The definition of spam is indiscriminately bulk advertising a product, company, website or similar.
However many of our users use a very different definition of spam; somewhere along the lines of "a stupid post" or "something I don't like". In fact, I've seen many people here on meta claiming to have flagged as spam or who suggested to flag as spam posts such as:
- Gibberish (for example a question that contains "gfdgniujk3gij3")
- Asking a different question with an answer
- Not explaining what the problem is but just pasting code
- A very misleading answer
- Off topic questions
None of the above qualifies to be flagged as spam, since it's definitely not advertising. In fact, if someone with access to this decides to search all posts deleted because they were flagged sufficiently as spam, I bet over 75% were flagged inappropriately.
I think the fault for this is the poor choice of the word "spam" rather than the abuse of the system by our users. Spam is a very overloaded word that can mean just about anything, therefore I request it to be changed to "Advertisement" so its purpose is crystal clear.
Here you can find a post by Jeff stating indeed that flag should be used only for advertisement:
And by "spam" I mean it in the strict traditional internet definition not as shorthand for "I don't like this post."
If we see a pattern of this sort of behavior from users, we will consider it abuse.