I think it is likely already clear to the mods, but just to make it common knowledge: There's a spam attack currently active, which takes the form of messages that copy-paste the beginning of another upthread comment (I assume, to look like a valid comment to someone not following closely), followed by a spam link.

This seems clear-cut enough (and unlikely to be a pattern a human would follow) that it might be possible to auto-delete with code, saving our mods the need to delete manually. I can't take this project on in the immediate future, but perhaps someone reading this can.

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More general solutions:

  • Quick fix: temporarily require a Gmail address for creating a new user - Google is good at preventing massive account creation.
  • Allowing new users to post only a single comment, which will have to be approved by a mod to make it visible and to unlock the ability to comment freely.

Maybe, put every new user who receives an downvote but no upvotes from users with >100 karma into a mode where their comments are only visible by mods and themselves till the mod approves the user?

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