Well, not necessarily brand new, but we're seeing a spate of it. Spammers are creating questions copied from Reddit, DPReview, and other sites, and then coming back a few days later to edit spam links into those questions. If you see a short question that looks... forum post-y, and comes from a new user, try a google search of the first sentence to see if it's actually plagiarized.

  • I also want to note that the links don't currently resolve, so maybe the spammer's hosting provider already pulled the plug on them. This often (I hesitantly avoid using "usually") results in the spammer getting a different provider and trying again, but sometimes they get a clue and stop. chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/47144117#47144117 – tripleee Oct 12 at 12:07
  • I just spotted this new tactic on Stack Overflow, and was not surprised to see it's spread across the SE network. – iBug Oct 13 at 1:10
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    On Bicycles, we had somebody who was plagiarizing existing questions from the site, though they were posting with the spammy links already included. – David Richerby Oct 19 at 16:30

Are you (i.e. the ♦ moderators) OK with us (regular contributors, or in my case, regular passers-by) to use spam flags for such questions, even before the links are being inserted? Those spam flags will feed SpamRam, Stack Exchange's spam protection system, and if they're validated (6 flags by normal users and/or 1 by a ♦ moderator) the IP will be blocked from further posting.

Or would you prefer to be notified with a custom moderator flag? This has the benefit that you can add additional details to it, such as the source of the plagiarized content, but one could also post that as a comment.

  • I'd say do both if you can. As long as we have a mod flag for it we'll be able to take a look and we can always invalidate the flag (even if it has passed) after checking it out, but there is no need to wait on a mod to process. I'd also suggest making sure it is an OLD post wherever else you find it. It's also possible someone could legitimately post a question in more than one spot. Please include the link to where you found it in the moderator attention flag too. – AJ Henderson Oct 12 at 13:49
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    Hmm, the idea of posting the link as a comment isn't a bad idea either to help other users that can flag it know what is going on. – AJ Henderson Oct 12 at 13:51
  • @AJ Unfortunately, it seems like sometimes it's an old post but sometimes it's pretty recent on Reddit or wherever. – mattdm Oct 13 at 12:35
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    @mattdm it's ok if it's pretty recent but then I'd flag for moderator attention only rather than spam flag. It's always possible someone is asking in more than one place. – AJ Henderson Oct 13 at 12:59
  • @AJHenderson I just tried raising two flags for this one but it seems I can only raise one flag for a question. – Philip Kendall Oct 24 at 12:34

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