Kendra Vogel: Malicious Reporting

Posting this here on behalf of Kendra Vogel.

Hello, just here to tell a story of my short-lived ban from Quora. I suspect I’ve been a victim of targeted answer and account reporting – the malicious act of a user reporting all content of a certain user they dislike to get them banned. Sometimes they make multiple accounts and use them to mass report to get the quick effect of a ban. I don’t see another way this could have happened the way it did.

I’m not writing you to complain or to feel justice of any sort, but rather to spread awareness of what can happen when someone goes the extra mile to sabotage other users.

I was in the process of merging some questions earlier today (05.20.17) and was suddenly locked out of my account with a message stating my account has been banned. Sure enough, I check my email and “Your account has been banned because it has been linked to suspicious and/or malicious activity that violated Quora’s policies and guidelines.”

Thankfully my ban was lifted a few minutes later after it was brought to the attention of moderation. I logged on to find over 350 notifications – one stating that my account was banned, one stating my ban was lifted, and the other 350-some giving me notification that every single one of my answers was collapsed for “Violating a policy on Quora”.

I suspect this malicious reporting was done by a spammer, but that’s just speculation at this point. I report a lot of spam answers and delete answer wikis that are obviously spam. Some spammers get really angry with me for deleting their answer wiki spam (I recently had a user make multiple accounts very similar to my name and spam using those accounts when their original account got banned for spamming).

I’m glad moderation was able to rectify the situation so quickly. I was also edit blocked on February 14th for “Repeated policy violations” with no recent warnings nor any violations that would have warranted being edit blocked, but that was removed shortly after being implemented after being brought to the attention of moderation.

It’s frightening to realize, but malicious answer and user reporting is a real thing. I’m glad moderation does their best to stay on top of these situations when they do happen. They are currently working on uncollapsing my mistakenly collapsed answers.

Side note: why are we given “violating a policy on Quora” as the reason for answers being collapsed? That doesn’t seem helpful in the slightest.

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