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I apologize if thise has been discussed before, but I didn't see anything. There has been a rash of new user acounts answering questions, and an equal (rush) to protect them

And so on. As of this writing all these users can be seen on the main page next to the questions they posted answers to, but now the questions are protected, and the new accounts are suspended. The answers seemed remotely plausible (i.e. not entirely gibberish) though the questions were out of my area of expertise for sure.

On the pull switches question the new user account posted

Whatever you choose, the contacts must be gold plated to prevent corrosion.

On one hand, this answer could make sense: gold protects from corrosion. On the other hand, in this case the OP specifically said that corrosion is not a factor.

What is going on?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Since I'm not a mod, maybe I can speak more freely than they can (and they can erase my comment if I step over the line)...the user in question was repeatedly suspended. IIRC published policy increases the length of suspension 2x each time a new suspension is levied. At this point, the user should be suspended beyond the probable heat death of the universe. Initial suspensions were for failure to play nice with others, but later suspensions are more for refusing to accept the rules of the site --- as shown by not respecting suspensions. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon Apr 2 '13 at 22:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ You were not kidding about the heat death: "The suspension period ends on Dec 27 '15 at 21:45." Gotta love the precision on that. \$\endgroup\$ – angelatlarge Apr 2 '13 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've heard it's gonna end close to Dec 2014 - the universe that is! \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Apr 4 '13 at 23:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought the user accounts would be sockpuppets of an infamous other user. But he "only" got suspended until Oct 2014??? \$\endgroup\$ – Federico Russo Aug 15 '13 at 8:27
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Out of respect for the user's privacy, I'm not at liberty to go into the specifics, but let's just say that we have had a long lived troll on the site. He historically has lashed out by generating many many accounts and posting as much as he can.

Due to some changes in which tools moderators have access to this suspension method is currently our cleanest way of dealing with the problem. Sorry you see all the noise but this user has an immense amount of time to attack our site with.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. How is a troll identified? Also the answered seemed not entirely gibberish (I updated the question with this). \$\endgroup\$ – angelatlarge Apr 2 '13 at 21:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @angelatlarge this user often uses many buzzwords that mean non-sense to speak over the head of others although occasionally makes moments of sense. This is somewhat beyond the point, after many many attempts to rectify the problem the user is not willing. How moderators identify the user has to stay secretive, hoping you can understand why. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Apr 2 '13 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Methods: I see. Buzzwords - maybe "buzzphrases" (I just put an example into my question) \$\endgroup\$ – angelatlarge Apr 2 '13 at 21:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @angelatlarge Answers content at this point is not the focus of the removal. However, your example shows an answer that is really unrelated to the question and very very poor compared to the other answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Apr 2 '13 at 21:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Agreed about THAT answer. But are you saying that whatever that person posts will be removed regardless of the content of the post? Because the person is deemed irredeemable? \$\endgroup\$ – angelatlarge Apr 2 '13 at 22:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @angelatlarge allowing a suspended user to continue posting under spawned accounts is not really a productive environment. I can tell you that it is not as black and white as it may seem, but a suspension does not leave a stain on someone's record forever. The only way a users' suspension can be discussed publicly is if they (the user) disclose the information. We do always go out of our way to resolve situations; suspensions are not ideal. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Apr 2 '13 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure I just ran into the troll. Can we not simply block his IP address? \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Jun 23 '13 at 20:53
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Just as some additional non-moderator insight while also being respectful of his identity I have seen quite a lot of the troll's 'work'. I assume it's because I'm in a UTC+11 time zone I'm often around at 'odd' times compared to many other users. An example earlier today were three answers posted from a new account that to quote you:

seemed remotely plausible (i.e. not entirely gibberish)

In fact one was potentially pretty useful, even though not grammatically great. When reviewing the first posts while I had 'suspicions' it was the same person as I'd been advised by Kortuk in chat I treated that individual post on it's merit and it was OK. The following two answers he posted while not great didn't warrant any sort of flag.

That was followed by a suggested edit on a question from the same account that included something along the lines of "OP is as much as an idiot as (moderator name)". Then there was a similar sequence from another new account shortly after that followed a similar pattern with the final 'answer' including the OP should stop smoking whatever they are on or similar.

I haven't been around long enough to know what the original suspension was about, but considering he does seem to have insight into some topics it's a shame he doesn't concentrate his efforts on constructive contributions instead of endless creation of sockpuppet accounts for trolling.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I guess you missed some of the history. They guy may actually know a few things, but apparently is incapable of forumlating real sentences most of the time. Most of what he writes is then gibberish. When people downvoted his posts, he got upset, then rude, which resulted in suspension. He now makes a sport of creating lots of temporary accounts thru proxy servers to post a few things anyway and to tweak the noses of the mods, with a particular vendetta against W5VO. Occasionally there is a lucid answer, but the mods can't really allow him to run amock here. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Apr 4 '13 at 12:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop thanks for the further background, agree 95% or more of his answers are gibberish but the odd one makes me think he could be constructive if he chose to. He chooses not to act that way though so I 100% support mods in their actions. \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Apr 4 '13 at 12:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Every once in a while he's lucid and even makes a good point. Possibly that means he's being lazy or deliberately obtuse the other times. However, I think it's more of a anomaly or that he's just taken his meds. His comprehensible answers tend to be very short, so less chance of getting all tangled up in a flood of words or getting distracted by all those voices in his head talking at the same time. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Apr 4 '13 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 He is clearly very knowledgeable about the topic of EE, though "suffering fools gladly" is clearly not his forte. What a shame. \$\endgroup\$ – angelatlarge Apr 4 '13 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ What I can't understand is what he gets out of it. \$\endgroup\$ – Rocketmagnet Apr 4 '13 at 21:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rocketmagnet: He misses y'all, obviously :) \$\endgroup\$ – angelatlarge Apr 4 '13 at 21:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I recognize the guy from the descriptions above and I agree; he (a)demonstrates good insight with poor grammar, (b) speaks decent gibberish (also with poor grammar) and (c)has a chip-on-the-shoulder, maybe through frustration, that what he writes he can understand as clear as day but others can't. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Apr 4 '13 at 23:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rocketmagnet I seriously think that man has a mental disorder. You and I can't understand what he gets out of it, because we're not thinking in the way someone like him thinks. \$\endgroup\$ – user3624 Apr 5 '13 at 0:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @angelatlarge He used to be knowledgeable, back in the 80's and 90's. But he has not kept up with the times, and a lot of his info is dated. Granted, it is not like Ohms Law has changed. But his approach on things is very old. And that's when he is having a good day. \$\endgroup\$ – user3624 Apr 5 '13 at 0:21

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