1. What’s Charcoal?

Charcoal is a user-run, volunteer organisation that aims to help keep Stack Exchange sites free of spam.

To do that, we have a team of people, and a bot named SmokeDetector. SmokeDetector detects spam and reports it to our chatroom, Charcoal HQ; the people present in that room review the reports and take whatever actions are necessary on them.

We keep track of the spam we’ve caught in our web dashboard, metasmoke, to enable us to analyse our results and improve our detection techniques. We don’t aim for zero false positives (i.e. legitimate posts caught), but for zero false negatives (i.e. spam posts missed).

Who’s Who?

We try to keep hierarchy to a minimum, but of course there has to be a minimal amount. We have six admins, who keep an eye on the chatroom and the system and make sure everything keeps running smoothly. Those six are:

There are more people involved than that, of course - there’s a more extensive list on the website.

Next: What’s spam?

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