If you see an user that you can clearly tell has posted many questions in one day that are homework questions and they show no effort whatsoever nor do they tell you it is homework, are you supposed to flag the questions? I consider it to be completely against what the website is going for?

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    $\begingroup$ A ridiculous attempt. Anyone who really wants their homework questions to be answered will manage to do so. Instead of playing to be a police, do some math, give just a hint, or move on to the next question if you don't like the homework one. It is futile to try to prevent something that by design the website cannot prevent. $\endgroup$ – OR. Dec 5 '13 at 10:42
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if I would say ridiculous. I am not saying spend your time looking for this kind of activity, but if you notice it, which it is obvious when the same OP posts 5 clearly homework questions, why not try to hinder it? $\endgroup$ – LASV Dec 5 '13 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ @LASV since I ask questions frequently, some homework, I can't help but wonder if this question has to do with me. Could you point to any examples? Maybe this one? Did I show no effort whatsoever? $\endgroup$ – NaN Dec 8 '13 at 9:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Fof No, absolutely not. You showed work and asked where your mistake was. I am talking about people that just post the question. And the particular user that made me consider this posted about 5 homework questions like that under three hours. $\endgroup$ – LASV Dec 8 '13 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ Downvotes, closevotes, and comments are easy soft-hindrances to such users, and my guess is that these are already fairly effective (unless the cheater is fairly industrious.) In a rare case there is a user more-or-less transparently circumventing rules then the free form flag is the way to go. $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Dec 10 '13 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ Isn't the question really about multiple postings (that you consider abusive for reason X, which happens to be homework, but could have been any other reason) and not homework postings as such? The answers are not specific to homework, either. If you change one word in the title, to say "multiple questions" instead of "homework questions", we will have a very useful meta thread for future reference, about the recurring subject of users whose posting history is thought to be worse than the sum of its parts. About homework per se there were many earlier long discussions. (@LASV) $\endgroup$ – zyx Dec 10 '13 at 21:02
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx I changed the title. You are right. $\endgroup$ – LASV Dec 10 '13 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ It is worth pointing out that moderators do get informed when a user posts lots of questions that do get closed automatically. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Dec 11 '13 at 21:42

You can downvote, and with enough reputation vote to close. You can also leave comments pointing this out, although try not to get into very long meta-discussions on the main site.

There is a limit of six questions per 24 hours for a user, and 50 questions in a 30 days period. So any abuse comes to an end. If you do see a user opening a second user in order to circumvent this limit, this is a casus belli to flag for the attention of the moderators.

In that case, use the free form flag along with links to the user accounts and explain why do you think this user is trying to circumvent the limitations of the site.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer! I think something needs to be done about it. I flagged the question and explained why and it got down voted. But your answer helps. $\endgroup$ – LASV Dec 5 '13 at 0:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf : if one wants to flag a question because the poster displayed no effort, which option(s) does one choose? This is not explicitly given as one of the reasons when one flags a question. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Smith Dec 9 '13 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Stefan: The final flag "other" allows a free form text. PLEASE don't flag posts just for lack of effort. That would cause the moderators to usually dismiss your flags until you reach the point where the system ignores all your flags for a while. Use the flag ONLY when you think there is a reason to suspect foul play (e.g. voting fraud, a user creating second accounts to circumvent the daily/monthly limit, etc.). The moderators don't maintain the quality of the posts, they solve disputes and clean up the mess. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 9 '13 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf : I respect you as a mathematician and I'm sure you know what you're talking about. Your comment makes me hesitant to flag posts just for lack of effort. However, if you look at my question at meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/11521/… , and the nice picture posted there with the blue arrows, one choice in the graphic is "It should be closed for another reason... This question does not meet this site's standards and should be closed", and the answerer wrote "Not for mods" in blue next to it... $\endgroup$ – Stefan Smith Dec 10 '13 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ ...There was some bickering in the comments under the answer and under the other answers, but no consensus that using a flag with "It should be closed for another reason.." is inappropriate or against the rules. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Smith Dec 10 '13 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila : In case there is any misunderstanding, I would NOT use the "other" flag on a post just because it showed no effort. The beginning of your comment suggests that maybe I am thinking of doing that or that I do it, but I know better. If you tell me specifically that using the "It should be closed for another reason" flag just because of lack of effort is a bad idea, I will take your word for it and I won't do it. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Smith Dec 10 '13 at 2:17
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanSmith There's a major difference between this thread and what was discussed in thread 11521 to which you refer. Namely, you are above 3K now. Hence, non-moderator flagging options are no longer available to you, being replaced by votes to close. Now you are the moderator whose help you seek. It's up to you to decide how to vote and what reason to put behind your vote. $\endgroup$ – Post No Bulls Dec 11 '13 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ @PostNoBills : I noticed that when I got above 3K, a "vote to close" option appeared under questions. I recently voted to close a question because the OP put no effort into it. If the question gets closed, one of the reasons that will be given to the OP is a paragraph containing something like "please provide us with more context... what have you tried...etc". I don't think the OP is immediately informed why anyone has voted to closed the question. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Smith Dec 11 '13 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ @PostNoBills : I have noticed that when I have flagged a question as a probable duplicate, a comment immediately appears under the question identifying the probable duplicate. It would be nice if inexperienced MSE users who post PSQ's could get an automatic, immediate comment explaining why someone has voted to closed their question, before it actually gets closed (as seems to be done with duplicate questions). $\endgroup$ – Stefan Smith Dec 11 '13 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ @PostNoBills: Is my observation that this currently does not happen correct? If so, is there an easy way for me to add such an extra comment (such as the boilerplate that I attempted to quote above)that is not too time-consuming? Thanks in advance if you answer my questions. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Smith Dec 11 '13 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanSmith If you use a custom (self-written) close reason, it appears as a comment "this question appears to be off-topic because". See examples here (some deleted by now). But if your reason is a pre-existing one, like insufficient context or other detail, it does not appear as a comment, but rather as a post notice after the question is closed. Both kinds are seen in this question. $\endgroup$ – Post No Bulls Dec 12 '13 at 4:30

Where multiple postings do not circumvent the rate limits, there would have to be something extraordinarily strange about them that could not be handled on a question-by-question basis by voting, flagging, commenting, answering, or ignoring individual posts, treating each post separately on its own merits.

A personal feeling that somebody else is abusing the site with multiple questions, does not automatically mean that it is an abuse, or if it is one, that it should not be handled one question at a time.

A corollary is to not bother the moderators when possible and just vote. I do not know if flags to close (choosing one of the standard reasons) create a task for moderators, or just push the question automatically into the review queue with no other implications. If it does hit the moderators, that would be one more reason to have a "request for close/delete votes" permanent meta thread, or to use the existing reopen votes request thread for that purpose.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree. Just to clarify: the <3K flags to close do not land in moderators' flag queue. They are effectively requests for close votes from 3K+ users. $\endgroup$ – Post No Bulls Dec 11 '13 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ I was wondering about that for some time. Thanks for the information. $\endgroup$ – zyx Dec 11 '13 at 3:40

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