This user : https://tex.stackexchange.com/users/50311/user49929 has been adding spams to the website by questions and now to answers as well(How to compose poetry with LaTeX). Please do something about it. My feature-request for spam filter was also ignored. I would be happy to help with my knowledge of web technologies. Please do something about spam handling........

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    Your previous "spam filter feature-request" was not ignored... it's just something that most likely will require handling at the network level (Stack Exchange). Also, our handling of spam is usually swift (via downvoting and flagging)...
    – Werner Mod
    Apr 22, 2014 at 4:27
  • But is that sufficient??? @Werner Apr 22, 2014 at 5:32
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    @subhamsoni: I noticed that user as well but as far as I know it is just one user at the moment, and flagging his posts (done already twice by me and for sure by other users here also) is very effective -- I agree with Werner's statement.
    – user31729
    Apr 22, 2014 at 5:47
  • Whats wrong in having a strong secured website @ChristianHupfer Apr 22, 2014 at 5:56
  • @subhamsoni: There is nothing wrong with such a website as you proposed, but who will do at? Werner already has written about the internal network level -- I am sure that not even the moderators of TeX.SE have access to the network and programming features of StackExchange itself.
    – user31729
    Apr 22, 2014 at 6:02
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    @subhamsoni I very much doubt the Powers are ignoring your previous question: however, it may be a while before they address it (I suspect they do a periodic sweep over each meta).
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Apr 22, 2014 at 6:44
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    @subhamsoni As I commented on the previous question, we know that there are anti-spam measures, but we don't know the details. That's not really surprising: the way it works is meant to be a secret! Best advice is to flag spam when you see it, so the system can track spam (as opposed to just poor answers, etc.).
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Apr 22, 2014 at 6:47
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    @subhamsoni: Meta's are different. They are site-specific, so Meta.TeX.SE is about things specific to TeX.SE. Your problem is more general, as it affects the entire network (it's not just "us" that is being targeted for spam). ChristianHupfer already mentioned that our moderators only have a say over content on our site, but not the underlying programming (which would include spam-control). As a mild aside, posting here is great compared to posting on Meta Stack Exchange, believe me. It's just that such network-wide issues don't get much attention on the per-site meta.
    – Werner Mod
    Apr 22, 2014 at 14:26
  • Hmm I got it @Werner.. :-) Apr 22, 2014 at 14:29
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    @Werner Note of course that in general it's normally suggested to post to a 'site specific' meta unless you are really sure it's a cross-network issue.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Apr 22, 2014 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


I don't think that we are in need of restrictive spam filters. Currently, spam is handled in the following ways:

  • Every new post bumps the thread up, so it doesn't get overseen.
  • Most spams trigger the low quality bot and get an auto-flag, making them appear instantly in the 10k-tools flag queue.
  • After couple downvotes, post is locked and eventually deleted.
  • Everyone can flag the post. Moreover, 10k users can vote to delete, and only 3 votes are needed.

That's a lot of tools for spam handling. Note that none of them need a moderator, they are purely automatic or community-driven. Of course, mods can zap spam instantly.

That all is not against the idea of restrictive spam filter. However the following form IMHO good reason against the idea:

  • Restrictive spam filters always catch non-spam, simply because a bot is a stupid bot (no matter how hard you try, the bot will be stupid).

  • Similarly, there'll always be spam (especially manually done instead of automatically) that will fall through, so you still need all the tools I mention at the beginning.

  • It's not really an issue: Once in a long while, it happens that spam accumulates, but it's rather rare, certainly on TeX.SX.

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    Iirc, even 10k users should (additionally) also flag for spam because that triggers a different mechanism than simple deletion, something along the lines of temporarily blocking the offending user.
    – doncherry
    Apr 22, 2014 at 22:24
  • @doncherry That sounds correct. I didn't aim at listing the whole procedures, rather at showing that the procedures exists and are pretty strong.
    – yo'
    Apr 23, 2014 at 10:57

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