Spotted some pretty obvious fake profiles


Hi. I was just looking the home page and decided to look at some of the new users, like I do sometimes (yeah, I’m weird like that).

Take a look at their user descriptions.


These new profiles seem a little fishy too.


Thanks for reporting.
@Marijn: Can you remove these four profiles?


Profiles have been removed.


Thanks for reacting.

I just looked at the users page, and it appears to be absolutely riddled with these new fake profiles, with links in description apparently leading to some shady drugs/medications related sites.

Juat take a look. It’s mostly those gibberish user names that end in a number.

Looks like the few I caught last night were just the tip of the iceberg. It goes on and on for pages and pages!


I see what you mean. The problem is, it’s not all of those new profiles. Some seem to have no problems and are probably just legit new users. Hard to filter this except for going through them one by one.

Personally I wouldn’t mind if we would just have some tool on the site that automatically removes profiles without checks after some period. That removes all of these fake ones for sure. It also removes legit users, but if they didn’t check anything a few months after joining, I wouldn’t have any problems with that.


Yes, of course not all new profiles are not fake. But the fake ones are fairly easy to spot just by looking at the usernames.

I browsed the user list further, first skipping 5 pages at a time, then 10, then 50, and while the number of fake users did decrease dramatically after page ~200 or so, I’m still seeing a steady amount of fakes even after page 400, created more than a year ago, profiles like these.

So yeah, there are a LOT of these fake profiles out there, and I do understand it’s not a simple task to get rid of them.


@Marijn: How do you feel about automatically removing profiles with 0 checks that haven’t been used for X months?


No word from the moderators, I see.

Looking again at new profiles from the last couple of days, there are more new fake accounts than new actual, real user profiles. I’m not even kidding.

Does this not bother the moderators, or why is it that they’re not doing anything about these accounts? It’s like a plague.


Well, I am a moderator and I responded, but there’s only one person able to delete accounts. That’s Marijn, the owner of the site. Deleting these fake accounts is not his highest priority.

Those accounts bother me when I see them, but to be honest, I hadn’t noticed this till you brought it up. Because the problem is bigger than just a few accounts, I asked Marijn about his opinion about a more permanent solution. The other solution would be if moderators get the ability to delete accounts and I will go through them. I’m not sure though if I’m willing to spend the time on doing this one by one.


really bizarre effort to basically spam

I can’t remember, do we have some sort of captcha challenge when setting up new accounts? Yes, they’re annoying but …


Yes there is, but like everything else on the site it’s quite old. Spammers have no problem bypassing it.


I’m actually against cleaning up inactive accounts, but in this case I’ll make an exception. I’ve just removed 3452 accounts without checks and with a link in the description. That should be 90% of the spammers.


And just now another 2370 without checks and just a website in their profile.


I kinda knew already that you are against removing inactive account, since we’ve discussed this in the past. I’m glad you can automatically filter accounts this way, so that should solve most of this.


Fantastic job on cleaning out those accounts, Marijn. That’s a lot, wow.

However, I saved some of the fakes I saw in my bookmarks for future reference, and going through them, I see roughly a third of the bookmarked accounts are still there.

Just a few examples:

And that’s only a portion of the ones I have bookmarked, and I didn’t bookmark everything I saw. So there are still plenty of these around.

I understand it’s impossible for one person to go through all suspicious looking accounts one by one, and I’m in no way trying to cast any doubt on Marijn or anyone else, just saying that sweep didn’t get rid nearly all of the fakes.


Thanks for posting those, I’ll take a look at them to polish my delete rules :slight_smile:

In the next version we’ll add a “report” button to report fake profiles.


@Marijn: Can you remove this profile?

And this one:


Users have been removed