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Latest example: Hopefully it'll be gone soon.

Over the past few days I've noticed an increase in spam/off-topic questions and answers. The community itself seems to handle these very quickly (probably for lower rep thresholds to perform certain actions). Which is a very good thing, so that these don't stay around for long.

However, we obviously want as little as possible on the site. Is there any way we can try and slow this down to getting onto the site in the first place?

Also, if possible, could we get any statistics on closed/deleted questions and answers for spam/off-topic over the past few weeks? A few things I'd be interested in are, all graphed over time:

  • Number of closures with breakdown of their reasons
  • Number of closed and then deleted with breakdown of their reasons
  • Spam question and answers
  • Potentially any other related information
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  • \$\begingroup\$ The data is available via data.stackexchange.com, it's just a question of aggregating it. E.g. a quick query shows that there are 3401 deleted questions and 8243 undeleted ones. (The data dump used lags behind reality a bit). \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jul 20 '17 at 11:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ As as follow-up to this question: How do we encourage people to 1) not confuse us with Stack Overflow, and 2) Sandbox their ideas before posting? \$\endgroup\$ – musicman523 Jul 21 '17 at 17:24
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I'm not sure what the rep requirements are to see these pages, but...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a nice start at least. I appear to be able to see them... Have you personally noticed an increase in such questions too? \$\endgroup\$ – TheLethalCoder Jul 20 '17 at 11:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not really, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're Poisson distributed and we've just had a small cluster. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Taylor Jul 20 '17 at 11:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ They're mod tools - 2k to see it, until you get your design when it becomes 10k \$\endgroup\$ – Zizouz212 Jul 20 '17 at 17:26
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While Peter's answer addresses this well by pointing to the mod tools, I'll offer some other data. The good folks over at Charcoal HQ monitor potential spam on the SE network in realtime, and have excellent tools for looking at the history of spam posts. Here is a query for all reported posts on PPCG. Note that not all of them are spam - some are false positives, and some are NAA/VLQ posts.

According to the post history on Metasmoke, there has been a very small uptick of spam recently - 4 spam posts by 2 different accounts in one day. Other than that, the spam rate has been more or less consistent, so I don't think there's anything to be worried about. The accounts responsible for the spam have been nuked, and the fact that we haven't had any since implies that it was a brief and minor spike, and not an upwards trend.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Must just be me being around more when it's coming in then. \$\endgroup\$ – TheLethalCoder Jul 21 '17 at 7:58

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