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We've all seen plenty of:

  1. Comments in answers
  2. Thank-you's in answers
  3. Me-to questions in answers

Flagging as 'spam' is just wrong. The perps don't deserve a rep spank.

Flagging for mod is making work for mods.

Could we have a 'flag(or vote) to delete without prejudice?'

For some reasonable N voters at some reasonable rep R, the answer would go 'deleted'.

Right now, for whole questions, we require a stack of rep to vote to close, and a big stack of rep to vote to delete. For flags, we require only a tiny amount of rep. So, I claim that my proposal is far less abuse-prone than the current system. Any 6 people with 15 rep can bomb an answer and impose a big penalty. This proposal would require, oh, 5 people with 10K rep to delete an answer with no rep penalty.

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New users experience the closing of their question or answer as highly punitive, regardless of how you label it –  Andomar Nov 1 '10 at 10:19
    
Tough. If an answer is complete noise, it should disappear, not hang around as a broken window. –  Rosinante Nov 1 '10 at 12:20
    
@andomar so there should be no rules, and users should be able to do whatever they want at any time? I think not. –  Jeff Atwood Nov 1 '10 at 16:11
    
@Jeff Atwood: A well meaning new user could do all the things in this post (I've probably done all of them) Punishment & Rules are probably not the best way to welcome them to the community –  Andomar Nov 2 '10 at 0:41
    
@andomar I think you're combining answers and questions unhelpfully. In any case, I'm trying to move from "answer deleted AND -X rep" to merely "answer deleted". –  Rosinante Nov 2 '10 at 2:01
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1 Answer

Not a bad idea but a huge potential for abuse.

The flagging is fairly painless, and we can make it even more painless, so I'd go that route.

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I don't see how the potential for abuse is any greater than the current spam/offensive flag system. I think that's the point of this request - make a flag option that works like one of those but doesn't cost the author any rep if it results in an automatic deletion. –  Aarobot Nov 1 '10 at 2:33
    
@aaro so abusing it is even more consequence-free? not a good idea. –  Jeff Atwood Nov 1 '10 at 2:35
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I don't understand. It's no more or less "consequence-free" for the people using the flags. It just has fewer consequences for the "victim." Can you give an example of a scenario where somebody would abuse a "delete flag" but wouldn't be equally likely to abuse the spam/offensive flags? –  Aarobot Nov 1 '10 at 2:41
    
see edit, please. –  Rosinante Nov 1 '10 at 11:19
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