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I tried to deal with this silently by flagging a couple of posts for moderator attention, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

On the main site, we have a user whose posts seem to follow this pattern:

  1. Copy & paste vaguely-relevant content from other Q&A sites, without revealing the source.
  2. Then add dubious links that point to the sites "thephotogadgetblog.com", "myblogtips.info", "shareyourviews.org", "techtalkies.info", "ratethereview.com" – all of which point to the same IP address, and all of which seem to be registered by the same company, "Ergosum Technologies".

Examples:

And a second account for the same user: https://photo.stackexchange.com/users/5667/sim

PS. Moderators, once you have dealt with this issue, feel free to delete this post.

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  • Don't forget that anybody can suggest an improvement to a post, and that can include editing the links to remove anything you think is inappropriate - you'll even be rewarded with reputation if your edits are approved. – Rowland Shaw Jun 23 '11 at 12:35
  • Also, there is no indication of spamming (after all, all external links are flagged to search engines to not follow; and there are no products for sale on the destination pages) – Rowland Shaw Jun 23 '11 at 12:37
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    @Rowland: I don't see how the "nofollow" attributes make any of this acceptable. A get a lot of spam email that is useless from the perspective of the spammer, but I don't really welcome it... :) – Jukka Suomela Jun 23 '11 at 13:10
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    Transparency is good. This post should not be deleted. – Please Read My Profile Jun 23 '11 at 17:24
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    Note that the "dubious" sites do not contain the apparently-relevant articles linked to. They're just framing "toolbar" sites that add an advertisement bar that looks like it's part of the site but is not. – Please Read My Profile Jun 23 '11 at 17:32
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    Also, same user, same behavior: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/13212/… – Please Read My Profile Jun 23 '11 at 17:41
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Behavior like this is simply unacceptable on Stack Exchange sites. I've merged the accounts, deleted all his answers (we don't want copyright violations and plagiarism around) and given him a healthy suspension.

BTW, this is not the only SE site where he played his little game, and this isn't the only site where he's now suspended.

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    Thanks! I appreciate you taking definitive action with the problem user... – Jay Lance Photography Jun 24 '11 at 18:00
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    Thanks Dori. I came by the site earlier today to check up on our little violator, and he was all taken care of. – jrista Jun 24 '11 at 23:56
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This is a typical pattern in forum spam. It doesn't really matter if the result isn't optimal from the spammer's perspective. It's still noise (even if they've gone to some lengths to make it look like signal). The posts should be deleted and the user account should be locked.

At the very, very least, copying in other people's forum posts and representing them as one's own is not okay.

Note that all of the users posts under both (known) accounts follow this pattern — what appears to be an on-topic comment, but it's copied from someone else's forum post, and contains a link to a separate apparently on-topic web page, wrapped by the toolbar site.

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