to constantly have to delete the posts and the accounts of these persistent abusers.

I have escalated this to the Community Management team and they have higher level moderation and administration tools to deal with it.

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    Thank you Flaw! I'll continue flagging such posts if and when I see them. I'm curious to see what the Community Management team has to say. Jun 23 at 0:48
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi Note that the CM team probably will not make a overt comment on what they have done. This is probably to prevent would-be abusers from figuring out what to do to avoid being detected
    – Flaw Mod
    Jun 23 at 14:26
  • Thank you! Is there a different forum to ask about or discuss ideas for some of the abuse-prevention measures I mentioned in the OP? Jun 23 at 16:34
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    The spammer has filled our front page with sockpuppet accounts containing nonsense and racial slurs. Someone needs to act on this. It's somewhat humiliating that we as a community don't have the tools to tackle this type of mass abuse ourselves.
    – jogloran
    Jun 23 at 20:33
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    I think it would be better if all first questions and answers from new users stay in the review queue and hidden from the front page and question list until one of the moderators or some high rep user approves them manually.
    – Jimmy Yang
    Jun 23 at 22:03
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    They're back today, with dozens more accounts, and seemingly mixing in legitimate questions and answers to make themselves appear credible. Most of my close review queue is their posts; answers I can vote to delete, but I'd like to be able to delete their questions as well.
    – Angelos
    Jun 23 at 22:12
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    @Angelos et all: one important thing to note is that 6 "rude or abusive" flags will automatically delete the post without mod intervention. So, feel free to flag those posts instead.
    – Andrew T.
    Jun 23 at 22:24
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    @AndrewT., understood. However, when we have a known-problematic user, we do not seem to have any tools to prevent that user from continuing their abuse. Is there any way to shut down known-problematic users as soon as they are identified? Even just introducing a delay would help, like shunting all of their posts into a review queue. Jun 23 at 22:57
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi as a mod on other sites, not that I know of. This needs CM intervention.
    – Andrew T.
    Jun 23 at 22:59

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