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Update: The "spam" closing reason has recently been removed.

Original post:

As far as I know, a user gets a 100 rep penalty when one of their posts is flagged as spam often enough. I just noticed that this does not happen when the question gets closed as spam.

I assume this difference in behaviour is intended, and thus it suggests there's supposed to be a difference between flagging as spam and voting to close as spam. So what should be done in what case?

When should I only vote to close as spam, and when should I also flag as spam (the third possibility, flagging but not closing, probably doesn't make sense)?

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I can still see it on MSO/SO... – Marc Gravell Oct 26 '09 at 12:42
@Marc Gravell: I guess it'll be gone when Jeff hits the big pink "Deploy!" button the next time... – balpha Oct 26 '09 at 12:59
@balpha - all sites are showing the version number as 5091, but SO and MSO still have "spam" as a close reason, while SU doesn't – ChrisF Oct 26 '09 at 16:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I agree, it's sort of redundant now that we have flagging.

I am considering removing "spam" as a close reason, just to simplify the close list a bit.

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@Jeff: I prefer to let the community have the option of closing as spam. This leaves more power in the hands of the people, and often gets faster results than a moderator flag in extremely obvious cases. The flag is still necessary for older posts that get under the radar, though. – Bill the Lizard Aug 20 '09 at 12:06
@Bill the Lizard: I thought "spam" flags are dealt with automatically, without need for moderator attention? – balpha Aug 20 '09 at 12:32
@balpha: You're right, I thought it was only for offensive flags, but 6 spam flags will result in an automatic deletion as well. Disregard my prior comment, I need to read the FAQ again. :) – Bill the Lizard Aug 20 '09 at 15:58

Since not everybody can close the spam flag is needed. The flag means to get the attention of a moderator, which they might not of seen the question yet or at all.

If you have enough rep to close a question that is spam, vote to close the question.

If nobody else is voting to close because of low views, etc. . . Then i would use the flag as a back up procedure to get attention to a moderator.

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You're suggesting that both ways are pretty much the same. But the absence of rep penalty for posts that were closed as spam says different. – balpha Aug 20 '09 at 10:13
and spam in a closed question is still spam. the question is only closed, not deleted after all. – innaM Aug 20 '09 at 11:51

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