I received a notification this morning of a suggested edit on one of my posts. The edit just removed all the text in my post, replacing it with a link to a user's profile, and a remarkably offensive statement about that user.

I've never come across something like that, and wanted to make sure I took the proper course of action. I know there's spam/vandalism flags, but it seemed this was a little more extreme than that, so I filled out a custom flag instead and rejected the edit.

Is that business as usual? Is there something else I can do to make sure this is handled correctly? I'm sure that's "good enough", but I'd like to make sure I take the absolute best path to keep things like this off IPS in the future.

  • 7
    Spam/vandalism is the right rejection reason. Also, related on meta.SO
    – user12362
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


This is a troll user who is known for targeting users and making offensive remarks about them.

If you see such edits, use Spam/Vandalism reject reason. There is no need of using the custom text for such users, cause it won't affect anything and they might rejoice about it.

Is that business as usual?

SE has a history of troll users. It's nothing new. There is a Charcoal HQ where such posts are reported and usually nuked within a couple of minutes.

Is there something else I can do to make sure this is handled correctly?

Since such edits are anonymous, we can't do anything about that user. If there is a registered user who has suggested such edits, feel free to flag the post that edit was suggested for and we'll take a look at it.

Don't feed the troll. Just flag the post.

  • 1
    To add: If the edit in any way gets approved before you can decline it (not very likely, but still) > Rollback, and in this case it's okay to ask a moderator to redact the revision history as well.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:11
  • Would you still use spam/vandalism if the edit was rejected? I would think a custom mod flag would be better in that case to alert the mod to the fact that an offensive edit had been suggested and rejected. I suppose it might not matter as much with an anonymous user.
    – Rainbacon
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:14
  • I'm guessing you handled my flag then, thanks. I'm a little confused about the lack of a "paper trail" though. Can users suggesting edits really remain anonymous even from mods? I'm highly supportive of the fact that everything we contribute to this site is attached to our profiles (with the obvious exception of disassociation). Even my flags have my profile attached. Is this worth pitching my 2 cents about on Meta SE, or do I misunderstand something here? Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:15
  • 5
    @Rainbacon, there's a reason for rejecting edits that's called 'spam/abusive'. No need to flag the post with a red flag like spam/r/a. If it gets through, just roll back and custom mod-flag, DO NOT flag the post that's edited as spam/r/a, because such a deletion will carry negative consequences for a user that had nothing to do with it. (if it does, we can handle it, but better safe than sorry ;) )
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:16
  • @LordFarquaad Even though the flags are attached to your profile, no one except moderators will be able to see them.
    – A J Mod
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:18
  • @LordFarquaad Can users suggesting edits really remain anonymous even from mods? Yes, it's possible to make edits 'anonymously'. You can see it for yourself, just open e.g. an incognito window in chrome. Luckily, such edits are never free from peer review. There's a few things everyone on SE can do without creating a profile, such as ask and edit. I don't know if it would be worth a meta SE request, or if there has been one already
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:19
  • AJ, I guess my point is, even if it's only mods, someone can see my flags; I'm still accountable to them. Prior to this morning, I didn't know anything could be touched on the site without it being attached to a user. @Tinkeringbell yes, that is sad. Peer review is great (it just worked here), but I'm surprised SE allows a way for users to hurt the site without any actionable responses. Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:26
  • 3
    AJ, @Tinkeringbell Did some research. I see now why we have anonymous users, and at 307 all-time anonymous edits on this site, I understand it's not worth pitching a fit over. Thanks for you help! Commented May 25, 2018 at 13:53
  • Has this been escalated to the CMs yet? They have access to some tools that may help deal with this particular troll.
    – apaul
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 19:30
  • That last line, same on Hinduism Meta Don't feed the trolls! Just flag them. Copy cat! :P
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 13:09
  • @NogShine I've never seen that post in my life before. :P
    – A J Mod
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 13:10

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