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Super User regularly gets "trolling" posts -- utter nonsense posted as an answer, like the same word repeated over and over to create a block of text, or random strings of characters, or someone simply commenting about how awful Super User is (unrelated to anything specific). There was one the other day where the "answer" was something like:

Question:_______________________
Answer: ________________________

These don't really fit the definition of "not an answer" or "very low quality" because they aren't really posts at all, they are simply trolling. It seems like a waste of reviewers' time to put these into the review queues.

Technically, they aren't spam because they aren't advertising anything. They might possibly be considered "abusive" under the offensive, abusive, or hate speech flag (in the sense of abusing the site and creating a waste of people's time).

These posts are more appropriate to flag than vote to close because moderator intervention may be needed to shut down the poster. What is the appropriate flag for this kind of nonsense?

  • What you described does not qualify as trolling. It is merely spam – Art Gertner Apr 20 '15 at 10:58
  • You have very high standards for trolling. :-) – fixer1234 Apr 20 '15 at 15:53
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Not an answer seems like a reasonable flag... I mean, it isn't an answer, right? It's garbage.

In some cases the offensive flag is appropriate, in cases where there's foul language in particular, but also if it's clearly just a large block of gibberish that could never be mistaken for useful content. The advantage of the offensive flag is that if 6 people flag as offensive, the content is immediately and automatically deleted, and it feeds into the site's automatic spam filtering system.

Remember that users with >10k rep can vote to delete, so getting these types of posts downvoted and into the review queues will expedite their removal.

  • I was thinking that 1) putting this stuff in the review queue wastes a lot of peoples time, and 2) that would eventually lead to deletion, but not action like suspending the culprit. It seems like moderator attention would be warranted (so flag required). If the offensive flag is OK for this stuff, would that be preferable, or is action to block the poster rarely taken, so this would just waste moderators' time? – fixer1234 Apr 19 '15 at 18:36
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    @fixer1234 typically users like that don't come back; it's almost always a drive-by. I usually end up destroying the account. There's no point suspending it because the user isn't likely to improve their ways, which is the point of suspension. Inactive user accounts with only deleted posts will get deleted eventually by an automatic process anyways. Offensive flag is fine - it's the quickest way to actually get the post taken down because it's the fastest way to delete a post without moderator intervention. – nhinkle Apr 19 '15 at 18:39

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