3

There seems to have been a lot of accounts created with the username user300xx (xx being a numerical value) which post once or twice, then as far as I can tell, get deleted (the user profile doesn't appear to be available to view, so that is an assumption). Most recently some of the answers on this question.

Is this an issue as a user who creates an account, asks a question then closes the account, the question will never have an "accepted" answer to their question, likewise, comments requesting clarification will go unanswered.

If this is an issue, is there anything that can be done about it?

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  • 2
    This is something that we are aware of and actively working with the CM team. – JohnP Nov 30 '18 at 15:21
  • Is someone trolling now? This is weird. – DeeV Dec 14 '18 at 17:07
5

As JohnP mentions, there is ongoing investigations into what can be done to prevent this in the future, but as always, bot-creators are clever people.

I'll add that for me, it's becoming a problem of prejudice. I'm immediately suspicious of accounts that have names similar to patterns we've seen be problematic users in the past.

For instance, and this is so stupid, I react right away to users that

  • have a username similar to user12345
  • have a username with a single 6-7 letter word, properly capitalized
  • have their full name (usually typically North-American name) AND headshot profile picture

and start digging into their accounts with bias.

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  • What's really annoying is that a lot of the answers aren't necessarily bad answers (maybe a little light on details sometimes, but still). It does make me wonder if it's the same person just creating accounts for some reason. – Dark Hippo Dec 5 '18 at 11:21
  • @DarkHippo: There are a fair number of people who create an account for a question/answer and then immediately forget the login/password. We often get them on the SF&F with a completely new account, sometimes with the same username, posting an answer with "Yes, that's the correct answer" to which we try to prompt them to merge the accounts, but seldom with much luck. – Sean Duggan Dec 17 '18 at 15:58
  • @SeanDuggan - I don't think that's the case here though, because someone is very frequently creating a user just to post an answer, and then immediately deleting the account resulting in the user300xx name. Very strange. Word from higher up is that there is investigation into whether we can auto-delete content created by such accounts, but as you understand, that kind of feature would be unsafe to deploy before the holidays. Hoping to work on finding a good solution early next year. Until then, let me just say that your reports are helping very much to keep up with the spam. – Alec Dec 17 '18 at 17:35
  • @DarkHippo - Yes, that's what's sad about this situation. Presumably, there is a person behind this who isn't entirely bad, and who could contribute with content for the site, but is doing it in a way that creates clutter instead. – Alec Dec 17 '18 at 17:37
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Getting weary of the nuisance posts, I searched the main meta for awareness of the issue. It looks like a fix will not be implemented until after they consolidate all of the community sites into a unified codebase.

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