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I have seen instances of (spam) users commenting the link of the question itself in the comment section and they are of course flagged and deleted. But I found a weird explanation of this in this post:

enter image description here

I couldn't help but ask, what is the point of such comments? If it is some spammer then they could have written some gibberish and vanish off from the site. Instead they do this and more often in bountied posts.


Update 1: Caught the user red-handed

enter image description here


Update 2: Based on BuckThorn's request, I am sharing some posts which had such comments and were flagged by me:

  1. enter image description here Why does phenol react on oxygen in the Gattermann–Koch reaction?
  2. List item What can this chemical be? (Qualitative Analysis)
  3. List item What is the maximum number of water molecules that has been recorded till date to present as water of crystallization in a compound?

Update 3:

I found one case where the spammer tries to justifies their comment. Again, don't know what's the point of these comments. So, here is a screenshot of the comments before I flag for deletion:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ In any SE, there is an option to write answers anonymously, and in a temporary account. I remember, in Puzzling SE, I had given an answer without signing up, and that showed up as some userXXXXXX, which later on revisiting the page, I get a reminder to sign up and claim the answer $\endgroup$ Feb 4 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ This is a recent thing and I can't figure out a motive. It is annoying. We delete this asap (you can see andselisk did this time). Updated suspicion is that it's either someone who doesn't understand how the site works or is trolling. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Feb 4 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ @HarikrishnanM You can flag such comments for deletion if you spot them. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Feb 4 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn 1) it is intriguing, to say the least, that users with 1 reputation have commenting rights while commenting privilege is restricted to users having 50 reputation and greater. Users not having commenting privileges can comment only on their own posts. 2) That user, Satyajay Mandal, had only 1 rep in store with him and he had in the profile, a banner saying 'unverified'. That again raises suspicion over the site's security and integrity since there is a loophole for spammers to enter and bots to bombard the site. $\endgroup$ Feb 4 at 15:38
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    $\begingroup$ Something like that started likely here: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/180007/… $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 4 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ @HarikrishnanM It could be asker talking to himself from quickly deleted guest accounts. Or some form of sockpuppeting. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 4 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron You can't upvote before reaching 15 points rep and the votes from a deleted account also disappear. If it's a hack I suppose they might be clever enough to have a workaround. In any case, the pertinent authorities have been notified. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Feb 4 at 19:19
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    $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn There are also bugs. I got "Fanatic" on Superuser without actual visiting. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 4 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ So now this question is equivalently being closed, if I am right??? $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ @HarikrishnanM It might take a while to have an answer. Evidently this is some sort of bug, as you and Mithoron suggest, and it is unclear whether it is being exploited for reasons other than trolling. Someone might be experimenting with these bizarre comments, I can't see the point in them. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Feb 5 at 5:56
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    $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn I don't think this started recently. If I check my flag history, I can see my flags for such comments from 2020. Indeed, this needs to be looked deeply if it is a case of security exploit (IIRC, users with rep 1 can't comment). Maybe you can escalate to staff members. You can tag the post with status-review or something like that? $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ @NilayGhosh I have flagged this but yes, a status-review might be justified. I'm looking for other posts on meta or other sites that describe similar issues, for instance meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/297771/…. Can you link to that earlier post you flagged? $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Feb 5 at 8:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron in the question you linked I asked the commenter why he linked the same question and then he apologized and deleted it...? weird. $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 10:59
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    $\begingroup$ @BuckThorn See my update $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ @HarikrishnanM Caught the user red-handed. Check my update $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 14:57

2 Answers 2

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As Buck Thorn stated, what is happening here is a person who is exploiting a feature to cause disruption. While I cannot go into details about the specifics due to privacy issues, I am actively monitoring and working with moderators to limit this type of behavior and any issues that it may cause to contributors. Thanks again for raising this to us. I hope this helps. :)

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Looks like this is a bug feature with a long history, probably being exploited by one or more trolls who have payed attention to the behavior of the site or have been reading the meta pages. Unfortunately keeping the system open to encourage participation also increases risk of this kind of issue. Interestingly there are participants who desire automatic conversion of deleted link-only answers to comments.

The status has been changed to status-bydesign ("the reported behavior is intentional and not subject to change").

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