Until now, when I saw content that was simply copied from the web without an attribution, I flagged the respective posts for moderator attention, and moderators always deleted them -- in accordance with e.g. this comment by random.

The last time I flagged such a post, the moderator declined the flag with the comment "copyright infringements and other legal matters are out of our domain of moderation; also see https://stackexchange.com/legal", and no further action was taken. The linked page details StackExchange's terms of service, including a lengthy procedure how to report copyright infringements.

So I'd just want to make sure there is no misunderstanding on my part: if there is a some post that is a verbatim copy from the web without any attribution, I shouldn't flag for moderator attention, but I should rather apply aforementioned lengthy procedure. Correct?


2 Answers 2


Your flag says, "Possible Copyright Infringement," not "This post was plagiarized."

Moderators cannot handle copyright claims. Copyright claims should be directed at SE corporate, as a DMCA Takedown Notice.

Instead of making a copyright infringement claim, simply state in your flag "This post was copied from [link to url] without attribution." Moderators routinely act on plagiarism claims, and on many other variations of posts that do not belong here.

Yes, I know this is wacky, but it's one of those unintended consequences of the way our laws work.

  • Well, I left a comment at the respective post detailing where the whole post was copied from, so I didn't think I needed to repeat that information in the flag message -- it felt like adding noise. If this is the recommended way to proceed, I'll just do that next time. :) Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 23:40
  • 14
    If you want the greatest possible chance that a moderator will act on one of your flags, give the information the mod needs to make the right decision in the flag itself, or point them in the right direction.
    – user102937
    Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 23:42

I think there is a difference between two separate issues, each with their own action:

  • This is a copyrighted text and I do not think you are allowed to have it here. Stop it. (the lengthy procedure applies here).


  • This is a bad answer: it just copies some text without citing, references or anything, and it should not be here as an answer. (flag and delete procedure).

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