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Should one double-flag spam/offensive posts?

I found this new answer to an old question http://stackoverflow.com/q/8268866/626273. Its just promotion for a web development company.

I flagged this as SPAM.

Then I went back and thought, this answer is really only promotion and does not even answer the question partly. Out of curiosity I clicked again on the flag link. I was a bit surprised, but I didn't see any indication that I already flagged this post! So I flagged it again as "Not an Answer".

So my question now, where is the difference between the SPAM Flag and the "Not an answer" flag, is not both for gathering moderator attention (of course stored in different queues)?

Is it OK to use both flags on a single answer or is this just generating more work for the moderators?

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marked as duplicate by Anna Lear Nov 25 '11 at 16:38

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

In cases like that you can just flag it with the more severe "it is spam" flag. If you're not sure then you can use "not an answer" or click the "other" option and explain what you see. There's no extra work for moderators (flags on the same post get stacked up, and we only need to deal with the post once), but most people try not to use up all their flags on one post in case they need another one.

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I was mainly wondering that it is possible to flag an answer more than once. I thought maybe because my first flag was the SPAM flag, and then maybe there can be a good reason to raise also another flag. After asking here I pressed the flag link a third time and still no indication of my previous flagging. Would it has been possible to flag it a third time? Does it gain more importance in the moderator queue when it has more flags (from me)? –  stema Nov 25 '11 at 14:18
    
@stema Oh, in that case, no you can't flag a post multiple times for the same reason. If you try you just get a dialog telling you that you already flagged this post. Spam/offensive flags are counted separately from all the other flags, which is why you were able to flag once as spam and once as not an answer. –  Bill the Lizard Nov 25 '11 at 14:54

You can flag the answer for both the reasons, but you would use two flags for the same post (instead of flagging two different posts).

I see a difference between flagging a post as spam and "not an answer," and flagging the post as spam. For example, if a user keeps answering to questions about a library to use with the same answer that contains a link to a library he created (which effectively is useful for the OP), then I would flag the post as spam; if the post would be an answer about Gucci shoes, then I would flag the post as "not an answer" and spam.

Said that, there is just to see if the moderators act first on posts that are flagged for both the reasons; I am not sure they give a precedence to those double-flagged posts. Using both the flags, you are giving to the moderators more information, but they should still verify if the flag is valid.

There is a difference between flagging a post using a custom reason, and flagging a post as spam (together, or not, another flag): The flags with a custom reason are visible only to the moderators, who should act on the flagged post, while in the case of spam flag 6 different users who can access the tools page can act on the spam post, and automatically delete it without requiring a moderator to do anything. That is a reason I would prefer flagging a post as spam, rather than flagging the same post with a custom reason.

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I'd say that the fact that its spam clearly implies that it is also not an answer. As Bill says, you can flag as 'other' and explain if the issue is a bit more complicated than that.

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