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As soon as a post has been flagged as spam, any links contained in it should be converted to plain text (even if there's a nofollow set). Additionally, when trying to edit such a post users should receive a notice to discourage them from removing the spam content but rather flagging it as spam, too.

The advantages of this would be:

  • People not accidentally clicking malicious/spammy links
  • Moderators not having to check the post history to see where the spam is
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I have an old feature request that would educate users about spam flags when they try to act on the post (e.g. downvoting or flagging as NAA). The same mechanism would certainly make sense for user that try to edit spam. –  Mad Scientist Jul 18 '13 at 9:57
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You may have to revisit the As soon as a post has been flagged as spam part because a spam flag may get declined. –  Aziz Shaikh Jul 18 '13 at 10:05
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One disadvantage is that instead of serial downvoting, serial spam flagging will be more effective. –  Oded Jul 18 '13 at 10:09
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One easy way to avoid most abuse would be to restrict this to 1 rep (or low-rep) users. Almost all spam is posted by 1 rep users anyway. –  Mad Scientist Jul 18 '13 at 10:12
    
what about spam flags submitted by mistake? Is it considered OK to de-linkify and lock editing of non spam posts? If yes, how can a mis-flagged legitimate poster recover? –  gnat Aug 24 '13 at 13:27
    
@gnat in that case, when a moderator reviews the flag, they would reject it and the delinking and lock would be removed. Spam flags have the highest priority in the moderator queue IIRC. –  Cole Johnson Aug 24 '13 at 15:14
    
@ColeJohnson this is non currently spelled in this feature request. If flag rejection would really roll it all back, I probably would be happy with proposed feature –  gnat Aug 24 '13 at 15:28

1 Answer 1

This proposal seems to come down to:

  • users with edit privileges should be discouraged from removing spam themselves;
  • potential spam should be left in place for moderators to see;
  • the potential spam can be made harmless by de-linking it.

The downsides:

  • I'm not so sure that "harmless" is accurate — even delinked, spam is spam and copy/pasting the link could be dangerous to more naive users; how fast are spamflags acted on? Quicker than edits? How long would this de-linked spam remain up before the post got deleted?
  • you could avoid this by clearly marking the post as having been spamflagged, but that's not at all fair to authors whose content has an invalid spam flag attached to it, for whatever length of time.

The upside:

  • high-rep users would still get to contribute to spam removal, it's just that they would be encouraged to only do so by way of spam flags;

Since moderators will likely wish to respond to a valid spam flag with action that transcends simply content removal (say, account suspension), this seems fairly reasonable to me.

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