How to deal with bots and AI spam?

Question: I’m wondering what to do the next time I spot a suspicious post. What should we do when we see a post that appears to come from a bot and/or generative AI? Flag the suspicious post, or is something else better?

Sometimes I read HO before my coffee kicks in, so I want to be sure I’m doing the preferred thing. :grinning:


When in doubt (well, not really :wink: ) I try to be courteous and ask the poster a question or two. Usually, the same AI garbage comes as a reply. Then I flag & have the mods take care of it.


I just flag it.


Either of what @linguafood or @small_h said. Sometimes it’s VERY easy to figure out, based on wording, that it’s a ChatBot or spam, sometimes not. But report and let the Mods review.


The generative AI accounts lately seem to use the same username and photo across multiple websites, and their content posted in those other websites is often the same general drivel you see here that arouses your Spider sense.

I PM’d to ask one of the mods about suspected bots and the response I got was it’s better to give the benefit of the doubt, take a wait-see approach.

So rather than flagging (which I believe in this iteration of Discourse might have an automatic effect of graying out the post), I’ll sometimes send a note to the mods with a link to the suspect post.

More often I’ll do what I’ve seen Natascha (@linguafood) do, as she mentioned above, which is just ask a nice question to see what results.


Just flagged one.